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Broussard on D&H: C’s ‘did what they had to do’ 07.27.10 at 3:25 pm ET
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Dale & Holley welcomed ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard Tuesday afternoon to talk about all things basketball this offseason, including the topics of LeBron James, the Celtics’ offseason pickups and re-signings and Doc Rivers possibly returning for more than one season.

“If they have a great season, maybe win the championship, I do think that there would be a lot of pull to return to the franchise,” Broussard said of the coach. “I think he’s doing the right thing, I think it’s a fluid situation and he’s leaving his options open, so I’m not too surprised to hear Doc say that.”

Below are highlights. To listen to the full interview click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On when he figured out that LeBron James would be leaving Cleveland:

It’s interesting, because throughout that whole process there were a lot of people close to LeBron who wanted him to stay in Cleveland, and it’s not a smokescreen, to my knowledge. I would have believed he was trying to get Chris Bosh to go there. Toronto agreed to do a sign and trade, LeBron was trying to sell Bosh on coming to Cleveland and being his second guy. If he was able to do that, then I think LeBron would have stayed in Cleveland.

And then of course, LeBron was also trying to talk to Chris Paul. They were trying to figure out a way Chris Paul could be traded to Cleveland. If one of those two things happened, then I think LeBron would have stayed because there was a part him that wanted to stay, that understood legacy. [Michael] Jordan turned a terrible franchise into a champion, Isiah Thomas did it. You hear it, even in the criticism about LeBron’s decision, that the great ones always stay with one team.

He understood that and wanted to stay, a part of him did, but when he realized they couldn’t get that second guy, and then you looked down the road [he asked] “Would I be able to ever get that second guy here? It’s been seven years and it hasn’t happened.” That’s when he really had to say, “You know what? I may have to go.”

Now, Chicago was always very strong in consideration and Miami with their situation was always right there too, but I really think he gave Cleveland a legitimate shot. Finally, when Bosh made it clear that [he] was going to Miami with [Dwyane] Wade, that’s when LeBron realized he wasn’t going to be able to get anybody [in Cleveland]. Can [he] get through Boston what they’re going to do in Miami, Chicago and the Lakers, other teams, like Orlando, without that second guy. He had to go make sure that he had a couple of star teammates.

On the Celtics’ offseason strategy of re-signing their veterans:

I think they’ve done well. The Jermaine O’Neal move was a good one. I know they hate to lose Tony Allen, his defense was critical down the stretch, but I think they should move on without him. I’ve got to admit, I was among the surprised when they played so well in the playoffs, so I do wonder if they’ve got enough left to reach the finals again next year.

I was just talking about with age and things like that. You wonder two years from now, they’re going to be old and pretty much done with that. With [Rajon] Rondo, who’s developing into an All-Star and they’ve got a few other young guys, but that’s my only worry, I think they did what they had to do. I think it’s the right thing to go ahead and try to take one more shot at it. My pick is Miami in the East, but I think the Celtics will be right there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chris Broussard, Doc Rivers, LeBron James, Rajon Rondo
Rumor: Cavs offering Barnes the most money 07.19.10 at 3:03 pm ET
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Since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have signed with the Heat, the free agent market has seriously subsided. Now one of the biggest players available is Magic G/F Matt Barnes.

The Celtics have previously shown interest in the 6-foot-7 30-year-old, but over he past few days Barnes has played his cards close to the chest on many different teams.

NBA insider Alex Kennedy has tweeted that the Cavs have offered Barnes the most amount of money out of all the interested teams, but Barnes may take less money to play with a contender.

In his seven-year career, Barnes has averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. Barnes has said on his Twitter that he would reveal his decision for next season last Friday, but when more teams “jumped [into] the game,” Barnes decided to wait a few more days.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Matt Barnes, NBA Rumor Mill
O’Neal on D&H: ‘I couldn’t think of a better place to play’ 07.15.10 at 2:30 pm ET
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Jermaine O'Neal could have waited for Bosh and James in Miami but chose the Celtics. (AP)

Jermaine O'Neal is targeting an NBA title as he arrives in Boston after leaving Miami. (AP)

The newest Celtic, Jermaine O’Neal called into the Dale & Holley show to field some questions on what it’s like to be a Celtic now, what happened to him in the playoffs last season, what he expects his new role to be and the impact of Doc Rivers and Ray Allen on him choosing Boston.

“That was something I was really interested in being involved with, that same nucleus they had last year and if they didn’t have it, then I don’t think they would have been as strong as they were last year,” O’Neal said.

“If [Doc] didn’t come back, it definitely wouldn’t even be an option. Ray coming back was the next question that I was asking Danny, were they going to try to re-sign him. They told me yes and I said, ‘OK, let’s try to get this deal done and let’s start preparing to get this deal done next year.’ ”

Below are highlights of the interview. To listen to the complete interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On coming to Boston:

Yeah, it’s going to be fun. I’m excited about it and my family is excited about it. I’m coming down the stretch run of my career and I can’t think of a better way of ending it than with a championship ring.

On why he chose the Celtics:

I told myself coming into the summer that it wasn’t going to be about any money situations. God has been good to me and my family and He’s blessed us in so many different ways. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes as players we take for granted that winning is certain. Obviously over the past three, four, or five years, that hasn’t happened [for me].

That hasn’t happened and I’ve been spoiled early in my career with Indiana where we had those really good teams and it was a really sad thing that it was going to happen consistently over [the course of] my career and whatever reason things happened, the business changed, the teams change and injuries happen and sometimes you find yourself on the outside looking in. Looking at those championship celebrations with confetti and champagne and hats, that’s something I haven’t been able to experience in my career and I told myself, I talked with my family and my wife and kids, we wanted to put ourselves in the best position to win next year.

I could have gotten long term deals for much more money, but it was about playing with a team that is just that, a team. A team that plays together, plays hard, just has the passion. The organization has the passion obviously, the city has the passion. I couldn’t think of a better place to play.

On Rajon Rondo selling the Celtics to him:

It’s funny because I’m not really interested in [phone] numbers I don’t know, and I just happened to answer the number that particular day and we had an extensive conversation and he really sold it. I said as a competitor playing against the Celtics over the years, I’ve admired what they’ve put together. I admire what the fans brought to the gym every night. I like what they’ve put together and what he said really was what I was looking for and it was more of about what they expected to do this upcoming season, what they expect from me, what they would expect from an organizational standpoint.

It went from Boston being with Dallas and Denver, those were the top three teams that were heading the list, to being the top team on the list. I was basically told in that conversation about other things. Keep in mind that he doesn’t really talk a lot, but I couldn’t really tell by the conversation because he led the conversation and he was really passionate about their focus and their plan to win a championship this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal,
Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February 07.15.10 at 12:40 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into the Dennis & Callahan show to discuss the offseason so far for the C’s. On the docket were many hot topics, including the signing of Jermaine O’Neal, pursuing several new players, the return of Doc Rivers and many of last year’s playoff team, and when Kendrick Perkins could be expected to return to the team.

“It’s projected that he’ll be back probably after the All-Star break, could be my guess, sometime in mid- to late February,” Ainge said. “We’ll be very careful with Perk and not be in a rush to get him back, but I guess there’s a chance to get him back probably a little earlier, that’s probably realistic.”

Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the full interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan show audio on demand page.

On the LeBron James sweepstakes and how he handled himself:

[I feel] the same thing everybody else feels. It was over the top, it was too much. I think he should have told the Cavaliers well beforehand what he was doing. I just think there were a lot of things that weren’t handled perfectly. It was not fun to watch and see. I didn’t really enjoy the dance show a day or two after either, celebrating in Miami.

I like the way the Celtics have done it and our players, like Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce], it’s hard to get them to even talk to the media after they sign new contracts.

On Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s subsequent comments:

I think they were inappropriate and I don’t think that’s the right way to handle it either. [They’re] understandable, but not the right way at all.

On the Celtics’ prospects against the new Miami Heat:

No matter where LeBron was going to go he was going to be in the Eastern Conference and [his new team was] going to be really good, whether he was staying in Cleveland or New York, New Jersey. The team was going to be built around him and it’s going to be a great team regardless. Three of the top 10 players in the league, including two of the top three, that’s going to be a tough pill to handle. I think they are going to get a supporting cast that can help them win and I think that team’s the team to beat. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins
Thomsen on D&H: ‘Celtics got a better version of Eddie House’ 06.25.10 at 3:17 pm ET
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A day after the NBA draft, Sports Illustrated NBA insider Ian Thomsen talked to the Dale & Holley show to discuss what the Celtics picked up in the draft, what the future holds in store for the C’s and where LeBron James will end up next year.

“The Celtics got a better version of Eddie House,” Thomsen said about Avery Bradley, the Celtics’ first-round pick. “They got a guy who’s a terrific shooter; he’s got great range, but he’s a very good defender.”

“The one thing he doesn’t do [is] he doesn’t drive the ball great. He’s a much better shooter than he is a driver. …They’re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed.”

Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the interview in full, click on The Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On the possibility of Paul Pierce signing a smaller contract to bring in a big name free agent:

You know, they renounce him and then they give up their Bird rights to him, so now when he signs a new contract, he gets none of the value of re-signing with his own team. It’s like he signed with another team. It’s a risky thing; I can’t remember the last time that happened. I’m sure it has, but would it happen?

I would say it won’t, because when you look at it now with these other teams trying to clear so much space, there’s more cap space out there than there are star players. There’s going to be a lot of money that goes unspent or it’s going to be spent badly because there’s nobody to sign. It’s one of those things you think about, it’s like a loophole kind of deal. It’s like when they drafted Larry Bird the year before they signed him. I just don’t see that happening.

On Avery Bradley:

The Celtics got a better version of Eddie House. They got a guy who’s a terrific shooter; he’s got great range, but he’s a very good defender. The one thing he doesn’t do [is] he doesn’t drive the ball great. He’s a much better shooter than he is a driver. And is he a true point guard? They’re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Ian Thomsen, LeBron James, NBA Draft
The 19th pick in the NBA draft 06.23.10 at 8:11 am ET
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nba-draft-logoOn Thursday, the Celtics will put the past behind them and look to the future with the NBA draft in New York City. The C’s are going to have plenty of gaps to fill, with the possibility of Rasheed Wallace retiring, the future of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in question, and other players, namely Nate Robinson and Tony Allen, becoming free agents.

The Celtics have one pick in the first round of this year’s draft, just beyond the halfway point, at 19. A pick at that number typically is not somebody a team can build around, but a pick that can be a role player or a deal-maker in trades. A role player would be just what the Celtics would need.

Looking over the past picks at No. 19, a few names stick out. There’s Hakim Warrick from 2005, Zach Randolph from 2001, Jamaal Magloire from 2000, Scot Pollard from 1997, Rod Strickland from 1988 and John Paxson in 1983. Boston has had the 19th pick twice in the past 15 years: 1993 (Acie Earl) and 1990 (Dee Brown). The Celtics also got 1996’s No. 19, Walter McCarty, a year after his rookie season. Back before the NBA-ABA merger, the 19th pick was in the second round, but there were significant picks, like Jerry Sloan in 1964 and the list’s lone Hall of Fame No. 19, Nate Archibald in 1970.

Here’s a list of the No. 19 picks in the past 25 NBA drafts.

2009 – Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
2009-present: 71 games, 228 points, 122 assists, 67 rebounds, 39.6% FG

2008 – Cleveland Cavaliers: J.J. Hickson, NC State
2008-present: 143 games, 934 points, 49 assists, 565 rebounds, 54.3% FG

2007 – Los Angeles Lakers: Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
2007-2009: 113 games, 595 points, 201 assists, 276 rebounds, 44.2% FG Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA Draft,
Ainge on The Big Show: ‘Our guys will be ready to go’ 06.16.10 at 7:35 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into The Big Show Wednesday afternoon and the topic of the day was the status of starting center Kendrick Perkins and what kind of impact his injury will have on Game 7. To listen to the full interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

“Obviously, we’d like to have Perk [be] healthy,” Ainge said. “He’s a big part of our team defense, but I think that Glen Davis and Rasheed [Wallace] can carry the mail for us at the center position.”

The way that Ainge read Game 6 was as though the Lakers were just better prepared for the matchup. “I guess it’s like a boxing match and one team comes out and attacks. [The other team] didn’t come out prepared for that attack,” he said.

“You try to counter it, and we just weren’t able to. I thought they did a good job. Our guys were ready to play, but the Lakers came on all cylinders. They were making shots early and they just carried it throughout the course of the game. They got a great deal of confidence going and the bench came in and made all their shots. We could never stop that momentum. You’ve got to give the Lakers credit.”

When asked what Rasheed Wallace will have to do to make up for the loss of Perkins in the starting lineup in Game 7, Ainge said that the whole bench would need to step up and play smart. “Yeah, it’s a different role. Playing the starter’s role and then playing what he’s been playing for us off the bench in the playoffs is completely different. We need a different Rasheed. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ainge, Kendrick Perkins, NBA Finals,
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