|Reports: NBA questioning Celtics-Clippers trade||06.20.13 at 1:42 pm ET|
The NBA is questioning the connection between the Celtics trading Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and then relinquishing the rights to Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round picks from the Clippers, as first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein. The league’s guidelines state player deals cannot be contingent upon coaching contracts.
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy contradicted two previous reports, claiming a) Celtics president Danny Ainge reached out to Los Angeles after Tuesday’s stalled talks, and b) the Clippers did not present owner Donald Sterling with a package that would have sent Jordan and two No. 1 picks to Boston for Garnett and Rivers.
|DeAndre Jordan: ‘I’d be happy’ to play for Celtics||06.20.13 at 1:02 pm ET|
As trade rumors continue to fly, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is trying to block out the noise, but the 24-year-old admitted on Yahoo! Sports Radio he’d be “happy” to stay in Los Angeles or join the Celtics.
“If I was younger, I probably would have handled it a little differently, but with me just finishing my fifth year I know that it is a business, teams want to win and they’re only looking out for their best interest,” said Jordan, who averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. “I’ve been with the Clippers my whole career. All I know is Los Angeles and the Clippers organization, but if I was to go somewhere else, if it did happen, I’d still be playing basketball — the sport that I love — so I’d be happy and just try to make the best of the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted that the deal Clippers management took to owner Donald Sterling for approval — trading Jordan to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and acquiring the rights to hire Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round draft picks — is hitting yet another snag due to the legality of linking the two transactions under the NBA’s guidelines. The two sides have reportedly already begun discussing additional scenarios.
“You hear stuff from your friends, media, things like that, so I just try not to listen to it,” added Jordan. “I don’t really watch it or read into it at all. I’m really just focused on getting better this summer and just preparing for next season.
“I’m just really in the gym working out with a couple of my teammates and some other guys, just trying to get better and stay focused. I’ve got a couple things this summer that I’m focused on, and I’m just trying to get better and come out and have a better season than we did this year.”
|Report: Celtics, Clippers resume trade talks again||06.19.13 at 6:16 pm ET|
As first suggested by SportsCity.com’s Mark Heisler on Wednesday morning, the Celtics and Clippers hoped to resume discussion about a potential deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers prior to the NBA draft on June 27.
As it turns out, the Clips reached out to the C’s on Thursday afternoon in order to reopen their dialogue about a package that would send DeAndre Jordan to Boston, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers reached out to the Celtics this afternoon to resume dialogue on a possible deal, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 19, 2013
According to various reports, most notably from Wojnarowski, discussion heated up this weekend but eventually fizzled out on Tuesday after disagreements over the inclusion of Eric Bledsoe, the contracts of Jason Terry and/or Courtney Lee, or a second No. 1 pick in a package that already included Jordan and one first-round pick.
|This is what Doc Rivers said about Boston in April||06.19.13 at 4:05 pm ET|
These questions from Dennis & Callahan came just days after the Boston Marathon bombings — during a period of healing when the NBA offseason was furthest from everyone’s mind — so keep that in mind when reading the following quotes from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a part-time Back Bay resident expressing his city pride.
Still, Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report — that “Rivers pushed for the Clippers partnership because of his desire to bypass a rebuilding process with Boston” — somehow cheapen Doc’s sentiment, particularly considering he signed a five-year, $35 million deal knowing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce wouldn’t be on the 2015-16 Celtics.
Does this feel like your town?
“Absolutely. I grew up in Chicago, and that will always be in me. I grew up 18 years there, but I’ve been here nine years. For me, this was it. This is it for me as far as a city. That doesn’t mean someday I won’t get fired or get old or retire and come back like Phil Jackson may do, but this will never get out of you — this city, this place — and I think a lot of people who have been here feel that way.
“You probably don’t appreciate it, because you live here, but I really think a lot of it is because of the passion of the fans. You get engrossed in that. It becomes part of you, and you don’t get that in other places. I’ve coached in one other city, but I’ve played in a lot of other places, and it’s rare. The true passion is what I call it. Anyone joins on when you’re winning. Very few places are in all the time, and this is a city that is in all the time.”
|Report: Celtics ‘deep in discussions’ about trading Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers to Clippers||06.15.13 at 4:57 pm ET|
The Celtics and Clippers are “deep in discussions” about a trade that would send coach Doc Rivers and surefire Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowksi.
Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to join Rivers in L.A., according to the report, but the C’s insistence on acquiring Eric Bledsoe in addition to the current Clippers package of DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round draft picks could be the last remaining hurdle of a blockbuster deal.
A swap of Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe works under the salary cap, and the draft picks would reportedly be enough to entice the Celtics into allowing Rivers to walk from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract and take assistant coach Tyronn Lue with him to Los Angeles.
On Saturday, Rivers and Chris Paul may discuss the All-Star point guard’s plan to re-sign with the Clippers should Garnett join him, Wojnarowski reported, but both the Celtics and their coach are willing to walk away should the deal not be finalized in the next couple days.
|Rajon Rondo: ‘I still am’ hard to coach||06.11.13 at 10:02 am ET|
Long silent since tearing his right ACL in February, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has begun popping up across the country as he is wont to do in the summertime. Prior to Game 2 of the NBA finals on Sunday, we saw him along with several other stars reading mean tweets from their Twitter timelines.
Rondo’s line: “Is it me or does Rajon Rondo look like that turtle named Franklin on Nick Jr.?”
Then, Rondo discussed everything from Celtics coach Doc Rivers to Connect Four and algebra with Red Bull Signature Series host Sal Masekela and Sheridan Hoops contributor Brian Kamenetzky on a series of videos promoting the energy drink (h/t NBC Sports). Before we get into Rondo’s dominance of Milton Bradley products and mathematics, let’s deal with the basketball-related discussion centered around Rondo’s coachability.
Rajon Rondo: “I always try to be on the same page as Doc, so I’m always looking at him and reading his mouth, but I pretty much know what he’s going to say. I’ve been playing for him for seven years, and we’ve always pretty much been on the same page, especially now. Each year, we’re growing and communicating better and learning each other more and more.”
Sal Masekela: “A lot of times, you see people who are potentially great players come in the league, and the main problem is coachability. How much of that is on the coach? And how much is it on the player?”
RR: “As a young player, you always think the coach is pretty hard on you, which he should be. If he’s not, that means he doesn’t care. They always say, ‘When I stop talking to you, then you should worry.’
“My first year was pretty rough, but I had great mentors in my life that I could call, and they’d be like, ‘You know what? Just hang in there. You’ve got to listen to your coach.’ So, I was able to make it through that.
“It wasn’t a big deal. We were struggling the first year. We lost 18 in a row that year, so I felt like I could help the team, and you’ve got to look at it a different way. I look at Doc differently now. You don’t look at your coach as trying to hurt you. Obviously, we all want the same thing — to win — so whatever he’s telling me or telling the team, it’s for the betterment of the team, and you have to take yourself out of it and look at it from a team aspect.”
Brian Kamenetzky: “Do you think you were hard to coach earlier in your career?”
RR: “I still am. It’s not that I’m hard to coach; it’s just that I may challenge what you say. I know the game myself. I’m out there playing, so I may have seen something different versus what you saw from the sidelines. I’m going to be respectable. I’m going to let the coach talk. Me and Doc talk all the time; it’s just different dialogue. We’ve built to that relationship, and I’ve been fortunate to play for Doc for seven years. If I have any questions, he’s pretty much got all the answers. And if he doesn’t, he’s always honest with me. I wouldn’t rather play for any other coach.”
There you have it. Rondo isn’t the easiest player to coach, and yet he and Rivers have built a working relationship. All the more reason the Celtics must be weary of Doc’s strange comments about his future in Boston.
Enough about basketball. Let’s get to Rondo’s true passion: Connect Four. In a “Bobby Fischer style” game between Rondo and his two interviewers, we’re treated to this amazing exchange with the four-time NBA All-Star.
|Doc Rivers on Celtics return: ‘I’d rather not say’||06.10.13 at 10:49 am ET|
Pressed by The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn on his looming decision about returning to the Celtics bench for a 10th season, Doc Rivers wrote in a text message over the weekend, “I’d rather not say.”
Last month, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told The Globe Rivers would return for the third season of a five-year, $35 million contract, but Rivers is yet to confirm Ainge’s statement.
Meanwhile, Rivers continues to oversee pre-draft workouts in Waltham and work with Ainge on the team’s offseason. Still, five weeks after telling reporters in the aftermath of a Game 6 loss to the Knicks, “I’m coming back until I say I’m not,” Rivers’ unwillingness to confirm his return has led to rampant speculation.
Is this tied to the June 30 decision on Paul Pierce‘s contract? Or Kevin Garnett‘s own looming decision? Would Rivers really hold the Celtics hostage as big-name coaches find work elsewhere? All valid questions.
Asked if he would address his future in the coming weeks, Rivers told Washburn only, “Soon.”