EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 6, 2013

Celtics coach Rivers denies trade rumors

Associated Press
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — WALTHAM -- A frustrated Doc Rivers yesterday called the recent trade rumors swirling around the Boston Celtics’ stars “silly” and driven solely by the media.

“All from [the media],” the Celtics’ coach said of trade rumors. “None from us. Really. I would like to say that. Sometimes I like [the media], sometimes, some of the stuff that happens is just silly. It really is. When I wake up in the morning and I hear a trade rumor that I haven’t heard in my office, that’s silly, and that’s what happens.”

Rivers continued: “I heard one report -- I honestly did -- that me, [Los Angeles Clippers guard] Chauncey [Billups], Kevin [Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] had dinner. And I was like, ‘I wish I would have known about it. That would have been terrific, because I would have made them pay and I could have had a free dinner.’

“But it’s just silly what goes on. And I don’t think it’s honestly [the Boston media]. I think someone can sit behind a computer and write something. The problem is, now you guys have to actually report it, which you shouldn’t do. But you do, and it becomes an issue.”

The hottest rumor making the rounds was the Clippers taking an interest in acquiring Garnett, a deal sources told ESPN had not been discussed by the two teams. According to a Sporting News report, the Clippers would send Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Boston as part of the deal.

“Well [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] made it very, very obvious since day one, since he brought Ray Allen and myself here to be aligned with Paul [Pierce] that he was going to do whatever is best for this organization,” said Garnett, who can block any deal with his no-trade clause. “He’s always made that apparent, so I’ve always understood that. I bleed green, I die green, that’s what it is. But it is a business and when that crosses the paths, I deal with it. But trades are a part of this league. Every year you’re going to hear certain things. If I were y’all, I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

Garnett went on to explain that it’s common for trade rumors to pop up around this time of the season, with the Feb. 21 trade deadline less than three weeks away.

“It’s part of the year, All-Star [Game], right after All-Star you start to hear things, and some of it’s chatter, some of it’s real, and you just have to be able to block certain things out, be able to play through certain things,” Garnett said. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. It’s out of your control a lot of time. The things you do control, you control those -- your play, obviously family, and if a situation comes up where you have to move, then you get ready for it.”

Pierce maintained that trade rumors don’t bother him, noting that he’s always just preferred to let things play out.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to it,” Pierce said. “Whatever happens just happens. It’s going to play out the way it’s going to play out, just like in the draft. When I got drafted, it played out the way it’s supposed to play out. So things of that nature really don’t bother me. It has no effect on how I’m going to perform, how I’m going to practice, how I’m going to approach each and every day.

“I’m taking each day day by day. I’m enjoying it, I’m enjoying my teammates, and like I said, whatever happens, it just happens. It’s out of my control.”

Rivers said he’d be surprised if the current roster is different from the one that will be in place at the end of the season, saying that the biggest discussion he and Ainge have had was about the San Francisco 49ers’ loss in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“Yeah, I would be [surprised]. but, again, you don’t know,” Rivers said. “But the fact that Danny and I have only talked about how [49ers quarterback Colin] Kaepernick should have run a couple times in the fourth quarter tells me where we’re at right now.”