New York Knicks v Boston Celtics - Game Six

Doc Rivers finally speaks on chances of return, but only to say ‘I’d rather not say’


Kevin Garnett might retire. Paul Pierce’s contract is only partially guaranteed for next season. Who knows when Rajon Rondo will return to full health? The Celtics have plenty of question marks headed into next season.

Meanwhile, Doc Rivers had been lying low.

He’s finally spoken publically about his future with the Celtics, but he didn’t say much. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

When asked if he is still in the decision-making process, Rivers told the Globe “I’d rather not say.”

Speculating, I wonder whether Rivers was peeved Danny Ainge announced Rivers would return. Rivers very well might have wanted to do that on his own terms, and that could make this lengthy silence his way of showing his displeasure.

If that’s the case, I don’t think Rivers is petty enough to step down over this, just to make the Celtics sweat. And he’d certainly be entitled.

I’d still guess Rivers returns, but this has become closer to a 50-50 call than I ever anticipated, and it very easily could depend on how Boston handles Garnett and Pierce. Coaching those two would certainly be more appealing to Rivers than beginning a rebuilding project.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.