Doc Rivers’ son Jeremiah sounds off on ESPN’s Bill Simmons after Simmons said Rivers ‘quit on the Celtics’ (Video)

Ball Don't Lie

As we saw with the passionate defenses of both Avery Johnson and Patrick Ewing by their respective sons, it seems best not to upset fathers of new generation social media users.

The latest to incur that wrath was ESPN’s Bill Simmons, noted Boston Celtics fan and panelist on ESPN’s draft coverage on Thursday, who repeatedly called out former Celtics coach Doc Rivers for quitting on the Celtics on both Twitter and Thursday’s broadcast. Rivers, who made a deal to get out of his Boston contract to take over as Los Angeles Clippers coach, has been roundly criticized for talking up his willingness to coach a rebuilding Celtics team upon taking in a contract extension in 2011, only to change his mind some 24 months later.

Though the two didn’t exchange words in real time, here is the exchange between the two, including Rivers’ ultra-weak “I’m going to call this guy an idiot while pretending that I’m not calling him an idiot” shtick:

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Rivers’ son Jeremiah Rivers, a guard in the NBA’s D-League, went off from there:

Jeremiah is right in a couple of aspects. Simmons was unduly harsh on Rivers about his rotations with the pre-Big Three Boston Celtics, as if a tweak or two could turn the C’s into some sort of playoff combatant with rosters like these. As soon as the Celtics grabbed championship-level players, and started competing for the ring, Simmons was quick to praise Rivers at just about every turn. Bill Simmons is not an objective journalist when it comes to the Boston Celtics. It’s hard to be, in an era that allows us to act as both rabid fan and column creator.

As far as the idea that Bill Simmons doesn’t know the entire story? That’s fair, too. Despite however many Celtics sources Simmons has, nobody but Rivers and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge do know the entire story. The Rivers side is probably pointing toward something many have assumed – Ainge was more than happy not to pay Rivers’ massive contract to watch him coach a rebuilding team that was designed to lose. And it was Ainge that approached Doc Rivers on Sunday to tell him that he was re-initiating talks with Los Angeles to let Doc out of his contract.

Beyond that? Doc Rivers quit on the Boston Celtics.

I personally have no problem in him doing so, nobody wants to waste years coaching a rebuilding team after seeing the light of the Finals up close for so many years, but the guy quit on the Boston Celtics.

If he didn’t, Doc Rivers would have stood in front of the press immediately following the team’s first round loss to the New York Knicks and said “I am coaching the Boston Celtics until they fire me.” If he didn’t quit, Rivers would have responded to the same statement by curious reporters in the weeks after that defeat. He would have also made the same statement to Ainge when informed of a possible blowup trade, as we saw on Thursday, re-iterating what he said in 2011 about his desire to oversee a rebuilding project with a marquee franchise.

To play it off as if Ainge basically fake fired him? To point to “things you do know, maaaan,” or other caveats? Come on. Doc Rivers didn’t want to coach the Celtics anymore, and wanted to coach the Los Angeles Clippers. And for this, I fully support him. It doesn’t have to be a black and white issue, because grown men can change their minds without acting like a heel. I believe Doc Rivers did this, in this case.

He also quit on the Boston Celtics. That much can’t be argued away.

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