WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge downplayed the notion that a rocky relationship with point guard Rajon Rondo played any factor into coach Doc Rivers' decision to move on to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ainge was asked about Rondo and a recent report that there had been a potential physical confrontation between the two. Ainge dismissed the report as old news and suggested it was unfair to attach Rondo to Rivers' departure.
"The report that came out a couple days ago, that was two or three years [old] -– wasn't it old news?” asked Ainge, seemingly referencing a well-documented incident during a film session a couple years back in which Rondo had an outburst. "[The media] had all reported that over two years ago. That was old news, so that’s completely unfair. Rajon Rondo had nothing to do with any of this."
A couple other leftovers from Ainge's meeting with the media on Tuesday evening:
* Power move? As part of his coaching deal with the Clippers, Rivers will get the additional title of senior vice president of basketball operations, which will give him power in regards to personnel. Ainge said Rivers never asked for more say in personnel moves in Boston and detailed their coach/GM relationship. "Doc did have a lot of power [in Boston]," said Ainge. "We always sort of viewed our relationship as such that Doc was my top assistant in team personnel, and I was his assistant coach in basketball. That’s just how it went. I’m guessing that Doc, based on the title he got in LA, will have some more say in LA, but that did not ever come up as an issue here."
* Did C's get enough for Doc? Ainge kept it light when asked if the team got enough in compensation for Rivers by bringing back an unprotected 2015 first-round pick. "I was asking for two picks for myself, and they weren’t going to do that, so we settled for one for Doc," quipped Ainge. "I think compensation, it’s an unprotected pick, you never know what could happen. There’s been all sorts of circumstances that happen in our league and an unprotected pick is very difficult to get in our league. The most likely scenario is that it will be a pick in the 20s, because I think the Clippers are going to be good," for the foreseeable future.