At the NBA Draft on Thursday night, Rivers was asked about Simmons’ assertion that the coach quit on the Celtics. As you might expect, Doc disagrees.
“I would like to call him an idiot, but I’m too classy for that,” he said. “That’s just his opinion. That didn’t happen. He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn’t.”
Again, we have the whole Talladega Nights “with all due respect” thing, but that’s beside the point. Simmons defended his stance.
“The truth keeps changing,” Simmons said. “He’s given different quotes about this. He didn’t know, he didn’t know. He kind of knew. He wanted the trade to happen. He was coming back. He needed a year off. When he sticks to a story I’ll believe the truth.
“Just own it. Admit what you did. The writing was on the wall. The Celtics wanted to rebuild and 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.”
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Personally, I tend to side with Simmons in this argument. The most baffling thing about the Rivers situation is that he signed such a lengthy extension with the Celtics, knowing it was only a matter of time before their stars had to move on. Not only that, but Rivers made a dramatic production out of squashing rumors that he might be interested in coaching the Los Angeles Lakers when he told reporters, “I’m a Celtic.” The infamous line became a rallying cry for the team and their fans.
The future looks grim for Boston, so in a way you can’t blame Rivers for wanting to pursue a championship after giving the Celtics everything he had. But, like Simmons, I feel Rivers could have gone about it much differently.Google+