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Rivers offers reaction to Francona departure

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  October 3, 2011 11:29 PM

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Like most of the Boston sports faithful, Doc Rivers was stunned by not only the Red Sox late-season swoon but the departure of manager Terry Francona.

Rivers offered his reaction Monday.

“Obviously losing him for me and this whole city, it’s like losing a brother in sports in a lot of ways," the Celtics coach said. "You have such a great relationship. It’s just one of those guys who’s in the same situation that you can share with. So that obviously, I did understand what he was going through but you just hope from afar that it was going to work out for everybody.”

Rivers said he has exchanged text messages with Francona since his decision not to return.

“We have text a lot in this stretch and we’ve definitely been communicating, no doubt,” he said. “I don’t want to say (how he feels), let’s put it like that, he’s going to be all right. Terry wants to win. Just like I would. I would beat myself up, so would Bill (Belichick), so would all of us. That’s what we do. That’s why we’re in this.”

With Belichick, Francona and Bruins coach Claude Julien, Rivers built a title-winning quartet that has bonded over the years.

“For me and for Bill and speaking for Terry, it’s only about winning,” Rivers said. “We don’t need anything else. I don’t (Terry) will have to worry about (getting another job). The best thing for him, and I am not speaking for him, is he’ll have the choice to work or not work and that’s a good thing.”

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