Doc: 'We'd rather stay where we're at'

703814.jpg

Doc: 'We'd rather stay where we're at'

SAN FRANCISCO You can add Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers to those who breathed a collective sigh of relief when the trading deadline passed and the Celtics didn't make a single move.

"Obviously, there were conversations as always," Rivers told Comcast SportsNet shortly before the team departed for Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday afternoon. "There were more calls coming in, then were going out. Just none of them made sense. We like our team, and we'd rather stay where we're at."

Rivers spoke of the ever-growing camaraderie and resolve that the Celtics have shown through what has been at times a tough and tumultuous season.

"It's just a good group, a good group to coach," Rivers said. "And the future will say how good we are as a basketball team."

Even though the trading deadline has passed, that won't prevent the C's from continuing to search for more frontcourt help, something Rivers acknowledged was at discussed often with other teams on Thursday.

"If we could have gotten a big, we would have gotten that," Rivers said.

The sticking point for the Celtics and most NBA teams looking to make a deal, centered around how to handle first-round draft picks.

"The way everyone is projecting this draft to be so strong, so no one wanted to give up picks," Rivers said. "And all the deals from everybody had that in mind."

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, made it clear that any interest in the Big Four would require teams to give the C's a package that would have to include a future first-round pick.

"(Other teams) were interested in our better players; that's easier to say then names," Ainge said. "But they weren't offering what we wanted. We just like our guys."

Still, Rivers and the Celtics still have an eye towards adding size to the roster.

A number of players were waived on Thursday to create roster spots for other players acquired via trade. Among them being former Celtic big man Chris Johnson, who was waived by Portland.

Rivers said the C's would certainly keep an eye out for any big men that become available either by being waived, or through a buy-out.

"Things like that, could happen," Rivers said. "But with the buy-out, you have to compete with other teams."

The most logical player for the C's to acquire via the buy-out process, is New Orleans center Chris Kaman.

He has been on the trading block for weeks, but the NBA-owned Hornets did not reach a deal.

"I would say if there's a big that's bought out and he looked at the roster, we'd be very attractive ... there's guaranteed minutes," Rivers said.

But if a deal can't be struck to add another big man, Rivers isn't overly concerned about his team's chances just as long as they can go into the postseason in relatively good health.

"If we started the playoffs playing the rotation that we have, we're good," Rivers said. "We only play three or four players anyway, as far as your bigs. Right now, we're doing that so we're good there. But if we can add another big, that would be nice."

Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

solder-gallery.jpg

Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

FOXBORO -- Patriots left tackle Nate Solder has been through a lot over the last few years. 

He battled and beat testicular cancer before the 2014 offseason and then went on to help the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl title. In 2015, he tore his biceps in Week 5 and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. Just weeks later after suffering that season-ending injury, Solder's son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor in his kidneys. 

A quiet leader in the Patriots locker room, Solder has used his platform with the team to spread awareness stemming from personal hardships in addition to serving as a prominent supporter of the Hockomock Area YMCA. For his devotion to helping those in need, and for the example he sets at his job and in the community, he has been named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner for 2016. 

Solder also participated in the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative wearing cleats to raise awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which gives financial aid to cancer patients and their families. He also supports The Fresh Truck, which describes itself as a mobile food market on a mission to radically improve community health.

Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Tedy Bruschi have also recently been named Ed Block Courage Awards-winners for the Patriots. 

The team's training staff, led by head trainer Jim Whalen and assistant trainer and director of rehabilitation Joe Van Allen, was also honored on Tuesday as it was named the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

"The annual award, named for the longtime head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts who demonstrated an untiring dedication to helping others, recognizes an NFL staff for their distinguished service to their club, community and athletic training profession," the Patriots announced in a statement. 

In the release, trainer Daryl Nelson and physical therapist Michael Akinbola are also credited with helping keep the Patriots healthy. 

Others, including head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera and team nutritionist Ted Harper, have a hand in keeping players at their physical peak. Combined, given the overall health of the roster this season, they've all had a hand in keep the team humming as it heads into its sixth consecutive AFC title game.