Archive for August, 2010

Delonte West gets 10-game suspension for gun incident

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Guard Delonte West has been suspended without pay for ten games for pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and wearing, carrying, and transporting a handgun, in violation of the law of the State of Maryland, the NBA announced today. West, who played last season for the Cavaliers, is currently a free agent. If West — who played with the Celtics from 2004 through 2007 — signs a contract to play again in the NBA, West’s suspension will begin with the first game of the NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

Pierce wants to end career in Europe

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Celtics captain Paul Pierce said in an interview with CSNNE that he would like to finish his playing career in Europe. Talking about the contract he signed this offseason — which will keep him in Boston for three more seasons with an option for a fourth — Pierce said he couldn’t picture himself in another NBA uniform, but he would like to see what a European jersey looks like.

“As far as retiring from the NBA, I think I will be done after this contract because eventually I want to go overseas and play and live for a couple of years,” he said. “That’s why this is a big contract for me, knowing I’m going to retire a Boston Celtic. … I want to go to either Italy or Greece for a year. I think I want to be able to bring my family over to just kind of share a different experience overseas for a couple of years before I settle into retirement.”

Davis helps give back in a big way

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Davis plays the drums during a tour of the Plummer Home for Boys (photo courtesy of the Boston Celtics)

Davis plays the drums during a tour of the Plummer Home for Boys (photo courtesy of the Boston Celtics)

Glen Davis has been visiting deserving children this week and presenting them with a new home basketball court as part of the RE/MAX of New England Home Court Program contest.

This year’s winners included the Plummer Home for Boys of Salem and the Cassidy family of Haverhill. A total of three winners were selected from hundreds of entrants who submitted letters explaining why they were in need of a home court makeover.

Davis, along with Cedric Maxwell, conducted community basketball clinics with the winners. The Plummer Home for Boys also received a donation from the Forever Young Foundation and the Cassidy family received a bedroom makeover.

For more information on the RE/MAX of New England Home Court Program contest, visit www.celtics.com.

Report: Trail Blazers turned down Celtics

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

For weeks, Rudy Fernandez was the center of Celtics offseason rumors after expressing his unhappiness playing for the Trail Blazers. And while those talks had quieted recently, there was still chatter as to whether or not the Celtics would acquire the Spanish guard.

All of those rumors can be put to rest. On Wednesday, the Oregonian reported, “Fernandez has informed agent Andy Miller that he is prepared to be suspended by the Blazers and forfeit the final two years of his contract in order to return to Europe and play in his homeland of Spain in 2012.”

According to the report, the Trail Blazers turned down offers from the Celtics, Bulls, and Knicks. Trail Blazers general manager Rich Cho told the Oregonian, “I’m not going to be pressured into making a deal. I’m not going to make a trade just to make a trade. It has to be the right deal for the team.”

Yahoo! Sports also reported the Celtics were one of approximately 15 teams that expressed interest in Fernandez.

Fernandez is still under contract with the Trail Blazers for the upcoming season. The team has an option for the 2011-12 season.

Pierce talks Pacquiao, ‘greatest athlete to ever live’

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

When Paul Pierce isn’t battling on the court, he enjoys watching battles in the ring. Elie Seckbach from AOL FanHouse recently caught up with the boxing fan, who says Manny Pacquiao is the “best pound-for-pound boxer in the world” and shares who he considers to be “the greatest athlete to ever live.” (Watch to the end to get former Celtic/Laker Rick Fox’s take on Shaq in green.)

Click here for more on the Celtics special relationship with Pacquiao.

Dr. Shaquille O’Neal: ‘I’m done with the nicknames’

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Hold off on the nickname search for Dr. O’Neal.

In an interview with the New York Times, new Celtic Shaquille O’Neal said that he is working on his doctorate at Barry University and once that degree is obtained he no longer wants to be called “Shaq” and that he is no longer in the business of crafting nicknames for himself.

“I’m done with the nicknames,” O’Neal said. “Actually, when I obtain my doctorate, I will not allow people to call me Shaq anymore, either.”

Also of note in the interview:

  • - The last time he “panicked” was as a 9-year-old when he tried lighting the tail of a teddy bear on fire. “My thing was to just light the tail and then blow it out and laugh. Ha, ha. But as soon as I lit the tail, the whole thing caught on fire. It almost caught the house on fire. I got the whooping of my life,” O’Neal explained in the interview.
  • - His goal is to pass Wilt Chamberlain in scoring and win at least one more championship.
  • - He hasn’t spoken with LeBron James since James signed with the Heat.
  • - The topic for his dissertation will be “How Leaders Utilize Humor or Aggression in Leadership Styles.”

To read the entire interview click here.

Bird, Magic and other legends reflect on DJ

Friday, August 13th, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — Dennis Johnson will be officially inducted as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night,  along with such hoops luminaries as Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen and the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.”  Several members of that 1992 team are in Springfield for the Hall of Fame weekend and met with the media Friday morning. When the name “Dennis Johnson” was raised, all were quick to heap praise on the five-time All-Star.

“No question it’s long overdue,” said Larry Bird, who has famously referred to Johnson as the best teammate he ever  played with. “DJ not only performed well for the Celtics but he had a great career before. I’m very happy for him and his family. We always supported one another and he was just a great teammate to play with. Dennis controlled everything we did on the court, you have to understand that to understand our teams. It was an honor to play with him.”

Bird, who teamed with Johnson to win two NBA championships, four Eastern Conference crowns and five Atlantic Division titles, was asked about the chemistry he and DJ had on the court.

“Dennis knew where I wanted the ball, how I wanted the ball and he delivered it,” said Bird. “If I was coming off screens, he always knew where I wanted it, he always led it to my left hand so I could move to my right hand very quickly. Everything he did out there made it easier for me.”

Johnson won a title in his first season with the Celtics, scoring at least 20 points in each of the last four games of the 1984 NBA Finals. His defense was also key in the seven-game classic, as he slowed down Magic Johnson over those last four games. The Lakers’ legend smiled and shook his head when asked about the impact Dennis Johnson had on that series.

“I would have had six [titles] if it wasn’t for Dennis!,” Magic Johnson said Friday. “But no, Dennis is the greatest defensive player I’ve ever played against, and has ever played in the league. Smartest player I ever met. He was five steps ahead. Caused so many problems for me and everyone else that had to go head-to-head with him. Awesome. Big, strong, probably one of the bet players that’s ever plyed the game. I knew Dennis very well because we played against each other every summer at UCLA. We would hang out, and talk basketball all the time. It’s a bittersweet time for me, knowing him so well.

I used to be so mad at Dennis because he used to make me think so much when I played against him. He anticipated my moves before I even knew I was going to do it. Unreal. He was just a master at understanding how to play you, and make you not do what you wanted. And he did it all with that smile, the nice Dennis Johnson. I hated that. He took away what I did best. Great for his family and all of us that knew him so well.”

Charles Barkley echoed some of Magic Johnson’s thoughts, calling DJ “one of the best defensive players of all time.” He also felt this recognition was a long time coming.

“This is way, way overdue, I’ve been saying that for years” said Barkley, who played with the 76ers during the last six seasons of Johnson’s career in Boston. “Clearly everyone is going to talk about the defensive prowess, but the main thing is all the clutch shots he made. So, so tough. It’s crazy that it took so long for this to happen. Go back to Seattle, go back to Boston, a consistent winner. He should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. Just so many clutch shots.”

Lenny Wilkens was an assistant coach on the Dream Team, and also the head coach for the 1979 NBA championship-winning Sonics squad. Wilkens on Friday praised the toughness of Johnson, who was MVP of that Finals series.

“We would put him on the other teams toughest player every time,” Wilkens recalled. “He wanted the challenge. We had to move him to Phoenix but I’ll tell you this: When Red Auerbach called and asked me about Dennis I told him to do whatever he had to do to get him. I knew it would be a perfect fit.”

Scottie Pippen, himself one of the NBA’s most decorated defensive players, counted DJ as a huge influence in his game.

“He was a great guy, well respected all over the league,” said Pippen, an eight-time First-Team all defender (DJ was a six-time choice). “Just a great guy. I watched him as a young kid. I molded a lot of my game after him, as a defender, a playmaker. I’m so honored to be able to join him in the Hall of Fame.”