Doc Rivers will be in emotional mood on Wednesday night when he takes his LA Clippers side back to Massachusetts to face his former side Boston.
The former Point guard spent nearly a decade at the helm of the Celtics, and has no intention of pretending that his first return to the club as a coach will just be like any other game.
“No, of course not,” Rivers told NBA.com. “I was there for nine years and won an NBA championship, played in another one and won six divisions. Hell, it’s a special place. It’s the place that made me.
"For the rest of my life, when I go to Boston, during the season or during the offseason, it’s another home for me.”
Rivers has the experience of returning to an old stomping ground as a player when he went back to Atlanta for the first time after eight years as there as a player, but for him it will be an incomparable feeling to a return to the TD Garden.
“This is different,” he said. “I won a title there, you know what I mean, so it’s different. Atlanta was the most emotional place for me to come back as a player, but this is a whole other level for me.
"You win a title, it’s like I’ve said a hundred times, it’s like you have a blood transfusion. And then you fall in love with the city, and I did. That’s why I go back still in the summer.”
And, despite the acrimoniousness of his summer departure, he is not overly concerned with the possibility of a negative reaction towards him from the home fans.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. That’s for you guys to talk about.
"I worry about our team trying to win the game, going back and seeing some of the players and Danny [Ainge] and Tommy Heinsohn and all those guys. Everybody in that city treated me like gold.”
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