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RIVERS WILL RETURNTO COACH CELTICS

Times wires

BOSTON - Celtics coach Doc Rivers will return for another season, staying with the team he led to the Finals twice in three years for a run at another championship.

"Doc is a fantastic coach and leader, and I am thrilled he is coming back for the upcoming season," co-owner Steve Pagliuca said Wednesday.

"A lot of soul-searching with the family," said Rivers, who was in San Antonio to watch his son, Austin, play for the United States against Brazil in the final of the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. "Talking to my wife, she was really the one who said, 'You've got to.' I just think she wanted me out of the house more than anything.''

The inability to watch his four children play in sports was one of the major things pulling Rivers toward taking time off from coaching.

"My kids all said, 'You're a coach. That's what you are. And you're a parent, and we appreciate both.' And so that made it easier," Rivers said.

Rivers lives in the Orlando area in the offseason, and his family remains there.

Cavaliers: The team was in "serious talks" with Byron Scott to be its coach, the Associated Press reported. Scott, a two-time coach of the year, was believed to be a leading candidate to replace Phil Jackson in Los Angeles if Jackson retired. Jackson is expected to announce his plans this week. The Cavs fired Mike Brown on May 24.

mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki saved the team a trip to Germany, a sign Dallas' all-time leading scorer and rebounder might not be a free agent for long. Mavericks president Donnie Nelson said he was moments away from boarding a plane for Nowitzki's homeland Wednesday when the former MVP's adviser called to say they were flying to Dallas instead. Nelson, Nowitzki and Holger Geschwindner were expected to meet today, the first day for negotiations with free agents. The nine-time All-Star opted out of the final year of his contract, worth $21.5 million.

Suns: Amare Stoudemire opted out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent. Agent Happy Walters said the five-time All-Star made the move after talks with owner Robert Sarver failed to result in an extension. The last year of Stoudemire's contract was worth about $17.7 million. Walters said the Suns remain in the picture but the power forward wants to test the free-agent market. Stoudemire has been with the Suns since he was drafted out of high school ninth overall in 2002.

Wizards: No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall can't have No. 11, his jersey number of choice, so he's going with No. 2. He offered no explanation for the choice. Wall wanted to stick with No. 11, which he wore at Kentucky, but it belonged to Hall of Fame forward Elvin Hayes and is retired.

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