Doc Rivers relieved saga is over

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Even Doc Rivers got weary of the two-week saga of his departure from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Doc Rivers: Former Celtics coach is ready to go to work for the Clippers.  Nick Ut
Nick Ut
Doc Rivers: Former Celtics coach is ready to go to work for the Clippers.

Yet when his “strange ordeal” finally ended this week, Rivers didn’t even pack a suit before heading out to the West Coast to take on another coaching challenge.

The Clippers formally introduced Rivers at their training complex Wednesday after dealing a first-round pick to the Celtics to land one of the NBA’s most respected veteran coaches.

Rivers says he felt he couldn’t lose after Boston’s Danny Ainge raised the possibility of trading him to the Clippers. Rivers claims he would have been happy with either team.

He’s eager to maximize the potential of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who’s expected to stay with the Clippers as a free agent.

SONS RISE: Tim Hardaway and Glen Rice are about to return to the NBA.

Not only are Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glen Rice Jr. poised to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, but both are expected to be selected in the same range of tonight’s NBA Draft, from the latter stages of the first round to the early stages of the second.

Hardaway, a 6-foot-6 guard, played three seasons at Michigan.

Rice, a 6-5 guard, spent two seasons at Georgia Tech before he was dismissed from the team because of disciplinary issues. He spent this past season in the NBA Development League, ineligible to be drafted until now.

PACERS: A year away from basketball has rejuvenated Larry Bird.

Now he wants to win a championship.

Bird, the former NBA star who left his job last season after rebuilding the Indiana Pacers and winning the league’s executive of the year award, will be reintroduced to the media this morning as the president of basketball operations. That’s the same job Bird held from 2003-12.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” Bird said in a statement issued by the team.

Donnie Walsh, who was president of basketball operations, will now settle in his new role – as a team consultant.

LAKERS: The team wants Dwight Howard to re-sign and don’t care who knows it.

The team unveiled a massive banner on the side of Staples Center on Wednesday with a photo of Howard and one message: “Stay.”

The sign is one of “six or seven” billboards the Lakers plan on putting up in “various key locations” to try to woo the free agent-to-be, according to team spokesman John Black.

The Lakers also unveiled a billboard above Hollywood Boulevard with the same message. Both signs include the hashtag “STAYD12,” hoping the message catches on through social media.

Black said the team will also take out a full-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times.


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