(It’s 3:30. The Clippers are still on the clock.)
Sometimes the news gets better for a team even when it’s not doing anything. Case in point: The Hawks.
While the Hawks have positioned themselves for a chance to build into legitimate contender status in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the recently dethroned-champion Boston Celtics could be sliding down. They were hurt by injuries and were bounced in the second round of the playoffs by Orlando. But they’re also getting old, and now they’re sniping at each other.
You probably heard rumors earlier this week that Boston was soliciting trade partners for point guard Rajon Rondo. I didn’t think much of it until general manager Danny Ainge went on a Boston sportstalk station Wednesday morning and – while shooting down the rumors – said Rondo needed to “grow up” and become “more of a leader” and “his presence hurt” the Celtics against Orlando.
(Let me just take a timeout for a brief editorial: Danny Ainge is a punk. We now resume.)
So. You didn’t really think the Rondo-Ainge battle was going to end there, did you?
The player’s agent, Bill Duffy went on radio station WEEI and fired back, saying, “I’m just surprised that Danny is speaking, even if he considers it constructively, in a public setting [about Rondo]. I don’t think that it’s appropriate to say that about one of your top players. Even if it’s spoken constructively, I don’t think it should be done in public.”
But I guess this means its OK for an agent to go on the radio and rip a general manager who ripped a player.
Duffy told the Boston Globe that Rondo’s “tough love for Danny isn’t necessary. He’s self-motivated and a self-starter.”
We’ll let you know if anybody’s wife or mother or sister goes on the radio to stand by their man.
Starting to feel better about things?
HOT NEW RUMORS!
Actually, there are none. I hate cheap page view tools. But here’s a few fresh notes:
♦ Golden State may not be done dealing. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Warriors have spoken with Phoenix about acquiring Amare Stoudemire for Andris Biedrins and the No. 7 pick, but that coach Don Nelson is defusing the rumors.
♦ The Lakers have sold their first-round pick (29th overall) to the New York Knicks for a second-rounder and $3 million. L.A. is trying to limit its luxury tax hit. The Knicks reportedly are looking at Miami guard Jack McClinton.
♦ Josh Smith HAS NOT been traded! But he has been selected as one of 25 NBA players to participate in USA Basketball’s national team mini-camp in Las Vegas in July. The three-day camp will culminate in an all-star game July 25 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Former Georgia Tech player Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia) also was invited to the camp.
♦ A worthy Twitter from the website HoopsHype: “If you thought the NBA was rooting for a LeBron vs. Kobe Finals this year, how’s [it] going to be next season with Shaq also in the mix?