WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers lives just blocks from where two bombs exploded Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 100 people.
"I always go down after practice and watch -- Iíve done it every year that weíve been in town, because I live literally two blocks from the finish line," Rivers said before practice Tuesday.
"I was on my way, actually -- I had just gotten out of the tunnel -- when the bomb exploded. Itís just awful. It takes the joy out of sports -- because thatís what sports is supposed to bring is joy.
"You just saw the people running and the ambulances, just everything. It was hysteria."
He turned on the radio to learn what happened. With roads blocked off, Rivers estimated that it took him more than an hour to travel five blocks and get home.
"I just got a million texts," he said. "But again, my phone wasnít working. On a lighter note, Iím not the best at returning texts anyways. Last night, my kids laughed, because I actually did. They knew.
"My daughter especially -- now I know whoís going to take care of me -- my daughter, I think she called or texted me like 16 times in a row. But I couldnít -- you couldnít get to them. Finally when I did, everything was good."
Rivers was told not to leave his building, but he watched from a window.
"You could see people wandering around, like the park -- a lot of people didnít have places to go last night," he said. "And the park, there was a lot of people, you felt like -- the Common -- you could feel that, that they didnít have anywhere to go. That was where a lot of people went. I had a birdís-eye view of that."
More than anything, Rivers said, he was encouraged by what he saw.
"Being in the city, the one thing I will say, youíre just really proud to be part of Boston," he said. "I saw people who didnít work for the police or anything like that, directing traffic, showing people where to go.
"I just thought the spirit of Boston was phenomenal last night. In a tragic event, it either separates you or brings you together. It clearly brought the city of Boston together, which was awesome.
"The city has responded. The city, it was awesome, watching people help people. Iím driving and I can see people helping people walk, helping go to the right places. This city has an amazing amount of spirit and I think that showed last night. And today still.
"Then youíre angry, too. I think that starts now. You really are. When you keep thinking about it. It does make you very angry at what happened. And thatís because you love the city, and love where youíre at. So that bothers you."
Is it tough to move on, to move it out of your mind? Of course, Rivers said.
"I donít think you should get it out of your mind," he said. "I donít think anyoneís going to get it out of their mind, it will be on your minds. Whether you were in the city or out of the city, youíre part of Boston. And if youíre part of this city -- or this country, for that matter -- itís something that will be on your mind. And thatís fine.
"You put things in compartments, and thatíll happen for this hour and a half of practice. But it was a sad day yesterday, and itís sad today, too. Thatís part of life."
Rivers said it's important to return to a sense of normalcy.
"Thatís what our city wants," he said. "I think that you can hear the police commissioner today talking about that. We want to return things as soon as possible back to normal because that tells whoever did this that you donít stop the spirit of Boston.
"We are going to be back, weíre going to work the same, weíre going to play the same, weíre going to do things the same, and there's nothing you can do to stop us from doing this.
"Next year, the Marathon will be bigger and better, and youíre not going to stop us, and I thought, of all the messages, the police commissioner said that and I think thatís a fact."