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Irish Coffee: Naturally, Celtics legend Bill Russell taught Joe Torre everything he knows 11.17.11 at 12:08 pm ET
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Naturally, former Yankees manager Joe Torre — who grew up in Brooklyn as the Knicks lost three consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 1950-53 in his formative years — is a Boston Celtics fan. Ugh.

“I was a Boston Celtics fan,” Torre told CBSSports.com. “In fact, I really got my idea of team play from watching the Celtics in the ’50s with those guys, how they shared the ball all the time. Bill Russell, of course, when I met him and told him that story, I think he was a little surprised. I just love that nobody was bigger than the other guy.”

At least we can now credit Russell for the four Yankees World Series titles from 1996-2000. Add them to his list of championships. I know this Torre type. I’m sure he was a Steelers fan in the 1970s, too. Typical.

DELONTE WEST HEADING FAR EAST?

According to a SheridanHoops.com report, the Guangdong (Beavis: “Huh-huh huh-huh-huh) Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association “is contacting Rodney Stuckey and Delonte West, one of whom may come to China.” However, over the summer, West claimed a judge ruled he could not play overseas due to his ongoing probation from a 2010 weapons charge, which isn’t expected to end until July 2012.

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Read More: Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Delonte West, Joe Torre
Irish Coffee: Paul Pierce faces unwarranted criticism 11.15.11 at 3:00 pm ET
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I understand why role players would just want to accept the most recent NBA owners’ proposal, regardless of whether or not it benefits them or others just like them beyond the 2011-12 season.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

As longtime NBA assistant coach Herb Brown told The Jersey Journal, ‘€œI think it’€™s terrible, it’€™s awful. [Someone like] Kevin Garnett doesn’€™t get hurt by this situation, but the 10th, 11th and 12th man does.’€ Still, there’s a reason you’re not supposed to shop for groceries when you’re hungry.

Take 22-year-old Cavaliers forward Samardo Samuels, for example. He’s among the rank-and-file NBA players who would have accepted the owners’ final proposal — if the NBPA ever gave him the chance to vote — and does not support Celtics captain Paul Pierce‘s charge to decertify the union.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, NBA lockout
Irish Coffee: Uno-Uno and Celtics number 11’s 11.11.11 at 1:00 pm ET
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It’s 11-11-11, and it’s Day No. 134 of the NBA lockout. Hence, the analysis of the No. 11 as it relates to Celtics.

The results aren’t good. Since 1946, there have been 23 seasons when nobody wore No. 11 for the Celtics — and they won 10 titles in those years. While 22 players have worn the No. 11 for the Celtics, no one ever made an NBA All-Star Game in that uniform. Dana Barros did participate in a 3-point contest, but lost in the first round.

The most significant player ever to wear No. 11 for the Celtics is Chuck Cooper, who became the first African-American drafted by an NBA team when the C’s took him in the second round with the 12th overall pick in 1950.

The best player to ever wear No. 11 for the Celtics has to be Bob McAdoo, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who played just 20 games in green after C’s owner John Brown pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Tom Barker and three first-round picks to the Knicks.  McAdoo, general manager Red Auerbach and player-coach Dave Cowens all learned of the trade in a newspaper, the ensuing resentment killed the 1978-79 season and they traded McAdoo to the Pistons for M.L. Carr and a pair of first-round picks in the 1980 NBA draft that eventually turned into Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. And the rest is history.

But which player enjoyed the best career in a No. 11 Celtics uniform? Let’s take a look at the 22 candidates.

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Read More: Bob McAdoo, Boston Celtics, Dana Barros, Glen Davis
Irish Coffee: JaJuan Johnson ‘working out on his body’ 11.10.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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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].

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Read More: Baron Davis, Boston Celtics, JaJuan Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
Irish Coffee: The Doc Rivers coaching philosophy 11.09.11 at 5:33 pm ET
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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.”

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Paul Pierce gets Taiwanese animation treatment 11.08.11 at 1:03 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan, NBA, Paul Pierce
Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo ‘frustrating,’ says Shaq 11.08.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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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] WaferDelonte [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.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce
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