Posted June 28, 2013

Bill Simmons to Doc Rivers: ‘I’d be careful, Glenn’

NBA
Bill Simmons is engaged in a war of words with Doc Rivers. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images the New Yorker)

Bill Simmons is engaged in a war of words with Doc Rivers. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The war of words between ESPN analyst Bill Simmons and former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has escalated following their tense exchange during the NBA draft on ESPN on Thursday night.

Rivers claimed that Simmons wrote letters and “did everything he could” to get him fired. Simmons fired back on Twitter by telling Rivers to be careful and that Rivers’ quotes are a “100 percent lie.”

During the draft broadcast Thursday night, ESPN’s Shelley Smith interviewed Rivers, now the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, and asked him about Simmons’ allegations that he quit on the Celtics.

“I would call him an idiot, but I’m too classy for that,” Rivers said.

Simmons, working as an analyst for ESPN during the draft, said that Rivers keeps changing his story about his departure as the Celtics’ head coach and that he would believe him once he sticks to a story.

Rivers appeared on The Dan Patrick show this morning and said that the Celtics were looking to unload contracts for draft picks in an attempt to rebuild. The Celtics traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets in exchange for a package of players and three first-round picks. Rivers claimed that he was one of the contracts that the Celtics were exploring to trade. He went on to dismiss Simmons’ assertions that he quit on the team and called the analyst a “fan.”

MANNIX: NBA draft 2013 team grades

GOLLIVER: NBA draft 2013: Winners and losers


110 comments
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror

Who's this guy Simmons? He looks like an assistant equipment manager whose only job is to wash the players jock straps. This self indulgent couch potato, who knows only what he sees about basketball, hassomenerve talking about a proven NBA coach and ex player. The best this guy could have done was sit on the bench of his HS or Grade school team and he has the audacity to bash Rivers? Get this guy off the air, he doesn't deserve any air time whatsoever.

fothgt
fothgt

While watching the NBA finals on ABC Simmons with Wilbon, Magic, and Jalen reminded me of Opey sitting with Bill Russell and Jim Brown. Van Gundy, Hubie, and definitely Jack Ramsey, but Simmons? ESPN please!

jayjay_67
jayjay_67

i never knew there was a Bill Simmon in ESPN until this incident, this guy just need a love of a mother. 

oldblue
oldblue

simmons is a worm; he should go correct all the mistakes in his book. case in point, bill russell was never in the military. he is awful and should be dumped, and i'm a lifelong celtic fan. what a weasel

Fred17
Fred17

Simmons didnt play the game, never coached a team, he's a writer and nothing more--Unless you ask him, of course.

AJ11
AJ11

I'm not crazy about Doc, but I'd definitely not crazy about Simmons. I know he is supposed to bring a fan's perspective, but there is a reason that Doug Collins, Hubie Brown, and Jeff van Gundy are miles above all the other NBA analysts. They know the game much much better than players or fans. I however would like to switch Simmons for Zach Lowe who is on his staff and whose analysis is profound., or Sam Smith. Simmons on the other hand does the typical irritating ESPN ploy of cherry picking stats on the fly to make a point. Doc will have a chance to show now whether he is a great coach or simply a fortunate one. Regardless he is now a very rich coach.

tworoosters
tworoosters

The problem is guys like Simmons get well paid for their opinions and after awhile they begin to believe that they are actually experts when they are just talented writers with a passion for their team. It's ludicrous for Simmons to imply that Rivers "quit" on the Celtics but Doc should just take the high road and not even bother mentioning Simmons at all.


ESPN has a lot invested in Bill Simmons but they really should have someone tell him to leave his ego at the door when talking about the NBA, he's a fan, nothing more, and he's beginning to sound like the trolls on every board who think they can run a professional sports franchise........they can't.

JustinCase1st
JustinCase1st

I would say that moving Garnett and Pierce had less to do about Rivers staying or going, than Rivers staying or going had more to do about moving Garnett and Pierce.

Seems that would be an intelligent hypothesis that Simmons should make.

Anything less, Simmons is coming across as the idiot here. 

I respect the plan set forth by Danny Ainge, who thought Aurebach should have moved Bird at the end of his career, to horde draft picks. That is just what Ainge just did. Did Rivers want to wait out the five year re-building process when the Clippers wanted (and needed ) him?

I think they hand out Pulitzers for journalism. Does Simmons want one of those, badly, or does he just want to feud with NBA coaches? I would estimate Simmons, just on the basis of his pontification-guessing, is one big tool.

D Nice74
D Nice74

Simmons is entirely too consumed and bothered with Doc River's coaching career. This is just getting ridiculous.

nathan l
nathan l

Hey Simmons, why don't you just stick to pretending that Magic Johnson is funny on those NBA broadcasts?

aasesq
aasesq

After Simmons made the statement below, I turn my television to another channel at the halftime of NBA games. This is what he said about the Grizzles fans:

“I didn’t realize the effect [The MLK assassination] had on that city…I think from people we talk to and stuff we’ve read, the shooting kind of sets the tone with how the city thinks about stuff. We were at Game 3. Great crowd, they fall behind and the whole crowd got tense. They were like, ‘Oh no, something bad is going to happen.’ And it starts from that shooting.”

You would need to conduct an empirical study of the city of Memphis to come up with that hypothesis. 




nod
nod

Strikes me as hilarious that, after being accused of quitting and denying it, Doc Rivers responds by calling Simmons a loser and denying it.  Couldn't make that stuff up.

SkeLitorVsAntLive
SkeLitorVsAntLive

THATS RIGHT DOC HE AINT NOTHING BUT A FRICKING FAN HE NEVER PLAYED HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE AAU OR PRO AM SUMMER LEAGUE! BILL SIMMONS IS A MOUTH ON T.V TRYING TO SALE HIMSELF WITH PROS............AND I MEAN PROFESSIONAL FORMER BALL PLAYERS WHO HE WANTED TO BE LIKE!!!!!!!

scubasteve511
scubasteve511

Simmons is absolutely letting his fandom affect him but at least he has the gall to call out a sports figure for some injustice he sees.  I would rather watch Simmons than watch Chris Broussard go on and on about how great LeBron and The Heat are.  Broussard couldn't be critical of anyone unless it's Jason Collins.  As far as Simmons credentials read his Basketball book (especially the chapter about Russell v. Chamberlin) and if you don't look at Basketball in a different way I look forward to your team overpaying Monta Ellis and winning 30 games next year.

YZLee
YZLee

Bill Simmons is a joke.  Your job as an analyst is to be somewhat impartial and not show your homerism towards a particular team and act as a fan.

bondra76
bondra76

it's pretty safe to say ESPN's experiment of having Simmons as more than a funny blogger is imploding.

chatty216
chatty216

What Bill Simmons is doing is completely unprofessional. ESPN needs to step in and reprimand him. It's clear Jr has taken his position at the Network a bit to far. He was awful to watch during The Finals. Espn really needs to let the crew from TNT handle it next year. Bill Simmons&CREW were a joke

began2000
began2000

I can see how Simmons can rub some people the wrong way because I think he expresses his opinions the most honestly  out of the 4 guys usually sitting in the studio.  When you do that you make enemies and haters.  Michael Wilbon is by far the most annoying personality of the bunch, with his name dropping and that stupid look he gives after he says, what he thinks, is a profound statement.  Even though Magic has mastered the world of business and sports he has a long way to go to master the English language.  He continues to mix up his plurals with singulars and vice versa.  Example, he'll say things like "In these playoff we have seen....."  Magic's insights always match the general consensus and he laughs hard and loud at his own jokes. I really like Jalen but he was much more interesting when he was strictly on ESPN.  Maybe he's thinking too much about appealing to a larger audience.  Jalen has also started doing that annoying analyst thing where he raises his voice every third word or whatever.  Just talk normal please.  Saying the last word of a sentence louder than normal doesn't get my adrenaline pumping nor does it increase my interest in what you have to say. 

PaulSharpe
PaulSharpe

'Not a Simmons fan at all, but in this case I'll take his side...  Rivers was Incredibly wishy-washy, think Dwight Howard, about giving answers/committing to a position...  I think Simmons Nailed Rivers on this & Rivers isn't Man Enough to admit it.... 

manhattanproject9
manhattanproject9

Anybody who has read Bill Simmons extensively (as I admit, I have) knows that Simmons never liked Rivers. He would consistently tweak the guy every chance he got. Remember the interview with Obama, when Obama thanked Simmons for "Thibodeau" to which Simmons responded, "that hurts." Obama was quick to respond that Rivers was one of the best coaches in basketball, Simmons did not respond either way. His silence was deafening. 


There isn't a doubt in my mind that Simmons wrote letters to the Celtics organization (takes little effort for someone like him) or tried to arrange a sit-down. I don't even like Rivers and I used to be huge Simmons fan, but its my gut that tells me Rivers is telling the truth with these allegations. 

gdub311945
gdub311945

Who in Gods name is Bill Simmons? Most of these analyst types are around for a few years then discarded for someone  who is current. Doc Rivers was very good player, and a great coach, and Bill Simmons couldn't hold his Jock Strap in just about any category in the NBA. In continuing this argument Simmons, you are only diminishing your career. Doc River's will still be a coach in the NBA, when the memory of your contributions are locked in some electronic storage bank. When push come to shove you will lose. When the NBA gets tired of the story you will be ordered to stop. If you don't then you will be terminated. The color/analyst at the university level doesn't pay the freight for your life style. This is a battle you can't win, and won't win. Shut-up and keep your job!

Paulineww13
Paulineww13

In all honesty you do need a personality to be on tv and this guy(Simmons) doesn't have one not fitting for tv. He has the most annoying voice, and he doesn't know squat about analyzing a game. He can recall facts but that's about it. Magic constantly calls him on his BS. I feel if you don't know all the facts about something don't go public and call someone(Doc) a quitter. I think he is an idiot because only an idiot would draw a conclusion based on his opinion and not facts.

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

Bill Simmons is a d-bag whose greatest talent is promoting himself.

MichaelHeck
MichaelHeck

It must be nice to be a glorified "fan." That pretty much sums up the role of most individuals who work in sports with a bloated opinion. 

mjwsutherland
mjwsutherland

Doc stuck the year out.  He sure didn't quit while they were playing.

Maybe he threatened to walk away in order to facilitate a deal. I'm pretty sure we'll never know the details of that, or if we do, it'll be far enough into the future that it won't matter much any more.  Bill didn't like Rivers at all when he came on to coach, and wrote a column several years ago advocating that Danny fire him.  Safe to say Rivers has never liked him very much since then.

I think Simmons is disappointed enough that the Celts lost in 2010 to the Lakers that he decided to turn on Doc again. That's why he's using an inflammatory and unfair word like "quit", when Doc didn't quit.

Azeron
Azeron

I like Doc and I like Bill.  Bill is correct.  Doc quit.  So what?  Anyone in his right mind would abandon the titanic if another ship pulled beside the wreckage and offered a life line.  Bill is going a tad bit overboard with this.  Doc is receiving an incredible pass simply because he is a nice guy.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  Bill should quit while he is behind.  Doc is winning the PR war.

gil1
gil1

This shows that most coaches can't win without the talent . If Rivers is so great why didn't he stay and and build Boston. HE QUIT. He should have said he just wanted to leave.

YZLee
YZLee

@nod What's hilarious is Simmons getting on Doc's case for a decision that was made by Ainge and Doc.  Did they hire Simmons to be a homer fan or did they hire him to be an analyst?

bobstacyamber1
bobstacyamber1

@SkeLitorVsAntLive --If you're not playing in the NBA doesn't that make everyone else a fan?  If you played  High School, College,  AAU or Semi-Pro but your still watching the NBA at Buffalo Wild Wing's your still a "Fricking Fan".

Simmons might be a great basketball mind but he sucks as an analyst.




KurtSteiner
KurtSteiner

@PaulSharpe Agreed.    Personally, I think they've both handled it horribly.    Simmons is letting old feelings, and his Celtic love, get in the way.    Stop the baiting, Bill.   And Doc has been extremely wishy-washy, as you say, and then the whole "idiot" comment.    Good lord, grow up.

atl49er
atl49er

@gdub311945 I agree. Who is Bill Simmons? Some hired talking head @ ESPN that has stepped way over his bounds. A Boston Celtics cheerleader. Maybe one day ESPN will get their head out of their asses and realize that someone like Bill Simmons is fan garbage. I have a tip for you: just because he interviewed Obama and wrote a book about Wilt vs Bill Russell, that does not mean that he likes Black people. Remember, Boston is one of the most racist cities in America. Don't take my word, ask anyone who has been to Boston, and that is the one of the top things they will say, after the coastal waters, the traffic, the sports teams and then the racism.  And I work everyday with 2 different people from Boston (Beverly and Boston).

And going against Doc Rivers shows your hatred and stupidity. Doc is the 2'nd best coach in the NBA behind Popovich. And Doc will be the Olympic 2016 Dream Team Basketball coach, not Mike. And hopefully by then, this idiot Bill Simmons will go have gone away. Write some children's books, or something.

NickWright
NickWright

@gdub311945 Bill Simmons wrote one of the most comprehensive basketball books in the history of basketball. Perhaps you should do a bit of research before spouting off. 

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Azeron In what way did Doc quit?  What should Doc have done that he didn't do? 

"He quit" is a very strong statement, especially when it's uttered by some one far away from the situation.  When there's no evidence to back it up, it's not just strong, it's strongly stupid.

Azeron
Azeron

@gil1 Yes.  He quit.  It is perfectly understandable.  It's the NBA where the Coach of the Year is typically fired within three years of winning the award.  Ask George Karl...  Coaches would be crazy to stick around for a rebuild, only to be shown the door when the franchise finally gets on its feet.  Bob Hill?  John Lucas?

franswa
franswa

@NickWright @gdub311945 So he writes a "comprehensive basketball book on the history of basketball" and that automatically puts him at par with Doc Rivers? 

djdavidjay
djdavidjay

@mjwsutherland @nowordsneededheremister @mjwsutherland @nowordsneededheremister In 2006, when that article was written, pretty much everyone who watched the Celtics felt the same way. There was nothing he wrote at the time that even a casual Celtics fan couldn't tell you. It is important to note that over time Bill Simmons came around and said many positive things about Doc Rivers. He just waited until Doc Rivers deserved the compliments. Nothing wrong with that really.

NickWright
NickWright

He said he quit on the Celtics. That's sports-related. When Lebron "quit" on the Cavaliers, every sports entity covered it. He's not talking about what he does in his free time. He's talking about his approach to a team that he signed a 3 year deal with. Not personal. Business.

NickWright
NickWright

How is it personal? It was entirely sports-related.

NickWright
NickWright

No one said "on par" but he's definitely allowed to have an opinion, instead of Doc writing him off as "a fan." The dude has done his homework. This isn't some loudmouth radio show caller.