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Friday, July 2, 2010

Rivers to stay on as coach of Celts

BOSTON (AP) Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers will return for another season, staying with the team he led to the NBA Finals twice in three years for a run at another championship.

"Doc is a fantastic coach and leader and I am thrilled he is coming back for the upcoming season," Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca said Wednesday in an e-mail.

Rivers' decision was first reported in the Boston Herald. Four hours later, the Celtics released a statement confirming Rivers would return.

"Doc is re-energized and enthusiastic about coming back to make another run at winning a championship with the Celtics," general manager Danny Ainge said in the two-sentence statement.

Rivers said the decision to return came down to his family encouraging him to stay on.

"A lot of soul-searching with the family," said Rivers, who was in San Antonio on Wednesday to watch his son, Austin, play for the United States against Brazil in the final of the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. "Talking to my wife, she was really the one who said, 'You've got to.' I just think she wanted me out of the house more than anything.

"My kids all said, 'You're a coach. That's what you are. And you're a parent, and we appreciate both.' And so that made it easier."

The inability to watch his four children play in sports was one of the major things pulling Rivers toward taking time off from coaching. He said at last week's NBA Draft that he was hoping there would be some compromise that would allow him to give both his personal and professional lives proper attention.

Rivers lives in the Orlando area in the offseason, and his family remains there.

Rivers' decision does not mean that the nucleus of the Celtics team that won the franchise's unprecedented 17th NBA title in 2008 will be back for a run in 2010-11. Paul Pierce has reportedly said he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent, and Ray Allen is also due to become a free agent on Thursday.

Rivers said he was "confident, but I'm not overconfident" about Pierce's and Allen's return.

"We want to go after this one more time, and we have Kevin (Garnett) and Paul (Pierce) and Ray (Allen) hopefully all coming back, so why not?" he said. "Let's see if we can do it one more time."

Cavs to hire Scott

CLEVELAND (AP) With LeBron or without him, Byron Scott has decided to get back on an NBA sideline.

Scott accepted Cleveland's coaching job just as LeBron James officially became a free agent and no longer property of the Cavaliers, who are hoping that landing the best coach available will convince the two-time MVP to stay home and try to win a title.

Scott's agent, Brian McInerney, said in an e-mail that he and the Cavs are working through some final details, but doesn't expect any problems and that Scott has agreed to become Cleveland's next coach. The team is expected to announce Scott's hiring later Thursday, just as James listens to offers from the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks.

Scott, who previously coached in New Jersey and New Orleans, may not know for some time if he'll have James on his roster. But after working as a TV analyst, he has decided it's time to get back to doing what he loves most.

The Cavs have been looking for a coach since Mike Brown was fired May 24, ending a five-year run with the club. Brown guided James and his teammates through the most successful run in franchise history, but fell short of winning a championship.

Walker enters plea

LAS VEGAS (AP) Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to criminal bad check charges alleging he failed to repay almost $1 million in gambling debts and penalties to three Las Vegas casinos.

A Clark County District Court hearing master, Melisa De La Garza, set trial for Nov. 22 in Las Vegas. Walker and his lawyer, Jonathan Powell, said nothing to reporters after the brief arraignment.



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