In the aftermath of Doc Rivers engineering a trade from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers, longtime Celtics player and current commentator Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell came on The Morning Show to help gauge the public’s reaction.
“I did an independent little survey, walking down the street, people asking me questions,” Maxwell reported. “And a lot of people were upset. I asked them, ‘Is Doc a traitor?’ A lot of people, ‘No…’”
“And I said, ‘Well, was Ray Allen a traitor?’” he added. “‘Absolutely, Ray Allen was a traitor,’ because they said Ray went to the enemy. But Doc Rivers, on the other hand, still had three years left on his deal. So you can look at it in kind of a crazy way and say maybe Doc bailed also.”
Personally, Cornbread isn’t in the business of assigning blame on this matter. In fact, he thinks it’s going to be a good move for both teams.
“I think it is win-win for everybody,” he said.
“I think it’s win-win, obviously, for the Clippers because you bring in a guy who is eventually going to take over L.A. I think they got an opportunity, with the Clippers, if they can make these deals and if Kevin Garnett leaves and they get Kevin Garnett, they can knock the Lakers off the mantle for a while.”
Getting KG will be very difficult for the Clippers now, as the NBA league office has already expressed concern that a transaction bringing KG to L.A. would amount to a side deal to the Rivers trade, which would be illegal per coach movement rules.
That said, Maxwell still anticipates Garnett getting moved one way or another, and he sees a silver lining in that outcome as well.
“For the Celtics I think it’s a win-win because even with Doc Rivers leaving, you’re getting an extra draft pick,” he said.
“Even to the point that Kevin Garnett leaves, I think the same kind of thing, a win-win in the sense that you’re going to have to turn the page.”
The page truly is turning for the Celtics.
Rivers’ departure marks the end of the Ubuntu era that brought the 2008 NBA title to Boston, signaling the start of a transition period and leaving Garnett and Paul Pierce as remnants of a bygone era.
The two future Hall of Famers likely don’t have a place on the newly forward-looking Celtics, but Maxwell still believes Boston has talent left worth building around.
“You have some pieces,” Cornbread said of Boston’s remaining talent. “Rondo can be considered sometimes a great player. Jeff Green has shown flashes of brilliance. Sullinger is pretty good. So the cupboard isn’t necessarily bare.”
It’s reasonable that Boston fans can’t look to the future quite yet, though. Right now, in the immediate aftermath of this drawn-out yet unexpected trade, the Celtics faithful can’t help but look back on what they’ve lost.
In that case, Maxwell simply cautions they keep in mind all that Doc gave to Boston.
“All right, let’s remember all the good things Doc Rivers did,” he said. “He had you in the NBA Finals a couple times. He won you an NBA championship. He made your franchise again significant and relevant because they were playing well and playing for championships.”
“In 10 years from now, I think everything is forgiven,” Cornbread concluded. “Even I forgive my ex-wife from time to time.”