|06.09.09 at 9:42 am ET|
Following the release of his new book, Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend, Bill Russell sat down with USA Today to discuss his relationship with Red Auerbach. Click here for the complete interview. Excerpts include:
Q: Would Red have been able to adapt to today’s NBA player?
A: I tell you something: He would not have had to adapt. He always took the players as they came to him. He didn’t make any (preconceived) judgment. All he was interested in was, ‘Can this player help me win games?’
When I started playing, he said he didn’t know what I was doing because he had never seen anything like that. I went against everything. I started defense to offense. Everybody else was (the opposite), including him. He saw things I did and, after he understood them, made it part of his system. We were learning from each other.
When I was a rookie, I had a beard (against league policy regarding facial hair). He never once said anything about it. Not one single time. He never put artificial pressure on our backs.
Q: Why did the Celtics always stand during timeouts?
A: That started before I joined the team. Red had a thing ‘ the Celtics never sat during timeouts because we were always in shape. We didn’t need to rest ‘ it was a (psychological tactic used against opposing teams).
But my first game, I went and sat down. Red said, to me, ‘Why aren’t you in the huddle?’ I said, ‘I don’t need to be in that huddle. I play center. Everybody else is playing center (tonight). I don’t need to be in the huddle to know to stay the hell out of the way.’ His reaction was, ‘OK, nobody else is playing center.’
When we got home from that trip, he put in a play specifically for me. If he didn’t think the play was called enough, he would call it from the bench.
Q: What is your best memory of your coach and friend?
A: The last time we talked (just before he died) and Red warned me, ‘Don’t fall.’ So concise, so meaningful. I’ll always remember that ‘ until the moment I fall.
|06.05.09 at 2:14 pm ET|
Earlier this week, radio station KTAR in Arizona floated the rumor of trade discussions between the Boston Celtics in Phoenix Suns that would send Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo out west in exchange for Amar’e Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa, and the 14th pick.
The Arizona Republic has reported the Suns have not had conversations with the Celtics:
“There’s a lot of stuff flying around out there that has no basis,” Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. “There’s just a ton of speculation but there really is nothing substantial going on.
“With most of these deals being speculated about, I haven’t even had a conversation with the opposing team. I read this stuff and laugh.”
The notion of trading forty percent of the Celtics starting lineup is startling at first. But there are reasons why Allen and Rondo could be heard in rumors this offseason. Allen turns 34 this summer and is entering the last year of his contract in which he is set to earn nearly $20 million. His expiring deal ‘ plus proven track record ‘ could make him an attractive option.
Rondo, on the other hand, is just starting to play up to his potential. At 23 he is the type of player a team can build around. The Celtics, however, have to decide how much they want to pay Rondo. He will become a free agent in 2010 so they can either sign him to an extension or take a risk on the going rate next summer.
Either way the Celtics will be financially limited when they try to add depth to their bench this summer and making trades is one way to work around that. It’s only the beginning of June and there is no doubt more rumors like this are sure to follow.
|06.04.09 at 10:33 pm ET|
During halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, ABC aired an interview between Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant in which Johnson revealed Larry Bird considers Bryant his favorite player. Turns out Bryant has a one-sided love-hate relationship with Bird.
Johnson: Larry Bird told me that Kobe Bryant is his favorite player. How do you respond to that?
Bryant: You know what? That makes me feel, that makes me feel great. You know, I hated Larry growing up. I did, I hated his guts. But I loved him as a player and his work ethic and his intensity, his tenacity and I wanted to be that way. And the funny thing is, I’ve never actually met Larry Bird.
|06.04.09 at 11:42 am ET|
Even while the Boston Celtics were defending their championship, advertising during the playoffs was dominated by Kobe vs. LeBron messages. Now that the NBA Finals match up is LA Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, what will happen to all the commercials? Dwight Howard has an answer. Check out vitaminwater’s newest ad, produced and directed by Howard, which will debut tonight during Game 1.
|06.03.09 at 2:36 pm ET|
- Wyc: “I saw KG this morning, he’s feeling great and he’s the most fired up he’s ever been. For KG, that’s saying something.”
- Ray on NBA’s International growth: “We enjoyed Rome for training camp. We enjoy playing overseas in bigger arenas; fans are just as crazy.”
- Ray: “Anytime I’m in the gym, somebody runs down to rebound for me. They’ve built a great team (off court) so we can focus on basketball.”
|06.03.09 at 10:10 am ET|
BOSTON, MA ‘ The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Tony Allen underwent successful arthroscopic right ankle surgery and posterior tibial tendon repair today at the New England Baptist Hospital. Surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by Dr. Mark Slovenkai and Jason Rand, PAC. Full recovery is expected with return by training camp this fall.
|06.03.09 at 12:32 am ET|
After non-stop hoops through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the stretch before Game 1 of NBA Finals can seem like four weeks rather than four days. The good news is, there is still some high flying action to enjoy before the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic get underway on Thursday,
The NBA and Sprite are searching for the best dunker to compete in the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown during the 2010 All-Star Weekend. Contests are being held in eight cities around the country and each winner will receive $1,000. In addition, LeBron James and a panel of judges will select two winners from a pool of online video submissions.
Once those 10 dunkers have been selected, fans will vote on four contestants to go to Dallas for All-Star Weekend and compete for $10,000 and a spot in the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Click here to watch the winners from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco. Check out the Bay Area’s winner, Guy Dupuy, who throws down a windmill over six people. Submit your own videos at www.nba.com/dunk.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Why Celtics Will Be Better Than Expected in 2014-15
- Should Celtics Fans Buy or Sell Rondo's Hot Start?
- Lessons Learned from Celtics so Far
- Why Green Will Finally Succeed in Boston
- C's Big Offense Showing a Sign of Things to Come?
- Green's Transition to PF Could Reshape NBA Career Arc
- Could Rondo's Play Increase the Chances He's Dealt?