By MyFM's Jake Archer - There have been some smaller tidbits of Celtics news lately that I wanted to get to in a quick rundown rather than fleshing them out in a bunch of different articles. Let's see what we have...
Danny Ainge Backtracks On Hayward "Setback" - Last week, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the media that Gordon Hayward had suffered a "setback" during his recovery from a fractured ankle. This week, Ainge set out to clarify that statement after he felt it got blown out of proportion and taken a bit too far. Gee, the media and fans in Boston blew something out of proportion? That doesn't sound like us! Obviously, the Hayward saga (or Haywatch as some of been calling it) has been a huge topic of conversation around the Celtics and the NBA in the past few months. I've written about it here as well and tried to figure out just what is going on in his rehab process. Will he be returning? If so, how ready will he be? Does it even matter? These are all questions that have been floated around while everyone tries to read into everything that Hayward or a member of the Celtics says or does.
Anyway, Ainge told the Boston Herald that he didn't mean what he said because Hayward simply felt some soreness after using a specialized treadmill for the first time. He said that "setback" was a poor choice of words and took the blame for causing a stir around the situation. Look, I love Danny Ainge. He's a great GM and he tries to be pretty candid with the media. It's refreshing at times to hear him say more than what someone in Foxboro might, but less than someone on Yawkey Way. He usually handles himself well, but I would agree with his own assessment that he does sometimes talk too much. Regardless, it is good news that Hayward seems to be doing well but I still stand by my thought that he probably shouldn't be returning this season.
The 2008 Team Continues To Feud- After Ray Allen jumped ship and joined LeBron James in Miami, the fans in Boston felt wronged. We soon found out that it was not only the fans however, as players like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce made it clear that they felt betrayed as well. A feud developed between Allen, his former teammates and the Celtics fans. This lasted for a long time with several shots being thrown by each side over the course of the years. Finally, with the team gearing up to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their title together, it seemed like things might get patched up. Paul Pierce was extending an olive branch to Allen so that all could be forgiven and the 2008 title could be celebrated in the right way, together.
Even when Allen didn't show up to Pierce's jersey retirement ceremony, I didn't blame him. It would have taken some of the focus off of Pierce on a night that was his and it was best for him to just stay away that day. Recently however, Allen has been promoting a new book that is set to release in a week. In the book, Allen talks about several situations that he says happened during his career with the Celtics and he seems to be intent on trashing his former teammate, Rajon Rondo. It's no secret that Allen and Rondo had their problems in Boston so this doesn't come as much of a surprise, but Allen seems to be burning that bridge down between himself and the Celtics once again.
Paul Pierce commented on some of the details during an appearance on ESPN's "The Jump." Pierce backed Rajon Rondo and said that "it's a little disappointing that this stuff is coming out about our team because as much as I would love to mend the fences with everybody, I hate to see this and hear this right now." He was referring to a story from the book in which Allen alleged that Rondo told the group of himself, Garnett and Pierce that he "carried them to the 2008 title." Obviously, that would be ridiculous and Pierce said that he remembers Rondo saying this, but about the 2010 season, when he says Rondo really did carry them to what was almost another title. Allen also alleged that Rondo was almost traded for Chris Paul in 2011, but then Celtics coach Doc Rivers decided not to do the deal because he "didn't want to do that" to his friend Monty Williams in New Orleans. Rondo responded to all of this by ripping Allen and saying he "just wants attention" and "wants to stay relevant." Even if all of this is true, I'm with Rondo and Pierce because Allen had almost worked his way back into the good graces of the fans and more importantly men that he accomplished a major goal with, but yet he had to go and ruin it again. Good luck with that, Ray!
Could Isaiah Thomas Make A Boston Return?- On Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas decided to do a little Q&A session of Twitter with his fans and followers. When one person asked him if he would consider a return to the Celtics this offseason as a free agent, IT simply replied with "anything can happen." This just goes to show how bad of a year Thomas has had because if he came back to Boston it would undoubtedly be in the role of a sixth man and he would not be getting a "brinks truck" full of money. In fact, I doubt the Celtics are even going to be interested at all in bringing Thomas back, so this is all probably a moot point.
Personally, I love the thought of IT as an elite scorer off of the bench. That was always where he was best suited to be and if they could make that all work then I would be all for bringing back "the little man." It's just crazy how Thomas was so bitter after being dealt and has now seen just how bad other situations around the NBA are again. He'd already been around a few times prior to joining the Celtics and experienced little success and now he must really be thinking Boston is the place for him. We'll see.
Marcus Smart Confident In A Playoff Return- After undergoing successful thumb surgery on Friday, Marcus Smart sounds confident that he will return to the court this season to help the Celtics in their playoff run. A hand specialist in New York had advised he have immediate surgery with the hopes that he could return before the six to eight week window that the Celtics previously announced. Smart had his hand completely wrapped on Monday night at his annual bowling fundraiser but he spoke about how "excited and eager" he is to get back out there "sooner rather than later." Though he had a complete ligament tear and could have played through it without doing more damage, he was advised to get it fixed now because he could be back sooner than he thinks. The surgery was a success and he had one of the top hand doctors doing it, which is expected but still good news.
The team will need to continue to take care of business without him and not rely too much on his coming back. If they get him back, it'll be an extra boost for them and that could be invaluable during a grueling run through the best teams in the league.
Some Discipline To Dole Out- On the current team, Marcus Morris was fined $15k by the NBA for "verbal abuse" on an official following the loss at New Orleans Sunday night. On the 2008 team that we spoke about earlier, there was a player by the name of Glen "Big Baby" Davis who was apparently arrested in a Maryland Hampton Inn last month on drug possession and distribution charges. Apparently the hotel called the police after they smelled Davis smoking marijuana in his room and the cops did indeed find 126 grams as well as $92k in cash. Davis, for his part, posted on his Instagram and refuted the story.
That's it for the notes. Enjoy the Celtics game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder!