Ainge: I've spoken to Rondo about suspensions

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Ainge: I've spoken to Rondo about suspensions

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics are gearing up for a Rajon Rondo-less game courtesy of a two-game suspension following an incident against Brooklyn this week - the third time in nine months.

Players being suspended is nothing new to the Celtics or any of the league's 29 teams. It happens.

But for a star player to be suspended so often, in such a short period of time, is a bit disturbing. Not only for its impact on his team, but also the potential impact on that player's reputation.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, acknowledges Rondo's suspension tally is high.

He has spoken with Rondo since the latest incident landed him a two-game suspension, but would not elaborate on any specifics regarding their conversation.

But it's safe to assume that the frequency at which his suspensions has come lately, was a topic of discussion.

"I think it's high," Ainge said of Rondo's rash of suspensions recently. "I just hope the next nine months is better. It's not good; there's nothing good about it. But I love the kid. He's a competitor, he's a warrior. He'll get it under control. I'm confident he will."

That competitive fire, which makes him such a good player and teammate, also fuels his rage when he feels a player - or officials - are wrong towards him, his Celtics teammates, or both.

But finding the balance between that competitiveness and not hurting his team, has proven to be challenging at times for Rondo.

"He's not happy with the fact that he's not there to help his team in the next two games, and the last game against Brooklyn," Ainge said. "Rondo is a very emotional player, he's a tough competitor. He realizes it's more important to play."

But as much as not having him around is at the central thoughts of both Rondo and the Celtics, none of them are naive enough to believe that something similar to this won't happen again.

"If it happens once in the next nine months, maybe that's progress, right?" Ainge said. "I don't expect Rondo will play the rest of his career and not go over the line emotionally."

A three-time All-Star, Rondo was suspended following an incident in the second quarter of Boston's 95-83 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday. In addition to tonight's game against Portland, Rondo will also be suspended for Saturday's game at Milwaukee.

Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

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Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina's national team.

Argentina and Messi lost a final for the third year in a row, with Chile winning the Copa America 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

His nation's career scoring leader with 55 international goals, Messi sent Argentina's first penalty kick over the crossbar.

Messi tells the Argentine network TyC Sports "the national team is over for me. It's been four finals, it's not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over."

Messi and Argentina lost to Brazil in the 2007 Copa final and to Germany in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final. They lost last year's Copa final to host Chile on penalty kicks.

The 29-year-old Messi has led Barcelona to four Champions League titles.

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

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