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NBA suspends Arenas, Crittenton for season

01.27.10 at 5:21 pm ET
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NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton without pay for the remainder of the 2009-10 season, the league announced on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by the NBA:

‘€œThe NBA has conducted a thorough investigation of events relating to this matter.

‘€œIt is not disputed that, following an argument on the team’€™s flight home from a game in Phoenix, both Mr. Arenas and Mr. Crittenton brought guns to the Verizon Center locker room and ‘€” with other players and team personnel present or nearby ‘€” displayed them to one another in a continuation of their dispute. The players engaged in this conduct despite a specific rule set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the Players Association prohibiting players from possessing a weapon at an NBA facility, and reminders of this prohibition given annually by the NBA to players both in writing and in person.

‘€œThe issue here is not about the legal ownership and possession of guns, either in one’€™s home or elsewhere. It is about possession of guns in the NBA workplace, which will not be tolerated.

‘€œI have met separately with Mr. Arenas and with Mr. Crittenton. Both have expressed remorse for their actions and an understanding of the seriousness of their transgressions. Both have volunteered to engage in community service in order to turn the lessons they have learned into an educational message for others. I accept fully the sincerity of their expressions of regret and intent to create something positive from this incident.

‘€œNevertheless, there is no justification for their conduct. Accordingly, I am today converting Mr. Arenas’ indefinite suspension without pay to a suspension without pay for the remainder of the 2009-10 season, and am also suspending Mr. Crittenton without pay, effective immediately, for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.’€

Arenas has not played since Jan. 10. The Celtics will face the Wizards on Monday in Washington, D.C.

Read More: gilbert arenas, javaris crittenton, suspension, Wizards

Rivers on trade talk: Don’t think so

01.27.10 at 11:05 am ET
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In his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan program, Celtics coach Doc Rivers downplayed the recent trade talk that has swirled around the Celtics.

“I don’€™t think so,” Rivers said when asked if the team was likely to make a move. “I really don’€™t. I’€™ve heard some silly talk over the last two or three days about trades that we’€™ve been discussing, which I wish I had I had known about. They were interesting. Obviously if we can improve our team we’€™re going to. But, I don’€™t think there’€™s a trade out there that we can pull off and I don’€™t mind if we don’€™t.” [Click here for a full transcript.]

A published report on CSNNE indicated the Golden State Warriors would consider offering a package of players for Ray Allen, with Monta Ellis prominently involved. The struggling Warriors acknowledged they needed to make changes, but coach Don Nelson laughed when asked about the rumor.

For his part, Allen told reporters after practice Tuesday that he wanted to remain with the Celtics beyond this season when his contract expires, and that he understands that he would probably have to take less money to make that happen.

The trade deadline is Feb. 18 and the Celtics have a number of expiring contracts, with Allen’s potentially the biggest bait. But the Celtics are eager to see what this team can do when everyone is healthy, which has not happened yet. Marquis Daniels is on track to rejoin the team around the All-Star break, which won’t give them much time to make a decision, if there even is one to be made.

UPDATE: Danny Ainge was a guest on the Big Show (click here for a full transcript) and he also shot down the rumors.

“There’€™s one little rumor, that’€™s made up by the way, that gets reported that actually ends up being a story every day for a couple of weeks,” Ainge said.

Ainge said he did talk to Allen about  the rumor and that Allen understands the nature of the business.

“Ray gets it,” Ainge said. “He knows there’€™s no such thing as players being untradeable. He knows he’€™s 34 years old and at the end of his contract. At the same time he knows that he is a very valuable piece to what we’€™re trying to do right now, which is win a championship and he’€™s one of our key components. So, he gets all of it and he understands the business. It’€™s unfortunate that someone says something and then players have to respond and coaches have to respond for weeks at a time sometimes with no validity to it.”

Ainge went on to say that he believes Allen has a lot of basketball left in him and that he feels the Celtics, as constituted, are good enough to contend for a championship.

Read More: Ray Allen, Rumors,

Rivers on D&C: Can’t change trash-talking

01.27.10 at 10:15 am ET
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Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about trash-talking, whether the Celtics will make a trade, the craziest players and teams Rivers played on, and the Celtics’ upcoming three games with Orlando, Atlanta and the Lakers.

Did you see Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace in the footage at Ellis Memorial in Roxbury yesterday? It was very heartwarming. The reason we bring this up is it flies in the face of your team’s reputation as the biggest trash-talkers in the NBA.

Well, they can do that and still do that, I guess. We have a bunch of great guys and we have a bunch of insane guys when the game starts. I’ve always said there’s a lot of guys who you would love to meet on the court and who you would not like to meet off the court. That’s probably two of them.

[Sports Illustrated] made a list of the top trash-talkers and you have three of them. Are you comfortable with that?

It’s who we are and I’m not going to try to change it. It’s part of their DNA. I’m assuming the three are Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and you can go with either Paul or [Kendrick Perkins].

It was Paul. It was a player’s poll and Kevin won going away.

The thing with Kevin is, Kevin talks the whole game — to himself, to us, to his teammates and to the other team. So I don’t know who he’s talking to, and I don’t think the other team does, as well. Again, it’s funny. My first year with Kevin I realized that’s who he was. We had one game and before the game I said to the guys, “Look. We have to play the game. Respect the game. No talking.” At halftime we were awful and I went in and said, “Kevin, everybody. Go back to who you were. Play basketball.” That’s who a couple of my guys are. Do I wish they didn’t do it? Yeah. But that’s who they are. I’m not going to try and change it.

Do the other players on the other teams take offense?

I think sometimes they do and I don’t really think Kevin is a trash-talker, of the three. Kevin is a talker. He’ll do that, “Get that stuff out of here,” and I don’t even consider that trash talk anymore. He yells more at the atmosphere. “We’re gonna win. We’re playing hard.” Stuff like that. It’s not really directed at anyone. But, yes, some guys do. It’s the teams that aren’t very good and can’t handle it. The great teams don’t pay any attention to it because they do it themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D & C, Doc Rivers,

How Rondo is like Brett Favre

01.26.10 at 9:57 pm ET
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WALTHAM ‘€” Celtics coach Doc Rivers wants his supremely talented point guard to get downright defensive.

Rivers has spent the last three years trying to instill in Rajon Rondo the kind of traits Rivers used to gain a reputation as one of the best defensive guards in the NBA in the 1980s.

Right now, Rivers knows the reputation Rondo has around the league. Go at Rondo and make him try to stop you, since defense hasn’t always come naturally for the guard. On Tuesday, following practice, Rivers drew a analogy between Rondo and another pro athlete.

“I think teams try to go at Rondo because of his size and because they want to try and get him to gamble,” Rivers said. “It’s like trying to make Brett Favre try and throw across his body. It’s who you are, and teams know that and try to take advantage of that.”

[Click here to hear Doc Rivers talk about how defense led to Rondo’s development into a possible All-Star]

Like Favre on Sunday with an ill-advised cross-body pass that was picked, Rondo’s season came to a bitter end in Game 7 last spring against the Orlando Magic, a game in which some critics felt Rondo hurt the team by constantly gambling for steals instead of playing solid defense on Orlando’s dangerous backcourt. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA, nfl, Packers

Glen Davis: Don’t play if you’re not a competitor

01.26.10 at 7:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  The Celtics leave Wednesday morning to begin one of their toughest four-day stretches of the season. On Thursday, they play in Orlando, followed by a road game in Atlanta the next night.

They return home on Sunday to host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. All three teams have a combined 91 wins entering Tuesday’s play.

‘€œHuge,” Glen Davis said of the week. “These are big, big, big games. If you’€™re not a competitor, you don’€™t need to play in these games. This is a great opportunity for us to keep our win streak alive and also get better with playoff-contending teams. We’€™re looking forward to the challenge. Every game is big but these games are bigger.’€

Speaking of Davis, he said he is on a new path when it comes to his former moniker – ‘Big Baby’

‘€œBig Baby will always be a part of me. But I’€™m going to put Big Baby on the shelf ‘€“ for now,’€ he said.

Asked why Davis, No. 11,  is leaning toward ‘Uno, Uno’ as a new nickname, Davis pointed toward Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Davis doesn’t feel the need to formally change his last name, just his handle.

“Every sport has their version of nicknames,” Davis said. “He paved the way. Knock off or not, I’m a different player than Ochocinco. He plays football. I play basketball.”

Davis wouldn’t be the first pro athlete in Boston to follow the Cincinnati receiver’s lead. In 2008, Jonathan Papelbon had ‘Cinco Ocho’ T-shirts made up sporting the reverse of the famous wide receiver, and representing the No. 58 on the back of Papelbon’s uniform.

Read More: Celtics, Glen Davis, NBA,

Scal cleared to play, Marquis begins drills

01.26.10 at 4:12 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Brian Scalabrine returned to Celtics practice on Tuesday and was cleared to play on the team’s upcoming trip to Orlando and Atlanta. He had missed two games with separated right shoulder, injured on Jan. 6 in Miami.

“Scal practiced today and showed no sign of injury,” coach Doc Rivers announced following practice. “He shot two airballs and I was like, ‘Scal’s back.’ He’s good. He’ll play.”

Rivers said that Marquis Daniels participated in passing drills for the first time since surgery on his left thumb. Rivers is hopeful Daniels could re-join the team the first game back from the All-Star break.

Daniels missed his 22nd straight game on Monday night, before which Rivers indicated there was a “slight chance” the guard/forward could return on Feb. 10 in New Orleans, the final game before the All-Star break.

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Hawks, Magic

Celtics react to Grizzlies unexpected streak

01.26.10 at 12:51 pm ET
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If you were told at the start of the season that among the Celtics and Grizzlies, one team would win 11 straight at home while the other would lose three consecutive games on their own turf, chances are you would pick the Celtics to be streaking.

That’d be the wrong answer.

The Grizzlies have not lost at home since falling to the Celtics on December 14, 2009. After winning just 16 games in Memphis last season, they have put together a string of victories that includes wins over the playoff contending Nuggets, Jazz, Suns, and Spurs.

On Monday, they extended the streak to 11 with a win over the Magic, the Celtics’€™ next opponent, tying the previous mark set by the Cavaliers and Lakers this season.

‘€œIt’€™s pretty tough,’€ Rasheed Wallace said when told of the Grizzlies achievement. ‘€œYou have good teams coming in night in and night out, some top-notched teams and some teams that are lower than you that are not playing on your level. That’€™s what makes it harder because you want to try to get your ball club to stay on that high level and not stoop down.’€

Even though the Celtics have won their last two games at home, they can appreciate the Grizzlies accomplishments. This season they learned how vulnerable they can be on their own court. After posting 35-6 records at the TD Garden the previous two seasons, the Celtics uncharacteristically dropped three in a row this month. The C’€™s understand what goes into a streak like the Grizzlies.

‘€œIt’€™s very hard, but I think they’€™re focused,’€ said Kendrick Perkins. ‘€œThey’€™re playing with a  lot of confidence, they’€™ve got a pretty good coach over there, good young talent, and they’€™re just sticking together, grinding out games.’€

Perkins knows firsthand the obstacles faced by a young team, making the Grizzlies streak that much more notable. He was a member of the 2007 Celtics squad that lost 18 straight during a rocky youth movement.

‘€œThey’€™re young but their basketball IQ’€™s a little bit better than how we were,’€ he said. ‘€œThey’€™re playing team ball and tough defense. They’€™ve got a lot of smart guys.’€

The Grizzlies will look to extend their home streak to 12 on Saturday against the Hornets, while the Celtics will try to make it three in a row in Boston on Sunday against the Lakers. The Grizzlies will test the C’€™s at the TD Garden on March 10.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Memphis Grizzlies, Rasheed Wallace
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