1983 was supposed to be young Glenn “Doc” Rivers’s first step on becoming a professional basketball player… It seems like sky is the limit for Doc having played in the national team in 1982 and was awarded tournament MVP before graduating in Marquette. But fate has a subtle way of telling him that it wasn’t his time to shine yet… Number 1 pick goes to Ralph Sampson then number 2 went to Steve Stipanovich, number 4 Byron Scott until the first round ended, the Atlanta Hawks selected Rivers as their number 31 pick in Round 2 of that draft. Then sudden realization took over, there’s no way he could compete with Byron Scott, Sampson or number 14 of that draft, Clyde Drexler he had to make an identity… he had to make a plan… Doc focuses on one aspect each NBA team wants…a skillful court general that plays pretty good defense. It wasn’t about being on top of everyone it was about sustainability and Doc played 13 years. Doc always has a plan, the moment he dribbles the ball and passes it to an open teammate or a driving Dominique Wilkins it was all part of his calculated plan.
Going to the 2010 season he had to make a decision to limit the minutes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The 82 rigorous games of the NBA can clearly take its toll on the 34, 32 and 34 year old legs respectively. The big three have been constantly battling injuries whole season long and Doc needs to get them ready for a bigger battle in the playoffs. The Celtics standing went from the top 2 spot in the Eastern conference down to the number 4 but Doc won’t dither. “I thought it was the right plan, but it didn’t look right because we were losing,” Rivers said. “But guys were resting and conditioning, and I thought that was the only chance we had.” The playoffs was always the time to shine, it’s always the time to separate the men from the boys and Doc has guided his team all the way to the NBA finals preaching the same plan, telling them the only thing he knows best… Defense…
It was the same adjective that brought him 13 playing years and it was the same adjective that brought him his first ever championship in 2008. Thursday’s opening night would be Doc’s ultimate test. The Los Angeles Lakers still have redemption on their minds. Doc never fears about losing, he never questioned his team or his judgment… He just knows that everything will be fine as long as they follow his plan… there are no guarantees or promises only championship rings.
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