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Pollard Talks Ring, NBA Future

10.28.08 at 7:04 pm ET
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Scot Pollard was late to his own party. Since he is no longer a member of the Celtics, he wasn’t sure if he should go up and get his ring like the rest of the guys on the team during the ceremony. Instead he sat in his seat when his name was called, a little confused, before showing up fashionably late to receive his hardware.

But now that he has the ring he is happy to show it to anyone who asks. Just take the herds of fans who approached him at halftime for a peek. After regaining my vision from being temporarily blinded by all the diamonds, I caught up with Scot to see what he’s up to these days.

What did you think when you woke up today knowing you were getting your ring?

I’ve been so geeked about this for so long. As soon as I heard the ring ceremony was going to be today I obviously marked it on my calendar. There was nothing that could keep me away from coming back to get it. It’s beautiful. I was worried it was going to be too big or too gaudy. It’s huge and it’s heavy but I think it’s great. I don’t think it’s gaudy at all. It’s really huge and I’m actually really excited to be able to show it off.

How have you been filling your calendar these days besides ring ceremonies?

I am working out and really, really enjoying a lot of time with my family. I’ve been able to take my kids to school every day, pick them up. I’m just having a blast being a family guy and being able to do things I’ve never had the chance or time to do. My agent is still pounding the phone and making sure people still know I’m available and healthy. I’m staying ready, staying in shape. If something happens, it happens. If not, it doesn’t.

Are you feeling 100% now?

About as good as it can be, yeah.

So you’ve got a few more games left in you?

I’ve got a lot of years left. But I don’t know if it’s going to happen.

At this point how many teams are seeking interest in you?

I’ve had a couple of phone calls, questions, but at this point in my career it’s tough for me to say I’m going to go for a 10-day contract or a training camp contract.

And with that the ever-personable Pollard was pulled away by former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas to see the ring. Regardless of where he ends up this season, judging by the reception of the crowd he is more than welcome back at the Garden.

Halftime Numbers and Notes

10.28.08 at 6:39 pm ET
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At the half … Cavs 50, Celtics 43

  • The Cavs have got to the line 22 times (86%) while the Celtics landed their just 13 (69%)
  • Neither team is on from long-range. The Cavs are 1-for-9, the Cs are 0-for-9
  • Paul Pierce leads all scorers with 14 points. LeBron James leads the Cavs with 10. Both players have attempted 10 field goals.
  • The Cavs have waged a balanced attack on the glass, outrebounding the Celtics 21-18.
  • Who can block KG? Ben Wallace did in the second quarter.

See You on SportsCenter

10.28.08 at 6:10 pm ET
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LeBron James just lay down a “Top 10″-worthy dunk over Paul Pierce. Thanks to the mega-microphones on the rim, it sounded about a million times louder than it actually was. James is only 4-for-10 from the field so going hard inside is his best bet right now.

Back in Action

10.28.08 at 6:01 pm ET
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After a minor power outage, I’m back in action. Can’t say the same for the Celtics.

They are still trailing late in the second quarter, which is what will happen when your opponents shoot 50% from the field. Another problem – the Cavs have got to the line twice as often as the Celtics. And they are hitting their free throws too. It doesn’t help that the Cs are also ice cold from the arc, going 0-for-8 so far.

Double technicals were just called on Perk and Big Z … maybe that intensity will result in a Celtics run …

West Happy for Celtics … Kind Of

10.28.08 at 5:21 pm ET
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Delonte West battled through a lot of ups and downs with the Boston Celtics. So it’s understandable that he felt hurt after being traded in the summer of 2007. The Celtics may have had a losing record, but nothing was as bad to him as playing on the Seattle SuperSonics.

After being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, West has seemed to find his niche. After publicly coping with a mood disorder and depression, he has settled into a routine to overcome his obstacles. Now it’s back to basketball, starting with a season opener back in his old digs.

So how does it feel to be back the Garden for a ring ceremony?

“It’s alright,” West said. “Right now all I can focus on is these 15 guys in this locker room and this coaching staff and what we have to do to win tonight.”

And how about his former teammates?

“I’m happy for the guys that I spent time with, putting the groundwork in,” he said. “Other than that, you know, that’s where the happiness stops.”

Notes from Pregame Ceremonies

10.28.08 at 5:01 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics opened their pregame ceremonies with a video montage that chronicled the 2008 playoff run. By the time the clips reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Cavaliers had already headed back to the locker room as promised.

At the conclusion of the video, Celtics legends including John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, and Tommy Heinsohn carried the championship trophy to the court where they passed it off to Paul Pierce. The Celtics captain placed the trophy on a table surrounded by championship rings in the shape of the number 17.

Then came the ring ceremony.

The bench received theirs first, starting with Leon Powe. Tony Allen happily placed his on his pinky finger, as he vowed to do in a Celtics.com video. Eddie House garnered the loudest ovation of all the reserves. And as only Scot Pollard would, the free agent big man was late for his own introduction.

When it came time for the starters, the PA announcer’s voice cracked when introducing Kevin Garnett. But the most emotional recipient was, as expected, Pierce. He was noticeably teary-eyed as he received the ring he patiently waited10 years for.

Once all the players and staff had received their rings, the team raised the 17th banner to the rafters. It now sits comfortably next to the 1986 banner. Instead of U2′s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” which the Cs used as battle music during the playoffs, “Beautiful Day” blared through the Garden.

This Time Last Year: Bill Walker

10.28.08 at 10:48 am ET
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Life changed instantly for Bill Walker when his named was called this summer in the NBA Draft. Tonight the 21-year-old rookie from Kansas State will join the Boston Celtics to watch them raise the 17th banner to the rafters and receive their world champion rings. As Walker tells us, a ring ceremony is leaps and bounds from where he was this time last year …

Where were you on Opening Night last season?
I was in Manhattan, K-State, probably practicing. It’s about the same time but different levels. I think it’s harder here, though, preparing for a season than it was there.

Take me through the day leading up to your first game at Kansas State.
Get up, probably have class from 8 to 12, you go to study table, knock out all the homework. Usually I’d just go home, get dressed for pre-game, come in for shootaround, and I’d usually stay in the gym and wait for game time.

Must be nice not having study table this year.
It’s a relief but it’s a job now so that’s basically how I go about it. It’s an all day thing. I’m in here, shoot around, go home, rest up, and prepare for the game.

This season you don’t have to go back to a dorm either. How is it living away from campus?
It’s private, more personal. But I don’t know. I kind of miss just knocking on somebody’s door and starting up a conversation.

Talk about motivation

Talk about motivation

What do you miss the most about living with your college roommate, the Miami Heat’s Michael Beasley?
I always had something to laugh at in the morning. From something we did yesterday or something we were going to do that day, I always had somebody to laugh at.

How did living with a potential number one draft pick push you to compete?
Oh man, we competed at everything. On the basketball side, out of basketball, video games, we competed in every thing. Everything was a competition. It teaches you a lot about yourself though. Especially when you go up against somebody that’s just as competitive as you are and he’s skilled in the same manner you are, that really challenges you.

So who was the messy one and who was the clean one?
You know what they say about boys, (laughs) we’re not really neat at all.

How do you expect Opening Night at the Garden to compare to the excitement of your first game at Kansas State?
Especially playing for the Celtics just coming off of a world championship and they’re going to raise the banner and get their rings, you can’t get any better than that so I’m pretty lucky.

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