Mayo reflects on almost becoming a Celtic

961783.jpg

Mayo reflects on almost becoming a Celtic

BOSTON O.J. Mayo doesn't give much thought to trade talks, so he has no idea exactly how close he was to becoming a Boston Celtic near the trading deadline last spring.

But this summer when he hit the free agent market, he says the C's were indeed one of the teams in the hunt for his services.

"There was definite interest in talking to them (this past summer) and seeing what we could work out," said Mayo, who instead signed a two-year deal with a player option for the second year, with the Dallas Mavericks this past summer.

Mayo isn't about to play the "what-if" game, but it's clear that the pace in which he wanted to make a decision this past summer and C's timeline for adding players, was not in synch.

"I don't think we moved as fast as they would like and they made some other signings," Mayo said. "It's all good."

As fate would have it, the C's desire to add a player quickly on the perimeter netted them Jason Terry whose departure from Dallas created a need for the Mavericks who later added Mayo.

Mayo has indeed benefited from a change of scenery and to an even greater extent, a more prominent role with the Mavericks.

He has emerged as one of the league's top scorers this season, averaging 20.8 points per game which ranks 10th in the league.

Mayo has been even more lethal from 3-point range where he's shooting a league-best 53 percent with many contested in large part because Dallas is playing without its franchise big man Dirk Nowitzki (right knee).

He is having the kind of season that makes it more likely he will opt out of the second year of his contract that currently pays him 4 million a year.

While Mayo says he has not given any thought to next summer when he could potentially be a free agent once again, he has given it enough thought to not rule out any team - even the Celtics.

"At the end of the day you want to be in the NBA and play for any city," Mayo said. "Obviously Boston has championships, great fan base that it has, history that it has, brings some extra excitement. At the end of the day, I'm blessed being in the NBA playing for any team."

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 

PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 17

On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.