The Celtics are really committed to telling you everything’s fine

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The Celtics have been in trade rumors, progressively more and more as the weeks have gone on and finally on Friday, they snapped a little bit and went on a media binge to try and quell talks about Rarjon Rondo. Danny Ainge essentially went on every outlet in the Boston area and blasted the idea. And the Boston Herald followed up with Rondo about it.

“I’m doing all right,’’ Rondo said. “Like they say, it’s part of the business. I’m happy just playing basketball. I’m happy with the guys they have surrounded me with, the coaching staff. Other than that, when I’m on the court I’m just focused on winning and just having fun while I’m doing it.’’

Rivers and Rondo have both acknowledged past troubles with their relationship, but said it is vastly improved.

“It’s good to hear [positive words] come from the head coach, but some great opportunity might come out and [a trade] may happen, but you never know,’’ Rondo said. “Obviously, that was big of Doc to come out with that statement. That meant a lot to me, but I know the relationship we have.

via Rajon Rondo, Celtics move on from trade rumors – The Boston Globe.

Doc Rivers, also pretty mad.

“I don’t mind any rumors that are true,’’ he said. “I do get upset when it’s not true or in my opinion sometimes news is created and then people report on the news that they created. And when that happens, I’m not real happy with it.

“So in this case and in the [Pau] Gasol case, that’s two already, I haven’t been real happy with it because there’s no truth to that.

“The Gasol rumor was even crazier. That was just ridiculous. I don’t know where it came from. When that kind of stuff happens, it bothers you because it’s being created by somebody outside of your touch and you can’t do anything about it.’

via Rajon Rondo, Celtics move on from trade rumors – The Boston Globe.

The problem is that teams assert these rumors come out of nowhere. Which it’s easy to say. “A reporter completely made this up.”

So to bear that out, a reporter for a major media outlet decided that the best thing to do would be to fabricate a trade rumor which will die in 24 hours, risking killing his or her own career in order to generate page views for less than 24 hours and losing their job. That makes sense.

The Celtics are clearly shopping everyone. That’s the plan. They’re not aggressively calling trying to dump players. But they’re open to talks and will continue to talk with teams about what they can do. Things can be great with Rondo. The talk won’t end until March 15th.

The trade deadline is 12 days away.

Vanessa Bryant suing helicopter company after crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant and Gianna Bryant
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Ever since Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash last month, we’ve been seeking answers about what went wrong during the flight piloted by Ara Zobayan. After all, Kobe Bryant had made helicopter rides such a normal part of his life.

Now, Vanessa Bryant – Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother – is suing the company that operated the helicopter for wrongful death.

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times:

The complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. alleged that pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was “negligent.”

“Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit said.

Report: Ben Simmons back injury “isn’t a day-to-day thing”

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the back injury for Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons “isn’t a day-to-day thing”.

Simmons missed the Sixers first game following the All-Star break on Thursday. He then left Saturday’s game in Milwaukee after playing just 4:44.

Over the weekend, Philadelphia ruled Simmons out for Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and said he would undergo further evaluation. Per Wojnarowski’s report, that evaluation is ongoing and a course of treatment is yet to be decided upon.

Expect Philadelphia to lean on Raul Neto, Alec Burks and Shake Milton as primary ballhandlers while Simmons is out. None possess the size and skill combination of Simmons, but all have had moments throughout their careers. Neto drew the start in place of Simmons on Thursday. Burks was acquired at the trade deadline to give the team much-needed bench depth. Milton has flashed at time in his second season, after beginning his NBA career on a Two-Way contract.

Philadelphia loses Simmons while in a battle with the Miami Heat for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The fifth-place 76ers are 1.5 games behind the Heat for the fourth seed, and two games ahead of the sixth-place Indiana Pacers.

Pacers: Jeremy Lamb suffers torn ACL, torn meniscus, fracture

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Kobe Bryant making two free throws after tearing his Achilles was one of the greatest moments of his legendary career.

On a day Bryant was honored, we learned Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb made a similarly gutsy pair of free throws during Indiana’s loss to the Raptors yesterday.

Pacers release:

During the second quarter of the Pacers game at Toronto on Sunday, Indiana Pacers forward Jeremy Lamb sustained a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, a torn lateral meniscus and a lateral femoral condylar fracture.

He will undergo surgery on a date to be determined. He will be out the remainder of the season. Any further updates will be provided after surgery.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamb misses all of next season. This is just a devastating set of calamities.

At least Lamb has a guaranteed $10.5 million salary each of the next two seasons.

Indiana (sixth place, 33-24) will have an even tougher time winning a playoff series now. The Pacers could challenge in the first round, but they’ll almost certainly be significant underdogs.

They have depth at shooting guard, for what that’s worth. Victor Oladipo just returned. Justin Holiday is a solid reserve. Finding his lane at point guard, Malcolm Brogdon can move off the ball when T.J. McConnell or Aaron Holiday plays point guard.

Michael Jordan braces for return of ‘Crying Jordan’ meme after Kobe Bryant eulogy (video)

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The NBA just held All-Star Weekend in Chicago, where Michael Jordan starred for years with the Bulls. Jordan wasn’t a visible part of the festivities, though. He just prefers to remain out of the spotlight.

Yet, Jordan spoke at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service today. That’s how important Bryant – whom Jordan described as a younger brother – was to Jordan.

Jordan even addressed the elephant in the room – that he was reproducing the “Crying Jordan” meme. Thank goodness for another laugh amid the tears.