Last night's draft may not produce many NBA superstars, but it did produce a memorable TV moment we'll be replaying for years to come. ESPN's Shelley Smith asked new Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers about Bill Simmons' position that he quit on the Boston Celtics. Rivers replied by saying he would like to call Simmons an idiot, but he was too classy for that (which is confusing because in saying he'd like to call him an idiot on national television, that's basically what he did anyways, what a sly and sneaky move)...
Doc's son Jeremiah also lit into Simmons on Twitter with a series of heated messages to the Sports Guy...
Rarely do you ever see Doc Rivers (or his offspring) call someone out like that, and vice versa. That's the rub with this Doc Rivers - Boston Celtics - Los Angeles Clippers three way dance that has taken place over the last couple weeks. Rivers is so well-liked and protected by almost everyone in the media that he was given a free pass for basically working his way out of a rebuilding situation in Boston. If that was another coach or player trying to force their way out and move to a better situation in a protracted trade saga, the reaction would be much, much more negative. Just ask Dwight Howard.
So Simmons deserves credit for calling out what he sees as a spade here and not backing down once Doc Rivers blasted him on live television. It would have been very easy to retreat into a corner and run back to safety at Grantland, yet Simmons took it on the chin and fired back.
But would Bill Simmons have been so vocal and critical of Doc if it wasn't his team he was leaving? If Simmons was the Milwaukee Sports Guy, would we have witnessed this epic draft clash? Probably not. With all of these factors involved, it's a situation that shows the complexity of the many different vectors of media today. Truth be told though, it was the authenticity of where everyone was coming from that made it such a compelling draft moment.
Simmons is awesome. He's right about the flight of Doc... On the other hand Doc Rivers is cool but he won't "own what he did," as Simmons points out. I think people who hate Simmons just can't handle the fact that Simmons is so different as an anchor than every corporate suit they're used to watching. He's smart, nerdy, and an unabashed fan. I'm a Knicks fan but I love the Simmons phenomenon.
There was a better way for Simmons to express his disappointment with Rivers, but as an unabashedly passionate Celtics fan he is incapable of it. Rives handled the attack with class.
If Dwight Howard or any other pulled this (basically forced a trade with years left on his contract) it would have been a story all week. Simmons execution could have been better, he should have said something like "aren't we being unfair by holding players to a different standard than coaches" instead of "quit on the team". But it is a story that should be addressed.
I don't se why this is quitting, and not just someone going to a different situation. yes Doc had a contract, but he also could be fired at any time. He didn't want to be part of rebuilding, and the Celtics, with or without him, were going to rebuild.
Can't wait for when you guys do the grades for last night's draft. Simmons was beyond atrocious last night. "Uh, wait guys my mind is blanking... who drafts 10th?" "So you mean the Sixers gave up a first round pick and Jrue Holiday?" No Bill. for the 14th time, the Sixers get a first round pick. He stunk up the joint last night, and engaged in a petty feud. Who cares if Doc didn't want to re-build. You think Phil Jackson and Popovic stayed and would stay for a re-build?
"I would like to call him an idiot but I'm too classy for that." Nice back door way of calling him an idiot while trying to stick to the high road. Well done, Doc.
I don't like Bill Simmons and I love Doc Rivers, but Simmons is right. Doc didn't want to rebuild all over again, but a contract is a contract. And Doc's kid should keep his mouth shut.
Bu if fired the team would still have had to honor the contact (pay him the contract) for players in NFL where contacts aren't guaranteed i buy that argument. It doesnt work for coaches or NBA & MLB players
@perlick29 I think what you are running into here, is Simmons' sense of humor. It plays better in the mega blog format he uses (whenever he does some writing these days), because he can explain himself and make use of footnotes.
It doesn't play well on TV, where there are time constraints, and above all, co-hosts who aren't in on the joke/don't back him up with a little playful banter.
@perlick29 Give Simmons a pass on the Holiday stuff. I'm a Pelicans fan and I was able to devote my attention solely to twitter and local beat reporters to figure out what had happened and I still couldn't do it. Initial reports were it was Philly's 2014 but there was a lot of back and forth before it was confirmed to be NO's
@illinifan1280 @perlick29 I agree, I am mostly a fan of his writing when his homerism doesn't spin out of control. He's much better when given the time to compose his thoughts. But on live TV, his delivery isn't executed the same way, his co-hosts don't get it like you said, and his voice for the most part is outright annoying. My wife won't listen to him speak at all because it ticks her off.