|Irish Coffee: What’s your Celtics Banner Moment?||01.07.11 at 10:40 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
The Celtics launched the Banner Moments program, encouraging fans to share their favorite C’s moments through video, photos and text. Until March, two Banner Moments are chosen each month. Prizes include Celtics tickets, meet and greets with legends, and practice facility shoot-arounds.
In March, the C’s will put the top-10 moments up for a vote on Celtics.com. The winner will be recognized during an April 13 Knicks game in addition to potentially watching a playoff game from their own private suite.
I’d have to say my “Banner Moment would be the Celtics’ 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter of Game 3 in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals. That was the unquestionable highlight of a Celtics season that shouldn’t have sniffed the NBA Finals, yet came within two games of playing the Lakers for a title. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the new Garden louder. The building was literally shaking.
It’s between that and the time my buddy started running down the Garden stairs – only to slip, throwing his arms upward and splashing an entire beer in some poor Blazers fan’s face by accident. I mean, he couldn’t have tried to spill more on this guy than he did. Let’s just say the dude was none too happy.
Part 1 of that comeback against the Nets accompanies this post. You can revisit Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 on YouTube. As part of the program, members of the Celtics, their mascot, dance team and celebrity fans shared a few of their Banner Moments:
- Paul Pierce‘s: Burying a last-minute 3-pointer in Al Harrington‘s face during a 2003 playoff victory against the Pacers. Kinda weird that it’s not winning the 2008 NBA Finals MVP, right?
- Jo Jo White‘s: Scoring 33 points in 69 minutes during the triple-overtime Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals against the Suns. The Celtics went on to win the title, as he captured NBA Finals MVP honors. I thought maybe it would’ve been filming the “You got Rondo’d” commerical.
- Cedric Maxwell‘s: Signing a three-year, $300,000 rookie deal with the Celtics in 1977, cashing $1,000 in one-dollar bills, spreading the money out on his bed and rolling around in it. Um, alrighty then.
- Lucky the mascot: Dunking over David Ortiz — off a trampoline — on opening night of this season. He called it “the greatest moment of the entire season.” Let’s hope it isn’t.
- Maria Menounos‘: The C’s 24-point comeback against the Lakers during Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals — the largest comeback in finals history. Pretty good one. You can’t really knock someone who rocks this courtside.
- The Celtics dancers have moments that, like, they would, like, cherish forever.
RAJON RONDO: COVER BOY
Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul grace two separate covers of the January issue of SLAM magazine.
There weren’t many great revelations in the piece about the enigma that is Rajon Rondo, but here’s the most interesting passage, straight from Rondo’s mouth:
“I don’t think you have to have great camaraderie to win a championship but it helps a lot to get along. You don’t have to do these things but we go out to eat together, we go to the mall together, just little things we do off the court. Every different city we go places together. We play cards together, we don’t gamble though, we just do fun things on the plane. We all understand each other and we come from similar backgrounds. Its like being with your brothers.”
The writer intimates that Rondo — who has three brothers of his own — was joking when he said they don’t gamble. Either way, it’s amazing how well a team with guys from ages 20 (Avery Bradley) to 38 (Shaquille O’Neal) appears to be getting along.
RAJON RONDO & KEVIN GARNETT AMONG ALL-STAR LEADERS
The NBA released the third returns of the All-Star balloting, and with 10 days to go in the voting process two Celtics (as well as two Heat) are slated to become starters. Kevin Garnett and Rondo each have more than 850,000 votes, and would be starters alongside Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade if the balloting ended today.
Rondo is about 12,000 votes ahead of Derrick Rose and Garnett leads Amar’e Stoudemire for the second guard and forward slots, respectively. Meanwhile, Shaq ranks second among centers, about 700,000 votes behind Howard — the East’s leading vote-getter.
Ray Allen and Pierce rank fourth among forwards and guards, respectively, and neither are likely to get enough votes to get an automatic spot — considering they trail Rondo and Garnett by 400,000 votes apiece. However, O’Neal, Allen and Pierce all have shots at reserve spots when the Eastern Conference head coaches vote for and announce them on Feb. 3.
In the West, Kobe Bryant (the overall leading vote-getter), Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Yao Ming are slated to be voted All-Star starters. Ming is out for the foreseeable future, and Andrew Bynum — who has played just 12 games himself — is the the next-highest vote-getter among centers.
NEWS FLASH: TONY GAFFNEY SIGNS NBADL DEAL
Former UMass standout and Celtics reserve Tony Gaffney signed a deal with the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League.
The 6-foot-8 forward most recently played in Turkey for two months after the C’s waived him on Oct. 1. He had signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Celtics last April but never saw the floor. He averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game during his senior season at UMass.
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