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Irish Coffee: Larry Bird says Rajon Rondo can’t shoot

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

I’m not sure how I missed this — probably because it took place on St. Patrick’s day — but Celtics legend Larry Bird joined The Dan Patrick Show [2] and had this exchange with the host about C’s point guard Rajon Rondo [3]:

Rondo ranks 27th in true shooting percentage [5] among NBA point guards who play at least 25 minutes per game. His field-goal percentage (48.0) ranks sixth for players at his position, but as you get further from the rim — where he’s shooting 54.0 percent — he gets awful shaky. Rondo is shooting 33.0 percent from 3-9 feet, 41.0 percent from 10-15 feet, 27.0 percent from 16-23 feet and 27.8 percent from 3-point range, according to HoopData.com [6].

You can’t really blame Bird for claiming Rondo can’t shoot, but you can blame him for selecting Shawne Williams [7] four slots ahead of Rondo at No. 21 in the 2006 NBA draft. Here are a few other highlights from what proved to be a great interview with Bird:

That “You know what always amazes me about myself” line is classic. I might have to start beginning sentences with that phrase at parties.


During his stints in Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix and Cleveland Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal was sworn in as a member of the local law enforcement. He even helped police track down a suspect [17] involved in a hate crime he witnessed in Miami.

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for him to start crime fighting in New England. According to the Worcester Telegram [18], O’Neal will be sworn in by Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis as the first member of the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Association — following a visit to the Mercy Center for developmental disabilities.

Sheriff spokesman David Tuttle told the paper, “The sheriff is committed to expanding the role that the WCRDSA plays in local communities and hopes that making Shaq his first member will help set the tone for others to volunteer to give back to their communities.”

Speaking of O’Neal, it’s been a while since somebody brought up his potential return. Oh, wait, no it hasn’t. The New York Daily News did during an interview with The Big Shamrock [19]:


Now that Bruce Pearl [22] has been fired as head coach of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball program in the midst of 10 alleged NCAA [23] rules violations, Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank — a former Volunteers assistant — joined the list of potential replacements, according to The Tennesseean [24].

Frank has proved a worthy heir to Tom Thibodeau [25]‘s assistant coach/defensive guru throne this season, and I’m sure the Celtics would hope he wouldn’t be available to accept a job at UT until at least June — which would give him the opposite of a headstart in recruiting.

Speaking of Thibodeau, I enjoyed this quote about the former Celtics assistant from Bulls point guard Derrick Rose [26] (via the Chicago Tribune [27]):

“I’ve never played for a coach who was that focused. There’s nothing else — no kids, no wife, no leisure time to watch TV. I’m dead serious. There’s nothing else going on.

“I’ve never heard about Thibs being out eating. I never ran into him eating anywhere. No matter what city we’re in, I won’t see him until the next day. I never been around a coach like him.”

Considering Thibodeau’s success as head coach of the Bulls and the fact that the Celtics still rank No. 1 in opponents’ points per game without him, that speaks to the job Frank has done.


In an interview with Chicago native Isiah Thomas [29] on the “Waddle & Silvy Show,” the NBA Hall of Famer discussed the similarities between his Pistons passing the torch to Jordan’s Bulls with the current Celtics and the Rose-led Bulls. I hadn’t heard this before, but here’s what Thomas said about the ’80s Celtics:

“When we beat the Celtics to take the torch from the Celtics, Boston walked off the court [without shaking hands]. … When we passed the torch to the Bulls, we did what Boston did to us. Now, should we have shaken their hands? Yes. Was it poor sportsmanship? Yes. If we had to do it all over again would all of us do it differently? Yes. But the way the torch was passed to us, that’€™s the way we passed the torch to the Bulls. Then, after that, it became a more kinder, gentler NBA, where everybody hugs, shakes hands before the game and all the other stuff that you do. Back then, when you lost people ran off the court.”

Also in the interview, Thomas declined comment on his rumored involvement with the Knicks’ deal from Carmelo Anthony and said “Never say never” to a return to the NBA in a front-office or coaching role. One can only hope.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee or a future mailbag? Send an e-mail tobrohrbach@weei.com [30] or a Twitter message to @brohrbach [31].)