Bill Simmons’ recent critique of Celtics coach Doc Rivers not only failed to escape the notice of David Roth, but stuck firmly in the craw of the Globe’s Bob Ryan, who holds the Sports Putz accountable for the anti-Rivers chants that have filled the TD Banknorth Garden of late. David Scott quotes Ryan’s remarks from a Sunday night appearance on Bob Lobel’s “Sports Final”.
From 3,000 miles away, someone who has got some influence on I™d say at least 25 percent of the people who are after Doc Rivers, Bill Simmons. . . UNBELIEVABLE, has written a column last week at ESPN.com assaulting and just killing Doc Rivers.
And I™m telling you that the emails I get reflect the fact that people are paying attention to him from 3,000 miles away, as if he knows what™s going on with the Celtics.
While Scott’s Shots is primed for “a potentially simmering feud between two of Boston™s most influential sports columnists,” a subsequent reply from Simmons is of the taking-the-high-road variety. That aside, I mean no disrespect whatsoever (ok, maybe a little) in observing that the other 75% of Celtics fans that aren’t under the Sports Putz’ magic spell are perfectly capable of reaching a negative conclusion about Doc all by themselves (as Simmons as noted, he’s had about 200 games to get it right). And the 3000 miles dig does Ryan few favors, as Simmons has already cited the “he doesn’t matter, he doesn’t come into the clubhouse card,” along with the somewhat provocative (if you work for a daily newspaper) “I can’t remember a single time when somebody with “inside access” helped elucidate something about the Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics that I couldn’t have figured out myself.”
Seriously, if Boston-area residency is a prerequisite for being allowed to offer an opinion on the state of the Celtics, perhaps Ryan should petition the NBA to limit their League Pass package to those with a Massachusetts zip code. In his recent interview at Sports Media Guide, Ryan refers to the “intimidating” level of access modern technology provides today’s fan, but depending on your point of view, that sort of availability could also be considered helpful, liberating, or even lucrative.
It’s pretty late in the day for Ryan or any other old-schooler to bitch about the suddenly level playing field — not unless they wanna give up their cable TV gigs or ask their newspapers to restrict their compositions to the print editions (and declining readership). If Simmons’ musings are resonating with a larger audience than those of Bob Ryan, whose fault is that? The latter had a pretty gigantic head start, and you’d hope he’d have it in him to let the quality of future work stand up to comparision. I mean, I know who I’m rooting for, but this 3000 miles away bullshit is a pretty weak defense for what might be too close a relationship with the coach in question.