With rumors swirling around the Celtics for the past few days, even with the trade deadline more than two weeks away, the name of the game for Doc Rivers before today’s practice was diffusing all the recent trade talk. The media fired a barrage of questions at the C’s head coach, which Rivers tried to throw cold water on as far as rumors go, while also leaving the door ajar for some potential moves in a way Doc only can. What can you say, the guy knows how to tip toe well around tough questions. Here are some of the highlights:
Thoughts on all of the trade talk lately?
“None [of the trade talk] is coming from us. Really. I would like to say that. Sometimes I like you guys, sometimes, some of the stuff that happens is just silly. It really is. When I wake up in the morning and hear a trade rumor I haven’t heard in my office. That’s silly. That’s what happens.”
How do you handle the rumors with the guys on the team?
“I don’t address it. I really don’t, 99.9 percent of the time, because some of it is so silly. It’s just silly what goes on. Someone can sit behind a computer and write something. The problem now is you guys have to report it. You shouldn’t but you do, and it becomes an issue.”
How do guys deal with trade rumors and focus just on the games?
“Fortunately for our guys, a lot of them are veterans they’ve been through the drill, they know how it is. What’s changed in my time as a coach is that it used to be factual. Now someone can say something, they can create the news and they can report on the news they created and I think that’s pretty silly.
What do you want to happen to this roster?
“I like our roster.”
How tough is this time of year for the younger players?
Does it affect guys? “It depends on each individual guy. I thought it affected Ray a couple years ago. Some guys could care less. Some guys it affects, so you never know.”
Paul Pierce has been through trade rumors so much and he says he just lets it roll off his shoulder…do you find that’s what most guys do?
“I think that’s honestly most of the league now. I think in our era when a trade was discussed you would get nervous. Nowadays you can’t believe half the things you read or hear.”
Have you thought about what the Celtics might be like without Paul Pierce?
“No, it’s silly to think about so why think about it.”
Based on the your comments, is it safe to say you’d be surprised if this wasn’t your unit at the end of the season?
“I would be surprised if this wasn’t the team at the end of the season, but you don’t know. The fact that Danny and I have only talked about the Super Bowl in the past couple days and not anything else tells us where we are at right now.”
Remember the key words at the end of that sentence. Right now. The trade deadline is not yet, and the team is playing well so nothing is happening at the moment (that Doc will admittedly know about). However, as we’ve discussed here at the Hub, there are still plenty of potential moves to be made. They won’t necessarily involve Pierce or Garnett, but despite Doc’s latest denials, I doubt the next two weeks will be quiet on the C’s trade front.