|11.11.09 at 7:17 pm ET|
Wednesday night is more than just another game for Ray Allen. Veterans Day has a special meaning for the guard who grew up in a military home.
Allen’s father, Master Sergeant Walt Allen, spent 26 years in the Air Force. The senior Allen, who battled cancer this summer, made the trip from South Carolina to attend his first game since the 2008 season.
“When you say today is Veteran’s Day, that’s why I think about where I’ve come from,” Allen said prior to game against the Jazz. “I come from a background of a lot of great military presence. So any time I see any soldier, I love seeing soldiers. I run into Marines all the time and it’s always great to sit down and talk to them. You just always say thank you, thank you for your services, thank you for being selfless because to put your life in harm’s way is something that a lot of people would not do.”
Allen depicted his military upbringing in T-Shirt designed to benefit World Diabetes Day. (His son Walker was diagnosed with the disease during the 2008 playoffs.) The graphic follows a paper plane, representing the armed services, and traces through several basketballs that eventually end at his uniform number, 20.
On the front of the shirt it reads, “W.W.J.S.D.” (What Would Jesus Shuttlesworth Do?) The back of the shirt displays the quote, “No Journey is Too Great When One Finds What He Seeks,” one of Allen’s favorite lines from the movie “Coming to America.”
He uses the quote as motivation to fight against diabetes. It can also pertain to the military’s journey to protect the country.
“I’m just grateful for them because they protect our freedoms here,” said Allen. “We get to play basketball but we’re playing here so we can do this what we’re doing and we can encourage and motivate them while they’re watching us play. So they’re protecting us and I appreciate it.”
(For more information on Allen’s t-shirt to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, visit www.muzeclothing.com)
|11.11.09 at 7:11 pm ET|
Utah’s starting point guard Deron Williams [right calf] will play tonight against the Celtics.
“I’ll let out trainer let me know where he is in the game. That’s what we usually do when a player’s been out, make sure we don’t cause any problems and screw him up in any way,” Sloan explained.
Williams has played in all seven games for the Jazz this season, averaging 21.4 points and 10.7 assists. He suffered the calf strain in Utah’s win on Monday night in New York against the Knicks.
|11.11.09 at 7:01 pm ET|
Every Veterans Day has special meaning to Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers.
His late father, Grady Alexander Rivers, was in the Army and he carries that memory with him now.
“I think a lot of kids look at this day as a day off,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “My dad was a veteran, so I do understand the day and I appreciate the day.”
So with that inspiration in mind, he’ll take the chance to remind his team before the game with the Jazz about why today is important.
“Today, and I do it all the time, but I’ll share some veterans’ stories,” Rivers said. “I’m going to ask the guys if they even know what day it is because a lot of people don’t. If it’s a certain day, like Martin Luther King Day, or any of these days I think it’s a good for us to bring it up. It’s not just a basketball game. I always think it’s important to bring it up.”
|11.11.09 at 1:03 am ET|
‘I call him the ‘Cheat Code,’ really because every time he shoots you think it’s going in,’ Frye said. ‘Like in a video game, a basketball game, you put one person into one spot and they’re going make it every time. And that’s him. Yeah, he’s the ‘Cheat Code.’ ‘
Frye came up with the moniker after watching House drain trey after trey, day after day this summer. House, who played in Phoenix during the 2005-06 season, lives in Arizona during the offseason. He trained with Frye and the Suns before reporting to training camp in Boston.
‘That’s the best runs that you can get in Arizona,’ House explained. ‘So as soon as those guys start getting into town, I go up there and we get some runs.’
House donned his Celtics workout gear and hit the court with the Suns to stay hot during the offseason. He capped off last regular season by breaking the Celtics franchise record previously set by Danny Ainge for 3-point shooting in a single season (.444). The Suns were impressed by the skills that earned him that mark.
‘Any time he’s open it’s like, ‘Dang it’s going in,’ ‘ said Jason Richardson.
Added Frye, ‘We were playing to 15 and he’d make five 3’s ‘ one, two, three, four, five ‘ boom, game over.’
Grant Hill chimed in as well.
‘I tell you what, that guy did not miss. He’s a great shooter,’ Hill said. ‘There were some days that he got hot, and when a guy like him gets going it can be fun to watch.’
|11.10.09 at 4:47 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Rasheed Wallace can read the standings just like everyone else.
He sees that the Utah Jazz are off to a 3-4 start out West. He also sees the likes of Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur on the box score. Throw in the sharp-shooting Andrei Kirilenko and he knows his 7-1 Celtics will have their hands full when they take the court on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“They’re a good team,” Wallace said. “Everyone is sleeping on them coming out of the West. I think they have the talent to beat the Lakers, talent to beat the Spurs. Can’t sleep on them, in my opinion. You can’t sleep on them at all. They have a good point guard, good big men, good swing men and good coach. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.”
Ever since the days of Stockton and Malone, the Jazz under Jerry Sloan have mastered the pick-and-roll as well as anyone in the sport.
“That’s Sloan’s calling card,” Wallace said after Tuesday’s practice preparing for just that. “Just look at Mailman [Karl Malone], just look at [Jeff] Hornacek, of course [John] Stockton. Just some of the guys they’ve had. That’s what they do to a ‘T’.
“That’s what they’re know for, their execution. Their power play, so to speak, where you dump it down from the corner. That’s something Sloan has re-written the book on, the pick and roll. And you definitely have to give them their credit.”
Sloan, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, knows what he wants on the court at all times. And opposing players like Wallace know what to expect.
“Of course, he’s always going to have a big who can shoot, he’s always a point guard who can handle and drop it off to that big and still shoot, i.e. like Stockton did,” Wallace said. “It’s definitely not going to be a cakewalk. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”
|11.10.09 at 4:39 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics are regarded as one of the deepest teams in the NBA. That depth is well-represented as they placed six players on the NBA All-Star ballot that was released on Tuesday by the league.
The Celtics are the only team in the NBA with two centers on the ballot. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game will be played at brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington before an expected crowd of over 80,000 on Sunday, Feb. 14. That will be the largest group ever to see a live basketball game in the world.
The 120 players on the ballot – 60 from each conference – were chosen by a panel of six media members who cover the league on a regular basis.
Balloting will continue through Jan. 18.
|11.10.09 at 2:53 pm ET|
Following Tuesday’s practice, Rivers was informed that the Hall of Fame center has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.
“Obviously, sad, Rivers said of his initial reaction. “Obviously, we hope things work out but that’s tough.”
The 62-year-old basketball legend, born Lew Alcindor, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 1995, the first year of eligibility after his retirement in 1989.
Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles, including five as the post player for the Lakers during their dynasty of the 1980s.
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