Back on Feb. 18, a Celtics team that had been showing the drain of a long regular season came in to Staples Center and looked young again for a night. They beat the Lakers by a point, ending a four-game winning streak for L.A. The Celtics locker room was loud and boisterous.
Then Doc Rivers decided to make a point. The Boston Globe tells the story:
Rivers got [the team’s] attention. He told everyone in the room to give him $100… Rivers took $100 from everyone in the room – players, coaches, managers – to the tune of $2,600 and put it all in the envelope. He then hid the envelope in the locker room.
“The only way you’ll get it back,” he told them, “is if you come back here and get it.”
Back in February it may have been clear that the Lakers were going to come out of the West, but the Celtics were not playing like a team ready to come out of the East. So Rivers came up with this clever bit of motivation.
And true to his word, yesterday Rivers gave each of the people involved their $100 back. Which can buy you a drink and an appetizer at most Los Angeles nightspots. But probably won’t cover the tip.