The rivalry between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics reached a new level on Friday and fans have the Chicago Bulls to thank.
It didn't take long for Miami Heat president Pat Riley to fire back at Celtics general manager Danny Ainge after Ainge called LeBron James' criticism of officials "embarrassing."
James had complained about the Bulls' physical play when Chicago ended the Heat's 27-game win streak on Wednesday.
"He needs to shut the (expletive) up and manage his own team," Riley said in a statement on Friday. "He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing. I know that because I coached against him."
Ainge responded quickly to Riley's criticism.
"We're both right. LeBron should stop complaining and I should manage my own team," Ainge told the Boston Globe, adding once again "LeBron should be embarrassed by how he complains about the calls he gets."
James was clearly frustrated Wednesday night after the Bulls beat the Heat, 101-97
"Those are not basketball plays," James said. "And it's been happening all year, and I've been able to keep my cool and tell Spo, 'Let's not worry about it too much.' But it's getting to me a little bit, because every time I try to defend myself, I've got to face the consequences of a flagrant for me or a technical foul or whatever the case may be."
Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s when Ainge was with the Celtics.
Current Celtics coach Doc Rivers weighed in on the controversy joking, "Very interesting. I think it's cool. They should duke it out."