Archive for August, 2011

Paul Pierce: Poker play benefits basketball game

Monday, August 8th, 2011

We all know Celtics captain Paul Pierce survived well into Day 2 at last month’s World Series of Poker, but I hadn’t heard him comment much about it or seen what duds he was rocking. Thanks to PokerListings.com, we now have both. First, his thoughts on how his poker habit might benefit the Celtics even while the NBA lockout endures:

“I think poker has really helped me develop patience and that helps me in everything I do in life. It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there.”

Now, take a look at how Pierce represented the Celtics at the WSOP, 2008 NBA title ring and all …

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Would you pay $3,950 for Tony Gaffney’s diamond earrings?

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Since people seemed to respond to last Friday’s poll question, “Would you pay $1,450 for Ray Allen’s Air Jordans?” — with 159 of 263 voters answering, “Hell no” — I figured we’d add a new running feature on Friday afternoons: “Would you pay [ridiculous amount] for [current or former member of the Celtics]‘ [eBay item]?” Confusing enough? Good. Let’s get started.

Apparently, former UMass star Tony Gaffney — who signed a contract with the Celtics on April 13, 2010 and was subsequently waived on Oct. 1, 2010 after never appearing in an NBA game — is selling a pair of pre-owned diamond stud earrings from Kay Jewelers (“Every kiss begins with Kay!”) on eBay for the low, low price of $3,950 with the question, “Have You ever dreamed in having a collectible piece from a Big NBA Team Basketball player??? Well here is your chance to look like a NBA professional player in great class!!!”

Now, I’m guessing the earrings cost less than half of that price brand new, but you do get a receipt with two priceless Gaffney signatures on it. To be fair, it does say that “part of the money will be donated for charity.” Of course, that charity gets just 10 percent of the nearly $4K and is called the Council of Fashion Designers of America. So, here goes …

Would you pay $3,950 for a pair of Tony Gaffney's pre-owned diamond earrings?

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UPDATE: Commenter Tony Gaffney, who we have reason to believe is the real deal, weighed in: “This is kinda funny. I don’t really know who is claiming these to be mine or trying to sell them as me, but let’s be real, that isn’t me. And who in their right mind would by 1 ct. earrings for almost $4,000?!?! Nonetheless, if you’re crazy and were considering buying these because they were mine, don’t, because they aren’t, and they are certainly not worth $4,000.” There you have it, folks. These diamond earrings are neither Gaffney’s nor being sold by Gaffney. By the way, love that five people were willing to spend $4K on these …

What’s up with all the bizarre courtroom drama involving Celtics Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal?

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

First, a group of Las Vegas casino security officers countersued Bobcats assistant coach Charles Oakley, claiming current Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal was present when the former Knicks enforcer threw one pool employee off a patio table to the ground, pushed a security officer, threatened others, kicked and punched a few more, elbowed a couple more in the face, spit on another one, swore and “threatened to knock people out.” So JO might have seen Oakley turn into the Incredible Hulk. No big deal.

Allison Samuels

Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels

Then, there was former former Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal‘s ties to a Los Angeles man named Robert Ross, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Main Street Crips and beaten over a non-existent sex tape of Shaq and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal. And the ensuing ridiculous Ross lawsuit that accused Shaq of ordering him to kill a whole bunch of people. And then another Shaq acquaintance’s lawsuit that alleges the surefire Hall of Famer planted tracking devices on Shaunie’s car, recruited law enforcement to help frame his former friend and covered up an affair with Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels (see photo). Who hasn’t been accused of kidnapping, murder and framing someone for possession of child pornography in the course of a single summer?

What the hell is going on here? Lawsuits are getting out of control, right? I mean, you can pretty much sue anybody for anything, and some judge will be like, “Sure, why the hell not, let’s take a look?” Can’t somebody just step back and say, “Well, Robert Ross appears to have less than zero credibility”?

And now it starts to get weird. Now, you say? Yes, now. In Seattle, Wash., during the murder trial of two men — Brandon Chaney and Bryce Huber — accused along with two other men of killing another man for revenge over the robbery of a drug dealer (got all that?), a witness detailed her experience on the night of the shooting (Super Bowl Sunday, obviously). She claimed one of the men she saw before and after hearing gunshots looked like Kevin Garnett. Not that he was KG. He just looked like KG. That didn’t stop the defense attorney from carrying on a conversation with the witness as if Garnett was actually present at the scene of the crime. Here are the details from WestSeattleBlog.com:

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New York does its best to throw Troy Murphy under the Alex Rodriguez gambling bus

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the Star Magazine story about Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez allegedly playing and hosting $500,000 poker games in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami in which cocaine was openly used and thugs threatened players over their gambling debts.

Now, as Major League Baseball investigates A-Rod’s involvement, New York Daily News writer Jim Rich threw Celtics free agent forward Troy Murphy and other professional athletes right under the bus along with Rodriguez. Here’s the passage from Rich’s column entitled “Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez playing poker is only a big deal because he has proven to be a lightning rod”:

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Celtics’ free agent options at backup small forward

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

A month into the NBA lockout, commissioner David Stern just declared war against the players, but can’t we still examine which free agents should be available to the Celtics for the (fingers crossed) 2011-12 season once 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 another critical position (backup point guards), so we move to what coach Doc Rivers called a pressing concern during the 2010-11 season: Backup Small Forwards.

The Celtics began last season with starter Paul Pierce and only swingman Marquis Daniels to spare the nine-time All-Star from playing heavy minutes at the 3. Once Daniels went down in February with a season-ending spinal injury, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was forced to make a deal for depth behind Pierce. Enter Jeff Green, who remains a restricted free agent after the Celtics extended a $5.91 million offer in June.

As we’ve noted  before, the Celtics have six players under contract in 2011-12 for a combined $64.3 million (Kevin 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.

The Celtics would be wise to pick up another player capable of spelling Pierce to ensure they aren’t handcuffed by the lack of depth at the position again, even if they re-sign Green. Obviously the C’s won’t be dedicating much more money beyond those two to small forwards, but they need to find as many inexpensive versatile options (2-3 or 3-4 guys) as possible to eat up minutes for their three aging stars.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the options that should be available to the Celtics at backup small forward (barring overseas exports), separating the current free agent players into four categories … (more…)

Shaq rides off into the sunset in a miniature pink car

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Retired NBA center Shaquille O’Neal appeared on Conan O’Brien‘s show on Tuesday night, promoting his future as an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” When leaving the show, the Celtics’ starting center this past season appeared to still be recovering from his surgery on the right Achilles tendon that kept him from contributing to the team in the playoffs, as he limped over to a miniature pink car, fell trying to get on it and rode off the show.

Obviously, Shaq summed it up best: “I’m 7-foot, 335, but I like to feel small, so I like to ride things that I can’t fit in. Tiny things. You look at me, and you look at the thing that I’m about to get in, and people say, ‘You can fit in that.’ And I’ll be like, ‘Watch this.’” Maybe the Celtics should have given him some Power Wheels rather than an RV?

All in all, another funny appearance from Shaq that included a jab at ESPN analyst Skip Bayless. The highlights:

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Delonte West’s day in court & other Celtics news

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Delonte West arrives at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 26, 2011, in Los Angeles.

Not to worry: Delonte West is a free man. (AP file photo)

Considering Delonte West‘s history with law enforcement, the news that the Celtics free-agent guard appeared in court on Tuesday morning could have been a lot worse, but he simply had a motor vehicle summons dismissed.

West and his attorneys appeared in a Stamford, Conn. courtroom as a result of what they called “a paperwork mix-up with his car registration” when state police stopped him in his Range Rover at a rest stop on I-95 at 11:30 p.m. on May 12 — the day after the C’s Game 5 loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals — according to the Stamford Advocate.

“There’s nothing to this,” West’s lawyer, Matthew Adams, told the paper.

That’s good news, since the last time West ran into the police (September 2009) he was hit with a couple gun possession charges while on his motorcycle near his Maryland home. That eventually resulted in a 10-game suspension when he returned to the Celtics this past season. West remained under house arrest for much of the 2010-11 season until he was released in March.

A couple other Celtics items of note on a Tuesday afternoon …

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