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Larry Bird to join Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson on ‘NBA 2K12′ covers 07.21.11 at 1:26 pm ET
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Courtesy 2K Sports

The last time Larry Bird and Michael Jordan were featured on the cover of the same video game in 1988 for “Jordan vs. Bird: One on One,” the game came out for such systems as the Commodore 64, Sega Genesis and of course the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Oh and the gameplay looked like this.

Now, the pair along with Laker great Magic Johnson will be featured on the cover of the game “NBA 2K12″ this upcoming season and will also be able to be used as players within the game. The three players will each have their own cover all to themselves and the covers will be dispersed equally across the country (while only the Jordan cover will be available in non-US markets). Jordan famously graced the cover of “NBA 2K11,” and the popularity of that game (5 million units sold, 20 awards) led 2K Sports to give this season’s version a similar approach with two extra stars thrown in for a little extra spice.

“Bringing Michael Jordan to the virtual hardwood last year was a huge success for NBA 2K11; however, we didn’t want to stop there,” said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports, in a statement. “We’re bringing ‘His Airness’ back to the NBA 2K franchise as part of a multi-year extended partnership, along with two other legendary icons – Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – for a special cover athlete collection representing the NBA’s greatest heroes.” (Read the entire statement on Facebook here.)

The game is already available for preoder and will be ready for wide release on Oct. 4, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and Windows PC. The game will be sold and played even if a lockout threatens the entire NBA season in 2011-12. No word on if it will work on NES, however.

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Paul Pierce bounced from World Series of Poker 07.12.11 at 9:44 am ET
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Paul Pierce had already been a world champion in his own occupation and this summer, with the NBA players locked out by the owners, he had tried to become a champion in one of his hobbies: Texas Hold ‘Em poker. The Celtics captain posted the $10,000  entry fee for the World Series of Poker’s main event and lasted 17 hours and 40 minutes on the felt before he was finally left without any chips late Monday night, according to the ESPN Poker Blog.

Pierce lasted longer than more than half of the 2,031 hopefuls who entered the popular competition in Las Vegas’s Rio casino but fell well short of finishing in the money. He went all-in with a 2-2 – interestingly enough, Pierce has averaged 22.2 points per game during his 13-year NBA career – but the C’s swingman ran into a pair of Jacks and there would be no luck of the Irish on the flop. He exited to a round of applause from the Rio crowd as well as his fellow gamblers.

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Doc Rivers on The Big Show: Calling himself a Celtic for first time was ‘great feeling’ 06.23.11 at 6:21 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined The Big Show Thursday afternoon for the first time since signing his five-year contract extension after last season. He told the guys that the thought behind the extension was Rivers’ willingness to not only give it another go with the team he had in place but also future teams whatever they may be.

“[Celtics GM Danny Ainge] and I had been talking all year,” Rivers said. “I told him my thoughts early on and so I think that gave Danny the belief that I was going to be here or not coach for a year or two. It was going to be one or the other. It’s a good place. I just thought for me, so much movement and change and chasing different teams if you know what I’m saying, when we were bad, they were very loyal to me. We hopefully have at least a year to go after this one more time with the older guys and then eventually we’re going to have to make changes. I think I need to be a part of that as well.”

Here’s more highlights of that interview, including Rivers’ thoughts on Glen Davis and what the C’s need heading into next season.

On getting into the Bruins:

I enjoyed it. I didn’t know what I was watching.

On four Boston coaches each of whom has won a championship since 2004:

This group of coaches, we do have a good camaraderie. I went to Game 6 [of the Stanley Cup finals] and I went because of that. I just thought I should go. I had a ball. My young son went and for him who had never seen a hockey game, saw scoring like no other in the first five minutes. He thinks this is how hockey should be played all the time.

On taking a picture with the other three coaches:

I agree with that. Somebody actually asked me we should all have our rings or trophies and stand there and do something for charity. “City of Champions” or something. That would be pretty cool. Read the rest of this entry »

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NBA draft-day rumors: Celtics ‘leaning towards Jeremy Tyler’ says Chris Mannix 06.23.11 at 5:19 pm ET
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There can be a lot up in the air when a team has the 25th pick in any draft, but that doesn’t mean a team can’t have a preference for a particular player when selecting at that spot.

Despite rumors that the team is considering trading their 25th pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix tweeted “Boston leaning towards Jeremy Tyler w/ 25th pick, source says.” Mannix had told the Dennis & Callahan show that Tyler was a possibility for the C’s on Wednesday.

For a breakdown of Tyler, who played abroad in Japan last season, click here.

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Highlights from Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein’s appearance on The Big Show 06.23.11 at 4:49 pm ET
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On the day of the NBA draft, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein joined The Big Show to talk about a myriad of topics including how the 2011 season ended, the Doc Rivers contract extension and even just precisely who Danny Ainge would have selected had he had the first pick in the 2007 NBA draft (hint: he led the NBA in scoring last season).

Here’s a transcript of that interview. (To hear the entire segment, visit The Big Show’s audio on demand page.)

On how the season ended:

WG: You know what they say, the ring adds 10 years. No, we’re all wearing the rings but we want another one. We had a good shot this year. They beat us fair and square, but we had a good shot. If Rondo doesn’t go down and practically break his arm in that deathhold that he was in and some few other things happened, but they beat us fair and square. This team might have a chance a la Dallas, along those lines, to contend next year if we can get them some help. That’s probably Plan A.

On continuing on the same course:

WG: That’s the question. First of all, we don’t want to talk about roster moves in depth on air before they’re even thought of. … Also, we’d have to consider if we did decide to change things wholesale, would you be able to get a contending team back in the near term? That’s part that goes into it. We consider this team as a good team. It needs to get better. We’re going to try to do that. Read the rest of this entry »

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NBA draft-day rumors: Josh Smith to Timberwolves for second-overall pick? 06.23.11 at 3:23 pm ET
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Josh Smith continues to jockey for the position of the MVP of the rumor mill.

The latest report, coming from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, has the Hawks trying to trade the high-flying forward to Minnesota for the second-overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Timberwolves were believed to be heavily considering Derrick Williams out of Arizona at that spot, and Wojnarowski didn’t mention the team as being interested in any deal involving Smith.

The Hawks would most likely take center Enes Kanter, who has drawn the eye of Hawks GM Rick Sund, with the second pick if they were able to acquire it.

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NBA draft-day rumors: Cavaliers may be seeking third lottery pick 06.23.11 at 3:03 pm ET
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The Cavaliers already own the first and fourth picks in Thursday night’s NBA draft. A pretty nice haul in any draft, and one they intend to keep according to reports. But according to ESPN.com NBA insider Chad Ford, Cleveland, who owned the second-worst record in the league last season, may be in the market for yet another lottery pick.

Ford says the biggest asset for the Cavs in any potential deal would be their $14.5 million trade exception. Sacramento (7th pick) and Detroit (8th) could be potential suitors with Cleveland taking on the bad contracts of Francisco Garcia from the Kings or Detroit’s Richard Hamilton or Charlie Villanueva. Ford also theorizes that the Cavs could then trade the third lottery pick along with the fourth overall selection in exchange for Minnesota’s second overall pick.

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