Brooklyn-born singer Neil Sedaka totally understands. As the man who wrote "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," Sedaka may even have a unique insight into the spat between Bill Simmons and Doc Rivers that occurred during the 2013 NBA Draft.
In the aftermath of Rivers' departure from Boston, the ESPN analyst and founder of Grantland has been critical of the former coach of his favorite team. On Thursday night, Rivers was presented with the opportunity to respond. Someone without as much class, would have really taken advantage of it.
With Simmons part of ESPN's team of analysts covering the Draft live from the Barclays Center, ESPN reporter Shelley Smith interviewed Rivers remotely to discuss the Clippers' selection of Reggie Bullock with the 26th pick. To her credit, Smith directly asked Rivers about Simmons' contention that he'd quit on the Celtics.
"I'd like to call him an idiot but I'm too classy for that," Rivers quipped, eliciting a laugh from Smith. "So, I mean, that's just his opinion. That didn't happen. He really needs to know the whole truth, which he doesn't."
Smith then tossed the broadcast back to Brooklyn. With analysts Jay Bilas and Jalen Rose quietly avoiding eye contact with the "30 For 30" co -creator, Rece Davis asked Simmons for a response.
"The truth keeps changing. He's given different quotes about this: He didn't know, he did know, he kinda knew, he wanted the trade to happen, he was coming back, he needed a year off," Simmons shot back. "When he sticks to a story I'll believe the truth."
In his capacity as one of the Celtics' most prominent fans, Simmons was already worked up on Thursday night about the reported blockbuster trade sending Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Sedaka's hometown team. Perhaps, he blamed Rivers' supposed quitting on the team with the ending of KG and Pierce's tenure in Boston. Regardless, the author of The Book Of Basketball could not resist interjecting as Davis seemed to be attempting to present a more even-keeled take of Rivers' move to Los Angeles.
"Just own it. Just admit what you did," Simmons said, interrupting Davis. "The writing was on the wall. The Celtics wanted to rebuild. You didn't want to be a part of it. You wanted to go to the Clippers and it happened. Like, just own what you did."
JUST BECAUSE: Neil Sedaka Sings "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"