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Uncovering a treasure trove

09.14.09 at 11:46 am ET
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If you grew up on the NBA in the 80′s you probably remember the Zander Hollander basketball annuals. The books packed rosters, stats, essays and scathing, often hilarious, scouting reports on each NBA player written by NBA beat writers.

My all-time favorite was from a mid 90′s edition description of former Net Chris Morris which read: Body by Atlas, ability by Zeus and brains by Tinker Toy.

Sadly my collection was lost somewhere between college and various cross country moves. Fortunately Basketball-reference’s Neil Paine came across a blog by John Marzan that reprinted some of the best take-outs from the 1986 edition and it’s an awesome time-waster (original link via True Hoop). Here are some of the highlights from the Celtics chapter:

Jerry Sichting: Showed he can take a punch when Houston’s Ralph Sampson clocked him twice on the chops in Game 5 of finals. “I didn’t know if that was a punch or a mosquito,” said Sichting. “My son hits harder than that and he’s only three years old.”…

Danny Ainge: Still feisty, still hated by most fans outside Boston, still an integral part of Boston attack…

Robert Parish: Will he ever be accepted as a “true Celtic,” whatever that is?… Boston press ripped him after he had 3-for-15 shooting effort in Game 3 of finals… Seemed to mellow a bit last season, answering criticism calmly for the most part, although he did jilt the press for one day in Houston, earning the monicker “Chief Run ‘n’ Hide” for his efforts… Soft-touch jumper is maddeningly accurate… Stone-faced expression always makes him look like he’s apathetic, but neither teammates nor management have any problems with him…

Kevin McHale: Always open and witty with media, he gets burned occasionally but never seems to care… Would rather be fishing, with a six-pack beside him, than just about anything else…

Larry Bird: What else can he do?… Another regular-season MVP award, another postseason MVP award, another NBA championship ring… “Well,” he said, “I can do it all again.” Don’t bet that he won’t… The best there is and, arguably, the best there has ever been.

And just because…

Randy Breuer: How did this guy become a starter?…Celtics‘ super fan Busty Hart, an exotic dancer, pegged the Bucks right when she said they were the “doughnut team, a team without a center.”… He tries, but fails…

Read More: 1986, Larry Bird, NBA,

Celtics draft pick Erden helps Turkey in EuroBasket

09.12.09 at 9:36 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics 2008 second round draft pick Semih Erden has yet to play in an NBA game, but he has already defeated one of the Los Angeles Lakers. On Saturday he helped Turkey defeat Pau Gasol and the Spanish team in the EuroBasket 2009 Group F qualifying round.

The 6-11 center led the team with six rebounds and scored 11 points, including two free throws that secured Turkey’s 63-60 victory over Spain. He also contributed two rebounds, an alley-oop from Hedo Turkoglu, a block, and a steal in the final five minutes of the back-and-forth match up. Turkey remains undefeated (3-0) and plays Serbia on Monday.

Erden was selected by the Celtics with the 60th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds with Fenerbahce Ulker last season.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Hedo Turkoglu, Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol

Celtics get assist from Cameron Diaz

09.11.09 at 6:33 pm ET
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J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker received an unexpected helping hand on Friday while hosting a basketball clinic at the Young Achievers Pilot School in Mattapan.

Actress Cameron Diaz, who is in the area to film the upcoming “The Untitled Wichita Project,” stopped in to help build flower beds for the U.S. National Day of Service and Remembrance.

‘€œWe had a great day helping to improve the school through many projects,’€ Walker said. ‘€œI was very impressed with the dedication of employees from the Celtics, Harvard Pilgrim and City Year. Teaming up for this day of service has really made a difference in the school’€™s community.’€

Diaz, Giddens, and Walker were joined by a team of 125 volunteers who helped complete projects at the school including a basketball court, outdoor classroom, and a picnic table area. Celtics Dance Team Director Marina Ortega also led a dance clinic. The day of service was organized by Boston Celtics, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, City Year, and the Dartmouth Medical School Urban Scholars.

For a look back at the Celtics community service this summer, click here.

Read More: Bill Walker, Boston Celtics, Cameron Diaz, J.R. Giddens

Pruitt signs with Knicks

09.11.09 at 5:06 pm ET
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Former Celtics guard Gabe Pruitt has signed a contract with the New York Knicks, according to statement issued by the team. Terms were not disclosed per team policy. Pruitt became a free agent this summer when the Celtics did not pick up the option on his contract. A former second round pick in the 2007 draft out of USC, Pruitt appeared in 62 games and averaged 2.0 points per game over the last two seasons for the Celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Gabe Pruitt, New York Knicks,

Ray’s Sneaker Scavenger Hunt

09.11.09 at 2:56 pm ET
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Ray Allen has decided he has more pairs of basketball sneakers than he needs so he is simply giving them away … if you can find them.

Today Allen began a scavenger hunt for his sneakers through his Twitter page. So far he has left them hanging on trees and at a pond, offering photo clues on Twitpic.

Tonight he plans to hide more shoes in the Springfield area while he heads to the Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

If you want to snag a pair of Allen’s kicks, follow him on Twitter (@sugarray20) and then follow the clues.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,

Report: Celtics optimistic about KG

09.11.09 at 11:35 am ET
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After undergoing knee surgery in May, Kevin Garnett returned to the Boston Celtics training facility in Waltham on Monday,  Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported. While the organization hopes he will be cleared to participate in full-court scrimmages for the start of training camp, they are proceeding with caution.

According to Spears, Garnett is currently limited to court drills but could be cleared for contract drills as early as a week before training camp begins. The Celtics main concern, though, is not Opening Night but rather the postseason.

‘€œWe’€™re looking for him to be there at the end of the season, not just the start of the season,’€ Ainge told Yahoo!. ‘€œWe’€™re getting him ready for training camp and looking forward to him being healthy in the playoffs. He looks good. Really good.’€

Garnett has not played since March 25 when he scored four points in 17 minutes during a loss to the Orlando Magic. The Celtics forward, who has not averaged less than 31 minutes per game since his rookie year, has not played over 30 minutes since February 12.

Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rasheed Wallace have also been working out at the facility.

In Celtics backcourt news, Ainge told Yahoo! he has not decided whether or not the Cs will offer Rajon Rondo a contract extension before the season. In the meantime, the Celtics are considering the addition of a third point guard. Free agents Tyronn Lue, Dan Dickau, and Mike Taylor worked out at the team’s training facility on Thursday.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Marbury laughs off retirement talks

09.10.09 at 9:27 am ET
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A day after stirring up talks of retirement with an ambiguous message on Twitter, Stephon Marbury laughed off the notion of calling it quits.

On Wednesday he responded to the rumors with the following Tweet:

“Retire. LOL. They need for you to think I’m going to do that because they know I’m focused and ready to play this year count me in for 5 yrs”

The speculation was sparked after Marbury posted, “Basketball is just a game. I will say it again. 14 years 250 million. Hold that. I’€™m good.. Thank you jesus for the blessing. Thanks NBA” on Tuesday night.

If Marbury is still committed to playing basketball, the question is, who will commit to him?

Read More: Boston Celtics, Stephon Marbury,
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