Learning that New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn was reportedly interested in Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, the Celtics were glad to hear their assistant’s name was one of the first mentioned as the coaching carousel begins to turn.
Rivers, who started by saying he doesn’t normally talk about coaching opportunities, said, “It’s great. I want all my assistants to be head coaches. Some of them have been interviewed, just none of them have gotten jobs yet. Hopefully someday they get a job.”
Thibodeau has been Rivers’ associate head coach the past three seasons, working largely as the engineer of a defense that’s been regarded as one of the best in the league. He’s been an assistant for seven different teams, but never a head coach though he was a rumored candidate for jobs in New York and Chicago.
“It’s great for him,” said Ray Allen. “You get to the end of the year and you’ve got a coach that?s worked very hard and he’s been in this system where he’s gotten us [to this point]. He doesn’t get the wins. It’s almost like we’ve got to push him out the door at some point, because he’s been successful with what we’ve been doing here and we’d like to see him grow even more. I encourage him. You always like to see guys here. But if I?m a head coach or if I’m a player I’m like that’s great to be able to have your own ship.
“You do look at the perspective from both ways. Being an assistant you don’t have to worry about the big decisions. You don’t have to worry about the axe falling on you if something doesn’t go right. But at the same time you want that responsibility. So it can go but after a matter of time, your own ship.”