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What Nate Robinson’s return means for the Celtics

07.16.10 at 2:02 pm ET
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As late as May 27, the notion that Nate Robinson would return to the Celtics seemed far-fetched. Danny Ainge’s trade deadline acquisition had fallen so far out of the rotation he was spending more time with Marquis Daniels on the bench than with Paul Pierce or Ray Allen on the court.

But then on the night of May 28, Rajon Rondo went down hard on the floor in Game 6 of the conference finals against the Magic and all of Celtics fandom held its breath. Enter Nate Robinson.

In a little over eight minutes Robinson scored 13 points and the Celtics were on their way to averting disaster and en route to the NBA finals. The X-factor had finally arrived.

“I told him I loved him, and I told him at some point this was going to happen,” Doc Rivers said after Game 6. “It was all up to him to stay engaged, and he did. I get no credit for this. Nate Robinson stayed focused in 30-straight whatever games without playing. To me that’€™s more important than anything he’€™s done tonight.”

Once Robinson delivered on the court, Rivers kept him in the lineup and he provided valuable backup assistance to Rondo against the Lakers. Still, while Robinson had finally found a niche with the 2010 Celtics, there was some debate as to whether he would still fit with the team going forward.

Then Tony Allen spurned the Celtics to sign with the Grizzlies and re-signing Robinson became a higher priority. To be sure Robinson and T.A. have very little in common as players, but as Ainge looks to fill out the bench with only the veteran minimum to offer, quality players at any position have become a premium.

Now Robinson is back in the fold and that’s good news for the Celtics. Here’s what he has to offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Nate Robinson, NBA Rumor Mill 2010,

Report: Robinson to re-sign with C’s

07.16.10 at 11:38 am ET
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According to a Twitter feed from Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Marc Spears, a league source indicated that guard Nate Robinson will re-sign with the Celtics. Shortly before noon, Robinson tweeted: “Cuz I’m back n beantown baby yeah.”

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Catching up with Glen Davis

07.16.10 at 12:53 am ET
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LAS VEGAS — caught up with Glen Davis while he is training with Joe Abunassar at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. He talked about the Celtics‘ upcoming season, free agent moves, and a new trio in South Beach.

Optimistic Outlook: ‘€œI think we’€™re going to do well [next season]. We have a lot of pieces back. With Ray Allen being back, I’€™m really happy he came back. I’€™m also happy that Paul [Pierce] came back. We have KG and then we just added Jermaine O’€™Neal. There’€™s a lot of other pieces that we need to put together, but I think Danny [Ainge] and the front office are going to make sure we have the team, the players, and it’€™s all about just gelling together and making sure it happens.’€

‘€œFamily’€ Reunion: ‘€œIt was great. To see [Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen] come back means a lot. Especially what it means to them, and that’€™s what it’€™s all about. We’€™re family. Everybody knows that. We’€™ve been together, we’€™ve been through the ups and downs. We’€™ve been through the trenches and we’€™ve just got to make sure we do what we have to do.’€

Shrek and Donkey 2.0? ‘€œI love Nate [Robinson]. He brings a whole realm to the team that most players can’€™t bring. I just hope that he finds a place to play, and if it’€™s not with us, that [stinks], but if it’€™s with us that’€™s great. I would love to play with Nate.’€

A Big Help: ‘€œI’€™ve known Jermaine [O’€™Neal] since I was in college. He’€™s a great player. He’€™s done a lot of things in the NBA, he’€™s an All-Star-caliber player, he’€™s been on that level before. He’€™s a great post up guy. You can always learn something from him, so I’€™m glad he’€™s on our team and he can definitely help us.’€

No Sweating the Heat: ‘€œThey have a Big Three, we have a Big Three. We have players that are capable of making big shots and playing big minutes; they have players that are capable of doing all that. So I’€™m not really worried about the Miami Heat. They still have to put the team together and make it gel. And that’€™s what it’€™s all about — chemistry — and it takes more than three players to win a championship. And everybody knows that. So there’€™s no worrying. We’€™re just ready to play.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett

Rondo added to Team USA roster

07.15.10 at 5:56 pm ET
By   |   Comments reports Rajon Rondo was added to the 2010-12 USA Basketball men’s national team roster used to select teams for the 2010 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship and the 2012 Olympics in London.

Rondo expressed his excitement via Twitter: “Playing for Team USA this summer. Looking forward to repping our country.”

The Celtics 6-foot-1 guard joins Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Suns center Robin Lopez, bringing the Team USA player count to 24.

All three additions are expected to participate in the team’s training camp in Las Vegas next week, culminating with the 2010 USA Basketball Showcase July 24. confirms the following players will participate in the camp, which runs July 19-24: Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets), Chandler, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers), Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers), Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), David Lee (Golden State Warriors), Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets), Lopez, Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies), Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers), Rondo, Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Amar’€™e Stoudemire (New York Knicks), Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Rondo led the Celtics to the NBA finals last year, averaging 13.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in the regular season.

Rondo has some experience with USA Basketball after playing for the 2005 USA U-21 World Championship Team that went 7-1 and finished fifth. Rondo recorded 27 steals (3.4 spg) to lead the team and set a new USA U-21 record that year.

The FIBA World Championship takes place in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Kayseri, Turkey, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12. The U.S. will open the 2010 World Championships Aug. 28 against Croatia, which has never faced the Americans in championship play but has an 0-3 record against them in the Olympics.

The USA has won 10 medals in the World Championship — three gold medals (1954, 1986 and 1994), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006).

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Rondo initially declined the  invitation to participate in February, when the roster was first constructed, but that some miscommunication may have been behind it.

Colangelo said in a statement, ‘€œTyson, Robin and Rajon are outstanding additions to the national team and they help give us the talent and depth required in making sure we field the very best USA Basketball teams possible.’€

Players selected in the Las Vegas training camp will regroup in New York to train more next month and compete in the first-ever World Basketball Festival, a four-day basketball bonanza, put on by Nike and USA Basketball, celebrating the performance and the culture surrounding the sport, before they fly overseas for the World Championship.

Read More: Rajon Rondo, Robin Lopez, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball

Pierce says ‘work cut out’ for Celtics

07.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET
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Paul Pierce is thrilled to stay a Celtic, but thinks there is still some work to do to fill out the defending Eastern Conference champs.

In a media conference call Thursday, Pierce said he will likely retire in the Green he’s worn his whole career, but had to take less money to do so.

Pierce said he was disappointed the Celtics lost Tony Allen to Memphis, and that the Celtics has “a lot of work to do” to build another championship-caliber team.

“We got a lot [to do] right now,” Pierce said during the conference call. “We lost [Tony Allen], we don’t have Nate [Robinson], we might not have Rasheed [Wallace]. We’ve got to add a bench. We’ve got our work cut out. We need perimeter defense and we need to add a backup point guard to help out [Rajon] Rondo, if Nate doesn’t come back. And we need another big.”

But Pierce was happy with the acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal.

“I thought it was a great move picking up Jermaine [O’Neal], giving us an inside presence in case Rasheed retires, but sometimes I’m looking at all the players signing and wish we would get on the ball a little bit. I trust in Danny to put a good team around us, but I’m sitting here watching all these good players fall to other teams.”

As far as the changes to the lastest Eastern Conference favorites, the Heat, Pierce had positive things to say about LeBron James‘ televised “Decision,” and the power threesome leading the team on South Beach.

‘€œIt’€™s a new day and time, man,’€ Pierce said when asked if James took his revelation too far. ‘€œEverything has become a production. You see people living in their homes on reality TV, man. It’€™s a new day and time.”

On James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Pierce said, ‘€œThe beginning of a new era … I think you’€™ll see more of this. Superstars are going to get together now to form teams. You’€™re hearing now about Chris Paul and [Carmelo Anthony] getting together to join Amar’€™e (Stoudemire) in New York next year. I think this is the way things are going to happen now.’€

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Tony Allen

O’Neal on D&H: ‘I couldn’t think of a better place to play’

07.15.10 at 2:30 pm ET
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The newest Celtic, Jermaine O’€™Neal called into the Dale & Holley show to field some questions on what it’€™s like to be a Celtic now, what happened to him in the playoffs last season, what he expects his new role to be and the impact of Doc Rivers and Ray Allen on him choosing Boston.

‘€œThat was something I was really interested in being involved with, that same nucleus they had last year and if they didn’€™t have it, then I don’€™t think they would have been as strong as they were last year,’€ O’€™Neal said.

‘€œIf [Doc] didn’€™t come back, it definitely wouldn’€™t even be an option. Ray coming back was the next question that I was asking Danny, were they going to try to re-sign him. They told me yes and I said, ‘€˜OK, let’€™s try to get this deal done and let’€™s start preparing to get this deal done next year.’€™ ‘€

Below are highlights of the interview. To listen to the complete interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On coming to Boston:

Yeah, it’€™s going to be fun. I’€™m excited about it and my family is excited about it. I’€™m coming down the stretch run of my career and I can’€™t think of a better way of ending it than with a championship ring.

On why he chose the Celtics:

I told myself coming into the summer that it wasn’€™t going to be about any money situations. God has been good to me and my family and He’€™s blessed us in so many different ways. One thing I’€™ve learned is that sometimes as players we take for granted that winning is certain. Obviously over the past three, four, or five years, that hasn’€™t happened [for me].

That hasn’€™t happened and I’€™ve been spoiled early in my career with Indiana where we had those really good teams and it was a really sad thing that it was going to happen consistently over [the course of] my career and whatever reason things happened, the business changed, the teams change and injuries happen and sometimes you find yourself on the outside looking in. Looking at those championship celebrations with confetti and champagne and hats, that’€™s something I haven’€™t been able to experience in my career and I told myself, I talked with my family and my wife and kids, we wanted to put ourselves in the best position to win next year.

I could have gotten long term deals for much more money, but it was about playing with a team that is just that, a team. A team that plays together, plays hard, just has the passion. The organization has the passion obviously, the city has the passion. I couldn’€™t think of a better place to play.

On Rajon Rondo selling the Celtics to him:

It’€™s funny because I’€™m not really interested in [phone] numbers I don’€™t know, and I just happened to answer the number that particular day and we had an extensive conversation and he really sold it. I said as a competitor playing against the Celtics over the years, I’€™ve admired what they’€™ve put together. I admire what the fans brought to the gym every night. I like what they’€™ve put together and what he said really was what I was looking for and it was more of about what they expected to do this upcoming season, what they expect from me, what they would expect from an organizational standpoint.

It went from Boston being with Dallas and Denver, those were the top three teams that were heading the list, to being the top team on the list. I was basically told in that conversation about other things. Keep in mind that he doesn’€™t really talk a lot, but I couldn’€™t really tell by the conversation because he led the conversation and he was really passionate about their focus and their plan to win a championship this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal,

Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February

07.15.10 at 12:40 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into the Dennis & Callahan show to discuss the offseason so far for the C’€™s. On the docket were many hot topics, including the signing of Jermaine O’€™Neal, pursuing several new players, the return of Doc Rivers and many of last year’€™s playoff team, and when Kendrick Perkins could be expected to return to the team.

‘€œIt’€™s projected that he’€™ll be back probably after the All-Star break, could be my guess, sometime in mid- to late February,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œWe’€™ll be very careful with Perk and not be in a rush to get him back, but I guess there’€™s a chance to get him back probably a little earlier, that’€™s probably realistic.’€

Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the full interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan show audio on demand page.

On the LeBron James sweepstakes and how he handled himself:

[I feel] the same thing everybody else feels. It was over the top, it was too much. I think he should have told the Cavaliers well beforehand what he was doing. I just think there were a lot of things that weren’€™t handled perfectly. It was not fun to watch and see. I didn’€™t really enjoy the dance show a day or two after either, celebrating in Miami.

I like the way the Celtics have done it and our players, like Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce], it’€™s hard to get them to even talk to the media after they sign new contracts.

On Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert‘€™s subsequent comments:

I think they were inappropriate and I don’€™t think that’€™s the right way to handle it either. [They’€™re] understandable, but not the right way at all.

On the Celtics’ prospects against the new Miami Heat:

No matter where LeBron was going to go he was going to be in the Eastern Conference and [his new team was] going to be really good, whether he was staying in Cleveland or New York, New Jersey. The team was going to be built around him and it’€™s going to be a great team regardless. Three of the top 10 players in the league, including two of the top three, that’€™s going to be a tough pill to handle. I think they are going to get a supporting cast that can help them win and I think that team’€™s the team to beat. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins
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