The Celtics announced yesterday that coach Doc Rivers signed a contract extension through the 2010-11 season.
Rivers, who had a year remaining on his deal, will receive approximately $5.5 million annually, with possible incentives worth an additional $1.5 million a year.
Rivers this season will have a chance to join Red Auerbach (eight championships from 1959-66) and Bill Russell (1968 and ’69) as the only coaches to have led the Celtics to successive NBA titles.
Rivers, 46, has guided the Celtics to regular-season records of 45-37, 33-49, 24-58, and 66-16.
“My feeling about Doc is not much different than when we hired him initially,” said Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. “He was a really good coach when we hired him, he was a really good coach when we won 24 games, and he’s a really good coach right now. The only difference now is most people think he’s a really good coach.
“I don’t think he had to prove anything to me. Coaches always have to prove they are the right fit for the players they are coaching and that they can get the chemistry right. There are a lot of really good coaches who aren’t a perfect fit for the personalities and the players on a team. Doc is a good leader, and he is great leader for this group of guys.”
The Celtics begin training camp Sept. 29, and open the season at home against Cleveland Oct. 28. The Celtics last reached the Finals in consecutive seasons from 1984-86 under K.C. Jones.
“We’ve been talking about that since the day the season ended,” Ainge said of possibly repeating as champions. “That’s the challenge. It’s always a challenge. When you have this kind of success, the challenge is to remember how you got there. Our objective is to remember how we got there.”