“Danny Ainge needs to shut the f— up and manage his own team,” As we covered at the time, Pat Riley was not happy about how Thibs was managing the Jimmy Butler negotiations and is using his branded style of expressing it. The latest report coming from Jorge Sedano paints a picture (via Deadspin): “There’s been a couple of different incarnations of this deal. The first one, the Heat didn’t want to take back Gorgui Dieng. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was ‘OK forget it, let’s just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.’ They finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson, then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally—I was told—called him a
Riley is known for his eloquence around the league and his best performance came in the likes of a press release that started with the first sentence of this article. The year is 2013, LeBron is playing for the Miami Heat and their biggest rivals, LeBron’s biggest rivals in that era of his career, were the Boston Celtics. We’re talking Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and the guys. A few days before the press release the Heat were playing the Bulls and LeBron commented on a few of the referee calls, complaining about the treatment he gets with the refs. He believed a lot of the fouls against him are not “basketball plays”. I know, LeBron talking about refs, shocking.
The next morning Danny Ainge was a guest on WEEI in Boston where he said that “I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.” The next day at shootaround, James was asked if Ainge’s input surprised him.“I’m not surprised to hear anything from Boston,” James said, smiling. “No, not surprised at all.” A few other people were asked to comment on it and most of them kept it within the standard lines, not escalating the situation.
I guess it’s different if you have a history with someone. In the 1980’s Pat Riley coached the LA Lakers and Danny Ainge was the starting guard on the Boston Celtics. A rivalry that marked the era and started the rise of the NBA. That’s what probably triggered Riley not to hold back. “Danny Ainge needs to shut the f— up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him.” Yep, that’s Riley cursing in an official press release.
Ainge response came right away “I stand by what I said. That’s all. I don’t care about Pat Riley. He can say whatever he wants,” and if there was any doubt there is history and this is personal “I don’t want to mess up his Armani suits and all that hair goop. It would be way too expensive for me,” He ended with a sort-of attempt to defuse the situation (taking another shot at LeBron “Pat Riley’s right,”he said. “I should manage my own team. I complained a lot to the officials. And I’m right, LeBron should be embarrassed about how he complains about the calls he gets.”