After the Celtics beat the Bulls in an epic first-round playoff battle in April, Boston PG Rajon Rondo was hailed as Boston’s point guard of the future. Multiple triple-doubles (and a series-saving flagrant foul on Brad Miller) in a playoff series will do that sort of thing for a young player.
(Rajon Rondo, seen here being a terrible human being.)
Nobody got that message to Danny Ainge, however. The Celtics GM has spent a good deal of time since then throwing his young star under the bus; in fact, these days you just need to stick a mic in Ainge’s face and he’ll start telling you how terrible of a person Rondo is. With only one day to go before the crazy swap meet that is the NBA Draft, Ainge was at it again on Boston radio. Hey Danny - if the goal is to actually get something for your star PG via trade, you’re DOING IT WRONG.
Ainge went on WEEI to either engage in one of the more Macchiavellian motivational tactics in recent memory or drive down the trade value of his point guard, depending on how you look at it (and these are the only two ways). BOSTON.COM has some choice quotes:
“We expect him to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”
Ainge was also critical of Rondo’s play during the Celtics’ second-round loss to the Magic.
“As we saw in the Orlando series, they left him wide open,” Ainge said. “His presence hurt us in winning right now because his man went and doubled onto Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and made it difficult for us.”
Oh, so not only is he late from time to time (THE HORROR), but the Celtics’ second-round loss to the Magic was Rondo’s fault as well. Ainge has apparently been talking about trading Rondo for some time, but to make comments like these just before the Draft Day feeding frenzy is pretty ridiculous. Not every player is a freshly-scrubbed BYU-educated angel (Moroni), but perhaps Ainge could try mentoring and guiding the kid instead of throwing him under the bus. If only he had a group of employees dedicated to things like, say, coaching. No, Doc Rivers doesn’t count.