|Irish Coffee: JaJuan Johnson ‘working out on his body’||11.10.11 at 2:33 pm ET|
Any time the Celtics‘ first-round draft pick gets awkwardly interviewed by a hot chick, it’s Irish Coffee’s duty and honor to relay the conversation. That’s precisely what happened when BallersBlock.net’s Zuri Hall conducted a locker room interview with JaJuan Johnson.
Zuri Hall: What does it feel like with the NBA lockout kind of looming? You haven’t even be able to experience that rookie season yet. Are you getting advice from vets, like how are you feeling right now?
JaJuan Johnson: You have a lot of uncertainties, really, just because you really don’t know too much about what’s going on. I’ve never been through it yet, but all I can really do is work out and listen to the older guys. All they’re doing is just working out, too, so I’m just following their steps.
ZH: Now, have you entertained the idea of going overseas? What are your thoughts on guys who are thinking about that?
JJ: I think it’s just on that person. Me, personally, I really want to work out on my body and just get bigger and stronger. So, my focus is just in the weight room and on my game, but I can see why obviously people want to play overseas — for financial reasons or whatever it can be — but that’s just my focus.
ZH: Ok, I’ve got a few fun questions for you. I’m not going to ask all the hard questions. All right, here’s one: Hypothetically — it doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, babies, none — it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, your wife goes into early labor with her first-born, where do you go — the game or the hospital?
JJ: You gotta go to the hospital. You’ve got to. I might try to leave real soon. As soon as it’s delivered, we gotta head out to the game.
ZH: Good answer. It was a trick question. You had to say the hospital. Ok, I have a few either/ors: love or money?
JJ: Oooh [rubs his chin]. Oh, God [smiles]. Naw, love, I’m just playing [laughs].
|Irish Coffee: The Doc Rivers coaching philosophy||11.09.11 at 5:33 pm ET|
Appearing less as Celtics coach and more as parent/coach on behalf of the Positive Coaching Alliance, for which he serves on the National Advisory Board, Doc Rivers conducted an interview with WBUR’s Radio Boston program on Tuesday while sitting in I-93 traffic on his way to the Boston Garden.
While he declined comment on the NBA lockout, other than to say he hopes to coach the Celtics during a 2011-12 season, Rivers did offer a glimpse of the man who has accumulated a 336-238 record (.585 winning percentage) on Boston’s bench, trailing only Red Auerbach (795) and Tommy Heinsohn (427) on the team’s all-time wins list.
“I think you have to know people, and I don’t think there is a book on how to treat people,” he said. “I think to be a successful coach, you have to be a successful people person, not meaning that everybody has to like you — but you have to find a way to get to people. I have to find a way every single practice and every single day to get to a group of men, to motivate them to act as a teammate, not as an individual.
“To me, that’s an every day process, it’s a very difficult process, but it’s a process that you have to be willing to reach in and get your hands in there every day.”
|Paul Pierce gets Taiwanese animation treatment||11.08.11 at 1:03 pm ET|
It may not be as good as the Taiwanese animated portrayal of the Red Sox meltdown, but the latest NMA.TV effort involves none other than Celtics captain Paul Pierce and his leadership in the National Basketball Players Association’s decertification discussion. From what I can gather in this video, Pierce and a few Celtics teammates who look like Pierce literally smashed the union to smithereens with axes, causing one player with a nose ring to seduce a woman on a couch and leading to Michael Jordan getting shot in the head. Ok, then.
|Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo ‘frustrating,’ says Shaq||11.08.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
Jackie MacMullan’s latest, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” co-written with Shaquille O’Neal, hits bookstores on Nov. 15. Excerpts about Shaq’s tenures in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Miami and Boston have already leaked.
We know about his claims that he told Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge he would never return from the Achilles injury, that he almost punched Glen “Big Baby” Davis for being selfish and that he believed Nate Robinson‘s obsession with Twitter put him in Doc Rivers‘ doghouse.
We also know that everything Shaq claims should be taken with a grain of salt, so keep that in mind when you read the following revelations, as relayed by the Herald’s Dan Duggan on Twitter.
- Shaq said he was really interested in [Rajon] Rondo. Said Rondo was always a topic of convos. Very stubborn and won’t change.
- Vets told Shaq how important but frustrating Rondo was. Vets liked when Rondo would get put in his place b/c he ticked them off at times.
- Shaq did say Rondo earned the respect of the Big 3 by his defense and passing. Rondo and Doc had “respectful beefs” over plays/decisions.
- Shaq said Baby drove Doc crazy. No surprise there. Said KG [Kevin Garnett] wouldn’t confront Baby; KG has mellowed later in his career.
- Shaq said practices were very competitive. [Von] Wafer-Delonte [West] wasn’t the only skirmish.
- Shaq said he told Danny not to do Perk [Kendrick Perkins] trade b/c he didn’t know if he’d be back. Said trade was strictly biz. C’s weren’t going to pay Perk.
- Shaq said KG’s legs/knees were all screwed up last season. Said Ray [Allen] is a future GM, already like a front office guy. [Paul] Pierce is the leader.
- Shaq had very high praise for Doc, positive memories of Boston.
- Shaq also blatantly admits to manipulating the media/public. Says he made up a story about Bill Russell brokering peace w/ Kobe [Bryant] in 2006.
- Shaq shook Kobe’s hand before the game and when asked said Russell told him to do it. Said he made that up to boost Russell’s legacy.
- One last thing from Shaq’s chapter on Boston is how misleading the Celtics were on his injury.
|Irish Coffee: E’Twaun Moore or E’Twaun less?||11.07.11 at 11:12 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee.
If you just watched this highlight video and knew nothing else about E’Twaun Moore, you might think the Celtics second-round draft selection is destined to become an NBA rotation player once the lockout comes to an end — especially when the announcer for his Italian club Benetton Treviso yells: “E-Twaun Moore-ah, alley-oop-ah!”
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
In four games and 26 minutes a night as a starter for Benetton TV (2-2), Moore is averaging 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks per contest. Sure, he’s shooting 50 percent from the field, but he’s making just 30 percent of his 3-point shots and 50 percent of his free throws.
While Moore’s production in all phases of the game (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist in 25 minutes) during a 72-55 blowout win on Sunday is encouraging, let’s put his performance into perspective.
Brian Scalabrine and Von Wafer, two players who could barely crack the Celtics lineup in the Big Four era, also play in the same Italian league. In fact, Scalabrine, plays for the same team, and he’s generating 12.0 points (71.4 FG%, 66.7 3P%), 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 steals in 32 minutes a night. Wafer plays Moore’s position for Vanoli-Braga Cremona, averaging 19.4 points (63.6 FG%), 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.2 assists and 0.4 blocks in 31.4 minutes over his first five games.
Moore’s ability to make the Celtics roster might depend less on his expected contribution and more on the team’s financial situation after a new collective bargaining agreement. Read the rest of this entry »
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics IX||11.04.11 at 3:07 pm ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘10 Things I Heard About Celtics’ I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII).
10. I’m not sure why I think these “how to pronounce” videos are so hilarious, but they crack me up every time. The embedded one on Celtics second-round draft pick E’Twaun Moore is the best. Each member of the 2010-11 C’s gets the pronunciation treatment, but the JaJuan Johnson, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley ones are the best of the bunch. Am I the only one who finds these funny?
As an aside, Moore is averaging 6.7 points on 50 percent shooting, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.3 minutes over three games for Italian club Benetton Treviso. Speaking of second-round Celtics draftees, Gabe Pruitt was picked fourth overall in the NBA Development League Draft by the Sioux Falls Skyforce. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be playing in Italy than South Dakota.
9. While the lockout robbed Celtics fans of hearing Tommy Heinsohn’s dulcet tones during the canceled season opener on Tuesday night, at least the Worcester Telegram’s Bill Doyle let Heinsohn’s voice be heard. After all, he was in NBPA president Derek Fisher‘s shoes once.
- On the lockout: “I’m not coming down on either side at this particular point. I just know that this is a crucial period for the game of basketball. The economy is tough for everybody. … Obviously it’s going to cost both parties money. The reputation of the league has yet to be determined.”
- On NBA’s return: “I have no clue. I agree with the people. I’d love to see a basketball season.”
- On the NBPA: “I’d hate to be Billy Hunter right now. He’s got to stand up and bump his chest for the players, and he’s got to keep the agents happy who are telling their players what to do. So he’s got an audience of players and agents, and then he’s got to go fight the owners.”
God, do I miss NBA basketball. It’s sounds like Tommy does, too. I think we can all agree with colleague Paul Flannery’s most recent column: “Has this really all been worth it?”
|Chris Herren on D&C: The ‘Unguarded’ interview||11.02.11 at 11:42 am ET|
In case you missed ESPN’s “Unguarded” documentary on Durfee High (Fall River, Mass.) legend and former Celtics guard Chris Herren on Tuesday night, it will air again on ESPN2 Saturday morning at 7 a.m. Set your DVR. Meanwhile, Herren joined The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show on WEEI Wednesday morning. The following is a transcript of their conversation (click here to listen):
Dennis & Callahan: For the man who was in the center of the storm, what did it seem like to you to watch that?
Chris Herren: It’s extremely difficult. It never gets easy. The Boston premiere was definitely the hardest for me, because I had to sit in the audience and watch it. It’s different when you watch it by yourself or your behind closed doors with your family, where you can kind of get up, walk around and come back to it. To me, it’s important. As I’ve said the last couple days, the easy road for me would be to run my basketball company, do public speaking, work for the substance abuse center that I work for and never look back, but I think that would be a disservice to the people who are still back.