|09.28.09 at 11:34 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent next summer if the Celtics do not sign him to a contract extension by October. On Monday he was tight-lipped when it came to business, suggesting any questions could be answered by his agent, Bill Duffy. ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really think about it,’ Rondo said. ‘I try to just focus on camp. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. If not, I’ll play it out.’ He reiterated that he will play wherever he is wanted and that his main focus is getting another ring. … Rondo, 23, gained 11 pounds this summer ‘because I’m growing up.’ He trained with a new weight-lifting routine, ate three meals a day, and cut fast food from his diet. He also plans on hiring a chef.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would like to keep Rondo around as the team’s point guard for the next 10 years and has had early talks with his agent about future plans. He has not, however, had discussions with Ray Allen about his expiring contract and will not address that issue publicly. … Ainge has high expectations for the upcoming season. He believes the offseason moves and returning talent will be successful. ‘We’ve added some great depth, our young players are improving, and Rondo, Perk and Glen Davis, they made great strides last year and I think they’re even going to better this year as their games are maturing. I think that Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis [Daniels] give us two more starters, proven starters, that are coming off the bench for us that should give us a lot of depth,’ Ainge said.
Paul Pierce is making his confidence in the Celtics perfectly clear. He believes they are the best team in the league when healthy, pointing out they were on a record-breaking pace last season prior to injuries. ‘People are going to say what they want to say about my comments or whatever, but I have total confidence in this ball club,’ he said. … Even though Doc Rivers would prefer to cut back on the veterans’ minutes this season, Pierce refuses to sacrifice playing time for wins. ‘I’m not willing to lose nothing. Next question. I don’t understand that, losing. No.’ … He compared seeing Kevin Garnett back on the court for 5-on-5 drills as a ‘breath of fresh air.’
Ray Allen kicked off media day with some humor while waiting for Pierce to join him and Garnett at the podium. Allen grabbed the microphone to locate his teammate: ‘Paul Pierce. Paul Pierce. Your food is ready.’ … The Celtics’ window of opportunity to win a championship has been mentioned since they acquired veterans Allen and Garnett. Allen, though, is more focused on the here-and-now than two or three years down the road. ‘We don’t look at a window. We’re not looking past this year. We can’t look past this year,’ he said. … Allen is not concerned with adding a player like Rasheed Wallace to the mix. He pointed out many of them have known Wallace since high school and the Celtics have already learned each other’s game.
Kendrick Perkins is heading into training camp 15 pounds lighter than last season and is down to 270 pounds, his lightest total in three years. Perkins did not have a weight-loss regimen but rather trimmed down during his workouts. … His shoulder, which he has dislocated in the past, feels better than it has ‘in a while.’ Perkins noted he is not worried about suffering another injury and is feeling strong. … The big man has been impressed by Wallace on and off the court. Even though he did not know what to expect at first ‘ ‘I didn’t know. I was just waiting to see. It was kind of like scary for a moment,’ he said ‘ Perkins praised Wallace’s versatile game and pointed out he is a great addition to the locker room.
Click here to listen to audio clips from media day.
|09.28.09 at 10:59 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett admitted on Monday that watching the playoffs on the bench last year was one of the most painful experiences of his career as he nursed bone spurs behind his right knee.
“I think last year did one thing for us, if anything, it humbled us,” Garnett said during media day for the Celtics. “I think, if anything, it showed that team is everything, not one or two players get things done. I’m eager to see how we come in and how our minds and how we all are in camp. This is our bonding. This is all the time where the guys we haven’t played with … see how they all fit.”
Here are some audio highlights from Monday’s media extravaganza at the Sports Authority Complex in Waltham.
The Celtics left Monday for Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., as camp begins on Tuesday.
|09.28.09 at 8:50 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Before leaving for Newport, R.I. and a week of getting his team in the right frame of mind to actually put some letters and numbers on the blank banner hanging in the corner of the practice facility, Celtics coach Doc Rivers let the media in on a little secret.
“I think camp is important this year but obviously with Kevin coming back, [joining] Rasheed, Paul, Ray, they’re not spring chickens,” Rivers said. “Perk’s [left] shoulder, Tony’s [right] foot, we’re going to go as hard as we need to but I’m not going to overdo it.”
So, the Celtics all got together on Monday and left for Salve Regina University after meeting their media commitments. Kevin Garnett and his right knee, Rasheed Wallace and his new uniform, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tony Allen and his right foot and Kendrick Perkins and his left shoulder joined the rest of their teammates to prepare for a run at getting back on top of the NBA world.
But Rivers was clear about one thing – the NBA Finals are played in June and the playoffs begin in April, something that was reinforced in his mind toward the end of last year.
“Listen, we’re going to try and build through the year,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to try and get everything in in camp. I can tell you right now that we’re going to be behind coming out of camp than where we were last year. I’m more concerned with just preserving. I’m not that concerned about it but that’s the way we’re going to do it.”
As for the new faces like Rasheed Wallace, Marquise Daniels and Shelden Williams all fitting in, Rivers said he’ll manage just fine.
“Bottom line is this, everybody is here for one purpose and that’s to win and when you’re together in that way, I don’t think egos are much of a problem,” Rivers said. “If you’re not together in that way, then egos become a problem. If egos become a problem on this team, then we’re not thinking in the right way and that’s the way I look at it.”
And don’t ask about windows of opportunity with this team. There’s only one window the Celtics are trying to keep open in the house.
“I’m just worried about the 2010 window right now,” Rivers said. “Our goal is to win it this year, that’s it. I don’t look at windows with this team. Obviously, this team won’t be the same in 2012 and 2013. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that.”
|09.28.09 at 5:30 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Last season a knee injury kept him off the court. This time around, there is no holding him back.
‘I’m going full blast,’ Kevin Garnett said. ‘I don’t think when you get in camp you go half-[way] with anything like that. But Doc (Rivers) and I have talked about time, taking it easy, listening to (Celtics trainer) Ed (Lacerte), the doctors, and what they’re telling me so I’m being patient with that.’
In a rare occurrence Garnett sat at the end of the stage with a group of reporters during the Boston Celtics Media Day. The generally private player was inviting and happy to share the positive results from his knee surgery.
The bone spur was originally thought to be a few inches, he later explained as he picked up a voice recorder to demonstrate the size. As it turns out, it was closer to the length of a microphone resting on the table. Nonetheless, his recovery is on schedule.
‘I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’ve been off for a minute. I don’t really like to take time off but it was for a good reason. My leg is right on schedule to where it’s supposed to be and mentally I’m refreshed. I think everybody is.’
Garnett has already begun participating in five-on-five drills with his teammate. While he admitted he has a little less energy than usual, he said he maintained his timing during offseason workouts and compared it to being as routine as riding a bike.
Besides, Garnett has already had more time on the sidelines than he could ever ask for.
‘None of the basketball we played last year that I had to watch was pleasant for me,’ he said. ‘I did it. I sat on the side because my teammates wanted me to sit on the bench. Other than that, it was pure excruciating.’
|09.28.09 at 5:13 pm ET|
“I’m refreshed and ready to go. 5 on 5 starts tomorrow and I’ll be ready,” said Garnett, who is back after summer surgery to repair bone spurs behind his right knee.
“There are no restrictions,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers added. “Right now we have no medical restrictions on any player”.
The team left at 4:30 Monday afternoon for Salve Regina University, where they will begin training camp on Tuesday. Celtics captain Paul Pierce said that Garnett looked ready to go from what he saw of him during an informal 5-on-5 pickup game last week.
“It was like a breath of fresh air,” Pierce said.
|09.22.09 at 11:06 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated recently caught up with Rajon Rondo to discuss hot topics surrounding the upcoming season, including the return of Kevin Garnett, the addition of Rasheed Wallace, and the possible outcomes of his current contract situation. As long as the Boston Celtics want Rondo on their team, he told SI he’d be happy to stick around:
SI.com: You could sign a contract extension this fall or you could test free agency next summer when a number of teams will be looking to buy talent. Is that an enticing possibility?
RR: That could be, but it’s still early so I’ve got some time to see how things settle in Boston. If it doesn’t, I’ll play out the fourth year and see how things go next summer.
SI.com: Is it safe to assume you’d prefer to stay with the Celtics?
RR: If the Celtics want me, then I’d be happy to stay.
Click here for the rest of the interview.
|09.21.09 at 12:24 am ET|
After suffering three concussions in less than a month last season, Brian Scalabrine wants to play it safe. That’s why he chose not to play at all this summer.
‘I didn’t play any basketball,’ Scalabrine told WEEI.com last week at the USI Shamrock Classic. ‘I didn’t want to risk getting a concussion in that environment. So I just didn’t play any basketball and then I’ve been playing since I got back here.’
The Celtics forward began playing basketball nearly three weeks ago when he returned from Washington to Boston for the upcoming season. Up until that point he had been following the training routine outlined by the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Bryan Doo.
Scalabrine suffered a series of concussions over the course of a month last January through February. The first came on January 25 when he was dealt a blow to the chin by Dirk Nowitzki in a game against the Dallas Mavericks. Two days later he banged his head during practice. Scalabrine returned the next month only to suffer a neck injury, one that he would later say was ‘99 percent’ caused by a concussion, during a February 23 game against the Denver Nuggets. Doctors later determined he had postconcussion syndrome.
He missed the remainder of the regular season and returned for the playoffs sporting a protective headband.
While these injuries kept Scalabrine off the courts this summer, he won’t let them hold him back this season.
‘We’re just going to take it day by day and see what happens,’ he said. ‘The only time you’re really going to know is until you take a blow. It’s going to happen one time or another, just how I respond to it is going to be key.’
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