LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Paul Pierce #34 listens to head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Doc Rivers Will Coach The Celtics Next Season

There was speculation that Doc Rivers would step down as Celtics coach following the 2010 Finals, but he has reportedly decided to come back for one more year.

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Doc Rivers Will Return As Celtics Coach Next Season

There was speculation that Doc Rivers would step down as Celtics coach this summer, but that apparently won't be the case. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Rivers will honor the final year of his contract and return to coach the team next season.

Doc Rivers will return to coach the Celtics, a source close to him confirms to Y! Sports. He will honor the final year of his contract.    

SB Nation's Celtics Blog believes this is the first step toward reunifying the Big 3. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are both free agents, but this could be a strong indication that they will return to the team next year.

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Report: Doc Rivers Stepping Down After The Playoffs?

According to a report in the Boston Herald, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is seriously considering stepping down as coach after this season. While Rivers, himself, has denied that any final decision has been made, and we've seen similar speculation, the Herald notes that "the planets are aligned" here:

This time the planets seem better aligned for a move. One of Rivers’ sons, Jeremiah, will be a senior next season on the Indiana University hoop team and daughter Callie, a volleyball star, will be in her final year at the University of Florida. Another son, Austin, is a top basketball prospect who will be finishing high school.

Even in the midst of a brutal NBA schedule, Rivers makes several detours to watch his kids play, and it is no secret he would like to be there for them on a more consistent basis.

Indeed, Doc has good reason to move on at this point, not the least of which is the current state of the Boston Celtics organization. Yeah, he wants to watch his kids play, but to think that this move would be solely motivated by watching his children's athletic events would be a little naive. The Celtics have been floundering since the All-Star break, and are currently hobbling into the playoffs having lost seven of their last 12 games.

Everyone's always liked Doc in Boston, particularly among the media. But aside from the championship season, his track record hasn't been that great at the Celtics helm. Now that the Celtics are struggling to meet expectations, he's once again facing some of the same criticism that plagued him before the Championship in '08. Maybe Doc's the problem, Celtics fans wonder. And frankly, they may be right.

So given all that, and since he doesn't need the money or another ring, maybe he'll step down, rather than face the prospect of being slowly roasted by fickle fans and media. Could you blame him?

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