Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mac Attack

I'm not one of those who admires Jackie Macmullen, who seems to be widely regarded as the dean of Boston sports 'journalism'.  I see her as a mouthpiece, as someone who is used as a conduit for folks in power  in the Boston sports world, who have  messages to convey to the public.  Really, I see almost all journos and near journos this way.  They are pretty much all part of a giant, clanking PR apparatus.  Jackie?  She is at or near the apex of the journo pyramid, so when she speaks out, someone important is probably sending a message.

Today, on WEEI radio, she finally weighed in on Rondo's status:
I really believe Rondo is going to be traded I have no reason to think he isn't going to be traded other than finding the right place
I'd say that this is probably as close as one can get to confirmation that Rondo is a step away from a seat on the Ainge Express, without hearing it from Danny himself.   Admittedly, Jackie was, I think a former confidante of The Ring Chaser, and while she doesn't seem to be much of a Rondo fan,  she does seem to be a very enthusiastic Smart fan  -- so perhaps she's just indulging in a little wishful thinking here.   I'd say it's more than that, though.

Rondo hit the news with his own riposte today.   The Globe's Baxter Holmes discussed Rondo's future with him, and I'd say that Rondo's  talk of wanting to stay in Boston sounds more pro forma now, while his enthusiasm for free agency seems to have  bit more juice in it...

Rondo was asked if he could envision himself being a free agent who, like Anthony, toured the country to be wined and dined by several teams.
“It just depends,” Rondo said. “I don’t know if I’m going to do 10 teams. I may do a lot. I don’t know. It’s kind of like college all over again, with recruiting, only times 50 because they have a ton of money to throw at the guys and they don’t have any restrictions on what they can do. No [NCAA] rules.
“But I haven’t even watched TV. I don’t want much TV. I’ve been traveling a lot, spending time with my kids. I don’t even know what’s going on with free agency, who’s traded, who’s not. My assistant will text me and let me know what’s going on, but I don’t really get into it all. Everybody is different, situations are different. Who knows what I’ll do next year? I’ll know when I get there. But if I don’t get a text message saying I’m traded, I don’t even really know what’s going on.”
 Rondo re-iterates his trust in Danny, in Holmes' piece, but to me, this comes off as nothing more than a Rondo version of Danny's and Stevens' comments that they still plan to go forward with Rondo.  Basically, everyone is trying hard to say the 'right things', and it seems that  any bridge-burning between the Celtics' brass and Rondo will have to wait until after the dominoes fall, starting with Lebron's Decision II.  I'll say this, though:  you can be sure that as soon as the trigger is pulled, and Rondo is gone, the stories about how awful Rondo is will find their way out of the woodwork and in to the media, likely with a lot of help from Jackie Mac.   Meanwhile, Rondo seems to be playing his cards as best he can, trying to control where he ends up by emphasizing that he is looking forward to free agency and wants max money, and that he wants to be wooed;  this may ensure that any team that trades for Rondo will  be a team that believes that it can offer Rondo a basketball environment that is attractive to him.  It could be Rondo's way of saying to teams that are trying to trade for him that they need to talk to Rondo too, and not just to Danny, if they hope for more than a year rental. 

All this could reverse itself.  Somehow Rondo has stayed on this team through a career dogged by trade rumors.  The Ainge Express is nearing the station, though, and Rondo seems to be waiting with his bags packed.  Where to?  Where will the next chapter of the story begin?


  1. I think it's been really obvious, though, ever since the Cs spent their hard-earned (via tanking) draft choice on a pg that Rondo is not in the future plans of the team.

  2. No plans for Rondo. I don't see Smart as a "Smart" pick.