|Agent: Wallace is retiring||08.09.10 at 2:28 pm ET|
According to a blog post at boston.com, the agent for Rasheed Wallace confirmed that the veteran plans to retire. New Celtic Shaquille O’Neal fueled speculation that Wallace might change his mind and play in 2010-11, but apparently the persuading from Shaq and fellow Celtics newcomer Jermaine O’Neal did not work.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly has been using Wallace’s contract as trade bait, as Ainge has said all along that Wallace would not return to the team.
|Shaq challenges critical TV host to boxing match||08.05.10 at 4:46 pm ET|
Shaquille O’Neal took to his Twitter feed to lash out at ESPN’s Jim Rome, challenging the talk show host to a boxing match and offering to donate his salary to charity should he lose.
On “Rome is Burning” Wednesday, Rome said the Celtics should not sign the free agent center, insisting O’Neal had not lived up to expectations in his long career that included three championships with the Lakers. Added Rome: “[Shaq] never approached the game with the dedication and discipline of Kobe Bryant,” the former teammate with whom O’Neal had a public feud.
In his response, mixed in among insults, O’Neal challenged Rome to a boxing match at the ESPN studios.
Those that dnt respect your hard work, its ok, make em respect u as a person.
If u wanna see shaq box jim rome live on espn. I do if he wins ill donate my salary to a charity of his choice
And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if u can bak up the tuff talk
Jim rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind, obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy about
Responded Rome on his own Twitter feed:
Really? You’re getting hooked and want to fight a guy with no legacy. You’re better than that. Thx 4 checking in. Bn 2 long.
|Mannix on D&C: ‘Not a unanimous decison’ for C’s on Shaq||08.04.10 at 10:09 am ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss the Celtics’ impending signing of Shaquille O’Neal. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Mannix said it’s a one-year deal for the veteran minimum — approximately $1.4 million — with a second-year player option. “This was not an easy decision for either side,” Mannix said, adding, “Shaq is obviously taking a monster pay cut. … It’s a huge, huge pay cut for this guy to play for this team and to accept a reserve role, coming off the bench.
“And for the Celtics, I can tell you this much, it was not a unanimous decision. This is not something that the entire front office and coaching staff entirely agreed upon. But it is a Danny Ainge type of move. He’s taken risks like this in the past, whether it’s Gary Payton or Stephon Marbury or Nate Robinson this past year. He’s taken chances on guys he thinks can help put them over the top. Danny obviously is convinced that Shaq is what this team needs right now.”
Asked if it was Shaq’s off-court distractions or on-court issues that made the Celtics hesitate, Mannix said: “It’s a little bit of a blend of both, but I think you’d have to start with the on-the-court problems. He is the worst pick-and-roll defender of all-time. He really is. He’s just a horrible, horrible guy when you’re coming off blitzing those screens. And Kendrick Perkins was one of the better pick-and-roll defenders on this Celtics team. This whole defense that Tom Thibodeau put together, and Kevin Garnett glued together, was based on effective pick-and-roll defense.
“It’s going to be incumbent now on Doc Rivers, and to a certain degree Lawrence Frank, who is essentially taking over that Tom Thibodeau role, to redesign the defense. They’re going to have to come up with something almost entirely new when Shaq’s on the floor. Because think about it: The two teams standing in Boston’s path are really Orlando and Miami, and those teams are going to run pick and roll all day long.”
Mannix also noted how Shaq often was in the way of Steve Nash when they were teammates in Phoenix. “Rajon Rondo is going to have similar problems,” Mannix said. “Shaq is not a guy who is even remotely comfortable playing anywhere but six or seven feet away from the basket. So, that’s going to be a challenge for Doc Rivers and his coaching staff to figure that out as well.”
All that said, Mannix said he thinks the signing is a good one for the Celtics. “He instantly becomes the best rebounder you have out there,” Mannix said. “And I’m not worried about him bogging down the fast break. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Kendrick Perkins wasn’t exactly Brad Daugherty running the floor out there for the Celtics. I just think overall, he’s a solid fit.”
Added Mannix: “While I understand the risks — and I think it’s a huge risk to a certain degree — you’re not going to get by Miami, you’re not going to get by Orlando unless you make an upgrade. And Shaq, to me, was the best available upgrade out there.”
Asked about controversial guard Delonte West, Mannix said it makes sense for the Celtics to bring him in. West was waived by the Timberwolves this week following a trade from Cleveland. “I think they should [sign him],” Mannix said. “Delonte obviously is familiar with the system, familiar with Boston, familiar with some of the pieces that are in place there. And he’s a proven combo guard. Obviously, the personal problems he’s had off the floor have been well-documented. … But again, you’re talking about adding guys for the minimum salary. If Delonte doesn’t work out — and I guess to a certain degree if Shaq doesn’t work out — you can just waive these guys.”
|Celtics reportedly will open season vs. Heat||08.03.10 at 6:51 am ET|
According to multiple reports, the Celtics will open the 2010-11 season by hosting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat in a matchup of Eastern Conference powers. The game, scheduled for Oct. 26, will be televised nationally on TNT. The NBA is scheduled to announce its opening week and Christmas Day schedules Tuesday night.
|Agent: Ex-Celtic House joins Heat||07.29.10 at 12:08 pm ET|
Former Celtics guard Eddie House has reached an agreement to join the revamped Heat lineup, House’s agent Mark Bartelstein told Yahoo! Sports. House was traded from the C’s to the Knicks for Nate Robinson last season. Bartelstein said this week that he had talked to the Celtics about the possibility of the 10-year veteran returning to Boston, but the sharpshooter will take his talents to Miami instead, agreeing to a two-year deal worth a reported $2.8 million.
|Rivers: ‘I was … leaning heavily’ toward leaving||07.28.10 at 10:05 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he was “leaning heavily” toward taking a sabbatical after this past season, because he was “spent” after the draining campaign and he wanted to spend more time with his family.
In an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz at a high school tournament in Orlando where his son was playing, Rivers said of the Celtics’ injury plagued, up-and-down 2009-10 season: “It was just a tough year, literally a tough year.”
Despite the Celtics coming within a quarter of winning the NBA title, Rivers said after the season, “I was spent,” adding, “I was most likely leaning heavily the other way — more because of [watching sons Austin and Spencer play].”
Rivers said when the season ended, he was “pretty much done, and Danny [Ainge] knew that.” He said he called coaching legends Pat Riley and Larry Brown for reassurance before committing to returning. “It was very helpful,” he said. “They’ve all been through it.”
Rivers said he consulted with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, then free agents, as well. “I wasn’t coming back unless they were coming back,” Rivers said. “I was first, and I thought that was important for them. We all talked. I can tell you that. I made sure. I knew they had to do their business. And Ray scared me a little bit with the money out there. They had said they were coming back and then you see what everyone was getting.”
Rivers signed for one year and still is considering a sabbatical as an option in the future.
“I’m just doing it year to year,” Rivers said. “Danny was great. [Co-owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] offered a long-term deal, but I didn’t think it was fair to them. I didn’t want to walk out of a contract.”
|Agent: Celtics still considering House||07.27.10 at 6:30 am ET|
It was reported earlier this month that the Celtics had interest in bringing back sharpshooting guard Eddie House. On Monday, House’s agent told The Boston Globe that he has spoken with the team, although he didn’t sound too optimistic.
“It’s something Danny [Ainge] and I have discussed,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “But nothing’s imminent.”
House, who made $2.5 million last season between the Celtics and Knicks, could be offered only $1.35 million by the C’s.
Other reports have indicated the Bulls and Heat might consider making an offer to the 10-year veteran who shot 38 percent from the floor and 34.8 from 3-point range last season.
Also Monday, the Celtics officially announced the re-signing of Marquis Daniels.