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Doc Rivers gets defensive against accusation that he quit on Celtics

06.28.13 at 7:11 am ET
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Doc Rivers was part of the dismantling of the Celtics, but he insists his departure for the Clippers was not an indication of him quitting on a rebuilding team, despite the fact that team president Danny Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck have said that it was Rivers’ idea to consider a change after nine seasons on the Boston bench.

Asked at Thursday’s NBA draft for a response to ESPN’s Bill Simmons saying he quit on the C’s, Rivers dismissed the comment.

“I would like to call him an idiot, but I’m too classy for that,” Rivers told ESPN’s Shelley Smith. “That’s just his opinion. That didn’t happen. He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn’t.”

Responded Simmons, who was part of ESPN’s team at the draft: “The truth keeps changing. I mean, he’s given different quotes about this — he didn’t know, he did know, he kind of knew, he wanted the trade to happen, he was coming back, he needed a year off. When he sticks to his story, I’ll believe the truth.”

Added Simmons: “Just own it. Just admit what you did. The writing was on the wall, the Celtics wanted to rebuild, you didn’t want to be a part of it, you wanted to go to the Clippers, and it happened. Just own what you did.”

Rivers’ son Jeremiah, who played last season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League, took to Twitter to defend his father, tweeting multiple messages at Simmons. Wrote Jeremiah:

My father has never quit anything in his life. He now has an NBA Championship, and helped in rejuvenating the Celtics.

You know nothing about winning, about sacrifice, and being a champion. You sit behind a desk and pick on people.

You are an Internet bully. There is a reason nobody will side with you. They like my dad better than you.

If you don’t have all the facts, which you clearly DON’T, I suggest you sit down and shut up. Good day sir.

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