NEW ORLEANS — Well, Pat Riley just added a little more fuel to the Heat-Celtics rivalry that simply won’t die.
After Celtics GM Danny Ainge recently called LeBron James’ complaints about the hard fouls he takes “almost embarrassing,” the Heat President fired back with both barrels in a pre-game statement delivered to the Heat media by a representative, saying:
“Danny Ainge needs to STFU and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing. I know because I coached against him.”
Yes, that is an accurate quote, STFU and all, delivered to a huddle of media members with their jaws firmly on the floor. My two big takeaways from this:
1) Pat Riley is certainly willing to stick up for his players, and clearly is at the stage of his career where he’s willing to say whatever is on his mind.
2) If the Celtics manage to fall down to the 8th seed, a Celtics-Heat playoff series would be about as interesting as a #1-#8 matchup can get.
UPDATE: In the time it took me to write this post, Ainge has already responded. Via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, here’s Ainge’s reply to Riley’s statement:
“We’re both right. LeBron should stop complaining and I should manage my own team.”