Clippers Coach Doc Rivers entered the TD Garden building for his team’s shoot-around Wednesday morning sensing a different feeling.
Rivers had coached the Boston Celtics for nine seasons, winning an NBA championship 2008, and now he was back in Boston for the first time since he moved to Los Angeles in May.
His Clippers were going to play the Celtics Wednesday night.
“It’s going to be emotional,” Rivers said before his team practiced.
Rivers talked about all his old friends he met in Boston, the same friends he had dinner with Tuesday night.
Rivers left Boston rather than be a part of a rebuilding project and joined the Clippers to become their coach and vice president of basketball operations, signing a three-year, $21-million deal.
The Clippers had to give up 2015 first-round draft pick as compensation to get Rivers released from his contract with Boston.
“This is unusual for me,” Rivers said. “I’ll have to be careful during the game to have my emotions in check because it’ll be hard not to be emotional. I already told my coaches that it’s just going to be hard.”