“We don’t know what he knows," Rivers said Friday morning on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program. "I think that he loves the game too much and is playing too well to walk away… It’s such a grind, especially for him, but I wouldn’t put too much into that.”
All-Star weekend is upon the NBA. It's the unofficial midpoint of the season and Rivers said he's happy the team will get a break.
"We're playing well, so you can make the case that we don't need a break," said Rivers. "But with the body count we have, I couldn't have found a better day or better time to have a break."
The Celtics' extensive injuries have left gaps in the lineup. Rivers said they now have to stop focusing on filling specific positions and look for an all-around player to join the team, while keeping the active players motivated. With Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa all out, it gives other players a chance to step up.
"You got to coach to the guys that are playing, you just have to," said Rivers. "You have to get the guys that are playing to understand that you expect to win still and that there are no changes."
As for trading and picking up new players, Rivers said, "we can't look at one position anymore. That's what we were doing, now we're looking at players. We need players ... If I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard who can play multiple positions and that could shoot. We're just looking for the best available player now."
Is Fab Melo that player?
"I don't think he's ready yet. I think he's really working on it, but he's not ready yet," Rivers said.
With the Red Sox in spring training this week, Rivers even touched on his own brief baseball career.
"I probably broke my dad's heart by playing basketball; he was a baseball player. He coached me through Little League ... The one thing I'll say about baseball: the better I got at basketball, the farther I got away from the batter's box. I couldn't hit at all."