The Arizona Republic
Mar. 1, 2005 12:00 AM
Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't exchange a few choice words with chest-thumping Boston forward Paul Pierce
near the end of Sunday's 120-113 overtime loss to show his players that he's looking out for them.
That's already understood, he said.
"We're all in this together," D'Antoni said Monday, one day after he verbally confronted Pierce for "showing up" Quentin Richardson
by mocking his double-fisted forehead bump after making some jump shots. "Everybody's got everybody's back. We don't need a public demonstration of love. I let 'Q' shoot three-pointers all the time. I think that shows him more love than what happened (Sunday) night."
D'Antoni was ejected for the first time as Suns coach with 19.9 seconds left in overtime and the Celtics leading 118-110.
The exact words of his exchange with Pierce can't be printed in a family newspaper, but the gist of D'Antoni's message to Pierce was to just play the game.
"It was a knee-jerk reaction," D'Antoni said. "It's always a knee-jerk reaction. I was upset that he tried to show up one of our players. It didn't sit well. I have no excuses. I probably deserved it (the ejection)."
D'Antoni said he doesn't expect subsequent opponents to follow Boston's lead and try to rattle the Suns with similar antics and trash talk.
"That's them," D'Antoni said. "They do that all the time. There's not much of it (elsewhere) in the league."