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Ken Berger on D&C: NBA owners ‘want the players crushed and brought to their knees’ 07.01.11 at 10:36 am ET
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CBS Sports’€™ Ken Berger called in to Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the NBA lockout. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Berger said the key difference between the CBA negotiations in 1998 and 2011 is ‘€œa groundswell now of support among the owners to fundamentally change the sport.’€

‘€œThat was not the case in the ‘€™98-99 lockout,’€ Berger said. ‘€œThe owners wanted cost-certainty, now they want to be guaranteed profit. They essentially want the players crushed and brought to their knees.’€

While Berger said that the two biggest issues in these negotiations are profit-splits and the hard-cap, he also criticized the NBA owners for misrepresenting their profitability to justify their position.

‘€œI don’€™t want to say that the owners are lying, or committing accounting fraud, or anything like that,’€ Berger said. ‘€œBut as anybody knows, anybody who’€™s ever done a tax return or opened a lemonade stand, you know that you can make the numbers say whatever you want them to say.

‘€œThey are clearly massaging the figures so that certain expenses ‘€¦ are counted on their books as money going out the door year after year, when it’€™s not really money going out the door.’€

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Chris Mannix on M&M: JaJuan Johnson ‘could become a legitimate starter in this league’ 06.24.11 at 12:17 pm ET
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SI.com’€™s Chris Mannix spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday morning about Thursday’€™s draft and the collective bargaining agreement negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Mannix said that although he needs development, Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson ‘€œin a few years could become a legitimate starter in this league.’€

‘€œHe is a big guy, a legitimate 6-foot-10 with that I think 7-foot-2 wingspan,’€ Mannix said. ‘€œHe’€™s a very good low-post player. ‘€¦ I think with NBA coaching he can become an even more polished offensive player.’€

Mannix also said that Johnson should develop well under the veteran leadership the Celtics have.

‘€œI think JaJuan Johnson is going to benefit enormously from playing behind Kevin Garnett for a year, and practicing against him for a year, two years,’€ Mannix said. ‘€œI think having Garnett and having Ray Allen on the roster are invaluable assets, because guys are going to be able to learn from these two guys.’€

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Read More: Chris Mannix, E'Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, James Anderson
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Illinois G Demetri McCamey 06.22.11 at 7:10 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Demetri McCamey

Position: Guard

School: Illinois

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 200 pounds

Stats: 14.6 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.4 rpg, .451 3pt%

What he brings: McCamey’€™s simultaneous strengths of strong 3-point shooting and solid passing make him a viable backup for both Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. He has the size to back down smaller guards and the explosiveness to attack in the lane and get to the hoop. His lack of a mid-range jump shot contributed to his 45 percent shooting inside the arc.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: ‘€œHe can pass. He can shoot and he has mid-range. So that’€™s really the most difficult thing. … He’€™s got a big body, so he’€™s able to get leverage on people not just using speed but using that body. He can see over the top of screens because of his great vision and court awareness.’€ ‘€” Michigan coach John Beilein

Notes: McCamey scored in double figures 29 times, including seven 20-point games, and was the Illini’s top scorer in a team-leading 16 contests

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: San Diego State F Malcolm Thomas 06.21.11 at 7:53 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Malcolm Thomas

Position: Forward

School: San Diego State

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Stats: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2 bpg

What he brings: At 220 pounds, Thomas is a little scrawny to be a pure power forward. Glen Davis is as tall as Thomas but outweighs him by nearly 80 pounds. Even the taller Kevin Garnett has a 40-pound advantage. But Thomas uses his lighter body and long arms to block shots with incredible effectiveness. His mobility makes him a very active presence in the paint, as he’s able to shoot and pass from the post, maneuver around defenders to the basket and rebound. He has the shooting form to develop a complementary jump shot, and on defense he can box out and move laterally.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “He’s long enough to play the 4. He can play in the high-post area, too. He can really pass it up there. He can put it on the floor from up there.” ‘€” Former San Diego State (now UNLV) assistant coach Justin Hutson

Notes: Thomas finished his senior year ranked second in rebounding, second in blocked shots, second in offensive rebounding, fourth in defensive rebounding and 16th in scoring in the Mountain West Conference.

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Shaquille O’Neal to host comedy tour 06.20.11 at 1:22 pm ET
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Shaquille O’€™Neal, no stranger to comedic roles himself, is set to host the All-Star Comedy Jam tour, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported.

The tour begins on Sept. 9 in Memphis. Tickets go on sale at www.aeglive.com on Friday at 10 a.m.

“I played with many all-stars on the court and laughed with these all-stars off the court,” O’Neal said Thursday. “I’m happy to present this hand-picked lineup as the first Shaq All-Star tour.”

The tour will also be filmed for the “All-Star Comedy Jam Backstage Pass” reality show.

In unrelated O’Neal news, Robert Ross, the man beaten and kidnapped allegedly due to his possession of a sex tape of O’Neal, testified in court Monday. Ross testified that security cameras at his home recorded O’Neal having sex, but the footage was then recorded over.

Hip Hop Wired’s C. Vernon Coleman II wrote that Ross reiterated his claim that the seven members of the Main Street Crips on trial said they attacked him because of the tape. He said one gang member mentioned O’Neal and business partner Mark Stevens as having sent them.

Both O’Neal and Stevens have denied involvement with the incident, and to date neither have been charged.

Testimony will resume when the hearing commences on July 6.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Illinois G/F Jereme Richmond 06.20.11 at 8:52 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Jereme Richmond

Position: Guard/forward

School: Illinois

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 205 pounds

Stats: 7.6 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.8 rpg

What he brings: In just one year of college, Richmond showed the kind of athleticism and raw talent that could lead to success in the NBA. He also showed some maturity issues that likely will scare some teams away. Richmond has a scorer’€™s mentality, 10 times putting up double-digit points his freshman year. He’€™s 6-foot-7 with long arms, which will help him both shoot over defenses and deflect passes. And he’€™s strong under the basket, 14 times grabbing multiple offensive rebounds in a game.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round

What they’€™re saying: ‘€œJereme is an extremely talented player who helped us at nearly every position. His versatility and ability to impact the game in a number of different areas are skills that will help him greatly as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball.’€ ‘€” Illinois coach Bruce Weber

Notes: Richmond missed Illinois’ two NCAA tournament games in March due to an athletic code violation. Last June he was a member of the USA Basketball U-18 national team that won a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA Americas Championship.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Texas G Cory Joseph 06.19.11 at 9:42 pm ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Cory Joseph

Position: Guard

School: Texas

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 185 pounds

Stats: 10.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3 apg

What he brings: Joseph is a guard built the same way as Rajon Rondo. He runs an offense through his passing, not his shooting, although he has demonstrated a shooter’€™s touch on occasion. He drained four or more 3-pointers three times as a freshman for Texas, and drained three in four other games. His defense is also similar to Rondo’€™s, in that both are very good at stealing. These similarities mean Joseph would have an excellent role model to learn from and emulate. Unlike Rondo, Joseph also is great at applying full-court pressure.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “Cory Joseph allows all the other pieces to fit. He allows [Dogus] Balbay to be Balby and Jordan [Hamilton] to be Jordan and J’Covan [Brown] to be J’Covan. He’s the one piece that’s there because he can stretch it, he can play the point, because he can guard a point guard or a 2. He’s big enough and strong enough to do a lot of things.” ‘€” Kansas coach Bill Self

Notes: Led the Longhorns in assists, 3-point percentage and steals as a freshman

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