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Irish Coffee: 10 things I heard about Celtics

01.14.13 at 3:50 pm ET

As the Celtics prepare to extend their season-long winning streak to six against the Bobcats at the Garden on Monday night, here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the weekend.

10. Plenty was made of Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett‘s reported Honey Nut Cheerios remarks about Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony‘s wife, which Celtics coach Doc Rivers vehemently denied on Thursday, but the best take came, naturally, from Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.

“Oh, snap, crackle and pop, you just got Apple Jacked,” said Colbert. “Kevin’s saying he had your wife, reality star La La Vazquez, as part of this complete breakfast. Folks, this brings me to a tip of my hat to Kevin Garnett for forging a bold new path in product placement. This isn’t just trash talk. It’s Hefty brand trash talk. Forget gym shoes or Sprite, from now on all NBA games should be filled with athletes incorporating national brands into their taunting. Yo mama’s so fat, she should switch to Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt now with active probiotics.”

Apparently, La La agrees, because she wants some free cereal out of the deal.

9. Two of Garnett’s most influential mentors, former Timberwolves coach Kevin McHale and longtime Minnesota teammate Sam Mitchell, also came to his defense. All things Kevin Garnett tend to be fascinating, and neither Mitchell nor McHale disappointed in separate stellar stories by The Globe’s Gary Washburn.

Mitchell: ‘€œKevin has always taken the attitude that he’€™s not good enough. The great players feel that way. After 18 years playing in the NBA, why does he play so hard? Not the money. It’€™s the love of it and the fact that he’s still proving to himself that he deserves to be in this league and he has to go out and earn it and prove it every night.”

McHale: ‘€œWe spent a lot of time in the gym together when I was not as gray and moved a little bit better. Great kid. Great work ethic. Turned himself into a fantastic player for years and years and years. With his energy level, what he’€™s still able to accomplish in the NBA, not so much his age, but look at the amount of minutes he’€™s played. It’€™s just phenomenal. I’€™m happy for him.’€

8. Likewise, two more reasons to like Doc Rivers:

a) He doesn’t hold back from criticizing his own son, Hornets rookie Austin Rivers, who will play against his father’s Celtics for the first time in Boston on Wednesday. ‘€œHe was running around in the gym for three hours,’€ Rivers told the Herald. ‘€œThen he says he’€™s dead tired, and I’€™m like, ‘€˜Well, what did you expect?'”

b) Rivers addressed the Red Sox rookie development program. “Doc was amazing,” Sox prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. told “Oh my goodness, it’s powerful, man. Yeah, yeah, yeah. After hearing his speech I wanted to say forget baseball, I’m going to play some basketball. It was great to hear him talk.”

7. ESPN unveiled a new “This is SportsCenter” commercial starring Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, and in typical Rondo fashion, it’s weird. Of all things, they chose to focus on his 9.5-inch hands.

6. After almost a month, Chris Wilcox (sprained right thumb) returned to Celtics practice on Sunday. He gave no timeline for his first game since Dec. 18. In all likelihood, Wilcox has since dropped behind Jared Sullinger on the depth chart, although he could still earn what few minutes Jason Collins played behind Garnett.

“It’s still sore,” he told reporters at practice, “but it’s going to be like that for a while, so I’m just trying to do whatever I can and just get back out here on the court and then see what I can go through and see what’s comfortable.”

5. A few highlights from Celtics guard Jason Terry‘s latest diary entry on “We found our identity” thanks to Avery Bradley; call the bench “Gangster Squad”; Paul Pierce “is just as brutal” a trash-talker as Garnett; “we’re playing the villain role”; and his Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl prediction already failed.

4. Since the Celtics shipped him back to their NBA Development League affiliate in Maine, Fab Melo has yet to recreate the magic of his near back-to-back triple-doubles. Still, he’s totaled 18 points (7-12 FG), 14 rebounds and eight blocks over two games, including a game-winning put-back against the Springfield Armor on Friday. At the very least, it appears he’s recovered from the concussion he suffered walking into a door frame.

3. Uber credible CBS Sports columnist Ken Berger claims the Celtics “are open to discussingPaul Pierce in trade talks, which comes as no surprise, since the C’s shopped their captain last season and haven’t picked up his $15.3 million option for next year. Still, Celtics president Danny Ainge doesn’t expect a deal anytime soon.

“I think over the next five weeks a lot will be told,’€ Ainge told The Globe. ‘€œI feel like we don’€™t have any glaring needs when we’€™re playing the way we’€™re playing. Everyone’€™s playing their role; whether they’€™re playing well all the time is not as much of a point if they are accepting a role and giving an honest day’€™s worth of work.’€

The bigger question: What could the Celtics get in return for Pierce? Their best reported offer last spring was Mehmet Okur‘s expiring contract and the No. 6 pick in this past June’s NBA draft, which turned out to be Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard, and that deal apparently didn’t come close to convincing Ainge to part with the face of his franchise. Now, he’s even closer to 40,000 career minutes.

2. Coincidentally (or not), Grizzlies wing Rudy Gay told Yahoo! Sports that Rondo constantly attempts to lure his friend to Boston. You’ll remember the two hooked up on the famous forehead alley-oop during Rondos’ charity game at Harvard University during the NBA lockout in the Summer of 2011.

“It’€™s hard to talk to [Rondo] because he is always saying, ‘€˜We need you over here. We need you over here,'” said Gay. “So it’€™s not easy talking to him. But he’€™s being a friend, just telling me about keeping everything together and he makes you feel like you are still valuable.”

Of course, while the Grizzlies seem open to dealing him, Gay has little if any say about where he’ll end up, considering he has two years and $37.2 million left on his current deal. The money in a straight swap of Pierce and Gay actually works, but Memphis probably wants more in return. Would you trade Pierce and any one of Sullinger, Melo or a first-round pick for Gay? That might capture Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace‘s attention.

1. Since we started with fascinating KG facts, we might as well end with one, too. Appearing on the B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, current Warriors and former Knicks forward David Lee offered his thoughts on Garnett.

“KG is a guy that from my rookie year, the second you get on the floor, just completely disrespects you as a rookie, and that’s part of the intimidation factor,” said Lee. “It wasn’t until my third year that I figured out, ‘OK, I just need to ignore it.’ We were at Boston, and I was saying to myself, ‘Not only our we getting beat by 100 points right now, but you also have a guy that’s 7-foot tall, talking in your ear.'”

(Have a question, concern or conception for the next Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)

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