By A. Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON The Boston Celtics announced Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers underwent successful surgery to remove a benign polyp from his throat.
According to the Celtics, doctors informed Rivers he is cancer-free.
Rivers underwent a biopsy in October to determine if lesions found on his throat at the time were cancerous. According to Rivers at the time, tests at that time came back negative.
"I'm doing great," Rivers said following Tuesday's surgery. "Thank you to everyone checking in on me. I can't talk for two weeks which I'm sure my players and family extremely happy."
At the time of his biopsy in October, Rivers said he was encouraged by former Celtics coach Jim O'Brien to have vocal cords examined annually.
"I'm glad I did it," Rivers said.
Doctors found a spot on Rivers' vocal cords in October, which prompted Rivers to have additional tests performed that revealed the growth was non-cancerous.
After his most recent surgery, Rivers was once again encouraging all coaches to have their vocal cords examined.
"We put a lot of stress on our vocal cords during the course of a season," Rivers said.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn
You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?
At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid."
“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”
The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.
"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."
The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.
The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week.
Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.