|Doc Rivers: ‘I was just getting tired’ of Bill Simmons’ criticism||06.28.13 at 1:45 pm ET|
Rivers objected to Simmons repeatedly saying he quit on the rebuilding Celtics, and said: “‘I would like to call him an idiot, but I’m too classy for that. That’s just his opinion. That didn’t happen. He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn’t.’
A day later, Rivers wasn’t backing down.
“Bill’s a fan,” Rivers told Patrick. “Is he qualified to do the NBA? Well, we can debate that all day. But Bill’s a fan. And I get that. Not a friend of mine or a fan of mine, and he never has been. I rarely respond. You know that. I don’t do it very often. But I’d just kind of had enough of that. I thought it kind of ruined the broadcast last night, ’cause he kept bringing it up. It was almost like he had an agenda. I was just getting tired of it.”
While acknowledging he fared well by moving to the Clippers, Rivers said the Celtics had a strategy and they stuck to it.
“I think last night happened exactly the way Danny the Celtics wanted it to,” he said. “They wanted to unload contracts for draft picks, and I happened to be one of those contracts.”
Added Rivers: “Clearly, yeah, I had a selfish motive. I had a chance to not rebuild and go to a team that is in a different phase of their franchise so everybody benefited. And I clearly, at least I hope, I benefited from it. But this is done together. This is not me walking into the Celtics and saying I quit or anything like that.”
|Doc Rivers gets defensive against accusation that he quit on Celtics||06.28.13 at 7:11 am ET|
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.
|Report: Celtics, Nets blockbuster involving Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce pending||06.27.13 at 1:20 pm ET|
The Celtics and Nets have agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn, pending Garnett waiving his no-trade clause, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
While both sides are pressing to finalize the trade, Garnett “doesn’t want to be pressured into a quick decision,” a source told Wojnarowski, and the NBA’s moratorium prevents any deal from becoming official until July 10.
Jason Terry would reportedly join the two future Hall of Famers in going to Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, the Celtics would receive three first-round picks — in non-successive seasons from 2014-18 by rule, the report said, giving the C’s nine first-rounders over the next five seasons.
The Celtics would also assume the following salaries in order to make the deal work: Gerald Wallace (3 years, $30.3 million), Kris Humphries (1 year, $12 million), Reggie Evans (2 year, $3.5 million), Keith Bogans (sign-and-trade) and one more NBA minimum-wage player.
The Celtics also discussed potential Garnett and Pierce trades with the Warriors and Mavericks, according to Wojnarowski.
|Wyc Grousbeck on D&C: ‘We’re all square’ with Doc Rivers, although ‘it was not our idea’ for him to leave||06.26.13 at 9:37 am ET|
Danny Ainge said at a Tuesday press conference that it was Rivers’ idea to leave, dismissing reports that the Celtics initiated the change. Grousbeck concurred and said he’s sorry to see Rivers go.
“I would say a little disappointment,” Grousbeck said. “I’m where Danny was, and he clearly expressed it, which is we thought we’d be here for this five-year term with Doc. He was, as Danny said, he talked to Doc about staying and having longevity. And nine years is a long time, there’s no question. But 12 years is longer. So, we were planning for the long term with Doc because we think he’s one of those foundational guys.
“It was a good run, a couple of [NBA] Finals appearances. But it was not our idea.”
Grousbeck said Rivers’ decision was not shocking, as the parties have been talking for “three or four weeks,” but it was difficult to accept.
“It’s not a bolt out of the blue, it’s an ongoing discussion,” he said. “And it finally got to the point where he said, ‘Maybe it’s time.’ And we, over a period of time, ended up agreeing with him.”
Grousbeck insisted he has no animosity toward Rivers for wanting a different challenge at this stage.
“I talked to Doc the other day. I said, ‘Look, we’re all square. You’ve given us your heart and soul for nine years; we’ve given you a lot of support. I feel great about it. And I took some of your money on the golf course, buddy. So, we’re all good.’
“But I don’t feel he owes us more. I don’t feel he owes us the next three years. I think he’s entitled to take a look at the next three years. And he left in a way and on terms that got us some benefit back. So, I don’t feel misused or that we’re not even. I think we’re even. I just would have been willing to go forward with Doc. And now that we’re not — actually, it’s energized Danny. He’s got a list of coaching candidates — which we’re not going to discuss today. But he’s got a list of guys. He’s got a new spring in his step. And it’s energized Danny to rebuild, which is what’s necessary.”
Added Grousbeck: “I think Doc and we are even. I think those nine years, if you had told me this is how the nine years were going to go when we signed him, I would have been thrilled. I’m very happy with how it went. And we’re even.”
|Report: Nets reach out to Celtics about Kevin Garnett||06.26.13 at 7:59 am ET|
Garnett, 37, has a no-trade clause in his contract and said last season he would not waive it. However, that was before coach Doc Rivers left. The 15-time NBA All-Star has two years and $24.4 million remaining on his deal. He averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.
The Nets have the 22nd overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They also reportedly are trying to trade guard MarShon Brooks.
Garnett played alongside new Nets coach Jason Kidd on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.
|Reports: Celtics-Clippers deal dead, Danny Ainge wants Doc Rivers back||06.18.13 at 12:45 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Celtics and Clippers ended their trade discussions Tuesday after failing to reach a compromise.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne tweeted that the Clippers have walked away and are saying that talks are “off,” while The Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes tweeted that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has confirmed the breakdown of negotiations.
The talks are said to have centered around the Celtics sending Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles for DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick, but apparently the Celtics wanted a second first-round pick and the Clippers were not amenable to sweetening the pot.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Clippers also were hesitant to pay Rivers a $35 million extension as well as $3 million for Jordan’s trade kicker. Wojnarowski additionally tweeted that Ainge has called Rivers to update him on the situation and tell him that he still wants him back to coach the Celtics.
|Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Doc Rivers has personality to pull off return to Boston if trade falls through||06.18.13 at 8:32 am ET|
ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to offer his take on the reported Celtics-Clippers trade talks.
The Celtics are said to be considering sending Kevin Garnett along with coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles. There has been widespread speculation that Rivers’ tenure in Boston is over either way, but Van Gundy isn’t so sure.
Said Van Gundy: “There’s a lot of people that don’t think he can still come back to Boston. I think it would work fine. He’s got the personality to pull it off. I think he’d be starting over with a different team anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens with Doc. Certainly these are interesting times in Celtic land.”
The Celtics reportedly would acquire young center DeAndre Jordan in the deal.
“I think everybody focuses on some maturity issues and his free throw shooting, and both need improvement,” Van Gundy said. “I like Jordan. I think he is a terrific athlete who has really improved defensively. He’s not like a physical guy, but he is a freak athlete who I think has shown great levels of improvement, where he came in as a second-round pick from Texas A&M after one year, not really accomplished in college. I think he’s continued to improve. Obviously, when you’re such a horrendous free throw shooter it limits how much you can play. But he is active, he can rebound.
“He’s a piece, if you’re trying to rebuild. Is he overpaid a little bit? Who’s not in the NBA? So he can just join the crowd on the long list of overpaid. But I like him better than how some people view him right now. I think he’s still an ascending player. If you’re going to go into a rebuild, he’s someone that’s intriguing.”
Touching on the NBA Finals — the Spurs have a 3-2 series lead heading into Tuesday night’s Game 6 in Miami — Van Gundy said there are intriguing story lines for both teams.
“There’s a lot on these two games for a lot of people on both sides,” Van Gundy said. “I think San Antonio played a great, great Game 5 offensively. I am so interested to see how they come out in Game 6. Do they do what Dallas did two years ago where they came in and they played a great game and beat Miami? Or do they take a sigh of relief and think that they have two games to win one, and so don’t play really as sharp or as desperate in Game 6 as they did in 5?
“And likewise, on the other hand, does the pressure get to Miami where they crack a little bit? Or have they been steeled by these last three years of long playoff runs, and do they show their championship mettle and find a way to win these two games? I’m really looking forward to it.”
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