CLEVELAND - After a frenzied night full of trades and surprises, new Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and ESPN's Bill Simmons injected a final bit of drama into the typically ho-hum completion of the second round of the NBA Draft.
Reporter Shelley Smith caught up with Rivers for a standard briefing on the Clippers' draft picks during ESPN's coverage. But when Smith asked Rivers to respond to Simmons' accusation that the former Boston Celtics coach quit on the team, things got interesting.
"I would like to call him an idiot but I'm too classy for that," Rivers said. " He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn't."
Simmons, an avid Boston sports fan, fired back.
"The truth keeps changing," Simmons said. "When he sticks to a story, I'll believe the truth."
After host Rece Davis attempted to steer the conversation, Simmons interjected.
"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," Simmons said about Rivers.
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Rivers, who still had three years remaining on his Celtics contract, was traded to the Clippers for a 2015 first round pick. He led Boston to a title in 2008 after taking over the team in 2004.
Earlier in the night on the draft set, Simmons opined disapprovingly of the blockbuster trade sending Celtics stalwarts Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets.
Rivers told Smith he was "sad to see everybody leave Boston."
The 2012-13 season was Simmons' finished first as a studio analyst for ESPN's "NBA Countdown."
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