Pat Riley tells Danny Ainge to shut up after his comment on LeBron James
Passions tend to run high when the Celtics and Heat meet. This seems to be true even at the management level.
After the Heat’s streak of 27 games won in a row ended at the hands of the Bulls, LeBron James complained that the calls were disadvantageous to him and Miami. Here’s a snippet of that.
“I know that a lot of my fouls are not basketball plays,” James said late Wednesday inside the United Center. “First of all, Kirk Hinrich basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not basketball plays – and it’s been happening all year.”
At a session at WEEI later in the week, Danny Ainge fired a shot at LeBron’s comment:
“I think the referees got the calls right,” Ainge said. “I don’t think it was a hard foul, I think the one involving LeBron against Boozer, that was flagrant. I think the officials got it right. I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
Heat president Pat Riley offered fighting words (via a Heat official) in response to Ainge calling James’ complaints about officiating ‘embarrassing’.
“Danny Ainge needs to shut the f— up and manage his own team,” Riley said. “He was the biggest whiner going when he was a player. I know that because I coached against him.”
Riley was coaching the Lakers when Ainge played with the Celtics in the 1980s era. Though that may be some decades in the past, their rivalry has only manifested into a media-feeding frenzy. It’s also great for the fans, even if they must deal with a few choice-words every now and then.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he enjoyed it. “I love direct GM-to-GM communication. I think it’s awesome.”
Ainge later corrected himself, if only just a little. “I would say we’re both right. LeBron should stop complaining and I should manage my own team,” said Ainge.