All of a Sudden Doc Rivers Is a Genius
I love how this stuff works sometimes. Last year Doc Rivers was the guy who deserved to be canned after his team did the nosedive into last place like they had a two-ton anchor attached to them. You even had guys like Ryan Gomes all but admitting they were tanking. Many people were calling for Doc’s head — it was nuts. The guy had no players, especially when you consider his big gun, the Finals MVP, Paul Pierce, was hurt. But all those sicko results-oriented freaks just look at the bottom line and say the team was the worst in the league so the coach deserves to be gone. I can’t tell you which people did 180s from saying he should be fired to praising the guy, but I can tell you I didn’t jump on Doc as a poor coach, giving him leeway because he had no players.
Now, in ’07-’08, he gets KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce comes back healthy, and all of a sudden it’s a different story. Basketball, because it’s only a five player game and because it’s easy for one player to take over and dominant, makes it tough for a coach to look good when he doesn’t have good players. At the same point, it can make a decent, or even a bad coach look good. Doc wasn’t a bad coach because his team was bad last year, and he’s not a great coach because his team was great this year. He’s obviously a good coach who needed the proper tools to deliver the goods — just like pretty much any other coach would. So just remember all the chants you heard for Doc’s head last year when you hear all the great stuff about him this year. Do you really think he suddenly became a genius over the offseason? Doubtful. It’s the players, for the most part, that define the coach. Not the other way around.