Danny Ainge got together late yesterday for his usual weekly interview with Salk and Holley on WEEI-FM in Boston. Ainge covered a array of topics in the Q and A, including calming concerns about the seriousness of Garnett’s injury, the recent up-and-down Celtics play and the officiating comments by LeBron James after his Heat loss to the Bulls last week. Here are a few of the highlights (with an assist from Greg Payne at ESPNBoston.com)
On Garnett’s injury: “Kevin has inflammation in his foot. It’s much better today than it was yesterday and I think he just could use some rest. On top of that, KG has just little nicks, bumps and bruises, that could use some healing time as well. He’s got a sore calf muscle as well. It’s just good for him to take some time off and get fresh. But the biggest concern right now is the inflammation in his foot.”
On whether this injury will be anything like his 2009 knee injury that keeps him out for much longer than expected: “The difference between 2009 and today is Kevin needed surgery in 2009. It was inevitable. But the thought was that if he gets surgery, he’s done for the year, or can he play until the end of the year and then get surgery at the end of the year? And there was hope that that could happen, that he would be able to play. And it was just inevitable surgery. And he wasn’t going to damage it anymore, it was a chip or a fragment behind his knee that needed to be removed.
“And so right now that’s not the case with KG. I don’t think that surgery is inevitable or we need to get through the year and he’s going to go in for surgery right after the year. That’s the difference between (2009) and now. He has inflammation in the foot. There’s soreness, there was swelling — the swelling is going down — and we think two weeks is a more than sufficient time for that to heal and we just want him fresh and ready to go.”
The highlight of the interview however, was towards the end when the discussion turned to LeBron James’ recent comments about officiating
On LeBron James complaining about officiating and tough fouls: ”I don’t think either one of those were flagrants, and I think the one — LeBron against Boozer — was flagrant, yes. I think the officials had it right… I think that it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
I know I am going to sound like a homer here, but I need to echo Danny’s comments here. Were there some hard fouls Wednesday night? Absolutely. Borderline flagrant? Maybe. Given the playoff intensity of the game though, that can’t come as a surprise.
James is a straight freight train on offense. When he gets going to the rim, with 270 pounds behind him, there’s little you can do to stop him, much less protect yourself from a knee to the chin or chest. The Bulls didn’t try to hurt LeBron on these fouls, they just wanted to make sure he didn’t get the shot up. That’s smart and tough basketball, not dirty basketball. LeBron can’t have it both ways if he wants to be able to drive recklessly to the basket.
In any case, this was a fun jab for Ainge to get in on LeBron while he could. And as CelticsHub alumnus Zach Lowe put it to me on Twitter, let’s hope Danny doesn’t start advocating for the enforcing of moving picks or the three-second rule on defense.
You can check out more in the interview from Ainge by CLICKING HERE