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ESPN’s Jason Whitlock on D&C: Banning Donald Sterling ‘a blown opportunity’ for NBA to address culture issue 04.30.14 at 8:35 am ET
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ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss his column questioning the NBA’s decision to issue a lifetime suspension to Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his racist comments. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Whitlock, who is black, wrote that removing Sterling from the league “solves nothing,” because it does not address the bigger issue of society’s culture problem.

“I don’t think my point is counter. I think it’s looking further down the line than the mob that ran Donald Sterling out of basketball was looking,” Whitlock said. “Listen, Donald Sterling put it on the table and addressed the culture that he felt had put pressure on him to be racist. I think addressing that culture that I think a lot of people think doesn’t exist that Donald Sterling has said does exist, I think that was important and a blown opportunity.

“I do think that a dangerous precedent has been set by taking this man’s private conversation and using it to run him out of basketball. I think that’s a dangerous, slippery slope. And if I think people were honest they would say that’s something that could blow back and burn all of us. Because I think in private we’re all capable — especially if we think we’ve been hurt in a relationship or at any time in any way hurt — we could all say stupid things said in private in the heat of the moment that if broadcast to the world would make us all look very stupid and ignorant.”

Whitlock noted that Sterling has come a long way since his early days of ownership.

“I disagree with removing the guy for life. And this is a big, complicated issue, but I look at Donald Sterling more objectively and I think more fairly than most,” Whitlock said. “The guy’s 80 years old. He has evolved and done the best that he can. He has a head coach/general manager that I think is maybe the highest-paid coach in the NBA, Doc Rivers, who is African-American, that he’s basically put in charge of his organization and is paid at the highest level.

“He’s got a team with Chris Paul, one of the biggest stars, and Blake Griffin, another one of the biggest stars. So, this guy has gone from ignoring his team, dealing with his organization in perhaps a bigoted fashion and has evolved from that to putting a good product on the court that is more fair to African-Americans. And he’s clearly done a few things that have pleased the Los Angeles NAACP enough for them to give him two lifetime achievement awards.”

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Gerald Wallace out indefinitely with torn meniscus 02.28.14 at 12:56 pm ET
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The Celtics revealed Friday that Gerald Wallace has a torn meniscus in his knee. He is likely to require surgery and could miss the remainder of the season.

 

Stevens said Wallace had been playing in pain for some time before an MRI showed the extent of the injury.

Wallace, who was averaging 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds this season, had a strong game Wednesday with 12 points and 10 rebounds in a win over the Hawks.

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Celtics sign G Chris Babb from D-League 02.28.14 at 12:24 pm ET
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The Celtics announced Friday that they have signed 6-foot-5 guard Chris Babb to a 10-day contract.

Babb, who turned 24 two weeks ago, was playing for the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, averaging 12.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 37.5 minutes over 33 games.

Babb, who is known as a good 3-point shooter, played five games for the Celtics in the preseason, averaging 3.2 points in 6.0 minutes per game.

He played in college first at Penn State and then Iowa State. He was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team last season but went undrafted by the NBA.

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Rajon Rondo to talk with Danny Ainge about failing to accompany team to Sacramento 02.25.14 at 2:34 pm ET
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Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was not scheduled to play in Saturday’s game against the Kings in Sacramento — the second night of a back-to-back that started with a game against the Lakers — but he apparently did not have the team’s permission to stay in Los Angeles rather than accompany the team on its flight north.

The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett reported that Rondo stayed in Los Angeles to celebrate his 28th birthday with family, and that he might have assumed he didn’t need to fly with the team as he had been left home rather than make a trip to Milwaukee for a Feb. 10 game that was the second of a back-to-back.

Rondo implied that the matter was settled, telling the Herald: “We already talked about it. There’s nothing to talk about.”

However, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge did not sound as convinced.

“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” Ainge told the Herald. “I’ll find out more about what went into it, and then we’ll handle it internally. We handle all of those kind of issues internally.”

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NBA trade deadline roundup: Celtics quiet; Andre Miller reportedly headed to Wizards 02.20.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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While the Celtics reportedly are not in the mix for any trades before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline, there have been a number of minor deals.

 

Veteran point guard Andre Miller is being traded from the Nuggets to the Wizards in a three-team deal, according to multiple reports.

The Wizards reportedly are sending forward Jan Vesely to Denver and guard Eric Maynor to the 76ers. Philadelphia also picks up a pair of second-round draft picks.

Miller has not played since being suspended by the team Jan. 2 following an incident with coach Brian Shaw. The 37-year-old is averaging 5.9 points and 3.3 assists in 19.0 minutes over 30 games.

Vesely, 23, is averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14.2 minutes over 33 games. The 7-footer was the sixth overall pick by the Wizards in 2011.

Maynor, 26, scores 2.3 points per game in limited action.

— The Bobcats acquired guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Bucks in exchange for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien, according to reports.

The Bobcats were said to have been pursuing Neal for some time while dangling Sessions, but Ridnour needed to be included to make the money work.

Neal, 29, is averaging 10.0 points in 20.2 minutes over 30 games this season. He was signed in the offseason after three years with the Spurs but has been unable to cement a spot in Milwaukee’s rotation. Ridnour, 33, averages 5.7 points and 3.4 assists in 21.2 minutes over 36 games for the league-worst Bucks.

The 27-year-old Sessions, in his seventh NBA season, is averaging 10.5 points and 3.7 assists in 23.7 minutes over 55 games.

Adrien, 28, from Brookline and UConn, is averaging 2.3 points in limited action.

— The Heat sent forward Roger Mason Jr. and cash to the Kings for a protected second-round draft pick, apparently to open up a roster spot in case of an appealing free agent option next week.

Mason, who averaged 3.0 points in 25 games, is expected to be waived by the Kings.

Read More: 2014 NBA trade deadline, Andre Miller, Eric Maynor, Gary Neal
NBA trade deadline roundup: 76ers reportedly send Spencer Hawes to Cavaliers; Jason Terry heads to Kings 02.20.14 at 11:45 am ET
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The 76ers continued their trend of loading up on draft picks and weakening their current roster when they sent center Spencer Hawes to the Cavaliers on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Philadelphia reportedly will get two second-round draft picks and backup forward Earl Clark for Hawes, who is averaging 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the final year of a deal that pays $6.6 million this season.

The 76ers have the second-worst record in the NBA at 15-40, leading only the Bucks (10-43). The Cavaliers are 22-33 and three games out of a playoff spot in the embarrassingly bad Eastern Conference.

Jason Terry is on the move again. The veteran guard, traded along with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Celtics to the Nets in the offseason, was sent to the Kings along with Reggie Evans for guard Marcus Thornton.

Terry, 36, is averaging a career-worst 4.5 points and 1.5 assists while playing 16.3 minutes over 35 games this season. Evans, 33, is averaging 2.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 13.3 minutes over 30 games.

Thornton, 26, is averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 24.4 minutes over 46 games. He makes $8.1 million this year and is due $8.6 million next season.

“Marcus is a proven scorer in this league,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. “He is a young talent who will help us in the backcourt.”

— The Lakers and Warriors confirmed that guard Steve Blake is headed to Golden State for backup guards Kent Bazemore and former Celtic Marshon Brooks.

“The acquisition of Steve Blake will provide us with additional veteran depth at point guard as we enter the stretch run of the season,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a statement. “He’s had a productive career and is a player who can both run an offense and has the ability to shoot the basketball. On the other hand, we thank Kent and MarShon for their contributions to our team both on and off the court and wish them success as they enter the next stage of their careers.”

Blake, who becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season, heads to his seventh team in his 11-year career.

 

Read More: 2014 NBA trade deadline, Earl Clark, Jason Terry, Marcus Thornton
Brad Stevens pays visit to former Butler player battling cancer 02.12.14 at 1:56 pm ET
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Celtics coach Brad Stevens took advantage of Tuesday’s off day to visit a former Butler player recovering from cancer treatment in Indiana.

Andrew Smith, who was on the teams that made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA championship game and graduated last year, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while playing professionally in Lithuania, according to the Indianapolis Star. He returned to his Indiana home to begin treatment.

 

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