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Irish Coffee: Celtics’ NBA All-Star Weekend in quotes

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

Celtics Ray Allen [1] and Paul Pierce [2] may have lost to overlooked Heat forward James Jones [3] in the final round of the 3-Point Contest, and more heralded Miami forward Lebron James [4] (29 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) might have singlehandedly played Allen, Pierce, Kevin Garnett [5] and Rajon Rondo [6] (28 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists) even at the NBA All-Star Game, but all was not lost.

After sorting through all 29,562, 317 interviews from the All-Star festivities, I present the weekend in quotes …

Kevin Garnett (via [7] USA Today): “I’m far from dirty. Dirty is like hate. Don’t use that word. I’m competitive, and I play hard, but don’t call me dirty. Just like if you dislike me, dislike me. ‘Hate’ is a very strong word, just like ‘dirty’ is a very strong word.”

Garnett (via [8] CBS Sports): “All-Star weekend is a chance for all players to sit down and relax. Get to know one another. I don’€™t like the word ‘fraternizing’ and I don’€™t like the word ‘fronting’. It’€™s the one time that we get to socialize and be friendly, I don’€™t think it’€™s fronting, I think everybody is sort of in a relaxed state.”

Garnett (via [9] NBA.com): “Look here, I don’€™t play for the Phoenix Suns [10]. I could care less what Spike [Lee] or whoever else has to say about me. As long as Doc Rivers [11] and my organization is happy with what I’€™m doing, I could care less. …

“If I’€™m playing against you, I’€™m not trying to be your friend. I’€™m out here to win. I’€™m just competitive. I go about this a certain way. Always have, always will. I don’€™t make any excuses about that or apologize for anything I’€™ve done. I carry myself in a well-fashioned manner. I respect the game first-off, respect the players that are in it. And I’€™m definitely not trying to hurt anybody — I don’€™t want to be hurt. I’€™m just out there playing hard and playing competitive. If that comes off as something else, then that’€™s your problem.”

Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan [12] on Garnett’s mouth (also via NBA.com): “That’€™s part of his game. He tries to get under your skin. He tries to get into your head. He tries to talk to you, whatever it takes. He’€™s a competitor. I don’€™t think he’€™s blatantly dirty. I don’€™t think he’€™s out there to hurt anyone. But it’€™s kind of part of his tactics.”

Hawks All-Star Al Horford on Garnett’s mouth (via [13] Hoops World): “It’s pretty explicit but basically he’s letting you know that he runs things and he’s the man and he’s great. …

“That’s him. You can’t take it to heart. I think a lot of guys can get caught up in that, but you have to go out there and you have to play. Yeah, it can make you mad but at the end of the day you’re out there playing basketball. He acts one way on the court but here [at the NBA All-Star Game] he’s totally different. …

“You have to be aware of it and sometimes it gets the best of you. They have such a strong core that I feel like [the Celtics] all rally up around him and each other. That’s not a bad thing. I actually think that’s a good thing.”

Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears [14]: Los Angeles Clippers [15] forward Rasual Butler “is hoping for a fresh start after playing sparingly for the Clippers this season, a league source said. The CelticsChicago Bulls [16] and Nets are interested in the long-range shooter. Butler is making $2.4 million in the final year of his contract.”

Rivers (via [17] The Miami Herald): “If I had to vote, [Bulls point guard Derrick Rose [18] is] the MVP of the league. And when you have one on your team, especially with all the other guys, they’€™re right in there. They can beat us; we can beat them. It’€™s going to be tough.”

Pierce on NBA labor negotiations (via [19] Fan House): “The way it’s been going since last year, there really hasn’t been any movement on the talks. But the players do talk about it amongst our teams. I think this year, the players are really unified and interested in carrying our league forward.”

Allen on 1998-99 NBA lockout (via [20] The Washington Post): “I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting for this to end. I think around the world, they don’t understand, we want to play, we want to be out there and it’s the owners that are not particularly happy with what’s going on and they want to change the business model. So we have to do everything we can to keep what we’ve got going on going on, because we don’t want to lose the momentum we have. I think the league is in good shape right now.”

David Robinson [21] (via [22] Palm Beach Post): “The thing about the playoffs is whatever flaws you have, whatever doubts you have, are going to come out in a seven-game series. You may feel great coming into it, but [the Heat] are untested as a group. And you go against that Boston Celtics [23] team, you better know what you’re doing and you better have a good confidence. Do I think they have a chance? Absolutely. But if I’m the one figuring out who is going to win, I would say [the Celtics] have the best chance there in the East.”

Clyde Drexler [24] (also via PBP): “The Celtics are more of a team. Give Miami some time to develop that chemistry and become more of a team with that individual talent, and I think they’ll be unbeatable.”

Lebron James (PBP): The Celtics are “definitely a team we can model ourselves after.”

Dwyane Wade [25] (PBP): The Celtics are “the team to beat. They give us something to strive for. So you need a team like Boston, especially us. We need that team, to keep our focus, to keep us going, to make sure we know that we have a place to go, and that we have to overcome them to get where we want to go.”

Allen (PBP): “After losing in the Finals, moving into the summertime, coming into the season, we didn’t change what we thought. We knew where we needed to be and what we needed to do. Everybody else changes. And just because we consistently did what we said we were going to do and we thought we were going to do, now people are like, ‘Well, maybe the Celtics are a little better.’ That doesn’t matter to us.”

Rivers (PBP): “It’s like what I told our guys our first year. Just because you’re the hunted doesn’t mean you can’t hunt. And I used a lion as an example. People hunt for lions, but they do some pretty good hunting themselves.”

Allen on Kobe Bryant [26] (via [27] CBS Sports): “We were playing a preseason exhibition game, and we beat them, and I got sick after the game, so I didn’t speak to the media. I played the next night in Portland. That night we were talking about the Lakers without [Shaquille O’Neal [28]], because they’d just traded him. I said I didn’t think they would be good without Shaq. It was comical because we were just laughing about it. I said Kobe will probably want to be traded in two years from now because he doesn’t have a big guy he can rely on, and having a big in this league is hard to come by. He didn’t like that too well. And for the next two years, every time we played each other, we always went at each other. I’d come down hit a 3, he’d come right back at me and hit a 3, I’d come back down and hit a 3. It was just basketball.”

Bill Walton [29] (via [30] Sporting News): “What Ray Allen is doing is truly remarkable because he looks as great today as the day he showed up. He’€™s like John Stockton [31]. He’€™s like Karl Malone [32]. Literally every other player has taken an unbelievable beating on their bodies and Ray is just a hero for all of us because he combines everything. He combines the givens to be great: Hard work, discipline, commitment, passion, sacrifice. He combines all of that stuff with incredible genetic good fortune, and then the realization that it matters more how good your teammates are than how good you are. … But what I love the most about Ray Allen is his soul and his spirit. This is a stand-up, front-and-center guy who assumes full responsibility, accountability. You could not ask for a finer human being than Ray Allen.’€

George ‘€œIceman’€ Gervin on Allen (also via SN): “He could always shoot the ball; really, that’€™s his expertise, you know. It ain’€™t no secret why he lasts. He lasts because he can shoot the basketball and he can shoot it with accuracy. That separates him from a lot of guys because a lot guys shoot a lot, but they are not that accurate. So you have to congratulate him for his success over the years because of his accuracy.”

Pierce on boos in Los Angeles (via [33] USA Today): “We expected it. You walk on water, you expect to get wet.”

Garnett on pregame music (via [8] CBS Sports): “In the early years, I used to listen to a lot of hardcore stuff. Now I’€™m doing my yoga days — Namaste — R&B, sort of stuff that calms me before the game.”

Allen on the short-lived Guinness world record he and Pierce set for tandem 3-point shooting (via [34] Chicago Sun-Times): “I own the world record for the shortest time owning a world record.”

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee or a future mailbag? Send an e-mail tobrohrbach@weei.com [35] or a Twitter message to @brohrbach [36].)