Bill Belichick and Doc Rivers talking before a Patriots game
A number of Patriots players paid a visit earlier this week to the Staples Center to watch the Doc Rivers-led Los Angeles Clippers do battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Doc, of course, led the Celtics to their 17th NBA championship in 2008 and is still a polarizing figure in Boston for that reason.
During his time with the Celtics, Rivers developed a close relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, which the two still maintain. Belichick recently spoke to reporters about his relationship with Rivers.
“I love Doc. We have a great relationship,” Belichick said during a conference with the media. “I think he’s obviously done a tremendous job in Boston and now with the Clippers, so I'm always pulling for Doc personally.”
One of the great things about the Boston sports community is that every major pro team in the city are very supportive of each other. Belichick has shown up to Bruins and Celtics games from time to time, Rivers at Red Sox games, etc.
One of the things that Celtics fans loved about Rivers was his ability to motivate his players in the most dire of situations. On occasion, when Rivers attended Patriots games, Belichick would ask him to come into the locker room and speak to the players.
“He talked to our team, has a relationship with players on our team,” Belichick said. “I have tremendous respect for him. He is so well-respected on this team - the players, the coaches and all of us who have interacted with him and the way he handles himself, his team and his passion for his sport of basketball.
“But, also his appreciation for our team, professional athletes, football players, what we do through the relationships and the challenges of playing and competing at this level. So, it’s all great with Doc," Belichick went on. "I think all of the times he talked with the team and the messages that he has delivered were outstanding. Nobody understands sports - especially someone who is not in football - better than he does. He has a great ability to relate to our athletes our team.
“I am very appreciative of the friendship that I have with him. I have the utmost respect for Doc. Everything that he has done for us, can do and any support he gives us is very appreciated.”
Hey Bill, can you get him out to San Diego on Sunday so he gets rid of any potential Bieber Curse with a motivational speech?