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Doc Rivers calls out ESPN for fabricating trade rumor story

Doc RiversDoc Rivers called out ESPN for fabricating a trade rumor about Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin.

On Friday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard wrote that the New York Knicks were thinking about approaching the Clippers about offering a ‘Melo for Blake trade. Here’s what he wrote:

Sources say Clippers management also has had internal discussions about such a deal but that the clubs have not yet spoken to one another about a potential trade.

As of now, neither team is certain it would make an Anthony-for-Griffin trade, the sources said.

I mean seriously, how dumb is that? First off, everybody knows the Clippers wouldn’t trade Blake for Carmelo. Blake’s younger, better and cheaper. Secondly, if the teams haven’t even talked with each other about the trade, what makes this news? Thirdly, Broussard even admitted that the Clippers don’t want to do the trade. Isn’t that enough to tell you there isn’t a story here?

This was absolutely a dumb story, so Rivers rightfully called out ESPN for publicizing it.

“Please, this is stupid,” Rivers said Saturday.

“If you’re the Knicks or whoever, would you want Blake Griffin? I would,” he said. “So I don’t see what the story is.”

Rivers also said that if you called any team in the league, they would express interest in Blake. He’s probably right about that, too, which makes the report even dumber.

But Rivers called out another thing ESPN does — create news so that they can discuss it on their network.

“My whole issue with any of that CRAP is that that network (ESPN) to me reports a story that they created,” Rivers said, via LA Times Clippers reporter Brad Turner. “Then they do reports on it for the next two days, on a story that they created. But it’s stupid.”

It absolutely is stupid. The Knicks thinking about asking the Clippers for a ‘Melo for Blake trade doesn’t qualify as a trade rumor. It’s nothing. It’s like me saying I’d hook up with Sydney Leroux if I had the chance. That’s not news.

Doc Rivers moved to tears by reception in return to Boston (Video)

Doc-Rivers-cries-return-to-BostonDoc Rivers returned to Boston on Wednesday night for the first time as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Celtics fans gave him the reception he deserved. Rivers was greeted by a standing ovation when he emerged from the visitors tunnel before the game. He was honored again after the first quarter when the Celtics played a video montage on their arena scoreboard.

Doc appeared to be fighting back tears as he made his way to the Clippers’ bench to start the game. When asked about his memorable night after the game, he was even more emotional.

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Doc Rivers admits he walked out on the Celtics

Doc RiversDoc Rivers left the Boston Celtics when it became obvious that their championship window had closed. Ray Allen had already signed with the Miami Heat, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are clearly nearing the end of their careers. Rajon Rondo is still recovering from a torn ACL. Rather than rebuilding with Boston, Rivers has chosen to coach the more championship-ready Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite the obvious facts, Rivers has been reluctant to openly admit that he walked out on the Celtics. During an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Mazz Show” in Boston on Monday, Doc was asked if he walked out on his former team.

“I did at the end of the day,” Rivers admitted. “You make choices in your life, it happens … It was a very difficult decision for me to make; whether to walk away and sit a couple of years, which was another way I was leaning, or if the right job presented itself to walk away and do that.

“I was afforded a great opportunity here with the Clippers. This is the first time I’ve been able to coach a team and run a team. This may work, it may not work. It’s a far bigger gamble for me than anyone else. So I thought it was the right time to take it.”

By that, Rivers means he has more control with the Clippers than he did with the Celtics. Danny Ainge is ultimately in charge of all roster and personnel decisions in Boston, and he did a fairly good job of bringing in the right pieces during Doc’s career with the C’s. Even though Rivers admitted to bailing on Boston, he said he would be disappointed if Celtics fans booed him in his return to TD Garden on Wednesday.

“I’m sure some will, but I was booed at times as a coach,” he said. “That’s fine, but I don’t anticipate that. I’d be surprised by that, and if it happens it happens. I’d be disappointed by it, of course, but I’m a human being.”

Over the summer, Rivers got into a fairly animated war of words with Bill Simmons when Simmons called him out for walking out on a rebuilding project. He still may not like Simmons, but it sounds like Doc has changed his tune a bit.

Doc Rivers defends Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett against LeBron James criticism

Paul-Pierce-Doc-Rivers-Kevin-GarnettLeBron James created somewhat of a preseason trash talking war last week when he basically accused Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett of being hypocrites. Garnett and Pierce were both open in expressing their disappointment with Ray Allen for choosing to sign with the Miami Heat. LeBron felt that KG and Pierce did the same thing by going to the Brooklyn Nets. Doc Rivers does not see it that way.

Unlike Allen, Pierce and Garnett were traded. Rivers pointed that out on Thursday when asked about LeBron’s criticism toward his former players.

“Paul and Kevin were traded,” Rivers said on ESPN Radio in Miami, via the NY Daily News. “They were traded. Paul was traded whether he wanted to be or not. Kevin was the only one who had to agree to be traded even though he had already been traded. He had to agree to the trade. That’s completely different.”

[Related: Kevin Garnett tells LeBron James to worry about his own team]

It makes sense that Doc would defend his former stars. Had it not been for the certainty that Rivers was going to leave Boston for greener (well, not literally) pastures, there was a chance the Celtics would have tried to keep their core together for one last run.

“You could make more of a case for me leaving than Paul and Kevin,” Rivers added.

We get why LeBron said what he did. He was trying to stick up for his teammate, although the issue is kind of a dead one at this point and didn’t really need to be addressed. As we have heard so many times in the past, it’s all part of the business side of the game.

Chris Paul: Doc Rivers told me I’m nothing

Chris Paul ClippersLos Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul has been one of the best point guards in the NBA for several years. The former Rookie of the Year has been selected to six All-Star teams and is a three-time All-NBA First Teamer. Despite that, CP3 is still in pursuit of his first championship. And until he gets there, new Clippers head coach Doc Rivers would like him to know that he has accomplished nothing.

Paul recently told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Rivers knocked him down a peg the first time the two ever met face-to-face.

“As professional athletes, you always want someone to push you and motivate you,” Paul explained. “The first meeting I had with Doc, he pretty much told me I wasn’t anything. He told me I hadn’t done anything in this league, and he was right. You don’t always want somebody that’s going to tell you what you want to hear.”

Rivers is very much known as a player’s coach. For the most part, guys who play for him want to win for him. He got the Boston Celtics to buy into a championship mentality immediately when the team traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007, and he’ll be looking to do the same with his new core of superstars in LA. However, that does not mean Rivers will allow players to walk on him, as there were times when he was hard on Rajon Rondo during his tenure in Boston.

“One thing I learned about Doc is he is going to expect you to do certain things,” CP3 said. “He’s not going to baby us. He is going to treat us like men and he is going to give us that opportunity.”

As a former NBA point guard, Rivers should be able to help Paul develop his game even further. Rondo emerged as one of the league’s best floor generals under Rivers, and Paul is a much better offensive player than Rajon. If Rivers and CP3 get along from day one and respect one another, the possibilities should be endless.

Gregg Popovich called Doc Rivers for advice on dealing with Game 7 loss

Gregg PopovichFor all the success Doc Rivers had as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, he knows plenty about devastating losses. The Celtics came close to winning their second championship under Rivers multiple times after they won an NBA title in 2008. In 2010, Boston lost a gut-wrenching Game 7 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. In 2012, Paul Pierce and company took a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose to the eventual champions.

That’s why when the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Heat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals this year, Gregg Popovich turned to Rivers for coping advice.

While one coach reaching out to another in that type of situation isn’t unheard of, some people will be surprised to hear that Pop did it. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the Spurs coach snapping at reporters and talking about how his wife lectured him. His decision to reach out to Doc proves that Game 7 losses sting a little more — no matter how tough a person looks on their exterior.

H/T Eye on Basketball

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:

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