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Irish Coffee: The Shaqtionary

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

The oldest player in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal [2] celebrated his 39th birthday where most almost over-the-hill men celebrate their birthdays — at Boston Children’s Museum.

The Celtics center who hasn’t played since Feb. 1 — and has already missed 25 games this season — told reporters he was 85 percent and would not return until he’s fully healthy, which could be as soon as next week. Here are the quotes from his birthday celebration, courtesy of The Globe [3]:

So, there you have it. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers [4], trainer Ed Lacerte, Dr. Brian McKeon and the Big Three all want Shaq to wait until he’s 100 percent before he returns to the court. He could play right now, but he’s won’t. The Celtics don’t need him now; they need him in the playoffs, so why rush him back? It’s a smart move by the Celtics, so can we just take it easy on the Shaq Watch?

Which brings me to a much more important topic. In honor of Shaq’s 39th birthday — which he called ShaqDay, which makes almost no sense — we scoured UrbanDictionary.com for the ultimate Shaqtionary, described as “the book that will be used to document all of the words that Shaquille O’Neal manages to create during his scrabble games.”

Of course, we eliminated the dirtiest definitions — like Shaq Off and Shaq’s Arm (use your imagination) — and came up with the following list …

PETER VESCEY HATES DOC RIVERS

New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey once called Danny Ainge “Danny Ain’t,” and now he’s setting his sights on Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Vecsey ripped Heat [7] head coach Erik Spoelstra [8] for divulging to the media that his players cried following a fourth straight loss, and then the writer took the opportunity to throw Rivers under the same bus.

Basically, Vecsey’s point is that coaches shouldn’t use the media to get a point across to their players — something he claims Rivers has done in the past. Here’s the passage:

Don’t get me wrong, some coaches do it all the time but they do it under the cover of anonymity. I always respected Red Holzman and Jack Ramsay and their class for never giving up any negative info on a player. I quickly learned to distance myself from coaches who do.

I remember Doc Rivers, celebrated as a player’s coach by the unenlightened or those supplied by info, once pulled me aside in Orlando after a game. He told me Darrell Armstrong supposedly had said stuff during halftime intermission that contradicted people’s perception he was an ideal team leader.

The scheme was to use me to expose the Magic guard and thus make it easier to dump Armstrong, which transpired in due course … without my collaboration.

This kind of dirty dealing happens all the time. Anything for an untraceable juicy story … frequently fervently denied by the snitch who brands the media account “irresponsible.” Next time you read that quote, think again. That’s our journalism lesson for today.

Well, thank you for enlightening us. I had no idea that Rivers wasn’t a player’s coach. It’s not like Kevin Garnett [9] & Co. ever said they’d be devastated if their coach retired. Oh, wait …

KEVIN GARNETT CAN’T PUT JEFF GREEN [10] INTO WORDS

While Garnett never masked his emotions about the trade of his friend Kendrick Perkins [11], he’s certainly warming up to the acquisition of Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic [12] and the 27 other new guys the Celtics signed over the past couple weeks. Here’s what he told Basketball Prospectus [13]:

“Jeff is probably one of the most versatile guys I’ve been around. It just looks like he does things effortlessly. He just makes it look simple. I can’t really put him into words right now. I’m glad he’s an addition to our team. I’ve got my own personal feelings about Perk because he’s my brother, but I’m embracing this new relationship with Jeff and Kris.

“Kris is very versatile. I didn’t know he was that good of an offensive rebounder. He’s very active. I’ve just got to learn the small things about them, about what they like to do. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be Ok with those guys. They’re fitting right in. So far, so good.”

And here’s what Garnett wrote in his latest blog entry [14] on shoe company Anta’s website:

“New guys are finding their way and will get better and learn our system. More new teammates for us. Welcome Troy Murphy [15], Sasha [Pavlovic] and now Carlos [Arroyo].  We’ve got our guys, now time to get healthy and figure things out.”

PAUL PIERCE [16]: PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN

For the second time this season, Paul Pierce captured [17] the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor, over fellow nominee Ray Allen [18]. Pierce also won in mid-December. Pierce’s week that was:

By the way, if you haven’t read Paul Flannery’s case for Pierce as the C’s MVP [20], do it now.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee or a future mailbag? Send an e-mail tobrohrbach@weei.com [21] or a Twitter message to @brohrbach [22].)