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Former Celtics Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry meet New York media, talk about creating ‘legacy here in Brooklyn’ 07.18.13 at 1:13 pm ET
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Paul Pierce expressed a desire to create a “legacy here in Brooklyn” as he was introduced along with fellow former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry on Thursday at the Barclays Center.

The players, officially traded from the Celtics last week, were welcomed to New York and met the media and some fans alongside new Nets coach Jason Kidd and general manager Billy King. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov stopped by at the end of the press conference.

Pierce lamented having to leave Boston after spend the first 15 years of his NBA career with the Celtics, but he said he was pleased to have another opportunity to compete for a title.

“It’s tough when you’ve been in a situation like me for 15 years and you come to an organization such as the Brooklyn Nets. But when you look at it, what they’re trying to do here, win a championship, bring in the pieces necessary, new arena, new owners, new excitement — it really brings a little bit of excitement,” he said.

“Obviously I would have loved to end my career in Boston. But that day and age is probably over with with a lot of players ending their careers in one city. When the trade happened, you felt excited, especially with Kevin and Jason coming along. That will make the situation — not only for me, but each other — more comfortable.

“The ultimate drive is winning a championship. Obviously Boston is going in a different direction. And at this point in our careers, we’re championship-driven. We’ve made a lot of money in our careers, we’ve won a number of awards. I think at this point right now we’re all about winning a championship. And Brooklyn, we feel, gives us the best opportunity.”

Garnett waived his no-trade clause to accept the move, which he said he did only after he “sat down and let the dust sort of settle” so that he could make his decision “with a clear mind and a clear head of what I wanted to do.”

“It’s unfortunate we had to obviously move from Boston,” Garnett said. “But I felt like both sides are going in different directions. For me, one of the major reasons I decided to come here was because the bones of this — I feel like adding what you see up here with the bones of what they have already, with Brook [Lopez] and Deron [Williams] and all the pieces they have here, Joe [Johnson] — I feel like Paul said, this gives us the best option to win again, to win it all. I’m embracing this opportunity, my family’s embracing this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.”

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Read More: Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Report: Celtics add Ron Adams as assistant coach 07.16.13 at 8:25 am ET
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According to multiple reports, the Celtics have hired Ron Adams to serve as an assistant to new coach Brad Stevens.

Adams had been the lead assistant to Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls, but he was not retained this offseason — reportedly a decision by general manager Gar Forman that did not sit well with Thibodeau. Adams has spent 2o-plus years as a coach and scout in the NBA, including stops with the Trail Blazers, Spurs, 76ers, Bucks and Thunder.

In Boston, Adams joins Jay Larranaga and Jamie Young, who were with the Celtics last season, and new hire Micah Shrewsberry, a former Butler assistant under Stevens who most recently was an assistant at Purdue.

Larranaga, who interviewed for the Celtics head coaching position, is said to be in the running for the 76ers head position.

Read More: Brad Stevens, Jay Larranaga, Ron Adams,
Rajon Rondo: ‘I would never play for the Miami Heat’ 07.15.13 at 6:28 am ET
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Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason as the team enters a rebuilding stage. At his summer camp in Louisville, Ky., last week, Rondo took questions from campers and was asked about the two-time defending NBA champion Heat, the Celtics’ Eastern Conference rivals.

His response?

“I would never play for the Miami Heat.”

Read More: Rajon Rondo,
Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey lead Celtics past Pacers in summer league 07.09.13 at 1:33 pm ET
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First-round draft pick Kelly Olynyk continued his strong play in the NBA Summer League in Orlando, accumulating 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists Tuesday to lead the Celtics to a 76-74 victory over the Pacers.

Olynyk, who is averaging 19.7 points through three games for the 2-1 Celtics, hit 9-of-19 shots and was a plus-15 in almost 30 minutes of action. Tony Mitchell added 15 points for Boston. Phil Pressey had 11 points, five assists and three steals, and he hit two free throws with 10 seconds left for the winning points.

Solomon Hill led the Pacers with 15 points.

The Celtics led by 11 at the half but allowed Indiana to tie the game at 74 with 38 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Donald Sloan that capped a 9-0 run. On the Celtics’ ensuing possession, Olynyk missed a hook shot in the paint.

Sloan then came up short on a drive as second-round pick Colton Iverson stepped in to cut off his path. Pressey, the son of former Celtics assistant coach Paul Pressey, grabbed the rebound and was fouled in the backcourt. He calmly sank both free throws to put the C’s back in front.

The Pacers had the final shot, but Sloan missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have won it.

In addition to members of the Celtics front office and coaching staff, veteran forward Jeff Green was on hand to watch the game and came away with good feelings about Olynyk.

“He can play at a high level,” Green said in an interview with NBA TV after the game. “He can really move for a big guy. I’m impressed.”

Green added that he’s eager to prove he can succeed without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who have been traded to the Nets.

“It’s all about opportunity,” Green said. “And right now I definitely have the opportunity to showcase what I can do without those guys there. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been working. I’ve been working hard to better my game in all aspects. So, I’m looking forward to the challenge I have upon me, and I’ll be ready.”

Green also had the opportunity to meet new coach Brad Stevens.

“We spoke today,” Green said. “We walked over to the gym today, had a great time picking his brain. Just a smart, smart guy. He loves the game. I think he’s looking forward to the challenge. College coaches coming in with the transition to the NBA, it’s going to be tough. But I think he’s up for the challenge. He’s going to do whatever it takes to make us better.”

The Celtics play again Wednesday at 3 p.m. vs. the Rockets, then they have a playoff game Friday to close out their week in Orlando.

Read More: Brad Stevens, Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey
Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘Damn lie’ for Danny Ainge to say he’s not tearing down Celtics for rebuild 07.08.13 at 11:53 am ET
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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Celtics’ hiring of Brad Stevens and the team’s rebuilding process.

“I like the hire,” Smith said. “I think he’s a bright, young coach. I think Danny Ainge deserves a lot of credit, did a phenomenal job in plucking him out of the college game. I think when you consider what he brings to the table, not just in terms of his acumen as a coach but his temperament, I think that goes a long way towards helping the Boston Celtics basically resurrect themselves. Because where they are right now, obviously they’re going to be struggling for quite some time. You’ve got to remember, this is a team that’s been plucked. They’re rebuilding now. [Kevin Garnett] is gone, Paul Pierce is gone. You’ve got all of this stuff going on. In my opinion, even though they’re talking about keeping [Rajon] Rondo, I think Rondo should be gone. You’ve just got to start anew.

“In the end, what it comes down to is that this man knows basketball He’s a bright young mind. He’s not the kind of guy like Rick Pitino — as great as Rick Pitino is as a coach, we all know that he’s the kind of individual that really pushes the envelope to some degree and was screaming and pacing around like a bat out of hell. Trying to do it for 82 games, that kind of stuff wears on professional athletes getting paid millions of dollars. The kind of temperament that Brad Stevens brings to the table I think is incredibly beneficial to the Boston Celtics. And I think they deserve a lot of credit for picking him as their guy to succeed Doc Rivers. I think it’s a tremendous hire.”

Ainge has insisted the team is not tanking, but Smith puts little faith in that statement.

“I think that’s kind of a lie, to be quite honest with you,” Smith said. “Listen, I’m not trying to denigrate Danny Ainge in any way. But the fact of the matter is, you lose KG, you lose Paul Pierce, you go in a different direction even though Rondo is here. You’re clearly in rebuilding mode. There’s no way around this.

“And if you didn’t think you were in rebuilding mode, Brad Stevens would not have gotten a six-year deal. This is a guy you plucked out of college, you gave him a six-year deal worth about $22 million. He’s getting pair nearly 4 million a year. There’s plenty of coaches in this league who have coached in this league, who have a modicum of success, that are not getting paid the salary that Brad Stevens is getting paid. You know why you had to pay him those dollars? It wasn’t just to pluck him away from a mid-major like Butler. It was to ask him to stay the course, because you know this is going to be a long way back to prominence. That’s what this is.

“So, Danny Ainge can tell you what he wants to. I respect the man, I respect what he’s accomplished. And I certainly am not trying to denigrate him in any way. But that’s a damn lie, what he just said right there. I’m sorry.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Rajon Rondo, Stephen A. Smith
Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Celtics’ Brad Stevens hiring ‘not a risk’ 07.08.13 at 10:26 am ET
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ESPN/ABC basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the Celtics‘ offseason maneuverings.

The C’s pulled off a surprise move last week when they named Butler’s Brad Stevens their new coach.

“I think he’s a great, great basketball coach,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t think there will be too big an adjustment — or too big of an adjustment basketball-wise. This guy is really, really smart. I think their players will respect his confidence, his sincerity, his reliability and his trustworthiness. He’s a quality person and coach.

“Now, the difference is, you’re going to lose some, and maybe a lot, depending on the construction of the roster. That, coupled with the length of a season, is always a challenge in the NBA when you go through a rebuilding situation. But I think his demeanor and his poise, along with his contract, will serve him well through the rebuilding situation.”

Added Van Gundy: “I honestly think that this is not a risk. People say it’s a risk. I don’t think it’s a risk for anybody. When Brad Stevens is done with the Celtics in six years, 10 years, 15 years, he can always go back and get a great, great college job. And for the Celtics, it’s not a risk because this guy’s a great person and a great basketball coach. How they do record-wise over his tenure there is going to be not based on his coaching ability. His coaching ability will be fine. It’s going to be their roster. Can they get him a good enough roster to work with and win with? If they do, they’ll win there.”

Asked if he or his brother Stan were contacted about the Celtics’ opening, Van Gundy said: “I have no idea about my brother. I know I wasn’t. Hey, listen, I have such respect for the Celtics that anybody would be interested if the Celtics call. They just have a great, obviously, history, they have great ownership, they have great management. So, anybody would be interested.”

As the Celtics head into a rebuilding period, Van Gundy warned that people need to avoid becoming impatient as the long season wears on.

“There’s very few people — teams, fan bases, organizations, coaches, players — who really have the stomach for a long rebuild,” he said. “It sounds good in theory. But Boston was tiring of rebuilding until Danny Ainge pulled off the Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett trades. No one likes losing 18 straight games. This is where I thought Doc Rivers took unnecessary criticism. That he didn’t want to go through a long rebuild? He’d already done that. He’d already gone through that purgatory time in Boston. So, that he wouldn’t want to redo it again in Boston? I completely understand.

“There’s got to be a stomach for this rebuilding. And it really starts with the media, the management, the ownership. Because they’re so used to winning, that this may be a period of mediocrity. It may be that 41-40 record last year, that may be the norm. Or maybe they get a few more wins or maybe they get a few less wins, or maybe a lot less wins. You can’t just believe that in theory. You’ve got to be able to live through the dreary nights that are coming to the Boston Garden. And accept that this is part of the NBA, that you can’t stay great forever.

“I think that’s going to be the toughest adjustment for everybody. They’re coming off such a great period of winning, where they had the ultimate competitors in Garnett and [Paul] Pierce. So, to see them go, to see them go into the Eastern Conference. The whole thing is going to be difficult. And that’s where I think Brad’s demeanor will really help him. He’ll focus on trying to get better every day, incremental improvement. And if he can do that, I think he will have fulfilled his obligation to the Celtics very, very well.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Jeff Van Gundy
Brad Stevens on M&M: ‘If anybody’s going to be impatient, it’s going to be me’ 07.05.13 at 1:48 pm ET
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New Celtics coach Brad Stevens joined Mut & Merloni guest hosts John Ryder and Steve DeOssie on Friday afternoon, shortly after he was introduced at a press conference in Waltham.

Stevens joins the Celtics after 13 years at Butler, the last six as head coach of the Indiana school. He received a six-year contract from the Celtics and said he’s eager to put his stamp on the program.

“If anybody’s going to be impatient, it’s going to be me,” Stevens said. “I love to compete. I love to prepare. And I can’t wait for the first practice. I’m a big believer in the day-by-day process, I’m really excited about it.

“The only way I would have considered leaving Butler was for the greatest situation. And it’s all about people. When I got a chance to sit down with the people in the room, it reminded me of the people that I was leaving. It’s been emotional, because it’s hard to leave a place that you’ve been for 13 years. But it’s also very exciting.”

Stevens said he wants “outside-the-box thinkers” on his coaching staff as he makes the transition to the pro game.

“The things I’ve written down for a great staff are humble, hard-working and searching for answers,” he said. “I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I love being around people searching for them. It’s kind of motivating for me.”

Stevens’ Butler teams were noted for their intelligence and toughness, and he said that’s the same type of team he wants in Boston.

“I hope we play hard and play together,” he said. “And then I hope as time goes on, as we learn the people on our team and we learn whatever system we choose to put in that we are a very detail-oriented, tough-minded group. That’s what I’ve always enjoyed about coaching, is when you get people to all play not only to their strengths and enhance themselves individually but collectively go after it and achieve something, you can see that sense of purpose together.”

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo,
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