Although Doc Rivers forever cemented his place in Celtics history coaching the team to its 2008 championship, it’s easy to forget he suffered his share of devastating losses, too. In 2010, there was that Game 7 Finals loss to the Lakers. In 2012, there was the Eastern Conference finals 3-2 series lead that the Heat evaporated away.
So, it’s fair to say that Rivers has experience dealing with the emotional fallout of big-time losses.
That’s exactly the kind of personal experience that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was banking on, according to Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn. After the Spurs lost Game 7 in this year’s NBA Finals, Popovich called Rivers, asking him if he ever got over those decisive losses.
Rivers’ response? "Nope."
While it’s not surprising that big losses continue to eat away at such competitive guys for years, the source of this query is a bit odd. Popovich is known for his sometimes-surly demeanor and dry wit, so to hear about him taking honest stock of his emotions just feels a bit weird.