|Paul Pierce tells podcast how he nearly left Celtics for Blazers, but wanted to join Mavericks||02.03.16 at 10:14 am ET|
After Paul Pierce led the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, and before he led them to the 2008 title, he wanted out of Boston, and he nearly got his wish.
Speaking to Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast, Pierce explained how he helped nix a deal to the Blazers and pushed for a trade to the Mavericks that would’ve altered Celtics history.
“It was just discouraging,” Pierce told Mannix, courtesy NESN.com. “It was just like I want people to know who Paul Pierce is, what type of player he is, but the only way to do that is to be on the big stage, be in the playoffs with a shot at the championship. It was discouraging playing so well and not reaching the team success that I wanted to reach. Because at the end of the day, that’s how you’re going to be measured on how your team does more than what you do as an individual. When I didn’t see that, the results of that, it created doubts where maybe I could go somewhere else and find that.”
Trader Danny Ainge, who long lusted after point guard Chris Paul, worked on the framework of a deal that would swap the two young stars. But Pierce wanted none of it.
“It was just like, (the Blazers) weren’t going to the playoffs, they had a young team, too, players always getting in trouble, and I was just like, I’m not going to Portland,” Pierce said on the podcast. “I think I made the announcement. I think I did an article in the paper saying I wasn’t going to Portland if I got traded there. I might as well stay in Boston if I go to Portland. I know that was the one trade I knew about that was on the table that they were really close to pulling.”
Pierce had another destination in mind: Dallas, where he would join his fellow member of the draft class of 1998, Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs boasted a committed owner in Mark Cuban, and a young roster that would eventually win a title in 2011. Maybe it would’ve happened sooner with Pierce.
“If you can get me to Dallas, that’s where I wanted to go at the time,’ Pierce said. “I thought Dallas was a player like me away from winning. They were 50-game winners. Dirk was pretty much by himself. I even ran into Dirk and Mark Cuban that summer. It was like, ‘Mark, you’ve got to find a way to get me over there. I want to get over there. I think I could help you all get over the hump.'”
It never happened, and for that, the Celtics should be grateful.
|Report: Celtics have interest in Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari||02.02.16 at 12:21 pm ET|
If so, that player could be Danilo Gallinari.
According to a report from over the weekend on Sportando, a website that tracks worldwide basketball, the Celtics have interest in the Nuggets’ sharpshooter, who’s in the midst of his best season.
The 6-foot-10 Italian, the No. 6 overall pick by the Knicks in the 2008 draft, has rebounded from 2014 knee surgery to post the best numbers of his career. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 5.6 rebounds a game, both career highs, and he ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in free throws made (291, 5th) and attempted (333, 9th).
That the Celtics would have interest shouldn’t be a surprise, since the Herald’s Steve Bulpett reported over the summer that Gallinari was a potential target of Celtics president Danny Ainge and that the sides had discussed a deal.
Gallinari, 27, is signed through the 2017-18 season on a two-year, $34 million extension.
|Report: Celtics inquired about Hawks’ Al Horford, Jeff Teague||01.31.16 at 9:12 am ET|
“Atlanta, I’ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schroeder, their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8 million per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.”
Mannix continued, “I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford. Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in.
“Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year. But as we know and as I just said, (president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too.”
Atlanta is currently tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference at 27-21, with the 29 year old Horford averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Teague, 27, 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per contest.
|Marcus Smart addresses on-court argument with Jae Crowder: ‘Me and Jae are good’||01.11.16 at 10:32 am ET|
In the Celtics‘ 101-98 loss against Memphis on Sunday, there was a play that drew the attention of most of the Celtics team.
With the Celtics down 93-92 and a 17-second difference between the shot clock and game clock, the plan appeared to be to play the possession out and get a stop, but Marcus Smart pressed up on Greg Chalmers fouled him, which seemed to upset many of his teammates, including Jae Crowder who ran at him stomping his feet.
Look how frustrated the Celtics were with Smart’s blunder: https://t.co/0uRBNeIvHd
‘ Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 11, 2016
After the game, Smart accepted responsibility for the bad play and said there’s no hard feelings between he and Crowder.
“He was just telling me we didn’t need to foul there,” Smart said to reporters. “It was heat of the moment, two players, competitors going at it, both mad at each other. I’m mad at myself. He’s mad at me because I made a play. But me and Jae are good. That’s supposed to happen. I made a bad play.”
The Celtics have now lost three straight and five of their last six.
|Studs and Duds: Derrick Rose, Bulls hand Celtics 4th loss in 5 games||01.07.16 at 10:36 pm ET|
The Bulls defeated the Celtics 101-92 on Thursday night in Chicago, handing Boston its fourth loss in five games and second defeat in as many nights.
After a sloppy first half in which both teams struggled to find open looks, the Bulls pulled ahead in the third quarter, outscoring the C’s 26-16. In the quarter, the Celtics shot 7-for-32 from the field, missing all six of their 3-point attempts.
Pau Gasol’s 17 points and 18 boards led the Bulls (22-12). The rest of Chicago’s starters also scored in double figures, as the dynamic backcourt of Jimmy Butler (19 points, 10 assists) and Derrick Rose (18 points) combined for 37 points.
Seven different Celtics scored in double figures, led by Jae Crowder (17 points). The loss was Boston’s fourth in its last five games, and the C’s dropped to 19-17 — ninth in the East. The Celtics will look to end their two-game skid on Sunday in Memphis.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
|Brad Stevens to miss Bulls game while visiting former Butler player||01.07.16 at 5:45 pm ET|
Brad Stevens will not be on the bench for Thursday’s game against the Bulls in Chicago, as he is visiting a former Butler player in Indiana, the team announced hours before the game.
“We ask that the private nature of this visit be respected,” the Celtics said in a statement.
Assistant coach Jay Larranaga will serve as head coach in Stevens’ absence.
Former Butler player Andrew Smith, who has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the past two years, was readmitted to the hospital on Wednesday, according to the Indianapolis Star. His wife, Samantha Smith, reached out on Twitter asking for prayers for her husband, whose condition worsened in November.
Please pray. Pray so very hard. We need a miracle & Andrew asked me to have you all rally with us in prayer in this moment.
‘ Samantha Smith (@Samantha44Smith) January 6, 2016
Smith played four seasons for Stevens, who visited his former player on the eve of his bone marrow transplant when the Celtics played the Pacers in Indiana this past November.
‘I think after the transplant it’s going to be pretty tough on him, so obviously getting to see him, and Coach getting to see him, is good for us and good for him,’ Celtics video coordinator Alex Barlow, who played for Stevens and with Smith at Butler, told The Boston Globe in November. ‘It’s just very unfortunate that somebody like him who’s so nice has had to go through something so terrible.’
|Studs and Duds: Brook Lopez, Nets upset Celtics||01.02.16 at 7:03 pm ET|
For the second game in a row, the Celtics‘ lost at home against one of the league’s bottom feeders in what was one of the most disappointing defeats of the season.
The Nets beat the Celtics, 100-97, and considering Boston owns Brooklyn’s first-round pick, the C’s didn’t do themselves any favors by suffering their second loss at the hands of Brooklyn in 2015-16. The two teams face each other again in Brooklyn on Monday.
Throughout a dreadful third quarter, Celtics coach Brad Stevens tried every lineup combination he could think of to spark some sort of offensive rhythm — but nothing seemed to work. The Nets (10-23) outscored the C’s 25-16 in the third quarter and carried a 10-point lead into the final frame. Behind an 11-2 run, the Celtics tied the game at 83. The Nets then responded with their own 9-2 run, forcing the Celtics (18-15) to play catch-up until the final minute, when the C’s crawled back to make it a one-possession game.
With 10 seconds left, Marcus Smart stole Brooklyn’s inbound pass, setting up a fast break that set up an open look for Jonas Jerebko, whose game-tying 3-point attempt from the corner bounced off the rim. Smart saved the ball from going out of bounds, but Jae Crowder couldn’t get a shot off before the game clock struck zero.
Brook Lopez‘s monster double-double (30 points, 13 rebounds) led the Nets. Joe Johnson added 20 points, and Thaddeus Young had 16. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 24 points, Crowder scored 16 and Evan Turner finished with 12. For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
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