|08.10.10 at 3:06 pm ET|
Left out in the Celtics big summer moves is Kendrick Perkins who underwent knee surgery and is expected to be about until the All-Star break. With Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal on board, the Celtics are loaded with size at the center spot, so where does that leave Perk?
“Kendrick has a very bright future and obviously he knows that we think very highly of him,” Danny Ainge said. “Were not certain when he is going to be 100 percent and that does us allow to be patient with Kendrick. At the same time I’m sure Kendrick is worried and nervous because we are going to win basketball games with this frontline even when he’s not playing. Hopefully he can just focus on getting healthy and competing for his job back.”
|08.10.10 at 3:02 pm ET|
On the day he was introduced as Celtic, Shaquille O’Neal artfully maneuvered around the question of whether or not he will start at center next season.
“There will be an O’Neal on the floor,” Shaq said referring to himself and Jermaine O’Neal, the Celtics other key free agent center acquisition. Shaq went on to say that it didn’t matter to him who started.
In the days leading up to the signing, Doc Rivers was brutally honest with Shaq about his playing time, about his motives and whether he would accept coming off the bench.
“I told him there was not 30 minutes on this team,” Rivers said. “There will be 20-25 minutes. I asked him if that was OK because that’s the only way it will work. We talked about coming off the bench. It’s very important when you get a guy like Shaq to be up front and honest and tell him where you see he’ll be. If he can accept that he’ll fit our mold.”
Rivers would prefer for Shaq to come off the bench because it would give the second-unit a low-post scorer, something it hasn’t had since Leon Powe was healthy. Rivers prefers to set his lineups and stick with them, but this lineup could present some interesting possibilities.
“I think that Shaquille and Jermaine could play together,” Danny Ainge said. “I think Jermaine and [Kevin Garnett] can play together. One of the things I like is there are interchangeable pieces. Glen Davis and Shaq can play together, Glen Davis and Jermaine can play together. Any of those four combinations can play well together.”
The Celtics contacted Shaq’s representatives on July 1, but weren’t sure that he would agree to their terms. They still didn’t know how it would play out until last week when Shaq’s people told Ainge that they were ready to sign and do it on the Celtics terms. That last part is key to making it work in a locker room with more than its share of outsized personalities.
” The reason we’re bringing in these personalities is because we have a pretty solid locker room with KG, Paul and Ray.,” Rivers said. “We did it last year with Rasheed [Wallace] and now we’re trying to do wit with Shaq. There’s no guarantees though. There never is. Chemistry is a delicate thing. This has to be about the Celtics and it has to be winning. If there’s any other motives or agendas’¦ I was very honest with him, that’s why he’s here.”
|08.10.10 at 2:30 pm ET|
For many the enduring image of Von Wafer in an NBA uniform is when Rockets coach Rick Adelman sent him back to the locker room during a playoff game. Wafer apologized the next day, but the damage had been done.
The Rockets didn’t renew his contract, even after a breakout year in which he averaged almost 10 points a game, and he spent a year in exile.
“I just acted out at the wrong time,” Wafer said. “I love Coach Adelman. He’s the first coach who gave me an opportunity to play. I never talked back to him. I just acted out at the wrong moment. It cost me. It cost me a lot. That just can’t happen.”
Wafer signed with a team in Greece, but he bought his way out of his contract and his attempts to return to the NBA were thwarted when it was reported that he failed physicals in Memphis and Houston. The Mavericks eventually did sign him to a 10-day contract but he never saw action.
Wafer said that he’s fine physically and that mentally he’s a much stronger player. He knows he has a lot to prove this season.
“I didn’t want to go out that way,” he said. “A lot of bad things were said about me. That’s why I’m here early trying to get ready. This is a big year for me. I can’t go out like that. I’ve got too much pride. I’m more mature now. I know how this business works. You work hard, keep your mouth shut and stay out of trouble and you’re going to be blessed and fortunate.”
The biggest knock on Wafer is his defense, which he also acknowledged. “Not good,” he said. “I’ve heard bad things about my defense. I think I’m an okay defender. The name of the game is putting more points up on the board than the other team.”
Wafer will find out soon enough that okay doesn’t cut it defensively with the Celtics, but he is more prepared for the challenge.
“I had a lot of ups and downs, mostly downs, but it made me stronger,” Wafer said. “I actually became a better basketball player last year. Most people might not believe it, but mentally, I’m definitely better. Physically, that will come, but the mental, I needed that.”
|08.10.10 at 2:23 pm ET|
Sporting a bow tie and a gray pinstripe suit, Shaquille O’Neal sat beside Celtics coach Doc Rivers for his introductory press conference on Wednesday. As forward and new teammate Kevin Garnett and Luke Harangody overlooked the event from a higher level at the Celtics’ practice facility, the center fielded questions and held up his No. 36 jersey as he became the first player in franchise history to wear the number. Check out some video highlights from the press conference below:
|08.10.10 at 2:09 pm ET|
WALTHAM — WEEI.com’s traditional slideshow format has been hijacked by the Big Diesel, and as such, we give you the Shaq Show. The 38-year-old center was introduced to Boston and the media on Tuesday, and everything from Shaq’s bow-tie to his excitement as he held up his No. 36 was certainly something worth checking out again. All photos are courtesy of WEEI.com photographer John Vu. Click on the image below to begin the slideshow.
|08.10.10 at 2:06 pm ET|
One question that has continued to hover around the Celtics this offseason, is what will they do with Rasheed Wallace? The veteran has two years left on his contract, but he indicated through his agent and to the team that he will retire.
The Celtics have tried to trade his contract this summer but have not found the right deal. Danny Ainge said the situation will be resolved soon. “We have looked at trade possibilities throughout the summer,” Ainge said. “We’ll continue to do that. I would say it will all be resolved soon and you guys will all hear how we’ve resolved it shortly.”
At this point it seems unlikely that they will find a trade partner for Wallace and will try to work out a buyout agreement for the final two years of his deal. If the Celtics are able to settle with Wallace that would clear a roster spot.
“One more piece is possible,” Ainge said. “But I like the team we have at this stage. There are different scenarios but I would say the most likely scenario [to signing another player] is the veteran minimum.”
|08.10.10 at 1:47 pm ET|
WALTHAM ‘ The Celtics announced Tuesday that the team has agreed to a two-year contract with second-round pick Luke Harangody. However, the newest member of the team, Shaquille O’Neal, apparently wasn’t listening. When Celtics vice president of media relations Jeff Twiss announced that Harangody would be available for questions from the media, Shaq turned to Doc Rivers and asked, “Who’s that?” Check out the video.
The Notre Dame alum met briefly with the media following Shaq’s press conference.
“It’s a great feeling to have a little job security, especially guaranteed,” Harangody said. “It helps me sleep easier at night. And to sign the contract is also a great feeling as well.”
The 52nd pick of the 2010 draft, Harangody joins a star-filled front court in Boston. However, the prospect of playing with Shaq does not intimidate the former All-Big East player.
“The first couple of times seeing Shaq today, you are a little in awe, a little starstruck,” Harangody said of the three-time NBA Finals MVP. “At the same time, you just have to come to the gym every day. We’re teammates now, no matter who is on the court.”
There were questions about Harangody’s shooting, which some feel led to a drop in the draft. He quickly impressed, though, with an outstanding showing at the Summer League in Orlando, leading the Celtics for the week with 16.8 points per game, while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent on 3-point attempts.
“I’ve been working in the gym all summer, working on the 3-point ball, the NBA 3-point ball,” Harangody said. “It’s a big deal. I just got comfortable out there, it showed in the the Summer League. It surprised a lot of people.”
As for his role with the Celtics in 2010, the soon-to-be rookie made no predictions.
“Wherever I fit in I fit in,” Harangody said.
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