Wake up with the Celtics  and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
According to Forbes Magazine’s latest valuations of all 30 NBA franchises , 17 teams hemorrhaged money over the last year — the highest number since the 1998-99 lockout — despite the fact that 24 of those 30 clubs generated at least $100 million in revenue.
Based on the numbers, the Celtics are the fourth most valuable franchise in the NBA. They generated $151 million in revenue while the franchise’s value rose 5 percent over the past year, yet they made just $4.2 million.
When the magazine released the same figures just over a year ago , the Celtics ranked as the eighth-most valuable franchise, generating less revenue but taking home almost $9 million more in income.
Despite the state of the U.S. economy, the average value of all 30 NBA franchises rose 1 percent since the magazine’s last valuations. However, the average team’s operating income fell 22 percent — to $6.1 million — “the lowest figure since the 2002-03 season.”
In the offseason, Amar’e Stoudemire and LeBron James  altered the balance of NBA financial power. The Knicks’ worth increased 12 percent, dethroning the Lakers as the league’s most valuable franchise. Meanwhile, the Heat’s worth rose 17 percent, while the Cavaliers ‘ value fell 26 percent.
Here are the top five most valuable NBA franchises:
- 1. New York Knicks  ($655 million)
- 2. Los Angeles Lakers  ($643 million)
- 3. Chicago Bulls  ($511 million)
- 4. Boston Celtics  ($452 million)
- 5. Houston Rockets  ($443 million)
After noting the surprising fact that the Pistons, who haven’t been able to find a proper suitor, are valued 13th, here are the five least valuable NBA franchises:
- 26. New Orleans Hornets  ($280 million)
- 27. Indiana Pacers  ($269 million)
- 28. Memphis Grizzlies  ($266 million)
- 29. Minnesota Timberwolves  ($264 million)
- 30. Milwaukee Bucks  ($258 million)
ONE-ON-ONE vs. RAJON RONDO 
I beat Rajon Rondo one-on-one. I swear. Sure, it was in a game of Connect Four, but I beat him — and it only took two tries. Bored? You can face the Celtics point guard, too, right here .
DANNY AINGE DISCUSSES CELTICS vs. BLAZERS
Former Celtics and Trail Blazers guard, Danny Ainge discussed  Thursday night’s matchup between the two teams with his hometown newspaper, The Portland Tribune (he’s a native of Eugene, Ore.). Here’s a few nuggets from the Celtics president of basketball operations’ conversation:
- On the Celtics: ‘The things we do well, we really lock in on it. It’s a sign of a group that’s been together for awhile. They trust each other.’
- On the C’s success: ‘Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] don’t seem to age. They keep plugging along. K.G. [Kevin Garnett ] and Rondo have missed games, but they’ve had terrific seasons. And Big Baby [Glen Davis ] is playing great, too. Those five have sort of carried us.’
- On the returns of Kendrick Perkins  and Delonte West : ‘Those are two key components for us. If we keep everybody else healthy, we have a good chance to be there at the end.’
- On the Blazers: ‘They have a lot of nice pieces. If they could get everybody healthy, they could contend for a title.’
T-WOLVES PREZ: RUBIO TO CELTICS NONSENSE
If you’ll recall, The New York Times cited  a member of Ricky Rubio ‘s camp stating that the No. 5 overall pick in the NBA draft would prefer to play in New York, Miami or Boston, rather than Minnesota (who wouldn’t?). Here’s the quote:
‘He’ll continue to say all the diplomatic things, and Minnesota needs to keep his value up for trade purposes, but the family’s preference is to be on the East Coast, specifically New York, Miami or Boston. He wouldn’t be troubled if he has to stay another year.’
In response, Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn essentially called that statement nonsensical , according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Here’s the paper’s representation of Kahn’s comments:
Kahn called a New York Times report this week on Ricky Rubio “much ado about nothing” and “not worthy of a response.” … Kahn said he remains “absolutely” certain Rubio will join the Wolves next season after a buyout with his Regal Barcelona team becomes affordable.
SCOT POLLARD’S NOT APOLOGIZING FOR ANYTHING
If you forgot — like I had — that Scot Pollard won an NBA title with the Celtics in 2008, then you probably also forgot he said, “Hey, kids, do drugs,” on national TV in 2007. The Cavaliers forced an apology out of him, but he recently explained the story behind the incident in a column on the website Lost Lettermen .
Here are a few excerpts from a pretty interesting behind-the-scenes column by the former NBA player:
The media. As an athlete, I hated them. ALL of them. Not personally but professionally. But I also knew you needed to treat them right. Sort of a ‘keep your friends close and you enemies closer’ type of mentality. Throughout high school, college, and the NBA, I knew I had to treat them with respect or find out quickly my reputation could quickly become like Dr. Samuel Mudd. …
It’s every NBA players’ job to treat the media as a friend, even though at times they are the enemy. I should have paid better attention. I should have told a joke like that in person, not to a camera.
I have three children of my own. I don’t use drugs. I thought it was an incredibly ironic, funny statement for a father of three that has never even had a DUI to say, ‘Hey kids, do drugs.’ I grew up Mormon. My entire family is Mormon. I don’t do drugs, nor do I want kids to do drugs. I know a lot of NBA players that got busted for having, using and selling drugs.
Yet a guy with a squeaky-clean track record in legal terms says the wrong thing at the wrong time and I’m immediately labeled a media pariah. I still think it’s funny. I always will. Irony is one of my favorite forms of comedy. Like when people call me ‘Tiny.’ I smile. That’s funny.
A guy that retired from the NBA when he could have kept playing so that he could spend more time with his kids telling the public, ‘Hey kids, do drugs.’ That’s hilarious!
Two lines really stood out to me: “I know a lot of NBA players that got busted for having, using and selling drugs,” and the fact that Pollard could have kept playing but retired instead. The former isn’t so surprising; the latter is.
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL  TRAVELS
According to ESPN.com, Shaquille O’Neal traveled  with the Celtics to Portland on Wednesday. The Celtics center will likely miss at least one or two more games and was not expected to fly out for the first leg of the road trip. It’s a fairly safe bet that O’Neal will be in the C’s lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Lakers.
Chris Forsberg also reported that Marquis Daniels  did not travel on the same flight but will meet the team in Portland. He missed Tuesday’s game against the Cavaliers because of family reasons.