WALTHAM, Mass. -- Another day, another postponed Celtics press conference.
That's now twice in a four-day span for those scoring at home.
Monday's postponement was more predictable than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries breaking off their marriage. We all pretty much saw it coming. But that didn't stop a collection of reporters and television camera people from loitering around the Celtics training facility in Waltham -- where the press conference was supposed to be -- on Monday for the better part of the afternoon.
For at least one more day we'll sit, wait and speculate. But at some point we will all get that explanation we're searching for. The one that comes straight out of the mouths of head coach Doc Rivers and Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge and clues us in as to how and why Boston's offseason has taken this seemingly turbulent turn.
On Friday morning, the Celtics called and shortly later postponed a press conference. This was after it was reported that talks between Boston and the Los Angeles Clippers regarding Rivers were dead. The reason for calling that press conference in the first place: we may never know.
On Sunday the Clippers agreed in principle to a deal with Boston for Rivers, who would be released from his remaining contract of three years, $21-million. The Clippers would then sign Rivers to the same deal and send a 2015 first-round draft pick to Boston as compensation.
On Monday it was reported that the NBA approved the deal. But there were still things to iron out in the deal between the Clippers and Rivers. Thus forcing the cancellation of the press conference.
The hope is that this thing gets finalized Tuesday, our sanity hangs in the balance. When it does, it will be Rivers who has the most explaining to do.
The 51-year-old has to divulge exactly why he felt compelled to walk away from Boston after nine seasons. He will have to do his best to prove that he is not acting as a disloyal, front-running, contract-breaker who is looking for an easy path to a title. Sounds harsh, but it's the truth.
It certainly looks as if Rivers wants no part of facing the task of helping the Celtics through an inevitable rebuilding process over the next few years. Why then did he sign a lucrative five-year extension worth $7-million per year in 2011, knowing full well that future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (now with the champion Miami Heat) were deep into the back nine of their careers? He knew full well the rebuilding phase was approaching.
Rivers is incredibly personable, well-spoken and terrific with the media. Combine those attributes with the fact that he guided the Celtics to their 17th NBA title in 2008, and you have what can be called the Boston jackpot. In other words, he gets a free pass from many around these parts.
The man accomplished great things in Boston, and can do no wrong in the eyes of many. He will have apologists who will never view this as Rivers turning his back on a franchise. They will say "basketball is a business" or "he's looking out for himself."
To which I will say: Fine, I have no problem with any of that.
But let's not forget that Ainge, Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and the Celtics front office were loyal to Rivers when it would have been easy not to be.
It's not just about the $7-million that makes Rivers the highest-paid coach in the NBA. How about the fact that Rivers' reward for going 33-49 in 2005-06 and 24-58 in 2006-07 was Ainge pulling off deals for Allen and Garnett, which ultimately saved Rivers' job and gave him his only title.
The presumption here is that with Rivers headed out the door, Garnett won't be too far behind. Although, the NBA is wary of any deal to the Clippers involving Garnett because he was involved in an initial agreement between the Celtics and Clippers when the teams first opened discussions about Rivers. The league's collective bargaining agreement prohibits any deals that are contingent upon another.
If a full-fledged rebuild is indeed in the works what will become of Pierce? The veteran forward can be bought out of his contract by June 30 for $5-million. If that doesn't happen, Boston will keep Pierce's $15.3-million contract.
We simply do not know how much of this to pin on Rivers. It has been reported that Ainge and Rivers were in agreement that this was best for both parties, with Ainge prioritizing the need to get younger.
However, that smells like damage control. This of course is the same Ainge who went on the radio earlier this offseason and said with certainty that he believed Rivers would return.
It doesn't add up. We need answers.
We need a press conference.