The Boston Celtics returned home after their recent five-game road trip to play the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics were ahead 80-69 with 8:20 to play, but ended up losing 95-90, a disappointing loss, no doubt.
For two days after the loss, reporters were still asking the players about it.
Doc finally nipped the questions in the bud.
"If you need someone to hang the loss on, blame it on me. I blew it. I played the bench way too long."
Doc was right, and you have to give him credit for being honest.
Listen to what Red said on a similar subject:
You've got to be willing to take a hit. Sometimes when we'd lose a ball game, I'd come in and tell the guys to keep their heads up. 'You played pretty damn good. Two things happened. The ball didn't drop, and that's gonna happen. The other thing that happened was that I coached a lousy game. I was horseshit on the bench. I'm human just like you guys.' Normally, I'd save that speech for games that preceded ones we had to win. We couldn't go into big games second-guessing ourselves."
Doc Rivers' Celtics were scheduled to play two big games following the loss to Philly, and the Celtics won each of them, crushing both Phoenix and New Orleans at home.