|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: ‘Back to School’||07.29.11 at 3:26 pm ET|
According to University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari, Rajon Rondo will join fellow former Wildcats John Wall and Eric Bledsoe as students at the school for the upcoming fall semester should the lockout continue.
As Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones noted, Rondo & Co. could practice with their former college team as student assistant coaches should they enroll full-time (12 credit hours in a semester).
Rondo left Kentucky after his sophomore year in 2006, while both Wall and Bledsoe departed following their freshman seasons in 2010. Presumably, the Celtics point guard is a lot closer to actually achieving his college degree than his counterparts on the Wizards and Clippers. Hopefully, the NBA lockout won’t last long enough for any of them to take two or three years of classes, although all three should be commended if they actually do enroll and attend college courses.
And there better be a “Back to School” reality show based on this with Rondo going around saying stuff like, “I hereby dedicate this building to myself,” “Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out, and then bring one every 10 minutes” and “Why don’t you call me some time when you have no class?”
I could go on all day with Rondo in “Back to School” scenarios, but I’ll spare you. Instead, check out this Rondo impression by Harlem Globetrotter Dizzy Grant and answer the poll question below …
|Von Wafer really wants to play for Real Madrid||07.29.11 at 12:43 pm ET|
Despite the Wafer camp’s “insistent” overtures to Real Madrid, the Spanish club instead signed guards Jaycee Carroll and Martynas Pocius, leaving little room on the roster for the free-agent shooting guard who came off the bench for the Celtics this past season.
Carroll graduated from Utah State in 2008 as the school’s all-time leading scorer and played for the Celtics in the Orlando Pro Summer League last summer. The Lithuanian Pocius played sparingly under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 2005-09.
Wafer averaged 3.2 points in 9.5 minutes over 58 games for the Celtics last season and recently indicated that he would like to return to Boston once the lockout ends. After being drafted by the Lakers in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft, Wafer has played for seven teams in seven professional seasons, including a brief stint overseas before being waived by Greek Euroleague club Olympiacos Piraeus in 2009.
In the original ESPN.com report about Wafer’s desire to suit up for the Celtics again, Wafer’s agent Terrance Doyle suggested, “Wafer might explore overseas options again depending on the length of the lockout.” In light of the most recent reports out of Spain, it appears that Wafer is already seriously testing the waters abroad.
As we’ve discussed previously in this space, the Celtics may not be interested in re-signing Wafer regardless of whether or not he signs overseas for at least three reasons: Read the rest of this entry »
|Try not to like Celtics’ Jeff Green after this||07.28.11 at 3:20 pm ET|
Celtics swingman Jeff Green and fellow Georgetown product Greg Monroe gave pointers to 10 Marines from the Wounded Warrior basketball program before their game on the south lawn of the White House on Wednesday. President Barack Obama also made an appearance, according to the White House blog.
No word on whether Obama challenged Green to a game of 1-on-1 (insert joke about how the Celtics would be better off with the President on their roster).
Green will also take place in the Celebrity Soccer Challenge in Washington D.C. on Sunday, hosted by former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and his wife Mia Hamm. Among the other celebrities are Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, U.S. Women’s World Cup star Alex Morgan and “Around the Horn” host Tony Reali. Wait, who?
Now, if only Green can slide tackle Kobe, he’ll finally ingratiate himself to Celtics fans.
|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|
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:
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