Sean Grande and Danny Ainge both appeared on the Toucher and Rich show this morning, and while no announcement has been made yet, it seems pretty obvious that this is going to happen.
I’m conflicted on the move to this particular station, which has shown itself to be Celtics-hostile in the past, particularly in the afternoons. Does getting the radio rights change their tune? I doubt it.
I’m convinced of a couple things regarding this Celtics team. These will both go against what is largely being said elsewhere in the media.
1) This team won’t tank. They will not be as bad as people seem to think they will be. They definitely will not be a contender, but they will be at least on the fringes of the playoff hunt. A .500 record is not out of the question. There is too much talent on the roster for them to be among the worst teams in the league. They will struggle early, without Rondo, and a new coach and system and players, but they will not bottom out.
2) Rajon Rondo will not be traded this season. It just doesn’t make sense.
Bill Belichick was in top form yesterday in dealing with questions, both at his press conference at Gillette Stadium and on his weekly interview on WEEI with Salk and Holley.
In what is becoming a pattern, Albert Breer attempts to grill Belichick on a question everyone knows will not get answered, and the coach shoots him down.
Q: How close was Rob Gronkowski to playing yesterday?
BB: I don’t know. He was inactive.
Q: Did he have a shot to play?
BB: He was inactive.
Q: Going into the day, was there a chance he’d play?
BB: He was inactive for the game.
Q: What about Danny Amendola?
BB: He was inactive too.
Q: I know they were inactive.
BB: They were inactive so they didn’t play.
Q: I think you have an idea how close they were.
BB: Well, they weren’t able to play. What do you want, percentage points? They couldn’t play.
Q: Going into the day, did you know they couldn’t play?
BB: They were inactive.
Q: That doesn’t answer my question.
BB: They were inactive, it’s as simple as that.
Then on Salk and Holley, Belichick seemed like he could just not fathom a question put to him from Michael Holley, who should know better. Ian Logue put together a partial transcript of the interview, which was just an abomination.
Holley started by asking about how Belichick always talks about what an opposing team does well, even if they’re a bad team.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: “I get the sense that if you, name the team, if it’s the worst team in the NFL, no matter what the circumstances are, I get the sense that you would find a way to say something good about that team or to think what that team does well. Is it simply you’re preparing for that team’s best even if they haven’t shown it?”
BILL BELICHICK: “Well, of course, you always prepare for your opponent’s best. I mean, what else would you prepare for? Do you think they’re going to come in here and turn the ball over eight times? I mean, you don’t prepare for that. You prepare for a team to come in here and play their best football against you, and how are you going to play your best football against them? That’s a competition every week. We can’t control how they play, but we expect them to play well and we’re going to prepare for them to play well. That’s what our game plan is going to be based on is the things that they do well and what we’ve seen them do well.”
MH: “You expect them to play well even…I’m not saying this is the case of the Bucs, but some teams haven’t played well. But you still expect it when you play them?”
BB: “Of course. Why would you think they wouldn’t?”
MH: “If they haven’t done it…”
BB: “So what? That doesn’t mean anything. They’ve done something…I mean, they’ve done something. Things that they’ve done well. Doesn’t mean that this week they can’t do a lot of things well if they’ve shown that they’ve done things in spurts or in one phase of the game or another. I mean I think it would be irresponsible to coach a team and tell them, ‘Ok fellas, the team that’s coming in here is not going to play well, so we should expect them to play a bad game so why don’t we play one that’s just a little bit better than their bad game? I think that would be totally irresponsible. I can’t imagine any coach ever doing that. I mean, I couldn’t imagine that, so I wouldn’t know how to prepare a team the way you’re talking about. I couldn’t even fathom that.”
A minute or so later, Belichick really put the hammer down on Holley:
MH: If you’re playing a bad team, I mean, it’s tough to say, ‘this team is capable of doing X, Y, Z, when the team is, let’s say you’re playing…
BB: “Yeah, like when we were 12-1 and went down to Miami and they were 1-12 or whatever it was? And they beat us Monday night in ’04? Is that what you’re talking about? Like it couldn’t ever happen? Like what game are you…I mean, what game are we talking about here? I mean, I just don’t understand it. I think it’s…to me, that’s just the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever heard of. I can’t even fathom it.”
The only thing I can possibly think is that they somehow did this on purpose to get Belichick going and create shock value and entertainment. Michael Holley cannot possibly be this dumb. He just can’t. With two books on Belichick and the Patriots under his belt, there is just no way in the world he can possibly think that these are good questions.
The only redeeming part of the interview came afterwards when Mike Salk got Belichick to talk about Lawrence Taylor. That’s the way to salvage any Belichick interview, I guess. Ask him to talk history.