Archive for August, 2011

Kevin Durant, LeBron James put on show as Jeff Green remains conspicuously absent from highlights

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

While Kevin Durant and LeBron James stole the show in the much anticipated summer exhibition matchup between the Goodman League and the Melo League, Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green was noticeably missing from any and all Twitter coverage, highlights packages and game stories.

Durant scored 59 points in defeat, while James netted 38 points in victory — seemingly all on dunks. Carmelo Anthony chipped in 36 points and Chris Paul tallied 18 points for the Melo All-Stars. To be fair, with so many NBA stars involved, it’s no wonder really that Green’s light shone least.

There are only two reasons we know Green even showed up: 1) He and Durant arrived late, delaying the game; and 2) This picture of Anthony cruising to the basket past him … (more…)

10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ III and III) ‘€¦

10. The success of the 1985-86 Celtics (67-15; 40-1 home; 15-3 playoffs) stemmed from not only talent but intellectualism, according to this recent NBA.com puff piece. The team featured six future NBA head coaches: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Rick Carlisle and Sam Vincent. Not to mention quote machine Bill Walton. Here’s what McHale and Walton had to say on the subject …

  • Kevin McHale: “We had a lot of guys on that team who really knew the game and understood what it took and what it meant to play it the right way. I kinda took it for granted, thinking that was the way everybody played, because I had been around guys with the Celtics where everyone understood that. I probably realized for the first time that it wasn’t that way everywhere when Danny Ainge told me that other people couldn’t totally change their game plans during a timeout and then go right out onto the floor and execute it. It was after Danny got traded to Sacramento and he said that if that team didn’t work on something in practice for three days, there was no way they could do it in a game. We could devise a whole new scheme in a timeout and then just go do it. I guess everybody on that Celtics team just had a good basketball mind.”
  • Bill Walton: “Everyone constantly thought basketball. Everyone always played a mental game. Even though we were a team that physically had the tools necessary to be at highest level of the game, it was the mental edge that allowed that team to be so special.”

9. Reason No. 893 Celtics guard Ray Allen is cool: While every other NBA player is seemingly shopping himself overseas or making headlines in exhibition games against questionable competition, the 3-point king works on his golf game as if it were just another off-season.

Last month, Allen played in Lake Tahoe. Two weeks ago, in Connecticut. Next week, in New Jersey at the Liberty Cup Charity Golf Tournament with golfer Natalie Gulbis and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan. All for charity.

I guess that’s why Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” and not someone like Kobe Bryant (interesting tidbit: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were reportedly approached for that role, but their agent wanted a guarantee that one of them would get the part).

8. As we’ve discussed previously, Austin Rivers and his Duke basketball teammates are traveling China and the United Arab Emirates, crushing every team in their path. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is also with the team to watch his son make fools out of people internationally. Dubai newspaper Gulf News caught up with the pair that hopes to soon become the third father-son NBA duo in history (Jan Van Breda Kolff and Butch Van Breda Kolff; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). Here’s what Doc had to say about his son and vice versa … (more…)

Celtics on eBay: Tommy Heinsohn’s Hall of Fame thoughts

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Yup, it’s time to take you into the weekend with the fifth edition of Celtics on eBay. Basically we ask, “Would you pay [a pretty penny] for [current or former member of the Celtics]‘ [eBay item]?” Confusing enough? Good. Let’€™s get started.

Last week was the first item I even would have considered buying, but this week is the first item I’ve actually bid on. For real. I just bid 20 bucks for Tommy Heinsohn‘s handwritten thoughts on his enshrinement day in 1986 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Twenty dollars is a lot of money. Where does a WEEI.com blogger get that kind of coin? Well, I had to save up months for it, Ok. Go ahead and try to out-bid me.

If you can’t read what Heinsohn wrote, believe it or not he actually doesn’t mention a single referee’s missed call:

“My career in basketball taught me one thing. Glory is not what it’s all about, but rather the mastering of one’s self in all ways to meet a challenge. The only recognition needed is by one’s own understanding of what they’re doing or what they would do better.

“Yes it was nice to be selected as a Hall of Famer but it was not the cap off of a career that justified my efforts. That was achieved years before when I learned how to focus who I am on what I worked at and liked.”

Signed: “Tom Heinsohn”

 That deserves like a thousand Tommy Points, right? Oh, yeah, and it’s his 77th birthday. You’ve got to be kidding me!!!

Would you pay $19.99 for Tommy Heinsohn's handwritten thoughts from his 1986 Hall of Fame enshrinement?

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Want to waste more time this weekend? Vote on these overpriced/awesome Celtics items from previous weeks:

(more…)

Celtics’ free agent options at backup power forward

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

We’€™re almost two months into the NBA lockout, and more progress has been made on the crippled U.S. economy than the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but that doesn’€™t mean we can’€™t still examine the likely free agents available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once commissioner David Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter kiss and make up.

We’€™ve profiled the C’€™s biggest needs – at center and shooting guard — as well as two other critical positions (backup point guards and small forwards), so we move to the final piece of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘€™s puzzle: Backup Power Forwards.

The Celtics started this past season with a surefire Hall of Fame four in Kevin Garnett, and backed him up with a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Glen Davis. The C’€™s version of assistant to the assistant regional manager rotated from Luke Harangody to ‘€œWe Hardly Knew Ye’€ Chris Johnson to Troy Murphy, with a dabble of Jeff Green, who played the four for the Thunder but is more suited to the three on the Celtics. Got all that? Good.

As we’€™ve noted  before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Garnett, $21.2 million; Paul Pierce, $15.33 million; Ray Allen, $10 million; Rajon Rondo, $10 million; Jermaine O’€™Neal, $6.23 million; Avery Bradley, $1.53 million), and should match any offer Green receives — unless another team far exceeds his qualifying offer of $5.9 million.

Davis and Murphy are free agents, and while they might sound like a buddy cop duo from Dublin, they’€™re actually both pretty darn good for second and third options at the four. The addition of first-round pick JaJuan Johnson — a 6-foot-10 senior power forward out of Purdue — likely makes a Murphy-type expendable. But even with Garnett, Green and Johnson expected to be on the 2011-12 roster, the Celtics should seek one more power forward option, in case Johnson isn’€™t ready and to leave Green on the wing.

Without further ado, let’€™s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup power forward (barring overseas exports), separating the current free agent players into four categories and forgetting about David West, because that ain’€™t happening ‘€¦ (more…)

Delonte West releases latest track: ‘MJ Shwagg’

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

When Delonte West isn’t applying to Home Depot, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, the free agent Celtics guard/rap star is promoting his “Lockout” mixtape by releasing tracks sporadically. First, we got ‘€œIt’€™s Bout 2 Go Down’€ and ‘€œMr. Magnificent.’€ Then “Livin’ Life Fast.” And now “MJ Shwagg” (h/t @Jose3030), complete with a Ray Allen reference. Enjoy, as long as you don’t mind the harsh language.

Oh, and if you like that, you’ll definitely enjoy Delonte’s recent Twitter rant about growing up in Virginia. I mean, what other athlete can you get gems like this from: “mike jordan didnt teach me to post up….an old drunk …did …wit a cigerett in his mouth…after he told pretty tonny to hold his beer”

Your daily Rajon Rondo update: Summer highlights

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I know you miss Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but consider this highlight video from the Nation of Blue Kentucky basketball blog like Skyping during a long-distance relationship …

  • You: “So, what you been up to?”
  • Rondo: “Oh, just playing the Dominican national team with a bunch of former Wildcats.”
  • You: “Sounds fun. How’s your elbow feeling?”
  • Rondo: “Pretty good. I can dribble with my left hand and everything.”
  • You: “You know, you really should work on that jump shot of yours.”
  • Rondo: “Get off my back. I have been working on it, Ok. I made four of them.”
  • You: “Four? Really? You’re kidding, right?”
  • Rondo: “Very funny.”
  • You: “Anything else going on?”
  • Rondo: “Oh, just working on a sweet Euro step. No big deal.”
  • You: “So, tell me, when’s this NBA lockout gonna be over, so you can start working again.”
  • Rondo: “I’ve told you a million times: I have no idea. I gotta go.”

Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was a tough situation

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Once again, unrestricted free agent Jeff Green explained the difficulty he experienced trying to integrate himself into the Celtics‘ offensive and defensive schemes after the Kendrick Perkins trade. NBA.com’s David Aldridge discussed the issue with him earlier this month, and Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears also pressed Green on his statistical drop-off after leaving the Thunder. Here’s what Green told Spears:

  • On joining the Celtics: “They’ve been together for a number of years. They’ve already won a championship, they already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. It was tough to go into that situation.”
  • On replacing Kendrick Perkins: “The one thing about me is that I’€™m not trying to fill anybody’€™s shoes. Kendrick is a totally different player than myself. People looked at me being the type of player I am and with the name I have going into this situation, they expected me to fill his shoes.”
  • On adjusting to the Celtics: “It was tough to gather all that information so fast and try to gather the concepts of what they are trying to do.”
  • On remaining with the Celtics: “I’ve been in the gym working, but things have been hairy. You never know what’€™s going to happen. I’€™m always going to be prepared. I’€™m just taking it day by day. There is nothing much I can do right now. When things get done, they get done.”

Green doesn’t ever really say anything about remaining with the Celtics (although he admits his stint with Boston’s Big Three was “amazing”). The C’s have already extended a $5.9 million qualifying offer to Green. Another team would have to offer Green more, and even then the C’s could still match any such offer.

As I’ve noted before, the Celtics would be crazy to let Green go elsewhere, considering his future on the team is the only possible way the team can save face from the Perkins deal — especially since center Nenad Krstic has already signed a two-year deal in Russia.