|Impromptu Irish Coffee: The Next Bill Russell?||07.28.11 at 1:58 pm ET|
When someone compares a player to Bill Russell, my usual reaction is a rolling of the eyes, followed by an audible sigh and capped by a sarcastic, “And Harold Miner is the next Michael Jordan.” However, when a member of the Celtics’ front office makes the analogy, that’s an entirely different story.
Celtics senior director of basketball operations Leo Papile — also the Boston Amateur Basketball Club’s director — told Louisville’s Courier-Journal that the current star of his AAU program, Nerlens Noel (great name, by the way), could indeed be the next William Felton Russell:
“No one has ever been compared to Bill Russell, but I said that about this kid when he was in the eighth grade. He has a basketball brain like no other player that I have ever coached. He’s a special kid. …
“He has great timing. Everything he does is just perfect. He passes, his team defense … it’s all just perfect. And now he has an offensive game.”
ESPNU’s No. 3 ranked recruit and top-ranked center in the Class of 2013, Noel led Papile’s BABC team to the Peach Jam title earlier this month and the AAU Super Showcase championship game this past week. This winter, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Everett native enters his junior season at New Hampshire’s Tilton School.
To put Papile’s statement in perspective, he has worked for the Celtics since 1997 and currently serves as one of the team’s chief talent evaluators at the NBA, D-League, international and collegiate levels. Founding the BABC in 1977, he has helped develop NBA talents like Patrick Ewing and Dana Barros.
So, the real question is: Does the 17-year-old Noel even know who is the greatest winner in professional sports? Read the rest of this entry »
|Rajon Rondo can bend his elbow just fine||07.27.11 at 1:54 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo tweeted this photo while on vacation in Las Vegas. The Celtics point guard dislocated his left elbow during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Heat on May 7.
Two weeks ago, Rondo told Louisville’s FOX affiliate, “I’m still in a little bit of pain right now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there’s swelling in my joint. I’ll be fine, it just takes time. I’ve got a couple more weeks that I’m off, as far as rest and the repetition of weights.”
Well, from the looks of it, Rondo appears to have full range of motion in the elbow. Rondo, teammate Kevin Garnett and Celtics Director of Basketball Development Tyronn Lue reportedly attended the Marquee nightclub’s BoomBox room on Friday night along with fellow NBA players Chauncey Billups (in Las Vegas to renew his wedding vows, according to The Detroit News), Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin, Rip Hamilton, Rudy Gay, Chuck Hayes and … wait for it … Read the rest of this entry »
|18th anniversary of Reggie Lewis’ death||07.27.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
R.I.P. Reggie Lewis (Nov. 21, 1965 — July 27, 1993)
- Nov. 21, 1965: Born in Baltimore, Md.
- 1981-82: Led Dunbar High to consecutive undefeated seasons (60-0)
- 1983-87: Set Northeastern University scoring record (2,708 points)
- Nov. 6, 1987: Totaled four points in his Celtics debut
- June 22, 1987: Selected by Celtics in first round of NBA draft (22nd overall)
- Dec. 6, 1988: Scored 33 points in first game as a starter in a Celtics uniform
- March 31, 1991: Became only player to block Michael Jordan four times
- April 12, 1991: Netted a career-high 42 points against the Heat
- Feb. 9, 1992: Played in his only NBA All-Star Game
- March 24, 1993: Left game with dizziness but returned to score 22 points
- April 29, 1993: Collapsed on the Garden’s parquet floor during a playoff game
- May 2, 1993: Diagnosed with life-threatening cardiomyopathy by 12 renowned cardiologists
- May 10, 1993: Cleared to return to the NBA by Dr. Gilbert Mudge
- July 27, 1993: Died at Brandeis University from cardiac arrest at 27 years old
On Wednesday, SLAM interviewed Muggsy Bogues, who played with Lewis as well as fellow NBA talents David Wingate and Reggie Williams at Dunbar High in Baltimore, Md. (strange coincidence: Bogues and Wingate were playing for the Hornets when Lewis collapsed during that 1993 playoff game). Here’s what Bogues told SLAM:
|Rajon Rondo and his Celtics teammates let the Kendrick Perkins trade get into their heads||07.26.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
Time often puts things into proper perspective.
In the weeks following the Kendrick Perkins trade in late February, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge dismissed the notion that any professional athlete would let the trade of a friend off the court affect his play between the lines.
Five months later, Rajon Rondo admitted to Yahoo! Sports that The Trade influenced the team “more than it should have” — and that was a mistake. Here’s what the C’s point guard said Tuesday of the deal that sent Perkins along with Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic:
“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something. I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”
Of course, if you remember the fifth episode of NBA Entertainment’s “The Association: Boston Celtics,” which aired soon after the Feb. 24 trade, Rondo sang a different tune at the time:
|Delonte West debuts ‘Lockout’ mixtape||07.22.11 at 1:53 pm ET|
Free agent combo guard Delonte West released two songs — “It’s Bout 2 Go Down” featuring KayeM and “Mr. Magnificent” featuring Rudy — from his upcoming mixtape, appropriately dubbed “Lockout.” Of course, you’ll probably remember Delonte’s rap about Kentucky Fried Chicken, which has more than 655,000 views on YouTube.
The release of the two music videos comes just a day after West’s agent Jarinn Akana told ESPN.com that — while he will consider overseas offers — the Celtics remain his No. 1 destination this offseason. West averaged 5.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting along with 2.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 18.9 minutes over 24 games during his injury-plagued season.
|What we know about Celtics’ financial situation||07.21.11 at 4:10 pm ET|
In case you haven’t heard, NBA owners have locked out their players, and the outlook appears grim, as Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is among a group willing to lose the entire 2011-12 season over the labor dispute.
Grousbeck and the rest of the ownership group purchased the Celtics in late 2002 for a then-record $360 million, taking on $180 million in debt. Forbes.com valued the franchise at $452 million after their near-title 2009-10 season, a 65.0 percent increase in value since the 2001-02 season.
Before we put how much the Celtics have made — and stand to make — from their new TV deal into perspective, let’s take a year-by-year look at how the Celtics have done financially since the current owners took helm …
|What can Celtics expect from JaJuan Johnson?||07.19.11 at 6:11 pm ET|
If, like me, your first thought after the Celtics drafted JaJuan Johnson was, “Well, at least they got someone who could contribute right away,” then think again.
The C’s picked the 6-foot-10, 220-pound four-year collegiate power forward with the No. 25 pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft. In the five previous drafts, ever since the NBA banned high school players from joining the league until age 19 or one year after the graduation of their high school class, exactly 30 four-year college players have been drafted in the first round.
- Of those 30 players, seven were either power forwards or centers like Johnson.
- Of those seven players, four lasted past the lottery.
- Of those four players, three played more than 10 games.
- Of those three players, two averaged more than three points as rookies.
- Of those two players, one measured under 7 feet, 2 inches tall: Trevor Booker.
It could be better (Roy Hibbert) or worse (DeMarre Carroll) than the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Booker, the No. 23 pick by the Wizards (via the Timberwolves) in 2010. To get an idea of what the Celtics should expect from their first-round pick if and when the 2011-12 season begins — and beyond – here’s how the seven other four-year collegiate big men have fared since 2006 …