Riley to Ainge: STFU!
So Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley had a message for Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge on Friday: STFU!
The backstory isn't hard to discern. Riley and Ainge didn't particularly care for each other when the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics played each other back in the day, and that dislike continues today with the rivaly between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
Riley came to the defense of Lebron James when Ainge basically called James out for whining about the fouls being whistled during the Heat's loss to the Chicago Bulls, ending their 27-game winning streak. (Note: this strategy is not exactly a new phenomenon, and James knows it. Why try to make headlines with it now? Sour grapes?)
"Danny Ainge needs to [STFU] and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was a player. I know that because I coached against him."
Anyone who remembers watching the Lakers play the Celtics back in the day when Bird and Magic faced each other knows Riley speaks the truth. Ainge was a flopper, a whiner, and a crier. In fact, it's amazing he didn't rank higher on the list of all-time whiners.
He didn't mind looking for a fight, either. That's why most of the NBA at the time hated his guts.
But Ainge does make a point. King James is the biggest star in the game and gets most of the calls, so he should stop whining when those few calls go against him.
Ainge should know. As a player for the Celtics -- one of the NBA's few huge ratings darlings back then -- he had an eyebrow-raising number of those calls go his way, too.
Funny how that works in this league.