Bad Blood Brewing Between Ainge & Nellie

1983-84 Boston Celtics
November 1, 1983

It sounds as if there is still bad blood between Danny Ainge and Milwaukee coach Don Nelson. Prior to the third game of the Bucks' four-game sweep of Boston last May, Nelson publicly labeled Ainge "a cheap shot artist." Ainge was booed by Milwaukee fans every time he touched the ball in the next two games.

After the series, Celtics' general manager Red Auerbach refused to congratulate Nelson and said, "They beat us, but what they did to Ainge wasn't fair." Nelson was fined by the league and sent a letter of apology to Ainge. "I think Danny is a good player," Nelson said Monday. "I wrote Danny a letter at the end of the season, but I'm not going to comment on any of that stuff."

"Yeah, he sent me a letter of apology, if that's what you want to call it," Ainge said yesterday. "It wasn't much of a letter of apology. I think the league made him send it. He told me that I should learn how to take an offensive charge during the summer. "I've never hurt anyone in my life and I doubt any of his players are threatened by my presence.

"What he said didn't affect me, but it affected the fans and the officials. I had three brutal fouls called on me in the first quarter of the next game. I thought what he did was totally wrong. It didn't show much class, and the sad part is, it worked. He got the officials and the fans - not just the fans of Milwaukee - against me. I think that's stooping pretty low."

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