Remember that whole fiasco last summer — Rajon Rondo plus agent versus Danny Ainge?
It’s not over yet. Well, sort of.
Back then, the situation was messy because Rondo was entering the final year of his contract and the Celtics had yet to make him an offer to stay that he couldn’t refuse. Amidst the drama, Ainge made an appearance on WEEI and was asked, "Why the holdup?"
His response? Something about Rondo being too immature and needing to do a whole lot of growing up.
Obviously, Rondo wasn’t happy, and neither was his agent. They were in the market for a big contract, and the last thing they needed was a diatribe from the GM that questioned Rondo’s dedication to the game.
Somehow (possibly because this is the Celtics we’re talking about, and let’s face it, nobody gets fired up about Celtics drama the way they would about Red Sox drama), the commotion died down. Rondo got his deal early this season — a five-year extension worth $55 million.
But still, nobody has completely forgotten about Ainge’s stinging words.
And that’s what we have head coach Doc Rivers for. He is there to clarify. Sure, Rajon Rondo is moody. Sure, he’s stubborn. Sure, he’s tough to deal with sometimes. But hey, he’s a good person. And he’s good at basketball.
And that, my friends, is what really matters.
“Rondo’s a good kid. That’s one thing people don’t get. He’s a stubborn kid, a moody kid. He’s all of these things, but I’ve dealt with a lot of kids so far in coaching who were like that, and they weren’t good kids. That’s the saving grace for him — he’s a good kid, and he wants to do right, so I’m not concerned by the times he’s stubborn and immature. He’s still young.”
–Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, in The Boston Globe Magazine, on Rajon Rondo's development
“I’m certainly not unsympathetic to what he’s gone through. … [But] we’re in the second month of the season now. We’ve been on the ice for two months. Somewhere along the way, whether it’s extra work on the ice, in the gym or everything else, you’ve just got to work your way through it. It’s up to him to work through it. He’s got to find his game and work through the glitches he seems to have right now.”
—Bruins head coach Claude Julien, on NESN.com, on David Krejci’s lack of production
“I don’t think I ever believe I’ve got it figured out because I was never the best athlete. There were always guys picked ahead of me. No matter how much you win, you don’t forget that. I don’t believe I’m very good. If I don’t put the work in there, I don’t believe I’ll be very good. That’s how I’ve come to see it.”
—Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in the Boston Herald, on the attitude that has helped him win three Super Bowls in New England
“It was [Peyton Manning’s] third year in the league when I was a rookie [in 2000], and [in 2001], my first start came against the Colts. Peyton came over on our field and said, ‘Hey, I’m Peyton Manning.’ I said, ‘No [expletive].’”
—Brady, on NESN.com, on meeting Peyton Manning for the first time
"This is his show, not mine. You got to take care of your crop. If you don't, when it comes time to harvest, you're not going to make no money because the crop is no good. That's that."
—Browns running back Jamal Lewis, in The Associated Press, on how head coach Eric Mangini is working the team too hard and it is counterproductive
"This free-agent talk is getting old. It's getting old, and I think I'm going to stop. [This] will be the last time I answer any more free-agent questions until the offseason.”
—Cleveland forward LeBron James, in the AP, on the media frenzy over his impending free agency
"For the record, it's two hours. That's the facts. That's the reality of it. It's two hours a day. Less on Friday."
—Browns coach Eric Mangini, on ESPN.com, insisting that his practices are not excessive
"If we get the right package, we'll make the trade. It would be awfully narrow thinking of me to turn down the best offer because of the fact it came from within our division. Now, if we had a strictly apples and apples offers for [Roy] Halladay, one from Boston, one from another team, it would not be Boston. If we made a deal, we owe it to our fans to obtain the best deal possible."
—Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, in The Boston Globe, on the possibility of Roy Halladay being traded to Boston
“This is permanent. It's something that will be there always. It’s not like giving an autograph or a jersey that will fade or go away. It's permanent.”
—Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss, in the Beckley Register-Herald, on refurbishing his former high school athletic facilities
"You don't mess around with the integrity of the game. It's not a matter for jokes. Chad crossed a line there, and I told him he has to understand that. I think he does now."
—Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, on ESPN.com, on receiver Chad Ochocinco’s fine for facetiously bribing an official during a game
"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon. There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first. … I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I'm starting a petition, and I've got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it."
—James, on ESPN.com, on why he will no longer wear the No. 23 next season
"This is the greatest event of my life. It's nine years in the making, and we owe it to Kate Hudson."
—Yankees fan Chris Sessa, in the Globe, attributing New York’s World Series victory to actress Kate Hudson, girlfriend of Alex Rodriguez