|07.28.10 at 10:05 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he was “leaning heavily” toward taking a sabbatical after this past season, because he was “spent” after the draining campaign and he wanted to spend more time with his family.
In an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz at a high school tournament in Orlando where his son was playing, Rivers said of the Celtics’ injury plagued, up-and-down 2009-10 season: “It was just a tough year, literally a tough year.”
Despite the Celtics coming within a quarter of winning the NBA title, Rivers said after the season, “I was spent,” adding, “I was most likely leaning heavily the other way ‘ more because of [watching sons Austin and Spencer play].”
Rivers said when the season ended, he was “pretty much done, and Danny [Ainge] knew that.” He said he called coaching legends Pat Riley and Larry Brown for reassurance before committing to returning. “It was very helpful,” he said. “They’ve all been through it.”
Rivers said he consulted with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, then free agents, as well. “I wasn’t coming back unless they were coming back,” Rivers said. “I was first, and I thought that was important for them. We all talked. I can tell you that. I made sure. I knew they had to do their business. And Ray scared me a little bit with the money out there. They had said they were coming back and then you see what everyone was getting.”
Rivers signed for one year and still is considering a sabbatical as an option in the future.
“I’m just doing it year to year,” Rivers said. “Danny was great. [Co-owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] offered a long-term deal, but I didn’t think it was fair to them. I didn’t want to walk out of a contract.”
|07.27.10 at 3:25 pm ET|
Dale & Holley welcomed ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard Tuesday afternoon to talk about all things basketball this offseason, including the topics of LeBron James, the Celtics‘ offseason pickups and re-signings and Doc Rivers possibly returning for more than one season.
‘If they have a great season, maybe win the championship, I do think that there would be a lot of pull to return to the franchise,’ Broussard said of the coach. ‘I think he’s doing the right thing, I think it’s a fluid situation and he’s leaving his options open, so I’m not too surprised to hear Doc say that.’
Below are highlights. To listen to the full interview click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On when he figured out that LeBron James would be leaving Cleveland:
It’s interesting, because throughout that whole process there were a lot of people close to LeBron who wanted him to stay in Cleveland, and it’s not a smokescreen, to my knowledge. I would have believed he was trying to get Chris Bosh to go there. Toronto agreed to do a sign and trade, LeBron was trying to sell Bosh on coming to Cleveland and being his second guy. If he was able to do that, then I think LeBron would have stayed in Cleveland.
And then of course, LeBron was also trying to talk to Chris Paul. They were trying to figure out a way Chris Paul could be traded to Cleveland. If one of those two things happened, then I think LeBron would have stayed because there was a part him that wanted to stay, that understood legacy. [Michael] Jordan turned a terrible franchise into a champion, Isiah Thomas did it. You hear it, even in the criticism about LeBron’s decision, that the great ones always stay with one team.
He understood that and wanted to stay, a part of him did, but when he realized they couldn’t get that second guy, and then you looked down the road [he asked] ‘Would I be able to ever get that second guy here? It’s been seven years and it hasn’t happened.’ That’s when he really had to say, ‘You know what? I may have to go.’
Now, Chicago was always very strong in consideration and Miami with their situation was always right there too, but I really think he gave Cleveland a legitimate shot. Finally, when Bosh made it clear that [he] was going to Miami with [Dwyane] Wade, that’s when LeBron realized he wasn’t going to be able to get anybody [in Cleveland]. Can [he] get through Boston what they’re going to do in Miami, Chicago and the Lakers, other teams, like Orlando, without that second guy. He had to go make sure that he had a couple of star teammates.
On the Celtics’ offseason strategy of re-signing their veterans:
I think they’ve done well. The Jermaine O’Neal move was a good one. I know they hate to lose Tony Allen, his defense was critical down the stretch, but I think they should move on without him. I’ve got to admit, I was among the surprised when they played so well in the playoffs, so I do wonder if they’ve got enough left to reach the finals again next year.
I was just talking about with age and things like that. You wonder two years from now, they’re going to be old and pretty much done with that. With [Rajon] Rondo, who’s developing into an All-Star and they’ve got a few other young guys, but that’s my only worry, I think they did what they had to do. I think it’s the right thing to go ahead and try to take one more shot at it. My pick is Miami in the East, but I think the Celtics will be right there.
|07.27.10 at 6:30 am ET|
It was reported earlier this month that the Celtics had interest in bringing back sharpshooting guard Eddie House. On Monday, House’s agent told The Boston Globe that he has spoken with the team, although he didn’t sound too optimistic.
“It’s something Danny [Ainge] and I have discussed,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “But nothing’s imminent.”
House, who made $2.5 million last season between the Celtics and Knicks, could be offered only $1.35 million by the C’s.
Other reports have indicated the Bulls and Heat might consider making an offer to the 10-year veteran who shot 38 percent from the floor and 34.8 from 3-point range last season.
Also Monday, the Celtics officially announced the re-signing of Marquis Daniels.
|07.24.10 at 2:12 pm ET|
Perkins’ estranged father Kenny Perkins lives in New Zealand and was a veteran of that country’s National Basketball League in the 1980s and 90s. However, a few days after New Zealand men’s basketball assistant coach Dillon Boucher said Perkins could play for their national team if he met FIBA eligibility criteria, his father said the Celtics’ big man will never play for the Tall Blacks.
‘He has no intention of playing for the Tall Blacks ‘ not now or ever,’ Kenny Perkins told the Waikato Times. ‘They tried this a long time ago when Tab Baldwin was the coach and I would never let him play for Tab Baldwin.
‘His main goal is to play for the United States.’
Perkins is currently out of action for six months with a knee injury suffered in Game 6 of the NBA finals against the Lakers.
|07.24.10 at 11:40 am ET|
Former Celtics guard Tony Allen, who recently signed a free agent deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, said Friday he felt ‘kind of overshadowed’ by Paul Pierce and Ray Allen while he was with Boston.
The 6-foot-4 Allen, who spent six seasons with the Celtics and averaged 7.2 points per game and 1.04 steals per game in his career, developed a reputation as a defensive stopper with the defending Eastern Conference champions. Along the way, he was part of a team that made two appearances in the NBA finals, and won a title in 2008.
But he sounded like someone who was anxious to get a new start and make his own name with a young ballclub in Memphis.
‘Being in Boston I was kind of overshadowed by those guys, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen,’ he told reporters on Friday. ‘Here’s a ballclub who’s on the rise and a lot of guys can make names for themselves. It’s a coming-out party for a lot of guys on this team.
‘I’m definitely going to try to start early defining a role, try to bring some sort of toughness to the ballclub,’ Allen said. ‘It’s obvious I have experience, and I’m just looking forward to just letting that marinate amongst the players that’s in this locker room.’
Allen hinted that while he enjoyed his role in Boston as a stopper, it may have caused people to forget he had more to offer than just an ability to defend.
‘I don’t mind embracing the role, but there is more to my game. Let’s not get that twisted,’ Allen said. ‘Whatever I could do to win ballgames. If that’s just passing out Gatorades or flashing towels or giving somebody a high five, I’m willing to do that.’
|07.22.10 at 10:10 pm ET|
On Thursday night Daniels (@marquis_daniels) tweeted, “Let’s try this again #celticnation I’m happy to be back.”
Daniels averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 rebounds last season. He was sidelined for 27 games by a thumb injury and appeared in just 51 games during the regular season. Daniels also suffered a concussion during the Eastern Conference finals.
In spite of his limited role on the Celtics, Daniels had expressed an interest in returning to Boston last season.
‘The locker room is great, it’s a great atmosphere, the coaching staff, everything is good,’ he previously told WEEI.com. ‘So it’s something that I’d like to be part of. Hopefully it will work out. If not, then I have to deal with everything that happens.’
Click here to read what else Daniels does during the offseason when he’s not playing basketball.
|07.22.10 at 8:40 pm ET|
Nate Robinson is entering his sixth season in the NBA, but in a lot of ways, his career has a new beginning.
After more than four seasons with the Knicks, and a few months with the Celtics, Robinson is returning to Boston with a two-year deal that gives him a fresh start.
‘For me, I think it will be a good start for me to just come in and start from scratch,’ he said in a conference call. ‘I loved my time there in Boston. The fans welcomed me with open arms, the team, coach Doc (Rivers), Danny Ainge, everybody, the whole organization, they were real good to me. I decided they’re a great, winning organization, a lot of history, and I think I fit in well with the guys. So I was like, why not?’
Even though Robinson was only been traded to the Celtics in February, he is preparing for next season like a player who has been with the team for years. He immediately embraced the tradition of the organization and was struck by the Celtics relentless drive for victory.
Robinson spends his days in Seattle gyms with hometown friends including Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, and Aaron Brooks. They work out three times a week and play games for two. (Robinson will also throw out the first pitch at Friday’s Red Sox – Mariners game in Seattle.)
For the first time in his career, he is spending his offseason preparing to contend, not just compete.
‘The main thing that stood out to me was just their will to win,’ he said. ‘They expect to win every night. I was like, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’’
Robinson says he never experienced such strong team chemistry on the Knicks like he did on the Celtics. It makes his return that much sweeter knowing that Doc Rivers, the coach who expressed confidence in him when he wasn’t seeing major minutes, will be back on the sidelines and the core of the team is still in tact. Read the rest of this entry »
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