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Ainge on The Big Show: Pierce, Allen, Rondo

Celtics [1] President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge went on the Big Show on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the state of the Celtics. Ainge dismissed as gross rumors any reports that the foot injury to Paul Pierce [2] will keep the forward sidelined for anything more than a matter of days, said that he has not talked to any other clubs about a trade of Ray Allen [3], and addressed the recent comments of Rajon Rondo [4] that there are “agendas maybe creeping in” that have affected the team negatively.

Does Paul Pierce have a broken foot?

What would be our motivation to say that he has a sprained foot if in fact his foot is broken? This is the same question we had last year. Why would we be hiding the rumors that were coming out that [Kevin Garnett [5]] having a torn ACL? Why would we say that? What would be our motivation? I don’€™t get it.

You’re saying there is no broken foot?

There is no broken foot. He’€™s got a sprained mid-foot. The only question for us now is when are we going to play Paul. Are we going to give him two days off, four days off, six days off or try to give him four games before the All-Star break? Probably more than healing the foot but to heal everything and just let his body rest. Seriously you guys, I get these questions all day long and I don’€™t understand what would be our motivation trying to tell you something that is not there in regard to a broken foot or a sprained foot.

You seem miffed about the report of Pierce’€™s foot being broken.

It’€™s just premature, we were all worried about Paul and what might be wrong with him. I kept telling everybody that called to ask that we will know more tonight. Dr. McKeon hasn’€™t even had a chance to look at the guy’€™s foot or look over all the things.

Was the press release put out last night to head the information off at the pass?

Yeah, there was just to many people that were trying to find and speculating, and too many sources out there. I don’€™t even know who these sources are but it’€™s incredible.

How severe is the injury?

I believe what I’€™m dealing with today if it were a playoff game then Paul would be playing. He’€™d be playing tonight if it were a playoff game. Our situation with Paul right now is you know our questions with Paul of when he comes back to play is his overall health, his overall body health. Paul was contemplating on playing today and I’€™m trying to talk him out of playing, so is Doc and just resting and trying to get his body some rest right now, as we have a week off here shortly. But I’€™m not concerned about the foot. That’€™s been put to rest.

What about Rajon Rondo’€™s quotes today about different agendas among the members of the team?

First of all I think that does exist. The year that we won the championship was very special and very unique. With the great teams I’€™ve had a chance to play on I’€™ve never seen a team that was more focused and had better chemistry on and off the court. There was no agendas, and I think it had to do with the three stars coming from such difficult situations with great new hope and energy. We had young players, it was a perfect situation, a perfect storm. These guys the next year we start out 29-2 and we still weren’€™t playing as great as we could have been playing and there was little bit of rumbling that last year. This year I think there has been a little bit of that. I still think it has more to do with, what Rondo was saying, it’€™s just the attitude and is that a priority for each player to win a championship. That what I think he is referring to. If nothing else mattered, to making All-Star teams, to future contracts, to how many minutes I’€™m playing, how many shots I’€™m getting. Do those things matter or is the only thing that matters winning an NBA Championship for every single guy, and even the 10th, 11th and 12th guys matter in attitude and character. I think that those things can creep in. I’€™m confident that we can get to that point this year. If Rondo addressing it, and [Kendrick Perkins [6]] talking about it and Paul talking about it a little bit, although I love Paul’€™s comment on having the answers to the test we just have to do it. I love KG’€™s approach where KG just simply says, ‘€œI have to get better. I have to rebound better. I have to be smarter. I have to execute better.’€ I love the answers from our veterans who take responsibility and put it on themselves.

Are you unhappy with how Rondo handled this, or was this an example of leadership?

I don’€™t think that’€™s leadership. … I think leadership is how KG and Paul handled it. … Even though it may be true, that’€™s what all of a sudden brings speculation.

Will you talk to him about the comments?

Both Doc and I talked with Rondo about it today. I wouldn’€™t say that’€™s that big of a deal. … I don’€™t think it’€™s that harmful except that it leads to speculation about who are they talking about, which players?

Given the rumors about the possibility of a deal involving Ray Allen, can you say whether you will or will not be trading him?

I had a good conversation with Ray Allen yesterday and his wife. They know the business. They know where we are, and they know where we stand. … I was very upfront and honest. …

I think it’€™s unlikely. I think it’€™s unlikely that we do a deal that benefits our team, to win a championship now and helps us in the future. Right now, our choice is that we’€™re trying to win a championship now. …

We want Ray. We think Ray is a huge part of our winning a championship this year. …

Can you say definitively that you won’t trade him?

I did not say that [the Celtics won’t trade Allen], and I didn’€™t say that to him. I think it’€™s unlikely. …

He had some questions to ask. I just think there’€™s so much out there, that now Ray can be capable of being able to discern what’€™s true and what’€™s not true, rather than all the crazy rumors out there.

Have you had any conversations with other teams about a deal involving Allen?

No. I have not. That doesn’€™t mean that I won’€™t, or that I won’t listen to what other people have to say, but we have not been anywhere near or had any discussion, I have not had a discussions with another team about trading Ray Allen.

More to come…