The Van Buren Boys

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Rivers Boys

Great article from this morning's Globe about Doc and JR. Note that Doc and Pat Ewing often exchange text messages during games and Doc was forced to remain tight-lipped when asked about the Hibbert-Oden matchup in light of the 30k fine levied on Danny Ainge for chatting up Kevin Durant's mom.

One downside should the Celtics wind up firing Doc after this season is that all of these outstanding articles about JR in the Boston papers will dry up.

Doc has son in his eyes: Enjoys run of Hoyas
By Steve Bulpett/ The NBA
Boston Herald Sports Reporter
Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - Updated: 05:19 AM EST

The space between coach and parent was crystallized in the final moments of regulation in the Georgetown-North Carolina game Sunday. With the score tied, Carolina’s Wayne Ellington got the ball and made his move on Hoyas freshman guard Jeremiah Rivers.

Doc Rivers had a different view of things from the stands at the Meadowlands than he would have had on the bench. This wasn’t just some random pupil providing the defense. This was his kid.

“My whole thought was no foul - just no foul and don’t gamble, because he’s a gambler,” the coach and Hoyas parent said before the C’s beat the Toronto Raptors, 95-87, last night at the Garden. “As a parent, you’re just thinking don’t make the shot and don’t foul. It’s funny how you view things differently as a parent. As a coach, you want a stop. As a parent, you just don’t want him to mess up. That’s the difference.”

Jeremiah did just fine, getting a hand up on Ellington’s missed jumper and getting the game to overtime, where Georgetown took over. As a result, Doc will have the pleasure of a gut-wrenching trip to the Final Four.

Of the two jobs - coach and parent - Rivers didn’t hesitate in regard to a question about which is more difficult.

“Oh, a parent,” he said. “Easy. As a coach, you can have an impact.”

“Maybe,” cracked a media type, referencing the tribulations of the Green.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Rivers replied with a laugh. “I’ve had a hell of an impact this year.

“But (as a coach), you can call a timeout. You can do something. As a parent, you can just sit there. You basically just watch and pray a lot.”

The father did get to offer some advice when Jeremiah called the morning after the Hoyas’ win in the regional championship.

“I told him to breathe,” Doc said. “Honest to God. I told him that (yesterday) morning because he was talking a million miles an hour. I just told him to take a deep breath and enjoy it.

“Then I told him the answer is no. He said, ‘To everyone who’s going to ask you for tickets, the answer is no. Just get that out of the way.’ ”

The requests figure to be more numerous, with the Final Four in Atlanta - the place where dad spent most of his NBA career and Jeremiah spent the first six years of his existence.

Doc already has booked his trip. He’ll return to Boston following the Celtics [team stats]’ game in Philadelphia Friday night and, following a practice that may or may not take place Saturday, he’ll board a private jet (NBA employment has its privileges) for Atlanta and the 6:07 tipoff.

The duel between Georgetown center Roy Hibbert and Ohio State big man Greg Oden figures to be a classic. Asked about the matchup, Rivers bit his lip (NBA employment has its muzzles).

“I don’t even know if I can answer that,” said the coach, whose team got fined $30,000 when director of basketball operations Danny Ainge sat next to Kevin Durant’s parents at the Big 12 tournament. “Hopefully very well. Privately, I’ve had some great things to say about that, but I can’t say them. Sorry.”

And what will he say if he walks by Oden’s family?

“I’m going to boo,” he said with a chuckle.

The former Marquette star now is bathed in Hoyas blue - a color he shares with former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing Sr., whose son also rises for Georgetown. The two don’t generally sit together at the games, but they text message each other frequently. On Sunday at the Meadowlands, Rivers was with his wife and daughter.

“Probably one of the neatest experiences in my sporting life outside of playing,” he said. “And maybe even neater than that.”

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