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Phil Jackson says he’d take Bill Russell over Michael Jordan

05.24.13 at 10:35 am ET
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Legendary coach Phil Jackson, on an interview tour to promote his new book, gave a surprising answer when asked which player in NBA history he would choose to start a franchise.

“In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell,” Jackson told Time magazine. “He has won 11 championships as a player. That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.”

Jackson coached Michael Jordan‘s Bulls to six championships and Kobe Bryant‘s Lakers to five more. In his book, “Eleven Rings,” Jackson compares the two, noting that Jordan was a better leader, shooter and defender. Asked which one he’d prefer to have on his team, Jackson played it down the middle.

“I would flip a coin,” he said. “Whichever one came up heads or tails, I’d take that person. They were that good.”

Read More: Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson

Report: Nets denied permission to speak to Doc Rivers

05.24.13 at 7:02 am ET
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The Nets asked to speak with Doc Rivers about their coaching vacancy but were denied by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, according to an ESPN report by Jackie MacMullan.

Ainge has said that he expects Rivers to return to Boston next season. Rivers has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract as part of an extension he signed two years ago this week.

“Doc has told me he’s coming back,” Ainge told ESPN Thursday. “I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward.”

Ainge would not comment directly about the Nets’ interest, but he acknowledged Rivers is highly regarded around the league.

“We know people want Doc,” Ainge told ESPN. “We know people want [Rajon Rondo] and [Kevin Garnett] and Paul Pierce. They are the Celtics. They’ve all had great success.”

Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers,

Jared Sullinger: ‘I’ll be 100 percent’ by September

05.23.13 at 6:43 pm ET
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As the Celtics honored hundreds of middle school students for their perfect attendance at Thursday’s 22nd annual “Stay in School” celebration at Northeastern University, Jared Sullinger shared the lessons he’s learned since undergoing the surgery to repair a lumbar disk that ended his rookie season in February.

“In life, it’€™s kind of different,” said the recently turned 21-year-old power forward. “Teachers give you a lesson and then the test whereas in life you get the test and then the lesson. I’€™ve learned that through this situation right now. I’€™m getting a test of my patience, my discipline … so I’€™m just learning the lesson now.”

The lesson in patience should be completed by the end of the summer. By his calculations, Sullinger’s 50 percent and on target to return fully healthy before training camp.

“It’€™s a 10-week process,” said Sullinger. “Every two weeks, we’€™re going to bump it up 10 percent. By September or October, I’€™ll be 100 percent to go full. About two weeks ago, I met with the doctor. He said it’€™s a full go. Our medical staff — [strength and conditioning coach] Bryan Doo, [head trainer] Ed Lacerte — we’€™re just taking it slow. You don’€™t want to go right into the pounding, so every two weeks it’€™s just 10 percent bumping it up.”

Sullinger averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes a night over 45 games as a rookie, eventually earning high praise from his teammates for his basketball IQ and a starting role in late January. When he does finally play for the first time since aggravating the injury four minutes into a game against the Kings on Jan. 30, he’s been told the medical issue that’s plagued him since his Ohio State days will be gone.

“Everybody says back with a question mark,” said Sullinger, “but you might as well put an X through that, because I had surgery, I’€™m taking my time and getting back right. There won’€™t be a reoccurring injury.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jared Sullinger, NBA,

Report: Celtics guard Terrence Williams arrested

05.20.13 at 9:38 am ET
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Celtics guard Terrence Williams was arrested Sunday for allegedly brandishing a firearm and threatening the mother of his 10-year-old son, according to multiple reports out of Washington.

On Sunday afternoon, during a scheduled visit to see his son in Kent, Wash., Williams and the woman argued in the parking lot of her apartment building, where he exposed the gun and made verbal threats, she told police.

The first-year Celtics guard’s father Edgar Williams and mother Sherry Jackson both spent time in prison, and his father was murdered shortly after his release from jail on drug charges in 1993, according to The New York Times (h/t SI.com).

The C’s signed Williams out of the Chinese Basketball Association to a series of 10-day contracts in February, and then inked him for the remainder of the season in early March. The deal included a non-guaranteed salary for 2013-14, when Williams was expected to compete for backup point guard duties behind Rajon Rondo.

He averaged 7.1 points (49.5 FG%), 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 13.3 minutes over 24 games for the Celtics this season. He appeared in five of their six playoff games against the Knicks, averaging 1.0 point, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 9.6 playoff minutes a night.

When Sebastian Telfair was arrested on gun charges soon after the 2006-07 campaign, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck disowned the former C’s guard — announcing the removal of his nameplate from his Waltham locker in an email to The Boston Globe — and the team included him in the deal for Kevin Garnett that summer.

That shouldn’t get your hopes up for a Kevin Love deal involving Terrence Williams.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, Terrence Williams,

What Doc Rivers’ return means to Celtics

05.16.13 at 4:40 pm ET
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It’s been two weeks since Celtics coach Doc Rivers delivered his cryptic press conference after the Game 6 loss to the Knicks, when he hinted at the possibility of foregoing the remaining three years on his contract.

Meanwhile, Stephen A. Smith speculated Rivers could join Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in a trade to the Clippers — a notion C’s president Danny Ainge dismissed, assuring Celtics nation: “I think Doc will be coaching the Boston Celtics.”

On Thursday, it appears we can remove the “I think” from that statement. Rivers will be coaching the Boston Celtics, Ainge told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.

So, what does that mean for the 2013-14 edition?

For starters, the Celtics will have one of the game’s great coaches on their bench. Rivers is on USA Basketball’s short list for good reason. If Seattle were granted a franchise tomorrow and had its pick of the litter, Rivers, former assistant Tom Thibodeau and Gregg Popovich would likely be the top three choices to lead a team into the future.

Of course, the future is where things get complicated. Rivers suggested that he, Pierce and KG would discuss their plans together soon after the season, but it’s unclear if that meeting has taken place. At the very least, the coach’s return is a sign that both veterans could also be back, since the opposite would have been true had Rivers left.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA,

Reports: Doc Rivers is coming back to remain as coach of Celtics

05.16.13 at 3:07 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, Doc Rivers will be returning to coach the Celtics next season. Rivers has three years remaining on his current contract, having inked a five-year contract extension in May, 2011. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge confirmed the news to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, saying, “We’ve got a coach everybody would love to have.”

 

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Avery Bradley makes NBA All-Defensive Second Team

05.13.13 at 4:56 pm ET
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Celtics guard Avery Bradley made the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team — the first such honor of his three-year career. He received 10 first-place and five second-place votes from the NBA’s 30 head coaches, and his 25 total points trailed only Tony Allen (53) and Chris Paul (37) among the league’s guards.

Often dubbed the best on-ball defender in the NBA, Bradley’s 0.73 points allowed per possession ranked 16th in the league, according to Synergy Sports. More importantly, the Celtics allowed 102.1 points per 100 possessions — ranking 14th in the league before Bradley’s Jan. 2 debut — and then posted the NBA’s fifth-best defensive rating (99.4 points per 100 possessions) in the 51 games after his return.

“I want to shut down everybody every single night,” Bradley said after limiting Warriors scoring sensation Stephen Curry back in March. “If you notice, every game I play the same way. Every single game on the defensive end. That’s just my mindset. That’s how I play. That’s how I always play my whole life.”

Forwards LeBron James and Serge Ibaka as well as centers Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah joined the backourt duo of Allen and Paul on the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Strangely, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol made the Second Team alongside Bradley, Tim Duncan, Paul George and Mike Conley.

Kevin Garnett didn’t capture a single vote. This marks only the second time since 1999 he didn’t make either the NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team — and the first time in that span he didn’t receive a vote.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, NBA,
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