Things got a little testy during ESPN's broadcast of the NBA draft on Thursday night when Clippers coach Doc Rivers slammed commentator Bill Simmons in a dispute over Rivers' departure from Boston.
First, the back story. Earlier this week, the Celtics agreed to let Rivers out of the final three years of his contract so that he could coach the Clippers. Then, on Thursday, the Celtics agreed to trade franchise cornerstones Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as they undertake a full-scale rebuilding effort.
Simmons, a lifelong Celtics fan, took issue with Rivers' departure, which took weeks to play out in the media and involved all sorts of twists and turns. Simmons said Rivers "quit" on his old team. Rivers pushed back hard at that accusation.
"I would like to call him an idiot, but I'm too classy for that," Rivers said. "That's just his opinion. That didn't happen. He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn't."
Simmons didn't retreat.
GOLLIVER: Winners and losers from the draft "The truth keeps changing," he said. "He's given different quotes about this, he didn't know, he did know. He kind of knew. He wanted the trade to happen, he was coming back, he needed a year off. When he sticks to a story, I'll believe the truth. ... Just own it. Just admit what you did. The writing was on the wall. The Celtics wanted to rebuild. You didn't want to be a part of it. You wanted to go to the Clippers and it happened. Just own what you did."