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Irish Coffee: Big ‘Swoll’ Baby; NBA goes Euro

Wake up with the Celtics [1] and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Um, Ok, Big Baby, whatever you say. Is it just me, or is anybody else confused as to what Glen Davis [2] is saying here to NBA TV …

“Everybody on the East Coast watch out. We’re coming. Working hard on the elliptical. Get a nice burn before practice. Get rid of some of this body fat. They ain’t gonna call me Big Baby no more. They gonna call me Big ‘Swoll’ Baby.”

I’m not gonna lie, I actually had to consult UrbanDictionary.com on this one. They define “swoll” as “to be muscular, jacked, strong, etc.” (I also love their use of it in a sentence: “Man, I’m mo swoll than AC Slater [3]“).

So, to get this straight, Davis no longer wanted to be called Big Baby, so last season he suggested Uno Uno [4], and now he wants to be called Big Swoll Baby. I think I’ve got it now.

The buffer Davis led all Celtics scorers with 20 points in last night’s 96-92 preseason victory [5] against the Nets [6]. Once again, the C’s second unit looked sharp, as Nate Robinson [7] added 17 points and Delonte West [8] scored 12 before leaving in the third quarter with discomfort in his lower back.

If you’ll recall, West missed Monday’s practice with lower back spasms. Not to worry, he stressed.

“I came in at halftime and felt my lower back pinching,” West told ESPN.com [9]. “It’s real minor, but the muscle back there was tightening up and I think the tension was pinching the nerve, maybe. It was real uncomfortable. You saw me out there stretching before I went in for the third quarter, I just couldn’t move the way I wanted to. It’s just precautionary.”


NBA Commissioner David Stern [10] made a bold prediction [11] yesterday: “We’re going to have, really, our most successful season. … I think you’re going to be getting to see some of the greatest basketball ever played.” He made the statement prior to a game between Euroleague champ FC Barcelona [12] and the NBA champion Lakers.

The Spanish team actually defeated the Lakers, 92-88, adding fire to the debate: Should the NBA champs face off against the Euroleague champs in a battle for world domination?

Stern: “I would guess that we will be in continued discussions with our friends at the Euroleague about an expansion of this possibility.”

Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu: “To us, it is something we would like to happen. We would like it because that would mean that we would have met the circumstances, both sporting and economic, to make a game like that possible. We can only hope and expect, and I do, that with the work of our clubs and teams, those conditions will be met. In the event that those conditions are met, and continuing the same collaborations we have had so far between the Euroleague and the NBA, I am sure such a game would be a possibility.”

ESPN.com asked [13] Phil Jackson [14] and Kobe Bryant [15] if Barcelona could compete in the NBA over the course of an 82-game season, and their answers differed:

Jackson: “They’re not up to the competition that we face night in and night out. But that’s not taking anything away from them. The physicality of our game, the size of our players, those are things that night in and night out are very difficult to contest.”

Bryant: “I think they execute extremely well, they know each other extremely well, they move the ball extremely well and that’s what you’re looking for. In the NBA, teams that do that are few and far in between, teams that play together as a unit. You see a lot of isolation game; you see a lot of guys going one-on-one. They do a great job moving the ball, they do a great job helping each other defensively, so I disagree, but, what do I know?”

Bryant hit just 2-of-15 shots in the loss to Barcelona. As we all know, failing to perform in championship games is nothing new to Kobe. Remember his 6-for-24 performance in the final game of the 2010 NBA Finals [16]? Of course. How could you forget?


He’s a surefire NBA Hall of Famer, master of all sports, one of the worst actors of all-time and a TV producer, so what’s next up for Shaquille O’Neal [17]? How about general manager of the Nets?

“We got a great owner, a great arena, let’s keep it where it’s at,” Shaq told New Jersey’s Herald News. “Not only that, I’m saving the owner money, so he doesn’t have to pay another $300 million to build this new arena in Brooklyn. I know he has it. Hopefully he’ll stay, and hopefully he’ll make me general manager, because I will be available in 745 days.”

Speaking of the Nets owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, who Shaq calls “that beautiful Russian guy, he may appear in Stoli Vodka advertisements, as the Nets and Stoli formed a partnership [18], according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

My high school basketball coach once told us a story about playing 1-on-1 against a guy in Russia, and each time somebody scored the other had to take a shot of vodka (a great story to tell high school athletes, right?). Now that would make a great Nate Robinson/Shaq Twitter video.


The NBA Commissioner told New York reporters [19] that in the next collective bargaining agreement — which is currently being negotiated — he wants to seek a remedy to longterm contracts and guaranteed salaries that make it difficult for teams to recover from bad decisions.

Stern: ‘€œ[We want to] come up with a system where teams are not doomed by their past mistakes for inordinate lengths of time, so the fans can have hope.’€

This is not a new issue, as the NBA enacted maximum salaries in 1999 (depends on career length) and contract limits (six years) in 2005. Any such agreement could only hurt the Celtics.

Thanks to a few minor miracles, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge got out from underneath some of the worst contracts in NBA history (see: Vin Baker, Raef Lafrentz and Theo Ratliffe) — the old-fashioned way. Now, the C’s salary structure is set up for future success, as only Rajon Rondo [20] and Paul Pierce [21] are signed to guaranteed contracts after the 2011-12 season.

Now, the NBA could possibly reward teams who make awful contract decisions (see: Washington Wizards [22], Los Angeles Clippers [23] and Philadelphia 76ers [24]). Suddenly, any advantage Ainge gains over other teams in the front office would become handicapped. Somehow, though, I still think the Clippers will screw it up.


New Knicks center Amar’e Stoudemire bared all [25] to ESPN Magazine … in its second annual “Body Issue.” Stoudemire claimed it took several attempts in order to avoid an X-rated photo of him jumping into a pool, so naturally the New York Daily News asked [26] if he experienced shrinkage — a la George Costanza in the famous Seinfeld episode. Stoudemire’s response? “That’s the great thing about Photoshop.”

Let’s just all be thankful that ESPN didn’t ask Big Swoll Baby to pose for the magazine.