When NBA referee Bill Kennedy came out as gay after being called a “faggot” by Kings point guard Rajon Rondo, an old story about a confrontation between Kennedy then-Celtics coach Doc Rivers during a 2009 playoff game started making the rounds. The story, as recalled by disgraced NBA ref Tim Donaghy and gambler Haralabos Voulgaris (who was at the game in question), involved Rivers calling Kennedy a homophobic slur. Today, Rivers vehemently denied that such a thing ever happened, and Kennedy has reportedly told confidants that Rivers never used a slur against him.
Here’s Rivers’s denial, via Pro Basketball Talk:
“That was not true,” Rivers said. “Sometimes, I hope I have more credibility than where that came from.
“Bill and I have a great relationship. But that’s been out there forever, and I would say this: It’s funny that it’s out there any nobody really asked me the question, because they knew. Not saying you shouldn’t ask the question, but it’s amazing nowadays that all you have to do is blog something or write something, and then it takes on its own life.”
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck is reporting that Kennedy has denied that Rivers ever used a slur:
Voulgaris has also conceded that he may have misremembered some of the details of the confrontation between Kennedy and Rivers: