Rivers will wait on figuring out future

LOS ANGELES -- After Thursday's Game 7 loss, Boston Celtics players were campaigning for coach Doc Rivers to return to the sideline this fall.

After six years on the Boston bench, Rivers, 48, is pondering taking time off to be with his family, especially as three of his children are set to enter their senior years (two at college, one in high school).

Rivers, who is under contract for next season, got emotional after Thursday's loss, but said he wouldn't rush a decision.

"I am [emotional]," Rivers said. "We just lost a Game 7, and with a terrific group. This group, they were awesome.

"I can't reflect on it right now. Probably in a week or so I'll go hide somewhere for a while. But it was the craziest, most emotional group I've ever coached in my life. I told them, they made me reach to places that I never thought I needed to go, I had to go. But through it all, we were the tightest, most emotional crazy group that I've ever been with in my life. So that's what makes it tough."

Pressed on his future, Rivers noted: "I don't know. I'm going to wait. I'm going to go and watch my kids play AAU basketball, and I'm going to wait for a little bit."

His players certainly want him back.

Asked what Rivers meant to Boston's success, Kevin Garnett said: "Doc's everything. Everything.

"I think everyone wants him back; that's not even an issue. It's just a matter of whether Doc wants to come back and whatever decision he sees fit for himself and his family."

Echoed captain Paul Pierce: "I'd love to see Doc back. He's one of the greatest coaches in the NBA."

Asked if he had said anything to Rivers to encourage him to stay, Pierce said he hadn't -- but then made an impromptu pitch.

"I'll do it right now," Pierce said, looking into the cameras in front of him. "I hope he comes back."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.