Doc 'disappointed' in way Ainge explained departure

Doc 'disappointed' in way Ainge explained departure
September 5, 2013, 11:15 am
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BOSTON — Doc Rivers admits he was "disappointed" by Danny Ainge's characterization that it was Rivers' decision to leave the Boston Celtics after nine seasons.

"I was very disappointed in that part of Danny's press conference," Rivers, now Senior Vice President of basketball operations and head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, said on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning. "Other than that, I have no issue. Danny knows just like I know, that that's not true."

Rivers added, "there were two people in that room, Danny and I. Anyone else who has a comment about what went on, doesn't really know because they weren't in that room; and it was more than one day, it was several days. It was an agreement. I'll put it like that."

The Celtics signed Rivers to a five-year, $35 million contract in 2011 which had three years and $21 million remaining when the C's allowed Rivers out of the deal this summer in exchange for the Clippers giving the Celtics a future first-round pick.

"He's looking for a new chapter," Ainge, the C's president of basketball operations, said shortly after the deal with the Clippers had been completed on June 25. "He felt like it was time for a change. He felt like, in his opinion he shared with me, he felt like we all needed a change. That was his rationalization or justification of going to the Clippers was that, that was better for everybody."

Despite their different take on how things ended, Rivers said his relationship with Ainge hasn't been damaged.

"We've had our disagreements when I was there," Rivers said. "We moved on. That was a disagreement on how that was presented. And Danny knows that, and I know the truth. But you move on. We've talked many times since. Danny has done things for me since I've been gone. I've done things for him.

Rivers added, "we have a strong relationship. You don't work together for nine years and don't. I was fortunate in that regard. Danny was great to me. Celtics ownership was great to me and so in that way, there was no hard feelings."