The Celtics and the Heat continue their rivalry tomorrow night in the season opener for both teams. (Steve Babineau/Getty Images)
The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the NBA champion Miami Heat is already tense and Celtics coach Doc Rivers added fuel to the fire by saying the Heat aren't defending anything because it's a new season. The Celtics open the 2012 season against the Heat in Miami on Tuesday night.
"I never believed that anybody is ever defending a title, because that was last year," Rivers said to ESPN.com. "They don’t own the trophy this year. That’s what I tell our guys: Miami isn’t considered anything. They won the title last year. You don’t give your trophy back -- that’s in boxing, where you get the belt back, that’s defending the title. In the NBA, you win a new title."
Some Celtics also were in no mood to talk about former Celtic guard Ray Allen. Allen signed a free agent deal with the Heat after last season. Allen was offered twice as much money as the Heat did to stay in Boston, according to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. The Celtics also included a no-trade clause to the contract.
"I’m here to play the game and get the hell up out of here," forward Kevin Garnett said when asked about Allen. "Period, point blank."