Archive for June, 2010

Lakers celebrate finals win with parade

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Avert your eyes, Celtics fans, but the rival Lakers and their rooters are spending Monday lining the streets of LA in celebration of this year’s seven-game NBA finals victory over the men in green.

Local officials expected around two million supporters to line the two-mile route, and thousands had already filed in by the morning. The police were out en masse to hopefully quell any exuberant celebration that may have erupted in a similar fashion to the violence that occurred the night the Lakers won Game 7.

The Lakers themselves rode on a flatbed float and talked to the crowd through a microphone. However, unlike past years, there wasn’t a rally of any sort following the parade, meaning there would be no moments like Pat Riley’s guarantee or Mark Madsen’s dance at this year’s festivities.

The team announced a few days prior that it would pay the entire cost of the nearly $2 million parade.

Before it even started, there was already a little bit of controversy, though. Earlier in the day, many along the parade route had complained about a lack of portable toilets. There was more controversy as it was reported that marijuana lollipops, which are legal in the state of California, were being sold to parade watchers.

Rivers on D&C: Transcript

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss not only his future as coach of the Celtics but also his reaction to Game 7 of the NBA finals. Said Rivers: “It’s uncomfortable to talk about [this coaching situation] and its uncomfortable where you go where people want to talk about it, so that’s probably why I want to make the decision sooner than later.”

Following is a transcript. To listen to the entire interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Did any [members of your family] put the question to you yesterday: Why don’t you stick around for a year or two?

We didn’t talk about it all, really. We’ve on even brought it up once since the season has been over. It is still very difficult to get though Game 7, let alone talk about your future, if you want to be honest.

You could look us in the eye, if we were face to face, and say you haven’t made a decision yet?

Yeah, I could. I could do that and could do it honestly. I am not going to say which way I am leaning — and I am one way — but I could look you in the eye and say that I have not made a decision. We have only had a small conversation, and we are going to do that in the next week or so. (more…)

Rivers on D&C: ‘Leaning’ one way about future

Monday, June 21st, 2010
Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his final weekly visit of the 2009-10 season. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rivers said he has not decided whether or not he will return to the Celtics next season. “I’m not going to say which way I’m leaning — and I am one way — but I could look you in the eye and tell you I haven’t decided,” he said.

Rivers said he did not discuss the matter with his family during Father’s Day Sunday. “We didn’t talk about it at all, really,” he said. “It’s still very difficult to get through Game 7, let alone talk about your future, to be honest.”

Rivers said the players have been encouraging him to return, which makes him feel great but embarrassed to be in the spotlight. That type of support is the main reason why he would consider returning. Said Rivers, “The only reason you stay is your love for the guys you coach … knowing that if you do leave, you’re not going to get that back.”

Rasheed Wallace, like Rivers, is considering leaving the game. Rivers said he expects we’ve seen the last of the controversial center. “I think you have,” he said. “It’s so emotional right after the game. But Rasheed told me before [Game 7]. He told me the the night before. He walked up to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. I really believe this is my last game that I’m going to play.’ And he said this year was very difficult for him physically. He never felt like — even the conditioning part of it hurt. He said he doesn’t think he wants to go through that again, and he wants to watch his kids. I do think it’s the last time we’ll see him in a Celtics uniform.”

Rivers said he’s watched some video of the fourth quarter of Game 7. “I’ve looked at some of it but I couldn’t watch it [all],” he said. “It’s still very difficult.”

The coach said one thing he might have done differently is to get Rondo some rest at the start of the fourth. “I think I should have given Rondo another blow,” Rivers said. “I thought he was tired. I thought he played that way in the fourth. And that was a tough one, because he was starting to play well at the end of the third, so it was tough to pull him out.”

Rivers also said he wished the team would have attacked the post more, although he noted that some post plays were called, and Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace both were tiring. “You could just feel that we were running out of gas,” he said.

Rivers also said the referees’ more frequent whistles down the stretch were an adjustment the Celtics did not handle well. “The whole fourth quarter, it was called tighter,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that after watching [the video]. That hurt us a lot. … It was just a free throw line parade. That’s the one line you can’t defend.”

Rivers also credited Ron Artest as the key to the Lakers’ comeback. “We didn’t defend him the way we should have defended him,” he said. “I thought Ron Artest was the difference in that game.”

Celebrity fans take out ad honoring Celtics

Monday, June 21st, 2010

A group of celebrity fans took out a full-page ad in Monday’s Boston Globe honoring the Celtics. The ad paid tribute to the C’s victories over the Heat, Cavaliers and Magic, as well as their performance against the Lakers in the finals. The ad closed with: “You are our 2010 World Champions. Thank you!”

Names included at the bottom of the ad include television personality Maria Menounos, comedian Dane Cook, singer/actor Donnie Wahlberg and actors Eliza Dushku, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Ellen Pompeo and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, along with Patriots players Wes Welker and Vince Wilfork.

Lakers emphasize green not their color

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

After defeating the Celtics to win the 2010 NBA championship, Kobe Bryant admitted he had downplayed the significance of beating the Lakers’ storied rival during the finals series.

“I was just lying to you guys,” he said after Game 7. “When you’re in the moment you have to suppress that because if you get caught up in the hype of it all, you don’t really play your best basketball.”

Now that Bryant and the Lakers have won the trophy, there is no hiding his feelings.

The Lakers recently appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in celebration of their victory. When asked if he talks to or is friendly with any of the Celtics, Bryant quickly replied: “No.”

Derek Fisher added, “It’s just different. If you’re a Laker, it’s really hard to like anything green. Period.”

See the clip below at the 2:04 mark.

A look back: Bol at the Boston Garden

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

On Saturday, 7-foot-7 former center Manute Bol died at the age of 47. Bol played in the NBA from 1985 to 1995 for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. He faced the Celtics 26 times during his career, averaging 2.7 points and 4.6 rebounds against the C’s.

See Bol in action at the Boston Garden back in 1988:

Aftermath of finals roundup

Friday, June 18th, 2010

After the final buzzer sounded on Thursday night’s Game 7, the Celtics’ improbable run at banner 18 ended as Kobe Bryant and the Lakers repeated to win their second consecutive title. Despite the NBA season coming to an end, storylines after the game flowed like the streamers and confetti in the Staples Center. Here’s a roundup of what national and local writers are saying after the finale of a classic series.

– Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column on this being Kobe Bryant’s most difficult title out of his five championships. After struggling in Game 7 and nearly shooting the Lakers out of the game, Bryant began to trust his teammates, especially in the fourth quarter, which brought him another ring.

– With his fifth ring, Bryant surpasses Magic Johnson as the greatest Laker of all time, writes Chris Broussard of ESPN. Magic, who has also won five championships, always won with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whereas Bryant has done it with and without Shaquille O’Neal, contends Broussard. Against other Lakers greats such as Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, Bryant outranks them with his handful of rings.

– Though he coached a team to a championship for the 11th time in his career, Phil Jackson’s future is uncertain. T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times writes that Jackson has no idea where or he’ll be next year and that his salary might be too rich for the Lakers.

– Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe feels that Pau Gasol and not Kobe Bryant is the true MVP of the finals. Ryan writes that Gasol was the real closer with his offensive rebound and basket in the final two minutes to cap off his 19-point, 18-rebound effort. While Bryant had some great performances in the series, it was Gasol who was the most consistent Laker.

– On the Boston side, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports views a lot of changes on the way for the Celtics. The most uncertainty is with the decision coach Doc Rivers will have to make on whether or not to return. The 48-year-old could depart the Celtics to spend more time with his family in Orlando and watch his sons play basketball.

– Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston writes that despite being an unrestricted free agent this summer, Ray Allen still wants to return to the Celtics. The question will be how much is Boston willing to pay and will Allen take a discount to stick with a very close group? Forsberg feels that at 35, Allen is getting up in age and likely won’t see a contract more than two years.

– The most surprising piece of information that came out after Game 7 was the news that Rasheed Wallace could retire after only one year with the Celtics. Gary Dzen and Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe write that after the loss, Rivers revealed that Wallace might walk away from the game. Wallace struggled to get through Thursday night after experiencing cramps and strains as he filled in for the injured Kendrick Perkins at center. The 35-year-old has played in three finals and made four All-Star teams.