NEW ORLEANS — Miami Heat President Pat Riley has added another chapter to his rivalry with the Boston Celtics.
After LeBron James complained about calls and Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge chided him for it, Riley lashed back Friday night.
Riley’s response: “Danny Ainge needs to shut the (expletive) up and manage his own team.”
This saga started Wednesday after Miami’s 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago. James told reporters that night that he does not believe some of the hard fouls he takes are “basketball plays.” A day later, Ainge told Boston radio station WEEI that “it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
Riley was clearly irked, calling Ainge “the biggest whiner going when he was a player.”
The Heat and Celtics play April 12 in Miami.
Miami beat New Orleans 108-89 on Friday night, with James leading the way with 36 points. When informed afterward of the statement, James said he appreciated Riley having his back.
“That’s who we are,” James said. “We ride together, all of us, from the top to the bottom. We all protect each other on and off the floor and it was big-time to see that.”