Archive for August, 2011

President Obama: Why doesn’t Ray Allen teach Rajon Rondo to shoot?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

An excerpt of Jackie MacMullan‘s forthcoming biography of Shaquille O’Neal, entitled “Shaq Uncut,” provides some insight into why Rajon Rondo may have struggled after the trade of his close friend and Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins — and the reason will come as a surprise.

According to the excerpt, published by SLAM Online, a joke by President Barack Obama during a fundraiser on March 8 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts may have sent Rondo into a tailspin. Here’s the passage in its entirety:

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10 Things I Heard About Celtics II

Tuesday, August 16th, 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 24 hours (the first “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” is here) …

10. As SLAM noted, Celtics free agents and Louisiana natives Glen Davis and Von Wafer both made the top five plays from this past weekend’s Tournament of the Stars Basketball Clinic in Lake Charles, La. Big Baby’s post-clutch-3-pointer “big balls” dance is an instance classic, as is Wafer’s posterization. Both players would like to remain in Boston once the NBA lockout ends, and Wafer has already signed a one-year deal to play in Italy.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce tweeted this photo from his fishing trip this past weekend.

9. While every other NBA player tosses his name into the overseas rumor mill, Celtics captain Paul Pierce is content with his hobbies on vacation. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant‘s agents have been busy shopping him everywhere from China to Brazil, but Pierce can’t get enough poker, fishing and scheduling volunteer work — promoting his Truth on Health campaign on HGTV by making over his hometown Inglewood (Calif.) High’s athletic facilities on Aug. 20 and bowling with Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Celtics free agent Glen Davis in the 5th Annual Beckett Bowl on Aug. 29.

Of course, Pierce will play overseas — for his country. He and Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley will help form a United States All-Star team at the Continental Club Championships in Beijing from Aug. 20-28. Somehow I doubt Pierce will be earning $375,000 or whatever it is Bryant is seeking per week for his China sojourn. (more…)

Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Who's better: Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce? (AP)

Every so often a question is posed regarding the Celtics’ four All-Stars. In short: Which one is the most valuable/best/indispensable? What makes this question so intriguing is that there is a legitimate case to be made for all four.

Without Ray Allen‘s shooting ability the Celtics’ vaunted floor spacing begins to shrink and coach Doc Rivers loves to make use of Allen’s ability to use screens in their halfcourt sets.

Rajon Rondo is the playmaker, the only reliable point guard on the roster the last four years, and one of the few Celtics who can change pace and tempo with the flick of a switch. When Rondo has been out of the lineup — or gone through a prolonged slump — the Celtics inevitably struggle to score points.

Kevin Garnett is the defensive anchor and that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Simply put, when Garnett plays at the level he played at last season the Celtics defense is ferocious.

Then there is Paul Pierce, who does just about everything well and is the one player the Celtics reliably use to create his own shot when everything else breaks down.

You can go round and round in circles on this question and never come to a definitive answer, which is a large reason why this foursome has been so successful. Ubuntu may have been a clever rallying cry, but its tenets hold true for this collection of players. “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Take any one of these parts away and the whole suffers for it.

That’s why I watched with great interest as Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe unveiled his top 100 players list. One way or another Lowe would have to parse this group and assign a ranking. Lowe had Allen ranked 48th and Rondo 27th, which left the top spot to be decided between Garnett and Pierce. (more…)

Dennis Rodman’s emotional Hall of Fame Speech

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Dennis Rodman at his Hall of Fame induction speech. (AP)

There have rarely been more polarizing figures in the NBA than Dennis Rodman. While some admired his relentless, and selfless, approach to rebounding and defense, others chafed at his vainglorious self-promotion and indulgent behavior, both on and off the court.

Rodman rarely asked for forgiveness on either count and seemed to hover between two lives: entirely self-confident and filled with doubt. It was these two polar extremes that were on display in his Hall of Fame induction speech on Friday in Springfield that hovered between moving and at times almost despondent.

Rodman talked about the father that left him when he was five years old and sought to capitalize on his fame by writing a book about him but never seeking to make contact, while at the same time apologizing to his mother, wife and kids. “I had one regret,” Rodman said, choking up. “I wish I was a better father.”

His broke down often during his speech that also supplied some humor. Rodman relayed the story of his arrival in Chicago when coach Phil Jackson asked if he’d like to play with the Bulls. “Go in the kitchen and tell Scottie Pippen you’re sorry,” Jackson told him.

It has been said many times that we will never see another player like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. That may be true, but it is practically assured that we will never see another personality like Rodman.


Dennis Rodman 2011 Hall Of Fame Speech (VIDEO) by 3030fm

Celtics eBay Friday: Arnie Risen’s 1957 Celtics contract

Friday, August 12th, 2011

After the raging success of our new running feature, we’ll continue with the third edition of Celtics eBay Fridays, taking you into the weekend with a poll question along these lines: “Would you pay [ridiculous amount] for [current or former member of the Celtics]‘ [eBay item]?” Confusing enough? Good. Let’s get started.” (Ok, it’s not a raging success. It’s more of a mild-to-apathetic response.)

Two weeks ago, we featured Celtics guard Ray Allen‘s Air Jordans, and the people let their voice be heard: 160-of-267 voters said “Hell no!” they wouldn’t buy the Nike Air Jordan VIII sneakers for $1,450.

Then, Celtics eBay Fridays earned international acclaim last week when former UMass standout Tony Gaffney — now playing in Germany via a short stint with the Celtics — weighed in and denied the 1-carat diamond earrings and “autographed” receipts being sold for $3,950 under his name were actually his. Still, with that knowledge, 6-of-90 people said “Hell yes!” they would buy the overpriced jewelry. Not to mention Gaffney gave Celtics eBay Fridays his seal of approval: “This is kinda funny.” (Ok, it’s not a full-blown approval, but we’ll take it.)

Now, without further ado, let’s move on to this week’s Celtics eBay Friday item and poll question of the week. Someone is selling an original contract signed by Arnie Risen, who averaged 8.0 points on 38.8 percent shooting and 1.2 assists per game as a member of the 1957 NBA champion Celtics (their first of 17!).

While Kevin Garnett made $235,000 per game for the Celtics this past season, Risen made 50 bucks a game, so it would make sense that Arnie himself would be selling his old contract for $1,200. Except for the fact it’s advertised as Artie Risen’s signed contract, although he is 86 years old. I guess we’ll never really know, since I’ll assume he won’t pull a Tony Gaffney and comment on this blog over the weekend. Anywho, onto the question …

Would you pay $1,200 for Arnie Risen's original 1957 Boston Celtics signed contract?

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Tom ‘Satch’ Sanders on the doorstep of basketball immortality

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Satch Sanders finally reached Springfield Thursday night. (AP)

SPRINGFIELD — For all basketball players collegiate, pro, and otherwise, of all places, Springfield, is their desired destination. Reason? That is the locale for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sometimes the road to the Hall of Fame is a short trip, especially for those players fortunate enough to be elected on the first ballot like 2009’s inductees of Jordan, Robinson, and Stockton. For many others, that road is a long and winding one as years go by and the call from Springfield goes without being dialed.

This year’s induction class includes a headline-grabbers like Dennis Rodman, basketball legends of the Big Apple, innovative coaches, and unsung heroes. Former Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders certainly fits into the final category.

The Celtics forward will be going into the Hall of Fame as a contributor, which is a distinction befitting a player who amassed eight championship rings playing for legends of the sport and Hall of Famers in their own right, Red Auerbach and Bill Russell and amongst a litany of Hall of Famers including Russell, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Sam Jones, KC Jones, John Havlicek, and Sanders’ presenter for Friday’s enshrinement Tommy Heinsohn.

Despite playing for Auerbach on a half-dozen NBA Championship squads, the legendary coach was not considered to be a fan of Satch’s game on the offensive end of the floor.

“Red (Auerbach) was not sold on the fact that I had a solid offensive game,” Sanders told reporters at Thursday’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement press conferences.

Sanders was able to get a sizeable amount out of that game in a 13-year-career where he finished with 9.6 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 1.1 assists per game. At first glance, those numbers are a meager contribution, but those eight championships that he was a part of show the richest portrait of a player who personified the distinction of a, “contributor.”

The contribution that Sanders brought to the parquet floor night in and night out was not lost on the team that drafted him eighth overall in 1960, as the team retired his number ‘16’ in 1973, a year after his playing career came to a close.

Thursday’s press conferences were held in the de facto court of basketball royalty. That hardwood hierarchy included many former teammates and opponents.

That group of people and the magnitude possessed by them within the sport of basketball was not lost on Sanders as he spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon.

“I know a heck of a lot of these people here and it makes me nervous. Real nervous,” he said of those in attendance on Thursday.

On Friday night, Sanders will join an exclusive hardwood fraternity, the very same one that brought on Thursday afternoon’s nerves.

Sometimes the road to enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a long one like the one travelled by Tom “Satch” Sanders. His enshrinement shows that no matter how initially meager a contribution on the road to championship basketball may first look, the impact of that contribution is to be recognized.

Judge rules Delonte West can’t sign overseas?

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Celtics unrestricted free agent guard Delonte West tweeted moments ago, “Can’t even go get that overseas money. Judge said it’s a no go on leaving the country.” In mid-July 2010, West was sentenced to eight months of home detention as a result of the weapons charges that cost him the first 10 games of this past season.

While the home detention ended in March, West still faces two years of unsupervised probation. Based on his Twitter comments, West will not be allowed to seek a deal outside of the country during the lockout.

A couple weeks back, West’s agent Jarinn Akana told ESPN.com, “With any player, there has to be due diligence to see what’s happening [overseas]. That’s basically where [West is] at. But he’d like to be back in Boston. He had a great time there, he loves his teammates and he loves the organization.”

West also tweeted on Thursday, “It’s official. Pride 2 the side. Just filled out a application at Home Depot. Lockout aint a game.” That part doesn’t make as much sense, considering he’s banked $14 million in his NBA career and has his “Lockout” mixtape to fall back on. Then again, you can never really rule anything out with Delonte.