WALTHAM - That statement Paul Pierce is about to make regarding his wishes for a trade? Don’t hold your breath, Danny Ainge said. In fact, Ainge said you can take all those rumors, stuff them in your pocket and forget about them, too.
WALTHAM - That statement Paul Pierce is about to make regarding his wishes for a trade?
Don’t hold your breath, Danny Ainge said. In fact, Ainge said you can take all those rumors, stuff them in your pocket and forget about them, too.
‘‘I think it’s fun,’’ said the Celtics director of operations, talking about the Pierce rumors, plus rumors of trades that the Celtics allegedly are pursuing. ‘‘The only annoying thing is that you guys (media) all have to think that they’re true and try to track me down and find out my opinions. Other than that, I think they’re kind of fun. What I think is really fun is that you guys believe them and that fans actually believe them. As far as the interest level, that’s fun.
‘‘Talk about the Celtics! We’re on a four-team trade that has never been discussed that’s imminent!’ And the next night they’re sleeping on a three-team deal that’s never been discussed. I don’t know who starts it, who spreads it. It’s pretty easy to spread and start stories now and people don’t have to have a whole lot of information to write what they write.’’
Regardless of whether the Boston media believes rumors which it doesn’t start, there has to be some follow-up in many cases, but Ainge said he doesn’t follow up with his players. Yes, he’s spoken to Pierce, but they haven’t discussed any upcoming trade demand.
‘‘I talk to Paul regularly, every week,’’ Ainge said. ‘‘I will just tell you that I talk to Delonte (West) and I talk to Gerald (Green) and I talk to Al (Jefferson) and I talk to everybody about all things. I’m checking up on them, how they’re feeling, what their workout plans are doing.
‘‘Those conversations come up with players all the time. They want to know what’s happening, and I have conversations with each one of them.’’
‘‘Paul’s in a great state of mind,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. ‘‘That’s another one of those reports where you think, ‘Where’d that come from?’ I’ve talked to Paul, Danny’s talked to Paul. I would say that’s as far from the truth from what I read, but it’s out there. We have to wait until training camp to figure out who we’re going to be, not just tomorrow or the next day or any time after that.
‘‘I am in his shoes. It’s not just Paul. Everybody wants to win, everyone wants the team to get better, and we’re trying to do that, but it’s not just Paul. It should be Al, it should be Tony (Allen), it should be me, it should be all of us.’’
If Pierce has expressed displeasure, Ainge said he understands. ‘‘Paul wants to win. It’s that simple. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon, or anybody with any intelligence ... a reporter, I should say, to be able to figure out that he wants to win. We all want to win, and we’re all trying to become a more competitive team. It’s just that simple. There’s nothing to read into it. There’s no new news about all this stuff. All players around the league want to win and players deal with it in different fashions and different ways ... so I don’t really concern my self with those types of things. I concern myself with trying to make us a better basketball team.’’
As for the rumors of trades involving Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shawn Marion, Ainge just laughs, saying he won’t discuss trades, and that any rumors do not come from him.
Asked how he thought Jefferson, the target of many teams, rumors or not, should take the talk, Rivers said, ‘‘Nervous in one way and he should realize it should be a badge of honor in one way. I think a lot of people see how good he can be. The old thing in our league is the better you become the more tradable you become. That should make him feel good in some ways. It’s not us calling around to trade Al Jefferson. I love Al Jefferson. Everybody knows how I feel about Al. There’s teams calling for him.’’
Ainge did say that he expects changes to his team will be made. ‘‘I expect to have our roster a little bit different from where it stands today. We’re gonna continue to look to do deals to make our team better.’’
Mike Fine pf The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.) may be reached at email@example.com .