Irish Coffee: Why no NBA exhibition games in Boston?
|10.11.11 at 1:57 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
A month ago, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo practiced alongside LeBron James at the University of Kentucky. A week ago, the C’s Big Three partied with Bron Bron in New York City. And a couple days ago, Rondo played on Queen James’ team in the South Florida All-Star Classic. Naturally, LeBron’s team lost.
And Celtics fans continue to lose, starting with the cancellation of the first two weeks of the NBA season. While C’s players Rondo, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Glen Davis, Avery Bradley, Jermaine O’Neal and JaJuan Johnson have played everywhere from Florida to China, none have offered any such glimpse to the Boston faithful.
Just this past weekend, Rondo played in the South Florida All-Star Classic and on the University of Kentucky’s Big Blue All-Stars (see the embedded video for his circus buzzer-beater to end the first half of a 115-87 victory). He reportedly buried a trio of 3-pointers but went down hard in a game against Georgetown College on Monday.
Celtics free agent combo guard Delonte West could be playing for the Goodman League in “The Chocolate City against the City of Brotherly Love” in Washington D.C. on Saturday. C’s restricted free agent Jeff Green has also played for the Goodman League in games against Los Angeles, New York, Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
During the NBA lockout, Pierce played with Michael Beasley in China and Mario Chalmers in Kansas. Davis teamed with Zach Randolph in Louisiana. Bradley and O’Neal participated in the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas. Johnson battled Green in Indiana before practicing with Rondo in Kentucky. And Ray Allen has been training at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Yet, none have played in Boston.
If fans must endure another month of lockout talk and high-profile exhibition games, would it be too much to ask someone (cough, Celtics captain Paul Pierce, cough) to organize an exhibition game in Boston? Are you telling me Pierce couldn’t recruit Rondo, Allen, Garnett, Johnson, West, Green, Big Baby and whoever else (Chris Herren, for one) to participate in a charity game in Boston benefiting his Truth on Health campaign?
Besides, if the NBA ever gets around to reaching a collective bargaining agreement, Celtics training camp will be abbreviated and games will creep up on their aged legs fairly quickly. Would it be so bad for C’s players to hold scrimmages open to the public (for a charitable donation, of course) at high schools around the city?
Or is that just another NBA fan from Boston asking too much?
DOC RIVERS: FROM CELTICS COACH TO U.S. AMBASSADOR?
Doc Rivers is making the most of his unexpected vacation. The Celtics coach joins Grant Hill and Patrick Ewing among others in hosting Barack Obama during a fundraising dinner for the president. The Orlando Sentinel published a copy of the invitation, and before you RSVP consider the cost: $1,500 minimum, $10,000 to get your picture taken with Obama and $38,500 to “get up close and personal with the prez.”
You’ll remember, Rivers is from the same Chicago area where Obama’s political career began, and the C’s skipper famously (and accidentally) ignored a phone call from Obama after the 2010 NBA Finals loss.
Over the weekend, Doc’s son Jeremiah Rivers started his six-month contract with KK Mega Visura, a Basketball League of Serbia team based in Belgrade. Like he did when Austin Rivers played Duke University exhibition games in China and the United Arab Emirates over the summer, Doc traveled to see his son perform.
During Doc’s visit, a Serbian reporter caught up with the Celtics coach (see embedded video) about the NBA lockout. ”I have no opinion, because I can’t have one,” Rivers said. “We’re not even allowed to talk about it. From a coaching standpoint, we just show up and kind of do our job every day and hope for the best. I expect the Celtics to be very good. That’s what I expect. I can’t wait to get back to work.”
The reporter also asked Rivers about Nenad Krstic, the Serbian-born center for the Celtics last season. “I loved him,” he said. “We’re going to miss him. I think he’s a terrific player. He’s a great kid to coach, and I thought he came into our team in a difficult situation in the middle of the season when we were already going. I would’ve loved to have had him from the start of the season. I think that would have been a lot of fun.”
For more on Rivers, The Globe’s Gary Washburn led his Sunday NBA notes column with a nice piece on his coaching philosophy, particularly in sports-crazed Boston.
CELTICS LAYUP DRILL
Speaking of Washburn’s column, 31-year-old free agent Josh Howard had this to say about the possibility of signing with the Celtics post-lockout: “Boston is a great organization. I also have a good friend in Marquis Daniels that spent a lot of time up there and who spoke highly of the organization. So that would be one of the teams I would actually look at if I had the opportunity to go there.” …
As someone fired footballs from a throwing machine at Rajon Rondo, somebody else filmed it. Rondo didn’t drop a single pass, catching throws from all angles. He’s got better hands than all the Jets receivers. Thanks, YouTube! …
Paul Pierce apparently worked some with strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein this summer. …
Basketball Prospectus’ Sebastian Pruiti wrote an interesting piece on Rondo’s increased turnovers on pick-and-rolls last season, in part due to his inability to knock down or even take jump shots. …
I’m not sure why I found this so funny, but in an article that names Kevin Garnett as an investor in Zico coconut water, Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez got ridiculed for endorsing Vita Coco while investing in Zico — their biggest competitor. Another savvy move by A-Rod.
(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)
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