The Celtics introduce new players, Danny Ainge talks letting go of KG, Pierce
A new era
The Celtics held a press conference today to introduce their new acquisitions in the trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. Players Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans and Marshon Brooks were present, as well as GM Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens. Gerald Wallace could not make the trip due to a basketball camp.
Danny Ainge first addressed the trade itself, why and how it happened.
Ainge explained that Brooklyn was intent on putting a "dream team" together. He also relayed that they were really the only team that were serious contenders for Pierce and Garnett.
While he later admitted it was hard to trade the two Celtic legends, he confessed, "Where we were as a team, it would have been very difficult to be a contender."
That statement very much aligns with something Ainge said soon after the Celtics season ended, when he told WEEI that the team was more than one player away from a championship. That quote right there should've given you an indication that this team was bound for a rebuild. With Doc gone to LA, that became pretty much a certainty.
When asked about the subject of trading these new players, Ainge said that he envisioned them all being around, but admitted there could be some changes coming. The Celtics had too many guaranteed contracts, something Ainge recognized as a problem. It will be very necessary for them to make a trade and Humphries is a likely candidate, as Mike Dyer broke down here.
As for the players, both Marshon Brooks (who Ainge admitted he shouldn't have traded at the draft) and Keith Bogans were cordial while Humphries seemed as if he thought he would be traded at any point. At one point Humphries just answered with, "Yeah basically all those cliche comments... I'll save you some time."
Speaking out of turn with the media won't do you any favors in Boston, Kris Humphries, just ask your new teammate Rajon Rondo. However, Humphries later told the media that he gets the impression that he will be staying.
Rondo of course came up in conversation, specifically the Rondo-Humphries fight from early last season. While some actually cited that incident as a reason the Celtics might not trade for Humphries, the 10-year forward brushed it off saying that the media made it a bigger deal than it was. Ainge and Humphries even joked about the fight as Humphries referenced the Horry-Ainge towel incident from the 90s and Ainge accused Humphries of flopping.
The players were also asked about the fact that their old team is being talked about as a championship contender, while the Celtics are in a rebuilding mode. That's something that the impressive Bogans took issue with.
"It's going to be motivating, said Bogans. "Seeing some of the comments from the media that we're going to throw this season away."
Bogans emphasized that this team will play hard to earn the respect of the fans.
"I'm coming here to win," he said later. "If I get the vibe that's not everybody else's attitude here, I'm gonna have an attitude."
Sure enough, there will be some more tweaking of this roster before the summer's over. Ainge admitted as much. While players like Bogans and Sullinger are avoiding talk of the words "tanking" and "rebuilding", that is very much what the Celtics are doing. How that will effect this team under the leadership of new coach Brad Stevens as the season progresses should make this an interesting season.