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Sports

June 26, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Rondo appears to be staying put

Once again, the blowhards ruled in Boston. Once again, perception wasn't reality. At least for now.

The NBA draft came and went last night. And despite speculation that point guard Rajon Rondo would be dealt, he's a Celtic today.

So is former Tennessee-Martin shooting guard Lester Hudson, the 58th overall pick and Boston's only selection. It was, all in all, a boring evening.

"What are you guys doing awake?" Celtics executive director of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ainge shrugged in a post-draft conference call.

Sure Boston picked up the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Hudson, who averaged 27.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season. Hudson, who'll turn 25 in August, was the second-leading scorer in the country to Davidson's Stephon Curry.

But Ainge knew he'd be answering more questions about Rondo than about his new acquisition.

To recap briefly: this week the C's GM made comments on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan about Rondo's need to "grow up" and cited the point guard's tardiness during the season as "unacceptable."

Celtics fans got nervous. Talk radio pounced. Media outlets across New England and beyond questioned Ainge's motives. Was he going to trade Rondo?

Ainge said no.

"It made for a better story," he said. "But I don't think I've said anything I haven't said before. We're not trading Rondo. We love Rondo. He's not perfect. He's a young player."

Then, he added, "And we don't like it when you're late."

Zing.

I guess that's just Ainge. He's a needler who wants to make his budding star better. He also understands the rumor mill, which around here, is never without grist.

"There was many rumors that had my head scratching a little bit," Ainge said. "Most of them are either made up or completely distorted or three weeks late."

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