TORONTO -- Before the Boston Celtics' 81st and final game of the regular season -- Tuesday night's home game against the Indiana Pacers was cancelled in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings -- head coach Doc Rivers met with the media at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. As well as the normal end-of-season questions about who would be sitting out the last game and how they will prepare for the New York Knicks in the playoffs, Rivers discussed what happened in Boston.
"I think it's individual; individual for each guy," Rivers said of how it affected his team. "Probably the guys who've been around here the longest, it's probably affected more. Paul [Pierce] has been here in Boston his whole career, so I think it's had a big affect on him. But listen, I don't think you have to be a basketball player or anything. You don't even have to be from Boston. Or from the United States. When something like that happens, I think it has an affect on everyone because it threatens our safety and our freedom to gather as a group and that's part of what makes us human is that we do that. And every time something like that happens, it threatens that. So that's the sad part."
Rivers was on his way to watch the marathon when the bombings occurred. "I live right around there," he said. "I was coming out of the tunnel but, listen, I had no issues compared to what everybody else had. I just had, I witnessed a panic, which you don't ever want to see. And then I also witnessed, I said this, I witnessed some great things. I witnessed a lot of people just taking charge of their city. And I thought that was awesome."
Before the game in Toronto, both teams shared a moment of silence at halfcourt. Then "Sweet Caroline" played as the Celtics' starters were introduced. Rivers said he was all for anything that could be done to give anyone comfort.
Rivers added he was struck by the unity that he has seen around the sports world in the past couple of days. "I don't know if anybody saw the [sports] page, I think, of the Chicago Tribune," he said. "That was beautiful, that was awesome. You know, 9/11, it was very similar, you saw the Yankee/Red Sox hats. Don't get me wrong, we still hate each other in sports but not in life. You can separate the two things. And I think all the big cities do a great job of showing that, that we're with you and we're against you. It's a neat little thing."