During his weekly appearance on the The Big Show, Celtics president Danny Ainge was asked for an update on the status of Delonte West. The guard was expected to make his return on Wednesday night vs. the Nets after missing the last 38 games with a broken right wrist, but he re-injured the wrist at practice on Tuesday.
"Delonte was hoping to play tonight, but he had a little bit of a setback," said Ainge. "He jammed his wrist yesterday, and he just has some pain in it. We're just not going to take a chance. We are probably going to hold him out him out after the break, or definitely hold him out until after the [All-Star] break."
The MRI taken Paul Pierce’s left foot and ankle earlier in the week came back negative. Ainge was asked if he thought it would benefit Pierce to skip this weekend's All-Star Game in order to rest.
"I think it [All-Star Game] is rest," said Ainge, who declined to pick between Ray Allen and Pierce in Saturday night's 3-point shootout. "You know, the All-Star Game is really just, they don't do anything. They go through a little practice and I'm not even sure they sweat in the practice session. It's more for cameras and TV than anything else … I'm not concerned about Paul. The MRI's they get for every little thing today, so I think Paul is a little banged up, a little sore. He will get his rest. I don't think the All-Star Game will interfere with that at all."
The Celtics beat the Heat last Sunday, and now own a 3-0 edge over LeBron James and company this year. While Ainge has been impressed with his team's effort, he is quick to note that Miami is still a formidable contender.
"I think that we haven't seen the best of the Heat yet," Ainge said. "We have something to do with that, I think out defense has been very good. But the Heat are still a very good team and we just haven't caught them on one of this nights when we've seen the best of them"
Celtics legend Bill Russell received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on Tuesday. In his speech honoring Russell, Obama was hopeful that a statue of Russell might someday be built in Boston. Ainge agreed with the President when asked for his thoughts on the subject.
"I'd love it," said Ainge. "Bill is the winningest and arguably best player in the history of the NBA. It'd be appropriate."
With the status of Marquis Daniels still largely unknown, Ainge may have to look to make a trade to land a small forward to back up Paul Pierce. With the trade deadline just eight days away, Ainge was asked if any deals were being discussed.
"First of all, we need to gather all the information on Marquis," said Ainge. "We're fielding calls, nobody seems ready to pull the trigger on anything. We have a competition meeting on Friday and have a chain to talk to people and then probably starting next Monday or Tuesday we'll start getting a little more serious about possible roster moves that we can make. Right now there's a list of about 15 or 20 different options and go from there over the weekend."
The final question for Ainge concerned the possibility of a return for Rasheed Wallace. All season long there have been rumors of Wallace perhaps coming back, but Ainge did not seem to endorse such a suggestion.
"My guess is that he's not in great shape and no I haven't had any contact with him," Ainge said. We're full of big guys, we have plenty of big guys."
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