BOSTON – With trade rumors abound and the Boston Celtics’ “tanking” label evaporating by the hour, everyone outside of the front office claims to be in the dark. Brandon Bass denied to comment on the rumors to CLNS Radio, but Courtney Lee was happy to talk.
"I only know what y’all know," Lee said before facing the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. "It’s part of the game. It happens. I’ve been involved in trade rumors my whole career so I don’t pay attention until it happens."
Lee is used to being traded, as the rumored deal for the Houston Rockets’ disgruntled center Omer Asik involves Brandon Bass, an up-in-the-air first round pick, and Lee.
"It’s the NBA. Some people live on the move, other people stay put," he said. "Whatever happens, happens."
Lee was then asked the subtly leading question of whether he enjoyed his time in Houston. With Rajon Rondo bizarrely hovering behind CLNS Radio’s Jared Weiss, posing as a reporter, Lee stopped and thought for a second before answering. Rondo walked away jokingly yelling how ridiculous a question it was.
"They ask me about everything!" Lee laughed. "That’s what I told them. My mind is on Detroit tonight, preparing for the game. I like how you tried to ask that question. It was a good question."
Meanwhile, Brad Stevens knows as little as Lee does, as the coach said before Wednesday's game, "I haven’t talked to Danny. Danny took off [Tuesday] and [that was] the last time I talked to Danny. He didn’t have anything and I haven’t talked to him since."
Stevens, being a rookie coach, stays out of the trade fracas that has enveloped the basketball world every December 15th.
"It’s why you have a front office, it’s why you have coaches," he said. "My job is to coach the team and I’m trying to do that as well as I can. Those guys are giving us everything they have. That’s going to be our continued focus.
Just like anything else, until I talk to Danny or until I get something substantial from ownership or management, I just have to maintain status quo and stay as is. I think as hard as it probably is for our guys to do that -- it’s probably really difficult -- they also understand that it’s just the world we live in."
Lee understands that better than anyone else. Dealing with the trade rumors has become easy for him.
"I've become a pro at it. You get used to it after a while, and you go and do your job. Again, it's part of being a professional - I get paid to play basketball, so I just have to show up and have the same mentality, whether I'm here or somewhere else."
Regardless of where he is tomorrow, Lee will still be eating his peanut butter and jelly pregame sandwich with a smile.