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Rivers on D&C: ‘Leaning’ one way about future

06.21.10 at 11:12 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his final weekly visit of the 2009-10 season. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rivers said he has not decided whether or not he will return to the Celtics next season. “I’m not going to say which way I’m leaning ‘€” and I am one way ‘€” but I could look you in the eye and tell you I haven’t decided,” he said.

Rivers said he did not discuss the matter with his family during Father’s Day Sunday. “We didn’t talk about it at all, really,” he said. “It’s still very difficult to get through Game 7, let alone talk about your future, to be honest.”

Rivers said the players have been encouraging him to return, which makes him feel great but embarrassed to be in the spotlight. That type of support is the main reason why he would consider returning. Said Rivers, “The only reason you stay is your love for the guys you coach … knowing that if you do leave, you’re not going to get that back.”

Rasheed Wallace, like Rivers, is considering leaving the game. Rivers said he expects we’ve seen the last of the controversial center. “I think you have,” he said. “It’s so emotional right after the game. But Rasheed told me before [Game 7]. He told me the the night before. He walked up to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. I really believe this is my last game that I’m going to play.’ And he said this year was very difficult for him physically. He never felt like ‘€” even the conditioning part of it hurt. He said he doesn’t think he wants to go through that again, and he wants to watch his kids. I do think it’s the last time we’ll see him in a Celtics uniform.”

Rivers said he’s watched some video of the fourth quarter of Game 7. “I’ve looked at some of it but I couldn’t watch it [all],” he said. “It’s still very difficult.”

The coach said one thing he might have done differently is to get Rondo some rest at the start of the fourth. “I think I should have given Rondo another blow,” Rivers said. “I thought he was tired. I thought he played that way in the fourth. And that was a tough one, because he was starting to play well at the end of the third, so it was tough to pull him out.”

Rivers also said he wished the team would have attacked the post more, although he noted that some post plays were called, and Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace both were tiring. “You could just feel that we were running out of gas,” he said.

Rivers also said the referees’ more frequent whistles down the stretch were an adjustment the Celtics did not handle well. “The whole fourth quarter, it was called tighter,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that after watching [the video]. That hurt us a lot. … It was just a free throw line parade. That’s the one line you can’t defend.”

Rivers also credited Ron Artest as the key to the Lakers’ comeback. “We didn’t defend him the way we should have defended him,” he said. “I thought Ron Artest was the difference in that game.”

Read More: Celtics, Dennis & Callahan, Doc Rivers,

Celebrity fans take out ad honoring Celtics

06.21.10 at 10:24 am ET
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A group of celebrity fans took out a full-page ad in Monday’s Boston Globe honoring the Celtics. The ad paid tribute to the C’s victories over the Heat, Cavaliers and Magic, as well as their performance against the Lakers in the finals. The ad closed with: “You are our 2010 World Champions. Thank you!”

Names included at the bottom of the ad include television personality Maria Menounos, comedian Dane Cook, singer/actor Donnie Wahlberg and actors Eliza Dushku, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Ellen Pompeo and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, along with Patriots players Wes Welker and Vince Wilfork.

Read More: Dane Cook, Donnie Wahlberg, Maria Menounos,

Lakers emphasize green not their color

06.20.10 at 11:20 pm ET
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After defeating the Celtics to win the 2010 NBA championship, Kobe Bryant admitted he had downplayed the significance of beating the Lakers’€™ storied rival during the finals series.

‘€œI was just lying to you guys,’€ he said after Game 7. ‘€œWhen you’re in the moment you have to suppress that because if you get caught up in the hype of it all, you don’t really play your best basketball.’€

Now that Bryant and the Lakers have won the trophy, there is no hiding his feelings.

The Lakers recently appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in celebration of their victory. When asked if he talks to or is friendly with any of the Celtics, Bryant quickly replied: ‘€œNo.’€

Derek Fisher added, ‘€œIt’€™s just different. If you’€™re a Laker, it’€™s really hard to like anything green. Period.’€

See the clip below at the 2:04 mark.

Read More: Celtics, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lakers

A look back: Bol at the Boston Garden

06.19.10 at 6:41 pm ET
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On Saturday, 7-foot-7 former center Manute Bol died at the age of 47. Bol played in the NBA from 1985 to 1995 for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. He faced the Celtics 26 times during his career, averaging 2.7 points and 4.6 rebounds against the C’s.

See Bol in action at the Boston Garden back in 1988:

Read More: Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Manute Bol, Miami Heat

Aftermath of finals roundup

06.18.10 at 4:01 pm ET
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After the final buzzer sounded on Thursday night’€™s Game 7, the Celtics‘€™ improbable run at banner 18 ended as Kobe Bryant and the Lakers repeated to win their second consecutive title. Despite the NBA season coming to an end, storylines after the game flowed like the streamers and confetti in the Staples Center. Here’€™s a roundup of what national and local writers are saying after the finale of a classic series.

‘€“ Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column on this being Kobe Bryant’€™s most difficult title out of his five championships. After struggling in Game 7 and nearly shooting the Lakers out of the game, Bryant began to trust his teammates, especially in the fourth quarter, which brought him another ring.

‘€“ With his fifth ring, Bryant surpasses Magic Johnson as the greatest Laker of all time, writes Chris Broussard of ESPN. Magic, who has also won five championships, always won with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whereas Bryant has done it with and without Shaquille O’€™Neal, contends Broussard. Against other Lakers greats such as Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, Bryant outranks them with his handful of rings.

‘€“ Though he coached a team to a championship for the 11th time in his career, Phil Jackson‘€™s future is uncertain. T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times writes that Jackson has no idea where or he’€™ll be next year and that his salary might be too rich for the Lakers.

‘€“ Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe feels that Pau Gasol and not Kobe Bryant is the true MVP of the finals. Ryan writes that Gasol was the real closer with his offensive rebound and basket in the final two minutes to cap off his 19-point, 18-rebound effort. While Bryant had some great performances in the series, it was Gasol who was the most consistent Laker.

‘€“ On the Boston side, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports views a lot of changes on the way for the Celtics. The most uncertainty is with the decision coach Doc Rivers will have to make on whether or not to return. The 48-year-old could depart the Celtics to spend more time with his family in Orlando and watch his sons play basketball.

‘€“ Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston writes that despite being an unrestricted free agent this summer, Ray Allen still wants to return to the Celtics. The question will be how much is Boston willing to pay and will Allen take a discount to stick with a very close group? Forsberg feels that at 35, Allen is getting up in age and likely won’€™t see a contract more than two years.

‘€“ The most surprising piece of information that came out after Game 7 was the news that Rasheed Wallace could retire after only one year with the Celtics. Gary Dzen and Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe write that after the loss, Rivers revealed that Wallace might walk away from the game. Wallace struggled to get through Thursday night after experiencing cramps and strains as he filled in for the injured Kendrick Perkins at center. The 35-year-old has played in three finals and made four All-Star teams.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers,

Big Baby: Game 7 makes for long summer

06.18.10 at 7:50 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — Was the tank on empty? It was the same question asked after Game 7 against Orlando in 2009. And it’s a question that could linger with the Celtics all summer long after dropping the seventh and decisive game to the Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center.

The Celtics had built leads of 23-14 after one quarter, 40-34 at halftime and 57-53 going into the final period.

But the Celtics were outscored 30-22. And it’s the 30 points that most Celtics pointed to afterward as the real reason for the loss.

“Close is not enough,” summed up Glen Davis. “You’ve got to win it. This is the way it is. Someone else has to lose and it sucks. It’s how you look at it. It’s how you bounce back. I don’t know what’s going on with who’s coming back [next season]. But I’ll be ready when training camp comes around.”

Davis did acknowledge the play of one Laker in particular – Ron Artest. The forward burned the Celtics in Game 7 for 20 points, including a dagger of a 3 with just over a minute left that put the Lakers up six. He also ripped the ball from Davis’ own hands on a loose ball rebound with just under two minutes remaining and the Celtics down one possession.

“Artest was the difference in the game,” Davis said. “He wanted it. He took it from us.”

In the end, like everyone else in green, the next three months could be very difficult to stomach.

“It’s going to be a a long summer because of this. But, like I said, somebody has to lose and you have to take the approach in a positive way and look forward to next year.”

Read More: Celtics, Game 7, Glen Davis, Lakers

TA: Hard to come to grips

06.18.10 at 7:24 am ET
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LOS ANGELES — No one took Thursday night’s loss harder than Tony Allen.

He was walking out of the Celtics dressing room and took a right-hand turn before bravely making a U-turn and agreeing to meet with reporters outside. He was the first Celtic player to try and express what had just happened.

Clearly heart-broken, he tried to come to grips with losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals, 83-79, as the Celtics fell short in their bid to win title No. 18. The Lakers won their 16th by rallying in the fourth quarter, outscoring Boston, 30-22.

“Definitely a tough one to swallow,” Allen began. “What I am going to say is I love this group of guys. It’s just a really emotional time for me. Just a tough one to swallow right here.”

Allen admitted that what makes this particularly hard to deal with is the uncertainty regarding veterans like Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace and head coach Doc Rivers.

“I definitely want to see this group back but who knows,” Allen continued. “It’s not that surprising. We fought hard to get here it’s just a real unfortunate Game 7 for us to lose.

“I definitely want to see Doc back. I don’t know. It’s tough right now.”

With those words, Allen became choked up and was excused by the group of reporters.

Read More: Celtics, Game 7, Lakers, NBA Finals
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