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WEEI: Rivers leaning one way

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  June 21, 2010 11:55 AM

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The time off would allow Rivers to watch his three children -- all seniors -- play sports, something Rivers would go to great lengths to fit into his Celtics schedule. In January, he drove to Springfield after a Celtics practice to see his son Austin score 21 points in the Hoophall Classic. Last November, he used a long set of off days to go to Indiana and see his son Jeremiah play point guard. His daughter Callie plays volleyball at Florida and he says he enjoys it a little more because he knows nothing about the sport.

Rivers ties to his family are obvious, but he also understands that should he leave the Celtics there aren't many other coaching situations that compare.

"The only reason you stay is because of your love for the guys you coach, and the organization – Danny and all the guys you work for," Rivers said. "Knowing that if you do leave that, you’re not going to ever get that back. You can get a coaching job back, there’s no doubt about that, but I don’t ever think I’ll get the situation that I have here in Boston back, so that will be difficult to leave. But the other side of it is so strong as well with the family. It’s going to be an interesting decision and I don’t know what it is yet.

"I think what would make you regret it is if there’s a phone call and one of your kids is doing something spectacular – or not – and you’re not there. Going through the injury stuff, you’re going to go through it as a coach regardless. Obviously last year was more than we anticipated, but I wouldn’t have any regrets that way."

Rivers said he would make his decision before the situations with Ray Allen (an unrestricted free agent) and Paul Pierce (owner of an opt-out) are squared away, so their decisions will have no impact on his. But he admitted that he's being lobbied by his players.

"I think Ray wants to come back, I think Paul wants to come back," Rivers said. "Whether Paul opts out or not, we’ll figure that out and Ray I just think we have to go through the process and try to get him signed back.

"I’m getting a lot of texts from them and calls from them right now. That makes you feel good, I’ll tell you that, that you have a group of guys that want to go to battle for you. That makes you feel great."

Rivers did the radio show as he was preparing to play golf, and he said Celtics president Danny Ainge encouraged him to use these days to simply decompress after a long season.

"He’s been great," Rivers said of Ainge. "He told me to go away and go on a golf course … and go enjoy your life for a couple days or week or so, and that’s what I’m going to do."

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