|Shaq on his health, being the ‘black Steve Jobs’ and ’18-25′||03.10.11 at 12:54 pm ET|
Speaking with “Mut & Merloni” Thursday afternoon on WEEI, Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal said he was “getting better” in the wake of an Achilles injury that has left him on the shelf for the last month.
“The older you get, it takes time to heal,” O’Neal said. “I’m getting better. Getting stronger. There’s still a little pain.”
The 39-year-old O’Neal said the Celtics are looking at the “18-25 thing,” which he described as 18 titles for “beautiful people of Boston,” as well as a second title for coach Doc Rivers and the rest of the “Big 4,” and a fifth title for him. As a result, he said the Celtics are being cautious about not rushing him back too quickly
“The team is playing well. [Nenad] Kristic is doing a fabulous job. And they want me 1,000 percent, especially for the postseason,” he said. “Because that’s when it really counts.”
O’Neal — who called himself “the black Steve Jobs” when he started talking about some of his business ventures — would not give a specific date for his return, instead saying he was at “84.227115566442222 percent.”
”I can’t give you a date because there’s a little pain fluctuation,” said O’Neal when pressed about a possible return. ”I’ve been told by Doc, [trainer] Ed Lacerte, and [team physician] Brian McKeon to not even come talk until I’m 100 percent. I’m work out, shooting, doing light stuff. When the pain is gone, they told me to add three days [then he'll be back.]”
|Report: Leon Powe signs with Grizzlies||03.03.11 at 8:34 pm ET|
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, former Celtics forward Leon Powe – who was bought out of his contract by the Cavaliers last week, thus becoming a free agent — has signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. While the Celtics had reportedly considered the possibility of a return engagement for Powe — who played in just 14 games for Cleveland this year, averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 boards in 13 minutes a night — their acquisition of Troy Murphy took them out of the market for the 27-year-old. That, in turn, led Powe to Memphis.
|Report: Heat no longer staring at Shaq||02.27.11 at 10:31 am ET|
According to the Palm Beach Post, the Heat redecorated the walls leading to their locker room over the All-Star break. The face lift included the removal of images from the team’s title run in 2006, which notably included the sweat-drenched face of former Miami (and current Celtics) center Shaquille O’Neal. In place of images from the Heat’s lone title, the team now has posted images of its current stars, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade (a holdover from the championship team) and Chris Bosh.
|Danny Ainge on Planet Mikey: Celtics ‘agonized’ over dealing Kendrick Perkins||02.25.11 at 8:53 am ET|
Celtics president Danny Ainge joined WEEI Thursday night to talk about the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, as well as the present and future of the team in the wake of the unexpected moves. Ainge said that he and coach Doc Rivers “agonized” over the decision but ultimately decided it was the best interest of the team.
“I’m as close to Perk as any of them,” Ainge said. “I have a great relationship with him. I brought him in as an 18-year-old. It was very difficult. We shed some tears today, talking to Perk. It was tough. He’s a good kid. I think he’s going to a great situation for himself and for his future. I think Oklahoma City is a top-notch franchise and they obviously have some great young players. He has a bright future there, so that does make it a little bit easier.”
Ainge said that while both his health and his pending free agency were concerns, neither one was a deciding factor in making the deal. “He wanted to test the market. Last time, he didn’t test the market, and this time he wanted to see what his value was, and that was a concern,” Ainge said. “It wasn’t so much of a concern that we would have done something just for that purpose. But the fact we were able in our opinion to help our team for this year and protect ourselves for the future was very good for us.”
On the new additions, Green and Krstic, Ainge said: “We’re really excited with the guys that we got. Jeff Green is a terrific player. He’s a versatile player. He’s playing 37 minutes on one of the top teams in the West as a starter. He’s 24 years old. He brings length and athleticism to the game and great versatility. And we like Krstic. Krstic is a terrific shooter. I think he complements Rondo’s game very well in that he’s another guy that can knock down that mid-range jump shot.”
Ainge noted that Shaquille O’Neal was a week away from returning and that he likely would have come back before Perkins did from his knee strain. He also said that he thought O’Neal would be better suited as a starter than someone coming off the bench and that the team played better when Shaq was in the starting lineup. “Shaq has proven to be excellent with our starters,” he said. “The numbers actually show that he has been better with our starters. We beat all the good teams in the league while Kendrick was out.”
As for the developing veteran free agent market, Ainge said that the Celtics would like add a wing, a frontline player and possibly a guard, although he said that was probably the least of their priorities. He added that they may sign just two players and leave another spot available for now.
To listen to the complete interview, click here.
|Jermaine O’Neal has surgery, out 6-8 weeks||02.04.11 at 11:31 pm ET|
Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge announced after his team’s 101-97 loss to the Mavericks Friday night that center/forward Jermaine O’Neal went arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier in the day and will be out of games an estimated 6-8 weeks.
“Surgery went fine and we’re hoping that helps alleviates the swelling he was getting with extra activity,” Ainge said.
O’Neal, who hasn’t played since Jan. 10, was originally thought not to need surgery, but the problematic knee wasn’t progressing in a fashion that was satisfactory for the player or team.
“It didn’t respond like we had hoped,” Ainge said.
Ainge, who said he hopes for an early April return, noted that the procedure wasn’t one which will solve O’Neal’s health concerns heading into next season.
“I think it could be something he could be dealing with next season,” he said. “Whenever you have arthritis in your knee and there’s bone on bone there’s a long-term issue there. This surgery was not something to fix him long-term.”
For more Celtics coverage, see the team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Four Celtics headed for All-Star Game||02.03.11 at 7:13 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were all named to the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night, joining head coach Doc Rivers on the Eastern Conference team. It’s the ninth time in NBA history that four teammates have been named to one squad, and the first since 2006 when the Pistons had four. The Celtics have done it three times — 1953, 1962 and 1975.
|Audio: Celtics midseason podcast||01.26.11 at 12:54 pm ET|
The Big Show’s Glenn Ordway just recorded his first podcast. The first episode of the Big O’Cast features
WEEI.com’s Celtics writer Paul Flannery. The guys talk about the Celtics season to date, including the play of the two O’Neals, the impact of Kendrick Perkins’ return and some other news around the NBA. The guys specifically talk about the potential trade of Carmelo Anthony, the favorites for the NBA Championship as well as the emergence of Blake Griffin. Listen to the debut of this NBA podcast.