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Danny Ainge on Big Show: ‘I like this team much better’ 12.23.10 at 5:11 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show for his weekly Thursday appearance and noted that he doesn’t think this season’s Celtics team will have the same kind of letdown as last season’s squad.

“I think this just a better team,” Ainge said. “I like this team much better. I like the depth better. I feel more more confident in this team and what we’re capable of doing. Last year we came very close. I feel like us at all positions. We’re playing now without Delonte [West] and Rajon [Rondo], which makes it very difficult, and we’re still finding ways to win.”

The key for Ainge is that injuries haven’t affected Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett as they did last season.

“I think last year’s regular season, we didn’t play with a lot of resolve, but we also had more injuries to more key players,” Ainge said. “Paul and KG weren’t near the same and both of those guys are having great years.”

To hear the whole interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Here are more highlights from the interview:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ainge on Big Show: No Doc decision yet 06.23.10 at 6:06 pm ET
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Danny Ainge appeared as a guest on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon and touched on a number of topics swirling around the Celtics, including his own future. Here are some highlights:

ON RUMORS HE WOULD GO TO PHOENIX

Ainge said the Suns have not approached him about their general manager job. “I have a contract [with the Celtics] and I love what I’m doing and the people I working with. We have things to accomplish here. That is just a rumor. It has no substance.”

ON DOC RIVERS

“Doc has not made a decision. I know everyone wants to speculate but the reality is he has not made a decision. I don’t want him, personally, to make a decision too soon.”

“Doc and I spoke yesterday and the day before and today. We don’t talk necessarily about his decision, we’re just talking about the team and different things. Doc is taking his time and he’ll take some time with his family this weekend. He’ll make some decisions, I believe, probably by next week or shortly thereafter.”

Quick take: The Celtics can afford to wait. Ainge said Rivers is not very involved in the draft process. The longer this plays out, the better the chances are for a return. Ainge also said he would take his time if he needs to hire a new coach and that he wouldn’t rush to hire a replacement. “I don’t think it needs to be done quickly,” Ainge said. “It needs to be done right.”

ON KEEPING THE CORE OF THE TEAM TOGETHER

“We had lots of conversation that revolved around Ray [Allen] at the trade deadline, but we felt like our team could win. I feel like this is still a good team and has another run in them.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Danny Ainge on The Big Show: We’re going to try to do something 02.10.10 at 5:24 pm ET
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Danny AInge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge joined Glenn Ordway and The Big Show to talk about trade rumors, Kevin Garnett’s health, what he thought about while watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run and more trade rumors.

There have been new trade rumors since the last time we talked. What about this Glen Davis to Charlotte rumor? Any truth?

Any truth to what? That he’s going to Charlotte? No.

Any truth to it?

None. I haven’t had any discussions with Charlotte.

You have had zero conversations with Charlotte?

Right, I haven’t had any conversation with Charlotte. There was speculation that they were looking for 4 and we were looking for a backup [point guard]. People try to put things together, but I have not had conversations. I like the player mentioned in the trade rumor [D.J. Augustin] but we like Glen Davis a lot, too.

The fact that rumors get out there, do you get more calls from other teams when rumors get out there?

Well, there’s so much media people so there’s so many distractions. People from the media try to verify every rumor.

No, that’s not what I meant. Other teams?

No, it does not instigate more calls. Maybe something bigger might, but no. It has not.

What was your feeling watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run? Did it disturb you?

Yeah, it’s frustrating to watch because it didn’t feel like we wanted to fight through it. The NBA is a game of runs. When a team is hot that’s one thing. But when you’re giving up easy baskets and then not doing what it takes to execute. You’re not paying the price. We all go through offensive droughts during the course of game but I just didn’t feel like there was any fight in getting back in the game. I think our guys are resting on their past experiences and think they can turn it on and win games. I’m not saying they’re making conscious decisions to do that, but that’s just the way it appears. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ainge on The Big Show: Trade rumors fiction 01.27.10 at 5:24 pm ET
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Danny AInge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics boss Danny Ainge joined Glenn Ordway and the gang on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon to talk about Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett’s return, trade rumors and his long-term philosophy.

On Glen Davis wanting to change his nickname: Did this upset you guys in the front office?

Why would it upset us in the front office? First of all, this guy and all the players, there are people around them constantly. It’s why I don’t think players should Twitter or Facebook, there are so many things said on the spur of the moment that aren’t thought through. I don’t think there was anything he meant. Maybe he just thought he should change his nickname and it becomes a huge story. It’s incredible to me. I know Glen. I know his intentions. I know where his heart is and what his goals are. I just think it was blown completely out of context.

Why engage this after getting fined [for the Detroit incident]?

My thing is why would you ever want to bring attention to yourself when things aren’t going great. Glen is a funny guy. He’s an outgoing guy, he’s a very spontaneous guy and I think that, not making any excuses for him, of course that wasn’t a great thing to say, but it doesn’t change how we feel about him. We just know his personality and those kinds of things come out of him. I don’t think he has any selfish motives by doing it, or things that go against the grain of the team, it was just not the brightest thing for him to say.

He hasn’t played as well this season, obviously the injury had a lot to do with it, but he hasn’t seemed as bouncy and funny when he’s talking to the media. Away from the press, is he the same personality?

Yeah, he’s a good personality. He’s happy when he comes in every day. he puts his work in. I think he was humbled by the whole experience. I think the difference is, he hasn’t had a chance to play. You don’t get that rhythm. He was getting 15 and 7 last year in the playoffs. I’m very confident that if something happened to one of the guys ahead of him in the rotation and he was put in a position to play the minutes that he did last year he would produce every bit like he did last year, if not better.

You’ve had Kevin Garnett back for a few games. How has it worked out?

I think probably better than we expected after a guy was sitting out for a while, from being rusty and having his timing off. He’s been making shots, and making big shots for us down the stretch of games. You see the energy that he brings to our defense, and just the accountability and confidence he gives to our players when he’s on the court. It’s every bit as important as his production. He’s been huge, and health-wise he’s good. He looks great in practice. He’s still obviously not as bouncy as he was two years ago, but he’s better than he was last year and I think he’s better today then he was in training camp. Read the rest of this entry »

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Danny Ainge on the Big Show 12.17.09 at 5:20 pm ET
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Danny Ainge joined the Big Show for his weekly call. He talked to the guys about Rajon Rondo’s maturation, Paul Pierce’s growth and the plan for Glen Davis to return. Ainge also told the guys that the Celtics had internal discussions about Allen Iverson, but that the timing wasn’t right.

The team keeps rolling on, so all that hoopla and fear when the team struggled for a week is all in the rear-view mirror now?

The team is playing well and we’re still not on all cylinders. We’re not playing great, but we’re finding ways to win and I’m happy with the way the tram is playing. I like our team chemistry and I think Doc [Rivers] is doing a magnificent job with the guys. We saw Rasheed really coming along and fitting in and getting into the low post and doing some damage. Our defense has picked up recently. We’re still not rebounding the ball well enough, but the team is doing well.

Let’s talk about Rajon Rondo. You defended him earlier in the year and you thought he was doing better than [we] thought. He seems to have more confidence in his shot. Do you see him expanding his game?

Rondo, the shot, I don’t really think that much about it. I like that he’s taking it with confidence. I like it when he’s playing free. For me it’s so much more. Arguably he’s the most valuable player on our team.

Notice you said that after you signed him.

Right. You know what? I’ve been saying that since we signed him. He’s playing as good these last 10 or 12 games or so as he’s played in his career.

Getting back to the shot. It’s not a huge concern because of all the other things that he does. But the fact that he’s taking it, is now forcing teams to play him a little bit differently. Make sense?

Well yeah, but I’m not sure they’re going to play him differently until he makes it consistently over a sustained period of time. First, the alternative of him shooting shots instead of taking it to the rim because he’s so dynamic going to the basket and getting in the paint, running along the baseline and creating havoc. So, I think it’s not just because he doesn’t shoot the ball great from the outside that teams play him the way they do. They’ve got to prevent him from getting into the paint and penetrating on their defense. Teams will continue to play him like that. His confidence will grow. He’ll have really good shooting stretches, not so good shooting stretches, like most shooters.

I’m just excited about how hard he’s playing. He seems so confident and so in control. There seems to be a trust with him and the players and with Doc. Maybe the contract situation freed him up and he’s maturing a little bit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Danny Ainge on the Big Show 11.18.09 at 5:31 pm ET
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Danny Ainge joined the guys on The Big Show to talk about the rumored three-way trade that was just a rumor, the media’s incessant rumor-mongering and his team’s recent lack of consistency (CLICK HERE for complete audio interview). There’s also some good Stephon Marbury talk later on. [Edited in spots for clarity].

Lets’ get right to it, right off the bat. We keep hearing about this three-team deal, lay it on us, what’s going on?

Ainge: We have nothing going on.

Are you telling me that the media making this stuff up?

In the media there are people who are more concerned with breaking news then they are with writing truth and writing real history. It’s the competition of who breaks the story first, and I have a feeling there’s people with motives that are trying to get their player traded from another team. That’s why this story gets out.

Were there any conversations with any of these teams at all?

No.

You haven’t had any conversations with any of these teams?

No.

So, is it possible that an agent with a media person would have their own reason for doing it?

I think that happens a lot. There’s some person who will call some person in the business to get their input. That input spreads from person to person to the next thing you know a story comes out and there’s no validity to it. There’s so much of that that goes on. I spend so much of my time talking to reporters that are calling to see if this stuff is true.

Do you have to deal with the agents and players on the other side when something like this comes out?

That’s the easier part. Players get it. They understand the business. I’ve been very honest with my players. I’ll answer any question they have to see if there’s any validity to any of the rumors. It’s not just our team. There’s things that I read almost daily that I know for a fact aren’t true. Read the rest of this entry »

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Danny Ainge on the Big Show 11.04.09 at 5:30 pm ET
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Danny Ainge joined the guys on the Big Show to talk about the Celtics hot start, Rajon Rondo’s new contract and what was up with the league’s investigation of the Rondo-Chris Paul tiff from Sunday. Ainge also had some interesting things to say about Allen Iverson, the 2010 free agent market and whether winning 72 games is even a concern.

Here’s the slightly-edited for clarity transcript:

On the team’s fast start:

Ainge: It’s been great, our defense has been excellent, and our shooting, we’ve been making shots every night. It’s been Paul [Pierce] plus one, or Paul plus two or three guys. I think we can even play better.

Did you expect out of the gate that the bench players would be playing significant minutes and playing the same as your first team?

The only surprise has been Glen Davis not playing and Shelden [Williams] stepping up and he had a couple of double-digit rebound games and three double-digit scoring games. So that’s been a big boost for us. As far as everybody else, I knew there would be games when Rasheed [Wallace] would be hot and Eddie [House] would be hot. Marquis [Daniels] is just a good solid, player. He can defend and pass. I guess I expected that. I also think our starters can play better than they’re playing, so that’s very encouraging. Read the rest of this entry »

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