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“I’ve been the CEO or the controller of the team, and my last couple of years I’ve had to be a consultant to the team. I can do that because I have experience,” he said. “You’ve got to think of yourself like a business. … I’ve been a successful CEO, but my time is up.”

Rivers said Shaq is no different from Garnett or Allen, who were the stars of the show before coming to the Celtics, or Pierce, who had the spotlight all to himself before the others arrived.

“I don’t think anyone on our team has had the role that they had before they got here,” Rivers said. “It just wouldn’t work that way. It is a team game and at the end of the day we all have to try to figure out what’s best for each guy and what works best for our team. I think our guys are pretty good at understanding that.”


AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this story from Hartford, Conn., and AP freelancer Ian Harrison contributed from Toronto.