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Rappers push Celtics street anthem 06.08.10 at 4:25 pm ET
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Cambridge-based rap group N.B.S. (Natural Born Spitters) has released a Celtics street anthem titled “Who Are We (The Celtics)” that features highlights of the C’s run at Banner 18.

Update: NH man walks to NYC from Boston, will sit courtside for Games 3, 4 and 5 06.08.10 at 12:15 pm ET
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After a nearly week-long, 200-mile journey that sent him from the TD Garden in Boston to New York City on foot, Tyler McGill will finally be able to sit Tuesday night in his courtside seats to Game 3 of the NBA finals after completing the challenge set forth by friends in exchange for the exclusive tickets to all three championship games at the Garden.

McGill, a native of Rye, N.H., finished the epic quest when he finally reached the Big Apple Tuesday morning and said, despite some intense chaffing and several sock changes, he would do all it over again if given the chance.

‘€œCome on dude, what would you do for Celts tickets? I would have walked even further,’€ McGill said.

Now that he’€™s won his chance to see the game, expect McGill to make the most of it.

‘€œI’€™m going to be in Shannon Brown‘€™s head all day. I’€™m going to be riding Kobe [Bryant] like a pony out there,’€ McGill said. ‘€œThe Celts are going to have an extra man on the court with them at all times.’€

For fans both in the Garden and watching on television, look for McGill in a reflective police vest that he picked up from Sherborn police en route to New York as well as a bright neon green Summer Sessions Surf Shop shirt from the store he and his brother own in the Granite State. He says his seats will be at center court across from the benches.

Stern on D&C: ‘We’re proud, believe it or not, of our officials’ 06.08.10 at 11:40 am ET
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NBA commissioner David Stern talked with the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning, and the topic of conversation, as it has mostly been after the first two games of the NBA finals, was officiating. Stern was quick to back the referees, who have called 112 fouls between Games 1 and 2 alone.

‘€œWe have a long way to travel, no doubt, as long as we’€™re going to be using humans, but we’€™re proud, believe it or not, of our officials. And we thank you very much for caring so much,’€ Stern said.

He also easily dismissed notions to change the rules concerning suspensions given to players who amass seven technical fouls in the playoffs. Kendrick Perkins currently has six for the Celtics and is just one away from a one-game suspension.

‘€œAt some point, our players have to play according to the rules,’€ Stern said. ‘€œWe don’t want to have to spend our time issuing lots of technicals. You know what’s amazing? When they get close to the limit, they stop. What do you think about that?’€

A transcript of the interview follows. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

One NBA league source told Sports Illustrated’€™s Ian Thomsen that more than anything else the league doesn’€™t want a brawl in the NBA finals thus perhaps the 112 fouls called in the first two games. Does that border on ‘€œoverofficiating?’€

I don’€™t know what league source. I’€™ll talk to Ian, because what he does and what many people do is they find somebody who’€™s a third assistant PR person on a team, and they dub them a league source. So I give no credibility to that.

Sources aside, it seems like the officials this year are determined to keep order, and it has hurt the flow. Do you disagree?

We can check the numbers. I look at them. I was sitting at the game on Sunday, being very thankful that I wasn’t an official. Because the pace and the speed and the intensity and the passion with which our guys play is very, very difficult to officiate. And once you make a decision that a foul has occurred in front of you and you are not going to call it, then you are endangering our players. That’s all. And it’s a hard job that these guys have.

These games are particularly intense. The teams have enough time to figure out what they’re going to do to the other. And they test the officials. They test them. They push and push and push. And if the officials don’t step up, then you’re going to have chaos and a game decided on [something] other than its merits. I recognized the risk that you are going to have a lot fouls called as well. But we’ve got very large bodies in small places, and it’s our job, our duty to protect these players. Read the rest of this entry »

Donaghy on D&C: Refs will be aggressive 06.08.10 at 11:11 am ET
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Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”

Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.

Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”

Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.

Read More: Celtics, Lakers, Tim Donaghy,
A look at who will be blowing the whistles in Game 3 06.08.10 at 10:56 am ET
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The NBA has announced the referees who will be working Game 3 of the NBA finals: Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore. According to NBAstuffer.com, Crawford and Salvatore will be officiating their 12th playoff game this season, the most of any refs. It will be the 10th postseason game for Kennedy.

Of refs whistling the road team for fouls in the playoffs, Crawford’s crews have been among the leaders (seventh-most at 54 percent). In regards to fouls called per playoff game, Crawford’s and Kennedy’s crews have ranked toward the bottom, with Salvatore’s groups residing in the top half.

For more statistics on the referees, click here. For a closer look at the profiles of each ref, click here.

Also, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Crawford, Kennedy and Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”

Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.

Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”

Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.

To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Celtics have praise for Wooden 06.07.10 at 11:49 am ET
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Before the start of Game 2 of the NBA finals, legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden, who passed away Friday at the age of 99, was honored with a moment of silence in Los Angeles’€™ Staples Center. In the days since his death, stars in both the college and the pro game have talked about how the Wizard of Westwood influenced them.

Even in a city that is the polar opposite of LA, out in Boston, Wooden’€™s impact isn’€™t diminished at all. Several of the Celtics took time away from their finals preparations to comment on Wooden.

Although he played at the University of Connecticut, Ray Allen can appreciate Wooden’€™s role in the modern game. ‘€œHe’€™s had an impact on all of us, indirectly,’€ he said. ‘€œYou figure that anybody’€™s who has played basketball in the last 50, 60 years, we’ve ran his offensive sets, his schemes. We’€™ve followed the quotations he used to motivate his teams. But not only just basketball: He’s been legendary as a coach, emulated by many coaches across the spectrum. We all have been better as individuals, as sportsmen, to have him in our lives.’€

Nate Robinson played against UCLA several times during his tenure at Washington in the Pac-10. “I know a lot of his history because of his winning, but a lot of kids, a lot of freshmen, don’t understand what he brought to basketball alone, but college basketball in general,” Robinson said. “His tradition will carry on. When you hear about UCLA and you hear about basketball, you’€™ll hear his name. He’€™s embedded in us. He’s in our DNA.”

Paul Pierce grew up in Inglewood, about eight miles from UCLA, and heard plenty about Wooden. ‘€œI’€™m very familiar with what John Wooden has done for the game of basketball,’€ he said. ‘€œWhen I talk about basketball, I don’t mean [just] the college game, I mean all of basketball. His influence on the game has been awesome, and when you see an icon like that pass away, your heart just goes out to him and his family.’€

But the biggest Wooden fan on the Celtics would probably be Doc Rivers. Rivers has autographed pictures of Wooden and Red Auerbach. ‘€œTo have those two on your desk, I don’€™t think you need to further your collection,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œYou know, those are the two best. But with Wooden, I think he’€™s one of the rare superstars that stood out more about him as a person than he did as a coach or anything. And that’s rare, when you say that about any star in any business.’€

When he met Wooden for the first time, Rivers recalls reacting like a child meeting his idol. ‘€œThe fact that I got to meet him and he actually knew my name, to me blew me away on its own right.’€

Of course, he had to take advantage of the situation, ‘€œI don’€™t ask for a lot of autographs, and he was one that I wanted, and he was as gracious as we thought he would be.’€

Read More: Celtics, John Wooden,
Robinson on future in Boston: ‘I feel wanted here’ 06.07.10 at 11:11 am ET
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Celtics point guard Nate Robinson has been a spark plug this postseason, picking up where starter Rajon Rondo leaves off. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Robinson came in when Rondo landed on the ground hard and came up sore, and the three-time slam dunk champion helped eliminate the Magic by racking up 13 points, two assists and a steal in 13 minutes. In Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Lakers, Robinson helped again by having a perfect shooting night: 2-for-2 field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 2-for-2 on free throws.

Even with his support off the bench, Robinson does not have guaranteed job security with the C’€™s. With the season soon coming to a close, he was asked about his future plans by AOL FanHouse’s Chris Tomasson.

‘€œI feel wanted here,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œThis group of guys, this team, this organization is good for me. They’re high class, man. They keep it 100 percent [real] with you. Doc [Rivers] keeps it 100 percent. He tells you straight forward what he wants. I like that.’€

When Robinson was asked about his 4½-year experience with the Knicks, his review wasn’€™t as glowing. ‘€œThey treated me good, but at times I felt like they didn’t,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œBut it is what it is. Sometimes it’s like your mom and your dad. You don’t communicate all the time being on the same page. But you move forward. I’m moving forward and not looking back.’€

If the 5-foot-9 University of Washington alum couldn’€™t return to the Celtics, he isn’€™t sure where he’€™d want to go next. One thing is for sure, though, he definitely isn’€™t running short on the child analogies: ‘€œI want to be able to play somewhere that somebody wants me,’€ he said. ‘€œYou kind of look at it like being in an orphanage and somebody wants to come and adopt you. So, whoever that NBA family that wants me and loves me and they want me for who I am.’€

Finally, he was asked about what he would take from his time in Boston. ‘€œThis whole season has been a roller coaster for me,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œIt’s kind of been like at an amusement park. You never know what to expect, what curve or what dip. But day to day, it’s been fun.’€

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