Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said Rajon Rondo might be uncoachable and Danny Ainge said the point guard's patience might need to be addressed at mid-season! What does it all mean? Is Rondo getting traded?
No, because these comments don't tell us anything that we don't already know. Celtics fans are chomping at the bit to make "trade Rondo" jokes, and these out-of-context quotes give them that ammo, but it shouldn't. It's really a whole lot of nothing.
"Yeah. It gets old. We just live in a world with media when someone makes a comment and everyone thinks there's a bit of truth to it," said Ainge when asked by 98.5 The Sports Hub if he was tired of answering questions about Rondo. "I don't know how many times we need to refute it. I don't know how many times in eight years we have to say that he wants to be here."
Oddly enough, all this talk got started not because of a bad media rumor, but because Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told WBZ's Dan Roche that Rondo is "super stubborn" and "might be in the bottom 50 percent of coachable players."
But Wyc also said Rondo's a "good kid, loves doing charity work, loves being in Boston, is a real quality guy, and is super smart." Sometimes it's best to read beyond the headlines.
"Absolutely," said Grousbeck when asked if he'd like to keep Rondo. "It's intangible. You just watch him -- he played through a broken elbow, a ripped knee. He's a gamer and a competitor with world-class talent."
As Ainge pointed out on The Sports Hub, the Celtics will need that kind of world-class talent to draw in other potential star trade targets or free agents.
"You need a player of that kind of cache to draw players to come and play with you," explained Ainge. "As we talk, I know there's been a lot of discussion about how guys don't want to play with Rondo. That's a bunch of garbage. When we talk to free agents, guys want to play with Rondo. He's a pass-first point guard and one of the top point guards in the game."
Ainge previously told media that Rondo's patience might need to be addressed at mid-season, but that's only because he has a deep desire to win, as he later explained in his radio interview.
"We have to be a good enough team for Rondo to want to stay with us or it's gotta be a situation where he sees some hope, obviously." Added Ainge, "And right now I know he does see hope in this team."
But we already knew this. The Celtics would obviously prefer to keep Rondo, who pre-injury was in the same league as players like Chris Paul, but there is no guarantee things go as planned. Situations can change and where the Celtics are come February might be a lot different than we imagine them now -- for better or for worse.
It's not easy to predict so far in the future; the organization can only plan that far ahead, but even that's hard. And right now, the best-case scenario in their eyes is a future with Rondo. They have consistently been forward and honest about that
And if things don't go as planned and Rondo loses "hope" in Boston's future, then Ainge will need to address that. Whether it's through words of encouragement to Rondo, or even a trade that sends him to a winning environment, it'll be something that is in the best interest of both sides.
"Rondo and I have a great relationship. We've been together for eight years now. We talk all the time. He knows exactly what I think and I've been very honest with him when trade talks have been serious," said Ainge. "But he also knows when it's garbage. I don't feel like I need to talk to his people. I feel like he can tell him how he feels, and I can talk to him and tell him where he stands."
Until something actually happens, it's all garbage. Maybe it's time to start listening to Danny Ainge.