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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bill Simmons fires back at Doc Rivers, calls him ‘Glenn’

Bill SimmonsThe beef between Bill Simmons and Doc Rivers continued on Friday, and Simmons got personal when he called the former Boston Celtics coach by his real name.

The whole thing started on Thursday when Simmons, a popular writer for ESPN who served as a commentator at the NBA Draft, accused Rivers of quitting on the Celtics. ESPN’s Shelley Smith presented Rivers with Simmons’ accusations during an interview on Thursday, and Rivers essentially called Simmons an “idiot” who doesn’t know the full story of what went on between the coach and the Celtics.

Simmons maintains that Rivers keeps changing his story about what led the coach to be traded from Boston to the Los Angeles Clippers. On Friday, Rivers tried to explain what happened, and he also called Simmons a fan who has an agenda. Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, even got involved in the exchange.

[Related: Doc Rivers’ son defends dad against Bill Simmons over Twitter]

Simmons, never one to let a good Twitter beef pass him by, decided to respond on Friday evening. First he retweeted this tweet from WEEI’s Ben Rohrbach:

And then he pulled the “Glenn” card:

Now children, can’t we learn to play nicely?

Look, both guys are right. Simmons is a passionate fan who talked like an angry caller on Boston sports talk radio when he spoke about the Celtics on Thursday. He’s not objective in the matter. But Simmons is right in that Rivers hasn’t been direct about what led to his trade to the Clippers (this story from WEEI breaks down a lot of the waffling).

To me, the issue is that Rivers signed a five-year deal with the Celtics when he probably had little intention of serving as the team’s coach for that long. When he decided it was time to walk away from the team, it reflected poorly on him that he still was signed for another three years.

I don’t blame Doc for wanting out of Boston when the team began a rebuilding process. He probably knew he would want to leave when the team was ready to get rid of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. But how do you sign a contract that says “I’m leaving when Pierce and KG do?” You can’t, so unless Doc went year-to-year with his contract — which would have served as a massive distraction — then you almost had to do what Doc did. I really don’t blame him, but I see where it looks badly to Celtics fans.

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