Doc Rivers Next in Line to Coach Miami Heat Big Three?
Doc Rivers has been the beneficiary of unmatched talent over the past few years, and it’s probably resulted in people thinking he’s a much better coach than he actually is. That’s not to take anything away from Doc. He’s the ultimate motivator and the definition of a player’s coach. He’s a rare specimen in that he can take a group of enormous egos and talents and get them to buy into the concept of a team. That’s exactly why Pat Riley is reportedly said to have his eye on Rivers if Erik Spoelstra can’t get the job done with the Miami Heat.
Does anyone else feel that it’s going to be nearly impossible for Spoelstra to keep his job? If the upcoming Heat season ends with anything less than an NBA championship, he’s gone. I get the impression that they didn’t want him to be there to begin with, but they couldn’t just replace him without giving him a shot with a revamped roster. If he coaches them to a title, Spoelstra will keep his job. If he doesn’t, Riley will look elsewhere.
Whether he’s one of the better coaches in the NBA or not, Doc Rivers would probably be a smart choice. Granted, it would be tough to not be extremely successful with a roster core of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. The thing that Doc does so well is check egos. With all the star power that he’s coached over the last three years in Boston, he’s never seemed to let his locker room get away from him. That in itself makes Rivers worth hiring.
Rivers is giving it one last run with the Celtics and I think it’s safe to say he’ll depart when the Big Three is no longer the Big Three. If he goes on to coach Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh, you may never find another coach who has had the opportunity to coach more talent — including Phil Jackson. Maybe that will result in Rivers never getting the credit he deserves as a coach. Maybe it will be the only reason he had so much success. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t make a difference to Pat Riley and the Heat. After all, if it fits — it fits.