Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers looks on in the second quarter of their NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in New York

It’s official: Doc Rivers will return as Celtics coach


Was there really any doubt? You didn’t really buy into the insane notion he would leave the Celtics to coach the Clippers, did you?

Doc Rivers will be back to coach the Boston Celtics next season. GM Danny Ainge confirmed that to Gary Washburn the Boston Globe (via A. Sherrod Blakely at

A league source confirmed an earlier report by the Boston Globe that Rivers would in fact return to the sidelines for the Celtics next season.

“We’ve got a coach everybody would love to have,” Ainge told the Globe.

Well, that’s one piece of the puzzle.

Next up is “What to do with Paul Pierce?” He is owed $15 million next season or the Celtics can buy him out by June 30 for $5 million. What happens to Pierce likely determines what happens to Kevin Garnett — if Pierce is back KG probably will be, if Pierce is bought out KG probably retires.

So the real question is: Do you want to blow the whole thing up and start rebuilding now? Because you’re not going to be that bad a rebuilding team, not with Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. In the East you might compete for the eight seed with those two and a couple of shooters. You’re not going to seriously be in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes. So do you bring everybody back and be a dangerous five seed, or do you just blow it up now and start over?

Whatever you do, Doc Rivers will be your coach.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.