10 Things I Heard About Celtics VIII
|10.17.11 at 2:02 pm 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, V, VI and VII).
“Rondo, by the way, is outstanding,” UK head coach John Calipari recently said. “I mean this guy, he is working ‘¦ and I told him, and I told Nazr Mohammed the same thing: When they are done if they want to come back and join this staff and finish up their degrees, they are welcome. They are great young people who want other people around them to get better and they are not afraid to share their knowledge and their experiences.”
Even C’s coach Doc Rivers showed up to watch his son Austin Rivers at Duke’s first official practice. Doc hasn’t abandoned his own Alma mater, as he is a member of the search committee for Marquette’s new AD.
Rivers’ respite from the golf course won’t last long, as he will join a slew of PGA Tour stars and former Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic pro-am. Welcome to the NBA lockout, ladies and gentlemen.
9. After totaling almost as many fouls (5) as points (7) in his losing debut for Italian team Benetton Treviso, Celtics second-round draft pick E’Twaun Moore bounced back in Game 2, totaling 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes during an 85-84 victory. He started both games.
To put his performance in perspective, Moore’s averages through two games (9.0 PTs, 4.0 PFs, 4.0 REB, 1.0 AST and 1.0 STL in 27.5 MIN) compare less than favorably to BT teammate Brian Scalabrine (12.0 PTs, 3.5 REB, 3.0 AST, 2.5 PFs and 0.5 STL in 31.5 MIN). So, tame your Moore excitement.
Meanwhile, C’s backup point guard Avery Bradley is scheduled to make his Hapoel Jerusalem debut on Monday.
8. Friend and former MetroWest Daily News colleague Lenny Megliola wrote an entertaining feature on former Mass. resident and Celtics equipment manager Wayne Lebeaux, who grew up to become the road manager for Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr. Quite a life. A few interesting tidbits from a worthwhile read:
- Lebeaux on Larry Bird: “He’d call me at 9, 10 o’clock at night and say ‘Open the gym for me.’ He wanted to shoot around. Fifteen minutes later, he would switch on the gym lights and Bird, after a day of practice already, worked overtime on his shooting, which steered him into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was so competitive. I beat him in Monopoly once. He was so upset he hit the board.”
- Lebeaux on Springsteen: “He’s as intense on stage as Larry was on the court.”
7. Former Celtics All-Star Antoine Walker reportedly re-signed with the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede for a whopping $25,000. How the mighty have fallen. You’ve gotta believe Walker could make more than that overseas. Who wouldn’t love the Walker Wiggle in Turkey?
6. On Sunday, Jeff Green attended his first ever football game — between his hometown Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles (How is it possible that Green had never attended a football game before?).
The night before, Green actually participated in another D.C.-Philly battle. Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Green and others lost 172-169 to the likes of Lou Williams, Hakim Warrick, Kyle Lowry, Flip Murray, Mardy Collins and Dionte Christmas. The Celtics restricted free agent did make the game’s highlight reel …
As we’ve noted before, Green will again team with Durant — as well as Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, John Wall and Rudy Gay — in a charity game in Oklahoma City on Oct. 23.
5. I enjoyed this read on the 40th anniversary of the NBA shootaround, of all things. Celtics legend Bill Sharman started the gameday morning tradition in 1971 as head coach of the world champion Lakers. Sharman apparently practiced on his own the morning before games as a member of the C’s in the 1950s. Unsurprisingly, Wilt Chamberlain was not a big fan of the shootaround. “Wilt had a reputation of sleeping late,” said Sharman.
“Bucky would eat an omelet before shootaround and then go out and piss on the floor. You’d kind of have to dribble around it to get your shots up.”
4. Celtics free agent guard Delonte West quizzed his Twitter followers about what he was up to during a day off from his furniture moving gig. The answer: “being this fantastic, amazing, creative, artist that I am.” West said he studied art in school, and you can see for yourself in the accompanying photo that he’s a regular Rembrandt. Personally, I would way rather have watched a 60 minutes piece on his painting career than Sunday night’s Morley Safer segment on Vincent Van Gogh.
Meanwhile, Delonte reportedly offered his Regency Furniture coworkers NBA season tickets once the lockout is resumed. Good times all around.
3. Rajon Rondo appeared in Boston on Saturday, signing copies his cover photo in this month’s Red Bulletin magazine. The Globe’s Gary Washburn caught up with the Celtics point guard, and here are the highlights:
- On the NBA lockout: “I hope there’s a season. I’m looking forward to it and everyone around the league is, even the fans. It’s just an extended vacation as far as trying to continue to train and get better. It’s more time for me to work on my game, and that’s how I try to face it in the next couple of weeks or months or whatever we have. Right now my focus is to play with the Celtics.”
- On the 2011-12 Celtics: “It will be different makeup, a lot of different guys. So a lot of new faces around the city, but we’ll try to get them accustomed to how we do things here in Boston and go for a championship.”
- On his elbow injury: “The elbow is fine. I have been playing in a lot of games and it hasn’t given me any problems yet.”
- On the Heat series: “I don’t try to say woulda, coulda — they beat us, 4-1, as simple as that. I think it was all adrenaline to come back in the game where I hurt my elbow. The next game it wore off and I had to sit down a little bit.”
- On his busy offseason: “This has been the best summer of my life, really. Lockout or not, I’m still going to enjoy my life and do what I do best.”
2. By now, I’m sure you heard the reports that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant “sabotaged” a potential 50/50 split during collective bargaining negotiations with NBA owners. I’ve written about the 50/50 split, about Pierce’s involvement and about Garnett’s contribution.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think Garnett or Pierce would actually be making deal-breaking decisions. Should their input be valued by the National Basketball Players Association? Yes. Should their influence be the end-all be-all in face-to-face dealings with commissioner David Stern? Hell no.
The blame for that shouldn’t fall on Garnett, Pierce or Bryant. They are who they are. NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher should have enough sense or gusto to stand up to the league’s superstars if they try to take over the discussion like it’s the fourth quarter of Game 7.
Despite the weekend’s news, Pierce appears to still be heavily involved in the union, based on Bulls point guard Derrick Rose‘s recent comments: “My agents, Arn [Tellem] and B.J. [Armstrong] have been doing a great job with keeping me up with the updates, and I’m supposed to be talking to ‘D-Fish’ in a couple days or Paul Pierce.”
And if indeed Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck‘s hawkish attitude toward the players has dissipated as a result of Garnett’s tirade, at least something positive came from all this.
1. It should come as no surprise that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is among the contributors to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, given their religious ties. Any chance we’ll see a Romney/Ainge ticket in 2012? Somehow, I don’t think they would get Kendrick Perkins‘ vote.
Conversely, Pierce appeared as a presenter at the 10th anniversary celebration of the William J. Clinton Foundation on Saturday. Sadly, he didn’t appear in this Funny or Die parody that aired at the event. Now excuse me while I go participate in Kristen Wiig‘s Global Breathing Initiative …