Ford, Rush taken aback by Pacers' trade talk
By Mike Wells
Posted: February 20, 2010
NEW ORLEANS -- T.J. Ford didn't expect there was a possibility that he would be traded. Brandon Rush said he was "shocked" four times during a 40-second interview.
The two Indiana Pacers were caught off guard when they heard the team was working on a deal to send them to the Charlotte Bobcats for Gerald Henderson, Nazr Mohammed and D.J. Augustin on Thursday.
The deal fell through when the Bobcats pulled out about 10 minutes before the trade deadline.
"I was definitely more shocked than anything," Rush said. "I didn't see it coming. Nobody told me anything about being on the trade block. It was more of a shock."
Many of Rush's teammates thought he had been traded because he was running late for their 3 p.m. flight to New Orleans. It wasn't until then that he learned he was close to being dealt.
Team president Larry Bird has talked about having a core group of players to go with when they finally have some salary cap space.
Thursday's proposed deal shows that the Pacers aren't sure if Rush, one of the most talented players on the roster, fits into their future plans. Rush has had an up-and-down first two seasons. His inconsistent play has frustrated many in the organization.
"I know (I can get traded) down the road because it's part of basketball," Rush said.
Ford was on his way to the airport when his agent called him and said the two teams were working on a deal.
"I didn't have too much of a reaction because I didn't anticipate being traded," he said. "I figured I'd be here for the rest of the year. You can look at it two ways. You can be upset or look at it as a good thing because that means people still want your services around the league."
Ford was so certain he was going to be traded that he was dancing around in front of his teammates with a big smile on his face before getting on the plane.
Almost being traded just added another twist to an already bizarre season for Ford. He has gone from starting to being benched to being back in the rotation.
"You look at the situation and understand the direction they're going," he said. "It's not anything I'm upset about at all. All my trades have been during the summertime and never in the course of the season.
"This whole season has been very challenging and I think I've dealt with everything that has come my way pretty good. I'm just going to continue to try and finish the season up strong."
Loading up on tickets
Pacers forward Danny Granger spent part of his time in the locker room before the game getting tickets for friends and family members in his hometown.
Granger came up with his customary 40 tickets, but it didn't cost him as much as usual. He only had to purchase a few tickets because his teammates helped out by giving him their tickets.
I would hope that almost getting traded would light a fire under Rush, but I didn't see any change in him against NO.
Also, I wonder if Ford was upset about getting traded or just putting on when he was dancing around in front of his teammates. Remembering his tweet, I'm of two minds. No one wants to have to move, but everyone likes another shot. I figure he felt both ways.