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With Knicks heading to Boston, Carmelo Anthony says feud with Kevin Garnett ‘not even on my mind’ 01.23.13 at 9:36 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

The slumping Celtics will look to end their four-game skid when they host the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks on Thursday night. That means a reunion between Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony, who was suspended one game earlier this month for confronting Garnett after their Jan. 7 game.

During that game — a 102-96 Celtics win — Garnett trash-talked Anthony so much that the Knicks forward became infuriated (while shooting 6-for-26). Reportedly, Garnett made a comment about Anthony’s wife that set him off.

The players eventually communicated and apparently made peace, and Anthony said Tuesday that he’s focused only on getting revenge for the loss.

“I don’t care what message I sent to him [about not backing down],” Anthony told the New York media. “I just want to win. Do whatever it takes to win. Thursday’s definitely a big game for myself and us as a team to get us on the right track.”

Added Anthony: “We want to win. Do we owe them? Yes, they came here and beat us. We want to go there and return the favor on their court. We can’t get that game back.”

Anthony insisted he’s moved on from the incident.

“Oh, yeah. Honestly, it’s not even on my mind right now,” he said. “It hasn’t been on my mind since that day.”

Anthony, who is shooting just 39 percent in his last five games, expects the Boston crowd to be fired up for the matchup, as the Knicks try to put more distance between them and the fading Celtics.

“It will be fun,” he said. “It will be a hostile environment. I’m expecting that. It’ll be a fun game. Knowing what’s at stake, us playing Boston.”

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Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo named All-Star starters 01.18.13 at 9:05 am ET
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Kevin Garnett

Celtics Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo earned starting spots in the NBA All-Star Game and will take the floor for the Eastern Conference alongside some bitter rivals: Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

Garnett held off Heat forward Chris Bosh, who implored his Twitter followers to vote for him but fell about 25,000 votes short. Garnett ties Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal for second place all-time with 15 All-Star appearances (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 19).

Bryant was the leading vote-getter, with 1,591,437, in earning his NBA-record 15th consecutive starting bid. He’ll be joined in the Western Conference lineup by Lakers teammate Dwight Howard, Clippers Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and Thunder star Kevin Durant.

Reserves will be announced next Thursday. The game is Feb. 17 in Houston.

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Ray Allen at Heat introductory press conference: ‘It’s a sad thing for me and my family’ to leave Celtics 07.11.12 at 1:58 pm ET
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Ray Allen had plenty to smile about as he sat alongside coach Erik Spoelstra and was introduced as a member of the Heat on Wednesday in Miami. (AP)

New Heat guard Ray Allen downplayed reports of friction between himself and Rajon Rondo at his introductory press conference Wednesday afternoon in Miami. While Allen acknowledged “there’s differences” and noted that he has been in contact with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett but not Rondo this offseason, he insisted his move to Miami was not sparked by the Celtics’ enigmatic point guard.

“I haven’t spoken with him at all,” Allen said when asked about his relationship with Rondo. “I know when I came down here I texted Paul and Kevin. Those are the guys that I talked quite a bit with over the years. We shared a lot of similar philosophies. Those are the guys, when we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders as to whether or not we were going to win. So, I look back at all our time spent in Boston. We’ve had a lot of disappointments, but we’ve shared a lot of thrills. And a lot of that’s off the court.

“So, it is sad to me, knowing that I’m not going to be with those guys anymore. But I’m looking forward to what we can do here in this organization, being a teammate of LeBron [James], being a teammate of Dwyane [Wade], Chris Bosh I just met, Joel Anthony, those guys are all excited to have me here.”

When asked again about Rondo, Allen said: “I can’t say it affected my decision. I think as teammates we were brothers. I’m around them more than I’m around my own family. There’s differences. We all have differences. Paul, he eats Corn Flakes, I might not like Corn Flakes. That’s just part of who we are as individuals. At the end of the day we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. As players we have to put our differences aside.”

Allen talked in more detail about the difficulty he had in making the decision and how it affected his former teammates.

“When I was knew I was leaning toward Miami, I actually sent a text out to Kevin, just to let him know,” Allen said. “I just remember this process in ’08 when [James] Posey left us. He left and we just really wanted him back. He went to New Orleans and we didn’t get a chance to try to get Danny to give him a little something extra, or whatever it was. I didn’t want that to be the case with me in this situation.

“So, I texted Kevin, I told him, I said, ‘Hey, I’m leaning this way. I just want you to know,’ without getting into the finite details of the deal. He said, ‘Well, Danny [Ainge] will step up to the plate and do whatever you need him to do.’ I was like, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ That was somewhat of the small discussion that we had.

“I just wanted those guys to know that I appreciate everything they’ve done for me, and it was a joy and a pleasure to play with them.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Miami TV station erroneously reports Ray Allen deal with Heat 07.06.12 at 8:21 am ET
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Miami television station WSVN reported Thursday night that Celtics free agent guard Ray Allen had agreed to a three-year contract with the Heat, claiming that the news was broken by Yahoo! Sports. The problem is, WSVN was fooled by a fake Twitter account.

It was widely reported that Allen met with the Heat Thursday, and Heat guard Dwyane Wade tweeted that it would be “a big day” for the team. However, there are no indications that Allen has made any decision about his future.

WSVN tweeted its report but later removed the tweet and apologized for the misinformation.

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Video: Rajon Rondo unhappy with TNT cameraman 05.09.12 at 10:47 am ET
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Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was talking with his family outside the locker room after Tuesday night’s one-point loss to the Hawks in Atlanta when he saw he was being filmed by a TNT camera. Rondo then walked over and angrily told the cameraman that he was not doing an interview and to turn off the camera. TNT showed the video, with studio analyst Charles Barkley taking a shot at Rondo’s wardrobe.

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Ex-Celtic Ricky Davis joins D-League’s Maine Red Claws 12.28.11 at 2:07 pm ET
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Ricky Davis knew how to get to the basket during his two years in Boston in the mid-2000s. (AP)

Former Celtics swingman Ricky Davis, looking to make an NBA comeback, signed a contract with the NBA Development League and on Tuesday was claimed by the Maine Red Claws.

Davis is expected to make his debut with the Red Claws this weekend, when they host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.).

“Ricky Davis brings a veteran element to the Red Claws and will undoubtedly become an instant fan favorite at the Portland Expo where many of our fans will remember him from his days with the Celtics,” Red Claws president/general manager Jon Jennings said in a team release. “Ricky is someone who knows what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA and is someone who is hungry to return there. We are all excited to welcome him to Maine.”

Davis, 32, last played in the NBA for the Clippers before being released in the 2009-10 season. He has played in Europe and Asia since.

A first-round draft pick of the Charlotte Hornets in 1998 out of Iowa, Davis averaged 13.5 points per game in his 12-year NBA career. His best season was 2002-03, when he averaged 20.3 points for the Cavaliers, although he developed a reputation as a selfish player. In one memorable moment, he attempted to throw the ball off his own backboard during the closing seconds of a blowout win over the Jazz in hopes of recording a rebound that would give him a triple-double, angering Utah and leading to a fine from the Cavs.

He was traded to the Celtics during the following season and averaged 14.1 points in 57 games (five starts) with the C’s. In his only full season in Boston, 2004-05, Davis averaged 16 points while playing in 81 games (11 starts). He moved into a starting role the following season and averaged 19.7 points in 42 games before being traded to the Timberwolves.

In addition to the Hornets, Cavaliers, Celtics, Timberwolves and Clippers, Davis had two stints with the Heat.

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Ian Thomsen on M&M: Expect more Rajon Rondo trade rumors 12.22.11 at 2:04 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated NBA writer Ian Thomsen joined Mut & Merloni Thursday to talk about the Celtics, who open the season in New York on Christmas Day.

Thomsen said the early part of the NBA season likely will be tough to watch, following a shortened preseason.

“It will be a lot like April baseball when it’s freezing cold and no one really wants to be out there, including the fans,” Thomsen said. “And then, how many empty seats are we going to see? All the fans that didn’t renew their season tickets, not knowing what the NBA was going to be, if they were going to have a season, not knowing if they wanted to support the team even if they did come back.

“It’s going to be a lot of interesting things to watch for, and almost none of them are positive over the first month, I would say. By the end of the year, I would think the NBA’s hoping everybody forgets all about all of this. Right now, it’s just really interesting to see how it plays out.”

However, Thomsen said he can’t fault the owners for pushing to start the season on Christmas.

“I think this was the right thing to do,” he said. “People are complaining about it, for sure. … This was all part of trying to save as much of the season as they could. To me, the greater good was served by that.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On the Celtics’ near acquisition of David West and why West chose instead to go the Pacers: “They thought they were going to get him. And it would have been a huge get. Now, would he have been lost a little bit here? What was his role going to be alongside Garnett? The talk was Kevin Garnett would shift over to center and then David West would be the power forward. But everyone knows that Kevin doesn’t like to play around the basket. And even now, when Doc [Rivers] says he wants Kevin to be more of a scorer, he’s not saying he has to go inside.

“Maybe from David West’s point of view, where was he going to play? Because this was Kevin Garnett’s team. David West isn’t going to come in and take over for Kevin Garnett this year. So, what were their roles going to be? They sort of play on the same areas on the floor. Maybe that was a big part of it. Whereas if he goes to Indiana, he can take a team that’s on the rise, make them better. They barely made the playoffs last year. They should be much better this year. They have a great coaching staff. It’s not the Celtics. It’s not nearly as close as that. But maybe he can establish himself again coming off knee surgery. After his two-year deal’s up, he can go get another big contract. But they thought they had him, for sure.”

On Rajon Rondo trade rumors: “At times there may be complaints from Danny Ainge that he’s not generating it. But I think he wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t generating it. He should be generating it. He should be trying to figure out what can be done to make the team better. And really, the only thing he has going for him right now is cap space, the chance to play with Paul Pierce, who isn’t going to be traded, and then the ability to trade Rondo. What else does he have? What other assets does he have? So, I think we’re going to be hearing more of it. There’s just no way around it.”

On the C’s improved depth: “It’s really not a bad bench. It compares pretty well to the other second units they’ve had. And if Jeff Green was there, it would be even better. It’s not a bunch of old guys. Keyon Dooling, Chris Wilcox, Marquis [Daniels], Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, E’Twaun Moore, who looks like he’s going to be able to play a little bit — all these guys, they can come in and do some things to help them.

“What they don’t have is size. It’s the weakest group of big men they’ve had since they brought in Garnett and Ray Allen to go with Pierce. Jermaine O’Neal has a long history of not being able to stay healthy. And Chris Wilcox is an athletic big man but doesn’t have the low-post skills you’d like to have coming off the bench. That might be an issue. Brandon Bass is height deficient like Big Baby [Glen Davis] was. That’s really going to be a problem for them. Really, the bench is OK. The problem is the age of the players that are going to define the team.”

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