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10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV

08.30.11 at 12:26 pm ET
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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 (“10 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.

Golfer Natalie Gulbis will join Celtics guard Ray Allen in a charity golf tournament next week.

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 …

  • Doc on Austin’s progress: “He’s doing all right. He’s played three games so far, and he’s playing pretty well. Offensively, he’s really good. That’s where he excels. Defensively, he’s getting better, and I think going to college will help him improve.”
  • Austin on Austin’s progress: “He doesn’t know. He thinks he knows, but I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve that he doesn’t know about.”
  • Doc on Austin’s future: “I hope that one day he plays [in the NBA]. That would be great, but I need to coach a team against him. That would be fun, because I know all his strengths and weaknesses. That’s his dream too to play against one of my teams someday. I wouldn’t mind him on my team, but you know that would be tough because I have to go home to his mom every night.”
  • Austin on Austin’s future: “Playing in the NBA is a dream, but right now it’s about getting better as a player and a person. I want to win a national championship before I can talk about the NBA. My dad has taught me to stay humble and hungry and work hard, that’s what you have to do to win and achieve your dreams — because there are a lot that have grown big-headed and never lived up to the hype.”
  • Austin on the Celtics: “I would love to play for any NBA team, and that’s always been the goal. I would never say no to anything like that, but it would be more fun to go against him.”
  • Austin on Doc’s parenting: “I’m very proud of my dad and the way he handles everything. You’ll never see my dad get into trouble with the law or be the guy on TV who says something ridiculous. He’s very humble and does things the right way, and I’ve learned a lot from him more importantly as a person. Having him on the Celtics has given me an insight as to what it’s like to be an NBA player, what it takes to get there and how to handle yourself once you are there. How to act and how not to act.”

Austin isn’t the only one heaping praise on his father. Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank told the Detroit Free Press he’s better for having sat on the bench beside Rivers as a Celtics assistant last season:

“Working for Doc was a tremendous experience. To me, Doc is elite, and I think the reason Doc is elite and is the total package is all the experience he’s had.

“Obviously the most recent memory is the (2008 title), but Doc also was a part of losing a bunch of games in a row, so I think those things helped shape him.”

7. Kevin Garnett was scheduled to appear at the opening gala for the U.S. Open along with Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. You know, the guys you’d expect KG to be hanging around with. Garnett’s good buddy Mardy Fish played the first match of the tournament on Monday, and defeated Germany’s Tobias Kamke in straight sets.

Meanwhile, sportswriters are imagining KG and Rajon Rondo as professional tennis players. I don’t know about you, but I’d argue Ray Allen would be the best tennis player on the Celtics. He’s got that whole endurance, follow through, repetition thing down pretty good.

6. Rumors continue to swirl around Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo joining John Calipari‘s University of Kentucky men’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant during the NBA lockout. Syracuse University blog Orange Slice Sports cited sources who claim Rondo will mentor Wildcats point guard Marquis Teague and Ryan Harrow. Now, I’m not sure whether or not those sources are actually similar reports speculating that Rondo could serve as a student assistant after he recently confirmed that he has been taking credits towards his diploma this summer and may also enroll this fall if the lockout lingers.

5. As former Celtics backup point guard Stephon Marbury is reportedly headed back to the Chinese Basketball Association, Kevin Garnett arrived home safely from his trip to China, as did Paul Pierce. The same can’t be said for Michael Beasley, Pierce’s Continental Basketball Championships teammate (pictures). The Timberwolves forward reportedly injured (broke?) his wrist as their team finished third. According to Red’s Army, Pierce scored just three points on 1-of-4 shooting in 14 minutes. That’s a long trip for three points.

At least Pierce got a chocolate figurine of himself from his Chinese fans and placed his 2008 NBA championship ring atop the Great Wall of China. And thankfully he survived this tumble over the scorer’s table in his final game of the Continental Basketball Championships (click on the picture for video footage) …

Oh, and in case you missed Pierce’s renovation of his high school as part of his Truth on Health campaign on HGTV’s “Home by Novogratz” (you’ve got to love the Maria Menounos and McLovin cameos) …

4. Celtics Hall of Famers Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn were the first two National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) presidents from 1954-65, so they have a unique perspective on the NBA labor dispute. Of course, it’s a different perspective from today’s NBA union reps, since the most they respectively earned for a season was $35,000 and $28,500. Here’s what Heinsohn told NBA.com in a recent interview …

  • “If KG has said, ‘We owe it to the old-time players to continue the league the way they’ve done it,’ well, that’s what they ought to be doing. That’s what our group did. During that period of time, the players never got all they wanted. This is a situation where you have to deal with the real. The whole world, the stock market, everything is gone.”
  • “Cousy founded the association. I organized it. I picked Larry Fleisher [eventually the NBPA executive director] and I think that’s a key thing. Larry had been our labor lawyer, and what was great about Larry was, he knew when to hold and he knew when to fold. He was as responsible for growing the league as anyone else. In recognition of that, he is in the Hall of Fame.”
  • “But you know the reason Cousy left the presidency? He sent out a letter, and guys wouldn’t pay their dues. … I had to go into the locker rooms and fight with guys like [Lakers forward] Rudy LaRusso and say, ‘Rudy, give me the $25 for dues!’”
  • “It was about a pension plan because the other leagues had pension plans. It was about meal money because guys were buying things on their own based on the right-hand column instead of what they were eating. There were no trainers. We were playing on Saturday nights and expected to take a train ride and still be sharp to play on Sunday afternoon on television.”
  • “The guys who write the checks have got the say. I don’t care whether you think you’re the greatest player in the entire world, if you don’t have a venue and people willing to pay you for it, have a good time in the school yard!”
  • “Some guys of my era, they’re totally resentful. Hey, all I know is, when I got out of Holy Cross I signed for $9,000 and I got a $2,000 bonus for making Rookie of the Year [in 1957]. Ten years later, at my reunion, the average salary for my classmates was $5,000. I bought an 11-room house for $18,000.”
  • “It was a good thing that we had to ‘participate’ in the world — all of us had jobs in the offseason. Over the years, even when I was playing, I made more money in the insurance business than I made playing basketball. The most I ever made was $28,500. The most Cousy made was $35,000. Russell made $101,000 because Wilt made $100,000 and Red gave him the extra thousand.”
  • “This is my favorite story. M.L. Carr produced, as a coach, the worst record that the Celtics ever had [15-67 in 1996-97]. They gave him a $7 million golden parachute. Which was almost three times as much as the total payroll of the Boston Celtics in an era [1957-69] when they won 11 championships.”

Now, if that doesn’t give the players some perspective, then I don’t know what will. Get a deal done, guys.

NBA star LeBron James, center, attends a basketball clinic  in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011. In the background the Sagrada Familia church designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, left, and Agbar tower, right, are seen.

Perhaps LeBron James will have more success in the Goodman-Melo game than against these Spanish teenagers. (AP)

3. (Recent loser of a game of knockout to a Spanish teenager) LeBron JamesKevin Durant. Chris Paul. Carmelo Anthony. Jeff Green? Yup, that’s right. While their league enters its third month of a lockout, members of the NBA elite (and Green) will play on the same floor in one of the most anticipated exhibition games of the off-season on Tuesday night.

James, Paul, Anthony, Gary Neal, Donte Greene, Josh SelbyEric Bledsoe and Eddy Curry will make up Baltimore’s Melo League squad. Durant, Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Trevor Booker, Austin Daye, Ater Majok, Arinze Onuaku, AnthonyGumbyWilliams and Omar Weaver will suit up for Washington D.C.’s Goodman League.

Awesome, right? Well, except for the fact that no plans to broadcast the game on television or the internet exist.

2. One non-televised game isn’t such a big deal. But missing two weeks of games twice daily would be just plain dumb. The group of almost 70 NBA players that are planning to participate in an organized Las Vegas league run by Impact Basketball this September would be leaving some serious coin on the table. Among the players with ties to Impact’s training facilities in Vegas and Los Angeles are Celtics Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis and Jermaine O’Neal.

If this league does happen and all five of those guys participate, they have to be on the same team, right? As long as they’re all working out in the same city, they might as well be playing together. On TV.

1. When I think about members of the Celtics organization who might be commemorated in rap lyrics, the first two I naturally think of are Delonte West and Danny Ainge. Those two are like peas in a pod, I tell you –practically mirror images of each other. Maybe that’s why Curren$y and The Game decided to laud their talents in separate tracks.

First, Curren$y (See what he did there with the dollar sign instead of an “s”? Clever.) released the remix to “Smoke Sumthin’,” featuring Lil Wayne and the lyrics …

You’re coward-hearted, yellow, lemon merengue
I’m about to change my name from “Dwayne” to “Deranged”
To be a billionaire I got a shot like Danny Ainge

Then, last week, The Game released his RED album, including the song “Martians vs. Goblins” (also featuring Lil Wayne and Tyler The Creator) and the lyrics …

Then I hit LeBron’s mom in bron-bron’s coupe
with Delonte West taping, we had bon-bons too.

I’m pretty sure you can figure out what The Game is referring to in that Shakespearean effort. You’d think Lil had some love for the Celtics, but that isn’t the case — as evidenced by this video (NSFW language). Now excuse me while I get that bad taste out of my mouth with the “Brian Scalabrine: Best Player in the NBA for Sheezy” rap (“I watch him in high-def because his body is so cut; from his thighs to his tris to his back to his butt”) …

Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James
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