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Riley, Ainge wage a war of words

Published March 30, 2013 5:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Danny Ainge had a reputation as an instigator during his NBA playing days. Apparently, he hasn't lost his touch as a front-office man.

After the Chicago Bulls ended the Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak with some physical play, Heat star LeBron James publicly questioned why the refs didn't call the Bulls for some flagrant fouls.

This prompted Ainge, the Celtics' GM, to criticize the reigning MVP, telling Boston radio station WEEI: "I think that it's almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating."

Riley was not amused by the most notorious complainer of the 1980s taking issue with the Heat star, and released an official statement through the team spokesman saying as much. "Danny Ainge needs to shut the [expletive] up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing, and I know that because I coached against him."

Upon hearing of the back-and-forth, Celtics coach Doc Rivers suggested, "They should duke it out."

Ainge, however, has a good reason for letting it go: "I don't want to mess up his Armani suits and all that hair goop. It would be way too expensive for me."