|09.25.13 at 6:53 am ET|
The Celtics hosted their annual charity golf tournament on Tuesday, signaling the unofficial start of the season. While Media Day looms Monday, the C’s front office, their coach and players addressed a few pressing questions.
As Celtics president Danny Ainge said, ‘I’m very excited about the team, because there are so many questions to be answered and so many unknowns of what’s going to happen and who’s going to step up and who’s not.’
So, without further ado, the answers to the questions you’ve all been asking. And then more questions.
When will Rajon Rondo return?
Since this is the biggest question they face, it deserved its own post. The short of it: Rondo is ‘unlikely’ to start the season, according to coach Brad Stevens, and anything to the contrary would be ‘shocking’ to Ainge & Co.
Where does Jared Sullinger’s domestic violence case stand?
Ainge: ‘The outcome is looking good, but we can’t talk about any of that yet. It’s still pending that conclusion. Jared will be in training camp. He’s in our facility working out every day. I think he’s taking care of everything in the exact right way that he should, and I think that Jared is a good kid and he’s a good Celtic and he’s a guy that we have big hopes for. And we don’t think that he’s done anything so wrong that he shouldn’t be part of our team today.’
Now, how’s that for a non-answer answer? Carry on.
Have they discussed a new contract for Avery Bradley?
‘Sure,’ said Ainge, ‘but there’s nothing imminent there. … We may talk in October, but most likely next summer.’
If the C’s and Bradley don’t agree to an extension by November, he’ll be a restricted free agent after the season.
Ainge, who was in Tacoma, Wash., for Bradley’s mother’s funeral last week, said the 22-year-old ‘seems to be doing better,’ especially given the birth of his first son, Avery Bradley III, on Tuesday morning.
‘I guess we’ll call him AB III,’ said Ainge.
Why haven’t we heard from Gerald Wallace all summer?
‘I’m right there with you,’ said Ainge. ‘I’m anxious to meet Gerald. I’ve met him before when I was doing television, but I haven’t had much conversation with him. He’s really the only one, but he’ll be in town I think next week, so we’ll be watching closely and will sit down. I’ve obviously watched him play a lot of basketball.
‘It’s interesting. Gerald got a good contract in Charlotte, was their best player when they went to the playoffs and that led to a big payday for him. He was traded for two first-round picks to Portland. He played very well in Portland to the point where New Jersey wanted to give away Damian Lillard in order to get him, and then New Jersey wanted him bad enough to pay him a very lucrative contract, so it seems like everywhere he’s been he’s been well-liked and well compensated. He’s a good player.
“It wasn’t a great fit for him in New Jersey last year, but we’ll try to see if we can make it a better fit for us.’
Wait. Is it normal for an executive not to meet a guy he’s paying $10 million a year? ‘It’s a nightmare trying to get a hold of players in the summertime,’ added Ainge. ‘I was the same way when I was a player.’ Well, that explains it.
What can we expect from Jeff Green this season?
|09.24.13 at 1:41 pm ET|
MILTON — Over the past month, the Celtics have rapidly backed away from their projections this past spring that Rajon Rondo would be healthy for the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, and on Tuesday the organization essentially announced the four-time All-Star would not be in the lineup come Oct. 30.
“My understanding and the last time that we’ve had discussions about it is that it’s very indeterminate still, but it sounds like it would be unlikely that he would be playing at the very start of the season,” C’s coach Brad Stevens said from the team’s annual charity golf tournament. “What that means beyond that, I think that’s going to be on his doctors, the training staff and him making the call on when he’s ready. I’ve told him from Day 1, ‘Come back when you’re ready,’ because I think it’s really important that he feels really good when he’s back and ready to play.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge put it more succinctly: “I would be shocked.”
No players participated in the golf portion of the event, but Rondo was expected to arrive in Boston on Tuesday. He’s also expected to join the team when training camp begins on Oct. 1 in Newport, R.I.
‘I’ve been in constant contact with him, and so has Brad,” added Ainge. He seems to be in a really good place emotionally and mentally, and now we’re just trying to get the physical part done. And he’s got a ways to go.”
So, when exactly can we expect to see Rondo in a Celtics uniform again?
|09.23.13 at 12:49 pm ET|
Paul Pierce wants to return to Boston. Just not as a basketball player.
Maybe as a restaurant owner.
‘Ultimately, what I would like to do is have a business in Boston,’ the former Celtics captain told The Boston Globe. ‘Maybe like a sports bar. I would love to do something like that here. None of the former Celtic great players have come and done that. I thought about it, and why hasn’t anyone come and opened up a nice restaurant? You see the Don Shula restaurant, the Michael Jordan restaurant, and Magic [Johnson] got the theaters in LA. Why nobody here? All this history, all these championships and love, why has nobody done that?
‘I am going to still have relationships here. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here.’
Or maybe as a front office executive.
‘Who knows? I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge,’ he added. ‘A lot of players don’t understand it. I’ve always understood it. And [other players] let their pride and ego get in the way. I’ve made a lot of money here, I’ve built relationships, won a championship here, I thank y’all for everything y’all gave me. How can I be mad for everything they’ve given me. I’m thankful.’
So, if it’s any consolation, Pierce still loves Boston.
Here’s hoping his restaurant will be more Ray Bourque‘s Tresca than David Ortiz‘s Big Papi’s Grille. Either way, Pierce better get the 2008 Celtics together to recreate the Scotch ‘n Sirloin commercial from 1986.
|09.17.13 at 1:53 pm ET|
As expected, the Celtics waived forward Donte Greene.
By waiving Greene, whom they acquired in exchange for Fab Melo on Aug. 15, the Celtics shave the $1.0 million necessary to get under the NBA’s $71.7 million luxury tax line. The C’s were forced into a hard cap as the result of the myriad pieces involved in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade.
The 6-foot-11 Green has averaged 6.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.8 minutes over 253 career games since being selected 28th overall in the 2008 NBA draft.
The move doesn’t mean much in Boston, especially considering Greene will reportedly play in China next season, but it officially stamps the C’s first-round selection of Melo last season as a failure. And not just because he fell off a chair and concussed himself on a door frame in separate incidents as a rookie.
The Celtics now have $71.2 million dedicated to 14 players, so this move allows Danny Ainge to sign an undrafted rookie for the $490,180 minimum out of training camp or a prorated veteran at some point later this season.
In general, this season hasn’t been a good one for Syracuse products turned Celtics. First they waived Kris Joseph for the second time in a calendar year after the Nets deal, then traded Melo and finally this Greene news.
This also closes another chapter of the Green(e) Curse. Donte joins Gerald Green, Rickey Green, Orien Greene and Sihugo Green on the list of Green(e)s who lasted no longer than two seasons in Boston. In fact, when Jeff Green suits up for the C’s this season, he will become the first Green to make it to Year 3 in green (#reporting).
|09.17.13 at 10:24 am ET|
Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who claimed Boston “is it for me as far as a city” back in April, sold his Boylston Street luxury condo in the Four Seasons almost exactly a month after leaving The Hub for Los Angeles.
Rivers sold the 1,801-square-foot, two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo for $3 million on July 26, according to public records. The Celtics announced their decision to allow their coach of nine years to pursue an opportunity with the Clippers in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick on June 25.
For those counting at home, that’s almost as much as the annual salary of new Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who signed a six-year, $22 million deal in early July. Needless to say, Stevens wasn’t the purchaser of the penthouse condo.
Rivers walked away from the final three years on his five-year, $35 million contract with the Celtics to sign a similar three-year, $21 million deal in L.A. Rivers paid $2.2 million for the condo on Aug. 5, 2011 — a few months after signing that five-year extension — so he made another cool $800,000 on real estate upon leaving Boston.
Photos of the condo are available from that original listing two years ago.
|09.16.13 at 9:18 am ET|
‘ SHO_PR (@SHO_PR) September 15, 2013
I knew there had to be a reason other than, “We knew that this time was coming,” that the Celtics traded the heart and soul of the organization and the face of the franchise to the Nets for any deal that involves Kris Humphries. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce wear sunglasses at night and fraternize with Magic Johnson. Even if they were at the Floyd Mayweather fight in Las Vegas over the weekend, those are two of the biggest taboos going in Boston.
(h/t Red’s Army)
|09.12.13 at 1:06 pm ET|
Doc Rivers returned to TD Garden on Wednesday night. The former coach of the Celtics served as a co-chair of the Action for Boston Community Development’s Hoop Dreams charity event and spent the evening shaking hands, signing autographs and sharing stories about his time in Boston.
“It’s tough to leave the Celtics because it’s the Celtics,” Rivers said. “It was the best nine years of basketball that I’ve ever been a part of, but I also fell in love with the city. And, for me, the hardest part is leaving the city. I’ve met friends that have changed my life here, and they’ll always be my friends.”
Sitting a few rows behind the Celtics bench, Rivers shared some insight on his tenure with the Celtics.
Kevin Garnett served as a focal point of the discussion. Rivers lamented the fact that KG never let the city see his vivacious side.
“Fans never got to see Kevin’s personality,” Rivers said. “I wish the city got to know Kevin more. He’s the single best athlete that I’ve ever been around as far as being a team guy. He’s as ‘team’ of a star as I’ve ever seen. A lot of stars are stars, but he’s unselfish, to a fault at times, but every coach should be able to coach Kevin Garnett just to see what a true team player should be.”
Rivers agreed that Garnett is an atypical NBA superstar, as he is a pass-first player who relishes his role as a teammate.
“He did a lot of good things that people don’t know,” Rivers said. “When rookies came in, he would bring them up to my office. He’d sit them down, and then he would bring his tailor in and say, ‘If you want to be a pro, you’ve got to dress like a pro.’ And he would buy each rookie two suits, and he did it every year. To me, that says a lot about Kevin Garnett as a teammate.”
Rivers also admitted that Garnett has an interesting use of the English language.
“The word that starts with ‘f’? He thought it was a noun, verb and an adjective,” Rivers said.
Celtics fans may never have the opportunity to see Garnett reveal his personality, but he delighted the city with his Hall of Fame play for six seasons.
“He’s full of life and a great guy in the locker room,” Rivers said. “He’s so unselfish, I think he would have scored another 10,000 points if he wanted. He’s the only player I’ve ever yelled at for not shooting. He always felt like if he took three or four shots in a row, that was too many. He needed to share the ball.”
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