10 Things I Heard About Celtics VI
|09.13.11 at 11:49 am ET|
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” I, II, III, IV and V) …
10. After Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett participated in the Pros vs. G.I. Joes video gaming event to promote Call of Duty, a few interviews have emerged from the event. The embedded one by a dude in a Yankees hat from Machinima.com asks which member of the Celtics is the best video game player on the team.
“I would say Big Baby,” Garnett said. “Big Baby [Glen Davis] is probably our best gamer, just because he plays a lot more than everybody else. He’s young, doesn’t really have a family yet, got all this extra time. You know, young boys, they find time to occupy themselves with gaming and other things. If I had to give it up, it would have to be Big Baby. Big Baby’s really good. He’s consistent with his play.”
Of course, the 25-year-old Davis does have a daughter who just turned 1 year old on Sept. 2, so his gaming skills may have slipped since he last played against Garnett.
9. Exhibition games continue to fill Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green’s offseason schedule, as he’ll compete in the Clash of Superstars for charity in Washington D.C. on Saturday before a game between his Goodman League squad and an Indianapolis Pro-Am team on Sept. 24.
In this weekend’s game to benefit a local Boys & Girls Club, YMCA chapters and an area basketball academy, Green will join fellow NBA players Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kemba Walker, James Harden, Greg Monroe, Corey Brewer, Jarrett Jack, Eric Maynor and Samardo Samuels.
Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to join NBA performers Zach Randolph, Eric Gordon, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, Gordon Hayward and Lance Stephenson on the Indy Pro-Am team that will face a Goodman group led by Green, Durant, Wall, Cousins and Jack the following weekend.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Michael Lee caught up with Green over the phone. The highlights:
- On the NBA lockout: “I’ve dealt with it the best I can. I’ve tried to keep myself busy. I’m still trying to stay in the loop with things going on, but not letting it get to me. It’s tough to be in that position, to possibly be sitting out. But you just have to do what you have to do to make things happen and if it doesn’t, try to do things to take your mind off it and continue to work until you’re called back to work.”
- On the Goodman-Melo matchup: “That was crazy. I loved it. I was just ready to have that opportunity during the summer to play against Carmelo [Anthony], LeBron [James], Chris Paul all on the same team. It felt good to get some reps in against those guys. Those are guys I’m going to see a lot in the upcoming year. It was cool to get some run with them.”
- On the risk of injury in exhibition: “That’s why I have insurance. I’m all taken care of, so I just go out there and play basketball. Hopefully, I go out there and play injury free. But I’m covered, so it’s all good.”
- On the free agent market: “I just want to play basketball, wherever it’s at. I love Boston, and the city of Boston welcomed me with open arms when the trade happened. Boston is a great city.”
8. A preseason camp invitee by the Hornets and Raptors in the late 1990s, Percy “Master P” Miller now needs to lose 40 pounds, and he has enlisted the help of his son Romeo Miller and Celtics captain Paul Pierce.
Romeo will serve as his father’s personal trainer as they cross-promote his 90-day challenge with other health movements, such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Pierce has been promoting healthy lifestyle choices for years on behalf of his Truth on Health foundation, and he has reportedly endorsed Master P’s movement, along with celebrities Rob Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Ron Artest and Meagan Good.
7. Puerto Rico may have lost a chance to qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in a two-point loss to eventual FIBA Americas Championship winner Argentina in the semifinals, but their point guard — also a Celtics free agent — Carlos Arroyo captured All-Tournament honors, along with MVP Luis Scola (Argentina), Manu Ginobili (Argentina), Marcelo Huertas (Brazil) and Al Horford (Dominican Rebublic).
Arroyo totaled 24 points and seven assists in a 103-89 loss to the Dominican Republic in the third-place game. Argentina and Brazil secured the two Olympic bids up for grabs at the tournament, but Arroyo and his Puerto Rican teammates will have one more shot at their first trip to the Olympics since 2004. They will be one of 12 teams vying for three spots in the July 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
6. When he’s not eating at Stephanie’s on Newbury, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is working on his game. In coordination with Nike Basketball Pro Training, Rondo released a series of fascinating passing drill videos — in pick and roll, penetrate and kick, post entry and thread scenarios …
5. The Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series (a.k.a. The Lockout League) began Monday, and center Jermaine O’Neal and backup point guard Avery Bradley are the only Celtics on the rosters, despite rumors that Pierce, Garnett, Davis and others could be among the 70 NBA players committed to play.
- O’Neal’s team: Chauncey Billups, Iman Shumpert, Damon Jones, Roger Mason Jr., Jamaal Tinsley and Shawne Williams.
- Bradley’s team: Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, Dorrell Wright, Bonzi Wells, Corey Maggette and J.J. Hickson.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely, Bradley (16 points) and J.O. (14 points) reached double figures on Day 1. Highlights from both appear in this ballislife.com compilation. So far, games are not being streamed online.
4. Spending time in his home state of Louisiana, Big Baby recently held an autograph session for fans and conducted an interview with The Lafayette Advertiser. Here’s a particularly interesting portion:
“If we don’t have the fans, we don’t have the NBA,” Davis said. “I’m from Louisiana, and I come home to play against New Orleans, but a lot of the kids can’t come see me play there.”
Davis said he doesn’t expect the current NBA lockout to prevent the entire season from happening. He said training camp starts Oct. 1, and by early November, he expects the problems to be resolved.
“You have to prepare for things like this,” Davis said. “But I’m also trying to figure out life after basketball because this makes you think about what happens if I don’t have basketball.”
While he has expressed interest in re-signing with the Celtics, Davis remains an unrestricted free agent and does not have a team to begin a training camp on Oct. 1. While the C’s preseason is slated to start on Oct. 10 with the regular season scheduled to begin on Nov. 2, training camp generally runs throughout September, so it’s unclear whether Big Baby knows something we don’t — namely, that the NBA will return in a matter of weeks.
Of course, Davis also said, “I always dreamed of owning my own daiquiri shop,” so don’t jump to conclusions.
3. While Pierce joined Justin Bieber in endorsing Master P’s 90-day challenge, former Celtics swingman Marquis Daniels joined America’s (least?) favorite son in Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges‘ LudaDay Celebrity Basketball Game at Atlanta’s Morehouse College over Labor Day weekend.
Because when I think Morehouse College, I think Justin Bieber.
Daniels joined Kevin Durant, Iman Shumpert, Anthony Morrow, Brandon Jennings, Chris Singleton and rapper Shawty Lo on Team Bieber. Conversely, Team Luda featured Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Jarrett Jack, Kemba Walker, Lou Williams, Josh Powell, actor Lance Gross, singer Teyana Taylor and radio host Kenny Burns. Proceeds benefited the Ludacris Foundation, while Bieber and others donated $10,000 to the school.
Daniels and Team Bieber won, 134-132. Any chance we’ll see Bieber on the latest track from Daniels (a.k.a. Q6)?
2. I know you probably figured Shaquille O’Neal would go quietly into retirement (What’s that? You didn’t?), but believe it or not he granted a few interviews while being honored with a statue at Louisiana State University.
First, there was his rather tame press conference, during which we learned that he is working on his doctoral dissertation (“I will no longer answer to Shaq. You will have to call me Dr. O’Neal.”) and the statue meant more than any of his four NBA titles (“This right here will probably be in the top two moments of my life. I have won a lot of championships and awards, but I don’t think it compares to this day.”).
Then, there was his much publicized discussion with The Times Picayune’s John Reid, where Shaq claimed he told Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge not to trade Kendrick Perkins. The highlights:
- On his injury: “I truly believe that if I didn’t get injured, we would have beaten Miami, and we could have beaten Dallas. Usually when it’s really a bad injury, you get one shot, and then you feel better and play. But I got shot after shot, and I was scared to get an MRI. I knew my Achilles’ tendon was ripped the whole time. I did everything from acupuncture, cortisone and therapy. It felt good when I initially came back, but I ripped it some more.”
- On the trade: “I even told Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.”
- On joining TNT: “I’m the constant professional, I didn’t want to get into a bidding war. ESPN made the first offer, and Turner made the second. I bought a new RV and sold my plane. Once a week, I will drive from Orlando in my RV to do the Turner thing in Atlanta and come back home.”
- On the NBA: “Business-wise, it’s different. When I was in high school, every team had a star and a Hall of Famer. You don’t have that now. Let’s be real: Orlando, Boston, L.A., Miami — that’s it. Maybe Memphis, the Spurs, maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. Only nine or 10 teams have a star. In my opinion, it’s kind of gone down.”
- On LeBron James: “He’s a great player, but in the Finals, it’s damn if he do and damn if he don’t. He thinks about that too much. It’s a lot of pressure on him, but everybody had that pressure. Michael Jordan had the pressure, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and myself. LeBron has always been a team-player-first guy. In the Finals, I think he was trying to get everybody else involved rather than take over the game. Somebody from upstairs is going have to say there has to be a one, CEO No. 1, and a vice president between the two of them. A lot of people are trying to compare them to Scottie Pippen and Jordan. That isn’t Scottie and Mike. It’s more like Mike and Dominique Wilkins. They both took shots and scored.”
- On the best organization: “Probably the Lakers. Owner Jerry Buss and his group were great. They always did what they said they were going to do.”
- On Dwight Howard: “He won a dunk contest with a cape. If you want to be called Superman because of that, it’s fine with me. I’m Superman for other reasons. I don’t envy him; he’s a great young player. But I’ve never seen him dog another center out. I tried to dog centers out. I went at David Robinson. If Dwight doesn’t win two or three championships, I’m going to be disappointed. He doesn’t have nobody. When I came in the league, I had to go through Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits. Now I can’t name any other centers besides Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum. Who else is there? That’s it.”
1. You wouldn’t blame Celtics All-Star guard Ray Allen for not hanging out with J. Cole after the rapper’s recent freestyle on Philadelphia D.J. Cosmic Kev‘s radio show. After all, the New York City (via North Carolina) product’s rap included these lyrics:
Game so cold, bring the blizzard to the Palms
I’m a wizard, I’m a don and I put this on my mom
I’m offended, I’m appalled
If y’all ain’t bowing
Claim you a monster but y’all aint growling
Claim you a beast, why y’all aint howling?
‘Bout as sweet as a jumper on the gay Ray Allen
Maybe that’s why Allen showed off his dance moves and chilled with rapper Fabolous earlier this summer at Palais Maillot in Paris. The two were promoting the Jordan Brand’s Quai 54 International Streetball Championship …