MIAMI – Celtic coach Doc Rivers is downplaying pre-game activities for the season-opener against the Miami Heat Tuesday night.
“It’s not that big of a difference because they’re going to start early,” Rivers said of the presenting of championship rings to the Heat, “when we would be in lockerroom, anyway. The only difference is there will be 16 minutes on the clock instead of 20. Our guys don’t usually come out until about 17 minutes on clock, anyway. So, it’s not going to be that big a difference. The only difference is we’ll hear it in the lockerroom, you’ll hear all the speeches and the noise.”
The ceremony is set to start at 7:30, lasting about 15 minutes. Then, the countdown to tipoff will begin.
“We didn’t really look forward to it, we were hoping that Oklahoma was playing Miami on opening night, to watch ring night,” Rivers said before the team’s shootaround Tuesday. “I don’t know why they chose us. They deserve it, they won it last year, they had their day. We had our day, LeBron (James) had to sit and watch that. He’s probably been through several of them, he’s been through two. This time is payback night and he deserves it, he really does. He’s probably gone through more scrutiny than any player, maybe any athlete, that I can ever remember. In that light, I’m happy for him. I just wish he could have waited.”