Danny Ainge is as busy as ever. When he's not building the Celtics current roster to make a run at Banner 18, he's building for the future. Recently, he's also had to massage the ego of Rajon Rondo, who was involved in trade rumors.
Ainge sat down with Comcast SportsNet on media day to discuss what he's been up to lately.
ON RONDO'S REACTION TO TRADE TALKS
I think that feelings get hurt and there's emotions involved when your name gets bandied around in trade rumors, unfortunately. I talk to the players about this because every player is involved in trade rumors, as Ray Allen was a few years ago. I try to be as open and honest as I can with them with what's happening. It's just the world we live in now. You're name is going to be mentioned whether it is or not. Whether you're actually involved in trade rumors or not.
Rondo and I had a long talk, I've had many conversations with his agent, and I feel like Rajon is in a very good place.
ON WHAT HE DID DURING THE LOCKOUT
The lockout I've obviously gave as a chance to really spend more time in preparation of the short offseason and evaluating. Even though we weren't able to talk to players and agents, we were able to talk to other teams. One of my jobs during the lockout was to get an idea of the value of some of our players. What were my options, depending on what direction we wanted to move?
I was able to find out some of those things. You'd be surprised that most of those decisions are really easy to make. You don't even have to consider some. There are other trades that are a little bit enticing or intriguing. We still believe in our guys and these are the best opritons we have.
ON HOW THE SHORT SEASON WILL AFFECT THE C'S
Doc Rivers and I communicate all the time anyway. It'll be Doc's choice who he wants to play, but you have to anticupate a 15-man roster utilized more than in the past. You can't establish an eight- or nine-man rotation through this kind of schedule. And anticipate there will be days off. It's wiser for our veterans to have days off. And we need to rely on our bench and even inactive players to get us through the day on many games.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- When it comes to finding ways to attract the best talent, colleges and universities often seek to upgrade their training facilities as an enticement to prospective players.
So why should it be any different at the pro level?
The Boston Celtics had a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning for The Auerbach Center at New Balance Headquarters.
“When you think he was hired in 1966 and they’re still honoring him, it’s very humbling,” said Randy Auerbach, Red’s daughter.
New Balance officials echoed similar sentiments about the legendary Red Auerbach, the architect of arguably the greatest dynasty in professional basketball.
“Red Auerbach was a true entrepreneur whose passion for winning and dedication to the sport of basketball and the Boston Celtics was equally matched with his commitment to people and his local community,” said Jim Davis, Chairman and Owner at New Balance. “New Balance is extremely proud to join with the Boston Celtics in honoring his professional achievements and personal values through ‘Red’s House’ at our Boston world headquarters.”
Celtics president Rich Gotham cited several benefits to moving the team to a state-of-the-art practice facility closer to Boston.
Among the reasons given was the potential for the practice facility to be a potential enticement for free agents.
“Players spend more time in the practice facility than they do in the arena they play in certainly, and maybe more than they do at home,” Gotham said. “So having a place where they feel comfortable, a place where they want to spend time to improve themselves across the board … it’s all coming together in a pretty big way. The best players know it’s integral to their success that make sure that support is there, that infrastructure is there. So when we’re out talking to a player, we’re going to be talking about this practice facility we’re building. Because we do think it’s an important part of our story.”
Some of the features of the new practice facility will include:
· Two state-of-the-art parquet floor basketball courts where the team will practice
· Leading edge audio-visual technology throughout the facility
· Expanded strength and conditioning, training, and recovery facilities
· Best-in-class locker rooms and players’ lounge
· Physical therapy areas including hydrotherapy pools
· Sports science and nutrition facilities
· Expanded media work room, press conference and broadcast facilities
· A flexible hospitality area designed for community relations activities, partner gatherings and other guest events
· Work space for the team’s coaching and basketball front office staffs
While the facility will have all the bells and whistles you would come to expect in a new facility, Gotham said there will be a balance of sorts struck between that and the franchise’s longstanding history.
“What will be clear is it will be … at that intersection of, which is a strange intersection, of innovation but honoring our tradition,” Gotham said. “This will be a building that’s state-of-the-art, moving forward. But at the same time, I think one of the things we’re lucky to have is this treasure trove of great guys who came before us who left great wisdom and great quotes. You can see a lot of that built in. Coach Stevens is big on having motivational phrases around for the guys to see every single day when they come in for practice. If those come from Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, all the better. You’ll see us incorporating those kind of things.”
BOSTON – One way or another, R.J. Hunter or James Young was not going to be a Boston Celtic by the end of the day Monday.
The Celtics made their choice by waiving Hunter just hours before the NBA deadline to trim their roster down to 15 players.
Hunter began to show signs of coming around near the end of training camp, but his improved play would eventually be too little too late.
This is certainly good news for Young, who like Hunter, made it clear that he wanted to remain with the Celtics. But it by no means should be seen as a victory for Young who is entering his third NBA season.
The 21-year-old is now part of the 15-man roster, but it still doesn’t address the issue of him playing better to where the Celtics might actually use him with some degree of regularity.
If not for Kelly Olynyk’s shoulder injury, which will keep him out of action until next month, there was a decent chance that Young would begin the season on the inactive roster. But to Young’s credit, he showed a level of dedication to the game that the Celtics had not seen before. He spent most of this past summer in Boston working on his game, trying to get physically stronger. During the preseason, his level of commitment to improving was noticeable as well.
And when he did get a chance to play in the preseason, he did a lot of little things really well, showing the kind of improvement that ultimately put him a leg up on Hunter whom the Celtics drafted last year with the 28th overall pick.
If Hunter isn’t claimed, he becomes an unrestricted free agent who can then sign with any team of his choosing. Do not be surprised if Hunter is claimed off waivers by a team which then assigns him to their Development League affiliate, similar to what the Celtics did with Ryan Kelly over the weekend.