Green Street
NEED TO KNOW
Don't forget to follow Trags on Twitter.
A WEEI.com Celtics Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Meaner and leaner Shaq ready to do battle

09.27.10 at 11:04 pm ET
By   |   Comments

WALTHAM — Shaquille O’Neal is a superstar who loves to talk about having 735 days left in his NBA career. He wants those days to include two more NBA titles, giving him six, which would mean he would have one more than Kobe Bryant.

But as O’Neal reminded everyone on Monday at Celtics media, this isn’t about him and Kobe, it’s about leaving the game on top.

The newest superstar member of the Celtics has given up his mom’s hamburgers, fried chicken, mac and cheese and cornbread muffins and is ripped and ready to go for his 18th season in the NBA, starting with Celtics media day on Monday.

O’Neal said he has been playing pickup games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the Celtics facility and swimming to get in shape.

The Shaq-Kobe war of words was re-ignited Monday when he recalled the words of Bryant in the moments after the Lakers beat the Celtics for their 17th title and his fifth. ‘That’s one more than Shaq.’

O’Neal had his response on Monday. It had less to do with Kobe and more to do with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

“Yeah I heard it,” O’Neal said. “My whole career I’ve been the measuring stick. Glad to see I’m still relevant. I would’ve been more upset, more hurt, if Tim Duncan would’ve made the comment. I don’t compete with guards. They have the ball more than I do, they shoot way more than I do. You can’t compete with guard. I’m only competing w/Tim Duncan so hopefully I can get No. 5 before Tim Duncan, respectfully before Tim Duncan.”

Duncan and O’Neal each have four NBA championship rings while Bryant and Derek Fisher lead active players with five.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, Shaquille O'Neal,

Celtics: Irish Coffee

09.27.10 at 7:33 am ET
By   |   Comments

It’s time again for your morning cup of Irish coffee. Following the referees’ annual meeting late last week, the NBA announced new guidelines for technical foul calls. Guyism explained all four new guidelines with some comical Rasheed Wallace footage, of course. The guidelines are as follows …

  • “Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, anywhere on the court”
  • “Excessive inquiries about a call, even in a civilized tone”
  • “Running directly at an official to complain about a call”
  • “Players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure”

These stricter rules could spell trouble for the Celtics, even without Rasheed. Kendrick Perkins (16), Kevin Garnett (6), Paul Pierce (5) and Rajon Rondo (4) all finished in the top 50 for technical fouls last season. Based on the above descriptions, Perk might be eligible for a technical foul roughly every time he hears a whistle. Heck, he might even get a handful of techs before he comes back from the knee injury.

The Reclamation of Delonte West

Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie has an interesting take on Delonte West‘s return to the Celtics. He believes this C’s team could be just what the doctor ordered for West, who has suffered from mental issues throughout his career.

“So even with the nonguaranteed contract, you would hope that the Celtics are in it for the long haul, and not for some guy to take a chance on because Tony Allen followed the money to Memphis,” writes Dwyer. “Because this really could be the first season of the rest of Delonte’s life, in 2010-11, as their supportive environment and steady work could be the best possible thing for West as he tries to move forward.”

NBADL Rule Change

The NBA and NBA Development League have reached a deal that allows as many as three players cut from an NBA roster to be assigned to their D-League affiliate. So, the Celtics could potentially store training camp invitees Chris Johnson, Stephane Lasme and Jamar Smith in Maine with the Red Claws (Did Jackie Moon play for them?). I’m sure all four Red Claws fans are drooling at the opportunity to watch Stephane Lasme all winter. Tickets must be flying off the shelves.

Perfect Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce spoke to the media on Saturday following a fitness rally for his charities, The Truth on Health and FitClub34. After a “perfect” summer, he’s excited to chase another title.

“I’ve been in the gym for the last couple of weeks and I’ve probably seen everybody,” Pierce told the Herald. “I’ve been comparing this to the last couple of years. It’s like a new energy with Shaq, Jermaine. You can just kind of feel it around the practice facility–just the energy, the vibe of the guys in the locker room–that we left something behind last year and that’s the trophy.”

Energy isn’t the first word that comes to mind when I think of Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal (“The O’Neal brothers,” as Doc Rivers has dubbed them).

Shhhhhh! You’ll wake Bill Russell!

I’m not exactly sure why I found this so funny, but I did. Hats off to GrahamSpector.tumblr.com for that.

Read More: Bill Russell, Delonte West, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace

Report: C’s waive Oliver Lafayette

09.25.10 at 1:59 pm ET
By   |   Comments

On the eve of opening training camp the Celtics have waived guard Oliver Lafayette, according to a report on the Herald’s website.

Lafayette was a longshot to make the roster with Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson and possibly rookie Avery Bradley slotted ahead of him, but no doubt he would have liked the opportunity to compete.

Lafayette played well during the Orlando summer league and looks like a player who can stick on an NBA roster in the right circumstances. He also performed well with Fort Wayne in the D-League, averaging over 17 points and six assists per game.

The move leaves the Celtics with 16 players on their training camp, and it seems likely they will add a few more. Competition for roster spots will be fierce, however, because the C’s have 13 players on guaranteed contracts.

That leaves Delonte West, Von Wafer and Tony Gaffney fighting for two spots. Danny Ainge spoke enthusiastically about West before the team’s annual charitable golf outing. West is facing a 10-game suspension to start the season, so it’s possible that Wafer, or another veteran, could serve as insurance until he is able to return.

Read More: Delonte West, Oliver Lafayette, Tony Gaffney,

Brian Scalabrine: “Last Man on the Pine”

09.24.10 at 3:11 pm ET
By   |   Comments

 Marilyn Monroe. Princess Diana. Brian Scalabrine. Three of the most tragic losses of the past 50 years. Elton John memorialized Norma Jeane in his classic ballad “Candle in the Wind,” then re-recorded the tune following Lady Di’s death. Now? The Rocket Man has re-re-recorded the song to pay tribute to Scal’s free-agent departure to the Chicago Bulls

 

Goodbye old friend Scal
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to warm the bench
While those around you played
They sat you in your warmups
As the crowd was chanting your name
They kept you on the treadmill
Until the end of the game

And it seems to me you lived your life
As the last man on the pine
Never knowing if they’ll play you
When you’re up twenty nine
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a fan
Your contract ran out long before
Your legend ever can

Benchwarming was tough
The toughest role you ever played
The Garden created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you left
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Scalabrine signed with the Bulls

Goodbye old friend Scal
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to warm the bench
While those around you played
Goodbye old friend Scal
From the young man in the upper balcony
Who sees you as something more than abysmal
More than just Brian Scalabrine

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Elton John, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana

Carmelo Anthony to the Nets?

09.24.10 at 1:34 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Carmelo Anthony wasn’t a part of the celebrated free agency class of 2010, but his name has been floated throughout the NBA rumor mill ever since he wavered on signing an extension with the Nuggets. As a new season dawns, we may be getting closer to a resolution.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has the latest on a possible deal that would send Anthony to the Nets for rookie Derrick Favors and draft picks. That’s only one part of the deal, as Wojnarowski writes, which could include multiple teams. ESPN’s Marc Stein has the deal involving four teams, including Utah and Charlotte, and involving Andrei Kirilenko, Boris Diaw and Devin Harris all changing addresses.

The upshot is the Nets would get Anthony, the Nuggets would acquire Favors, Kirilenko and draft picks, Diaw would go to Utah and Harris would land in Charlotte. There are an awful lot of moving parts to the deal, not the least of which is Anthony’s willingness (or reluctance) to sign an extension with the Nets if he’s traded.

If it goes down, Anthony would be added to a revamped Nets roster that also includes free agents Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw, as well as recently acquired Troy Murphy.  That’s a serious talent upgrade from the woeful squad the Nets put on the floor last season.

While the Celtics remain the prohibitive favorites in the Atlantic Division, both the Nets and Knicks bolstered their rosters during the offseason. The division remains within the Celtics control, but promises to be a whole lot more interesting than it has in recent seasons.

Read More: Andrei Kirilenko, Boris Diaw, Carmelo Anthony, Devin Harris

Paul Pierce’s Truth on Health Rally

09.24.10 at 1:27 pm ET
By   |   Comments

If you’re looking for something to do with your kids in the Boston area tomorrow, Paul Pierce is scheduled to appear at a rally in Copley Square between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on behalf of his charities, The Truth on Health and FitClub34. Pierce has been volunteering to help children lead more active lifestyles. For more info, check out the event’s Facebook page here.

Read More: FitClub34, Paul Pierce, The Truth on Health,

Celtics: Morning Irish Coffee

09.24.10 at 9:11 am ET
By   |   Comments

Interesting read from Fan House on former Celtics guard Nate Archibald, who hopes to become the only guy on the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list to earn a Ph.D. in education. A member of Boston’s 1981 championship team, Tiny entered the NBA in 1970 without a college degree, earning his bachelor’s degree at UTEP during summers off and getting his master’s at night from Fordham.

“It might not be a big deal to some people, but to me, getting the Ph.D. will be my greatest accomplishment,” said Archibald in the piece. “I’m no Einstein, that’s for sure, and I’m not smarter than anyone else, but maybe I’ve been more persistent. And I understand the value of education.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked to learn that most NBA players don’t have a Ph.D. Are we sure that Ron Artest isn’t putting diplomas on his walls?

NBA Jersey Sales

For the third straight season, Kobe Bryant tops the NBA’s list of highest-selling jerseys, but the Celtics placed three players in the league’s top 15: 3. Kevin Garnett; 8. Paul Pierce; and 11. Nate Robinson. As a team, the Celtics rank No. 2 behind the Lakers in jersey sales. Semih Erden and Von Wafer are yet to crack the top 15.

NBA 2K11 Player Ratings

The NBA 2K11 video game released its player ratings for each team’s projected starting five. The Celtics have the third-highest average rating (80.2) in the game, behind the Heat and Lakers (tied at 82.2).

Rajon Rondo (87) is Boston’s highest-rated player and the league’s fourth-ranked point guard (behind Dwyane Wade-97, Chris Paul-95 and Deron Williams-92).  No surprise there. Everywhere else? That’s a different question.

Pierce (83) is the sixth-rated player at his position (behind Andre Iguadola and Gerald Wallace?). Garnett ranks eighth among power forwards (behind David Lee and Josh Smith?). Ray Allen is the 12th-ranked shooting guard (behind OJ Mayo, Stephen Jackson and Vince Carter?). And Kendrick Perkins (72 when healthy) is ranked 16th among centers (behind Greg Oden, Marc Gasol, Ben Wallace and Andrea Bargnani?).

Celtics Scratch Ticket

The Celtics haven’t been in the NBA lottery since 2007, but they released a scratch ticket called “Celtics Cash.” Apparently, there’s more than $20 million dollars in prizes, so the good news for fans is that combined they’ll make less than Garnett ($21.2 million) this season!

NBA’s New Uniforms

The NBA unveiled new uniforms for all 30 teams. Don’t worry. They’re just lighter fitting, like when George Costanza introduced cotton unis to the Yankees. The Celtics are one of three teams–along with the Bulls and Blazers–that will stick with the traditional round-neck tanktop look, as opposed to the v-neck cutoff sleeves look. They’ll also be returning the tiny shorts that Nate Archibald used to wear. Just kidding.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant
Celtics Box Score
Celtics Schedule
Celtics Headlines
NBA Headlines