Pat Riley holds a warm place in my heart. As a coach with the Lakers during the “Showtime” era. The toughness he brought to the Knicks in the 90’s and the transformation he created in South Beach, Riles responded to criticism Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge tossed out at Lebron James on Friday night.
“Danny Ainge needs to shut the f**k up and manage his own team,” Riley said in a statement released through a Heat spokesman. “He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him.”
Woop. Shots fired! Well, Ainge responded and actually agreed with pat Riley’s assessment. First, Ainge’s original quote:
“I think the referees got the calls right. I don’t think it was a hard foul,” Ainge said then. “I think the one involving LeBron against [Carlos] Boozer, that was flagrant. I think the officials got it right.
“I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
Next, he’s reply to Riley telling him to STFU:
“We’re both right. LeBron should stop complaining and I should manage my own team,” Ainge said, according to the Boston Globe.
Ainge then reiterated his earlier comments, telling the Globe: “And I’m right. LeBron should be embarrassed by how he complains about the calls he gets.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers found Riley’s comments “funny.”
“Very interesting. I think it’s cool. They should duke it out,” Rivers said, laughing, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Call it what you want, I’m entertained! This is a real rivalry. We need a little bit of that in today’s NBA.