Patriots

Ainge: 'No truth' to Rondo trade rumors

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Ainge: 'No truth' to Rondo trade rumors

Even if you've been living under a rock, you've heard the Rajon Rondo trade rumors.

"He doesn't get along with Doc Rivers," some say. "He has a bad attitude." Yadda, yadda, yadda . . .

But president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers did their best to put an end to all that talk today (but let's be honest, it'll never die).

Ainge spoke to multiple media outlets on Rondo, and to sum things up, denounced all the rumors and said that not only was Rondo not being "actively" shopped, he's thought of as a big part of the Celtics going forward.

"No truth," Ainge said on WEEI when asked if any of the recent trade rumors held any water.

"First of all let me jut say this, these things get out of control at this time of year. I think you guys know we are not actively trying to trade Rondo. We talked about it this summer we said no we're not trying to actively trade Rondo. And that's still the case.

"He's our best player. He's the most important player to our future it makes no sense."

So, Ainge isn't saying anything new that he didn't say prior to the start of the season when the Celtics reportedly tried to trade him for Chris Paul. The key word he's using is "actively".

He's not making the calls. He'll certainly take them -- after all, why not? -- but the idea that Rondo is this locker room cancer that is eating away at the team morale must be off-base.

"We are not looking to trade him. I've made zero calls to try to trade him, and I won't," Ainge said.

So where are all the rumors coming from then?

"I think it's just the world we live in going back a few months it's reported that Rondo is actively trying to be traded, which wasn't true but yet there's still lingering out there that it is true."

But surely the Rajon Rondo - Pau Gasol rumor that we've been hearing about for weeks is something, right?

"So the Gasol thing comes out no truth in that, that's never been discussed. There's no truth in any of that," Ainge said.

"The perception is we are trying to because there has been two or three things reported," Ainge said.

"We know what goes on in the media world. ESPN has all the media shows nobody called me to check up and see if it was true or not, and I'm not sure they care."

Ah yes, the old "credibility" issue. Is there such thing anymore? It seems that every day there's a new source and a new story, many times of which amounts to nothing.

A common one these days is just how bad a person Rondo is to deal with. But Ainge is quick to say that Rondo has only gotten better, so why would that warrant a trade?

Ainge said that Rondo has made "incredible strides" this season in terms of attitude, adding, "We all know that Rondo and Rivers had bumps in the road, but Rondo is getting better at that stuff. He's had his best year on and off the court."

He also makes the point that with great players comes the "diva" mentality. Does Rondo have it? Sure. But don't act like he's the only one who happens to be stubborn.

"I don't think that's fair. I think that he's stubborn and he's intelligent," Ainge said. "So with that there's higher maintenance, but I don't know a quality player that I played with that wasn't higher maintenance than your other players."

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

Patriots hit heights in altitude of Mexico City against Raiders

In a conference call last week, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio wondered if Sunday's game in Mexico City with the Patriots might show how two contrasting approaches to handling the altitude could impact the outcome. 

Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady made sure of it. 

The Patriots utilized a hurry-up attack during their first drive -- a 16-play sequence -- that tested Oakland's conditioning early. Who would handle it better? The team that spent the week training at altitude in Colorado Springs? Or the team that wanted to beat the effects of the altitude by training at sea level and traveling to Mexico City the day before the game?

PATRIOTS 33, RAIDERS 8

Judging by how Raiders rookie defensive back Obi Melifonwu asked to come out of the game, and seeing linebacker Nicholas Morrow doubled over on the sidelines during the series, the Patriots initially looked like the more well-conditioned club. 

Stephon Gilmore and Danny Amendola had to leave the game briefly because they were dehydrated, but the final score, 33-8, suggested that the Patriots were better prepared.

Brady certainly had no issues playing at Estadio Azteca. He finished the game having gone 30-for-37 for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 131.9. 

At various points, Brady's name was chanted at the stadium, which he said caught him by surprise. He recently watched the television copy of last year's Texans-Raiders game just to get a sense for what the crowd would be like, and he remembered hearing Raiders fans dominating the crowd.

"That was very much a surprise," Brady said of the cheers. "Especially since seeing some of last year's game; they were very pro-Raider. But it seemed like we had a lot of Patriots fans here too, so that was great to see."

Rob Gronkowski said that the interaction with the fans in Mexico -- which included walking from the locker room through the stands to the sidelines -- was one of the things that made the trip a memorable one. 

"We really didn't get to do that much, explore around or anything, but we got to interact with the fans and everything coming out of the tunnel," he said. "That was a cool experience, seeing all the fans go wild and everything, giving them high-fives, so that was super neat.

"I wasn't sure what to expect, never played down here. It was a great experience, though. The way the fans were interacting was actually unbelievable. They were super loud. They sounded proud, and it was just a great experience overall coming here. Having that type of experience definitely makes it worthwhile and awesome."

Stephen Gostkowski, who turned in one of the plays of the day with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the first half, was similarly grateful to play in such a unique environment. 

"It was just an unbelievable atmosphere," Gostkowski said. "The stadium was great. The fans were unreal. Just a fun experience. To have a hand in a win, see the excitement from all the guys, it was really cool."

"That was pretty cool," Brady added. "I've been around a long time so if you're a fan of the NFL, you've probably seen me at some point, but it's still an incredible experience to come here and play football and see the reception and hopefully there's more games here, and the game continues to grow, and other people get to see it in person and experience it because it's a game that I love and so do a lot of other people around the world."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Mavericks in Dallas. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's need to play Smart in Dallas

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE