Since Tom Thibodeau officially became head coach of the East all-stars, it seems as though everyone has been joking about how his intense preparation will clash with typically lax all-star attitudes.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who coached in an All-Star Game with Thibodeau, couldn't resist joining the chorus before Thursday night's game.
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"I think he'll run the heck out of them," Rivers joked. "I think he'll have a good speech for them, they'll have a hard practice.
"No, Thibs will be great. A lot of people keep thinking things about Thibs and he keeps doing the right thing. Thibs is a terrific coach, a great coach. He'll have fun. I told him I'll be in town ... don't call me."
Rivers followed with a story about when the Celtics coaching staff led the East stars in New Orleans a few years ago.
"(The assistant coaches) were killing me over winning. Because it's double (the purse) for the winning coaching staff," Rivers said. "In the fourth quarter, Thibs kept saying, 'Hey, we want to win this game. Don't you forget it.' He kept saying that in my ear. I wonder if he'll do the same now that he's the head coach. I think he will, if I know my Thibs."
Rivers performed a raspy Thibodeau impression while uttering that sentence.
No contest for Korver:
Kyle Korver participated in the 3-point contest during his first two seasons in the NBA, while playing for Philadelphia.
He finished third and second in those two contests, but hasn't been back. That's partly by request.
"I said no a couple times," Korver said Thursday. "I did it the first couple years and it's a great experience. Someday I would like to go and win. That's on my list of things I'd like to try and do.
"But it's your one break of the year. You know how sometimes you go on vacation and you're looking so forward to that vacation, then you come back and you're like, 'Man, I need a vacation from the vacation.' That's how it feels at all-star break."
Korver wouldn't say whether he turned down a 3-point shootout invitation the past two seasons since joining the Bulls.
"I didn't really push for it the last two years," he said. "Someday I would love to do it again."
This year's 3-point contestants are James Jones and Mario Chalmers from Miami, Orlando's Ryan Anderson, New Jersey's Anthony Morrow, Minnesota's Kevin Love and Atlanta's Joe Johnson.
Benny the Bull taunted the Celtics with a sign that featured Brian Scalabrine's face and the message, "He's ours now. You can't have him back."
Scalabrine was a fan favorite in Boston before taking a similar role with the Bulls the past two seasons.