|Avery Bradley returns to practice||11.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET|
Rookie guard Avery Bradley won’t turn 20 until later this month and everyone around the Celtics thinks he has a bright future. But it’s been a slow start to his professional career after the Celtics took him with the 19th pick in the draft.
He had surgery on his ankle after the draft, which kept him out of summer league and also limited his time in training camp and in preseason. Then, he rolled his surgically repaired ankle on Paul Pierce’s foot and the team shut him down for two more weeks. He returned to practice Monday and is happy to be back on the court.
“I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said after a spirited 2-on-2 game with Von Wafer, Luke Harangody and assistant coach Ty Lue. “Just anxious to get a chance to get in there and practice with my team again.”
Bradley didn’t travel with the team, but said players and coaches were texting him with information from the games.
“That’s the good thing about this team,” Bradley said. “They want me to get better. The older guys want me to help me out all the time.”
“Avery’s a talented young man,” West said. “He can do good things in this league. He’s big strong guard. He’s physical. He’s athletic. The biggest thing is he has heart. He reminded me of myself a little bit as far as getting after people defensively.”
|Celtics put Kendrick Perkins, Avery Bradley and Semih Erden on inactive list||10.25.10 at 8:36 pm ET|
The Celtics had already trimmed their roster to the league limit of 15 players, but their opening night roster is now official as they placed three players on the inactive list: Kendrick Perkins, Avery Bradley and Semih Erden. The Celtics will have to play the first 10 games of the NBA with just 11 active players because of Delonte West’s suspension. League rules dictate that suspended players must be carried on the active roster.
The inactive list is not like injury lists in other sports. Players don’t actually have to be injured to be on it and there is no mandatory amount of time that a player has to stay on it once he is deemed inactive. It can also change from game to game. There were no surprises for the Celtics. Perkins and Bradley are rehabbing injuries, while Erden is dealing with a shoulder injury.
|Meet Tiny Gallon||10.20.10 at 8:07 pm ET|
The Celtics newest player wasted little time ingratiating himself into the Celtics locker room. After sweating through a pregame workout, Tiny Gallon started talking trash to anyone and everyone about his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. No one was spared including Nate Robinson who tried to give the rookie an education about the University of Washington.
It was all in good fun, and despite being here for little more than 24 hours, Gallon has long-standing relationships with Kendrick Perkins and Avery Bradley. “I’ve been playing Avery since ninth grade,” Gallon said. “Avery’s been the same way. Me and him are real close, like brothers.”
Gallon, who is listed at 6-9, 290 pounds wasn’t in uniform Wednesday night when the Celtics closed their preseason slate against the Nets at the Garden, and he’s really not sure how things are going to go for him in Boston. He doesn’t have a realistic chance at landing a roster spot with the Celtics, but the team could take advantage of the new rules on D-League allocations by sending him to Maine, provided he signs a D-League contract.
The Celtics wouldn’t hold his rights, but if he does play for Maine it would be for Austin Ainge, Danny’s son. Danny Ainge said that the C’s liked Gallon during the pre-draft process and this is a chance to get a longer look at him.
“It’s just been a learning experience for me being around these vets,” Gallon said. “It’s been fun for me.”
Gallon was drafted by the Bucks in the second round, but didn’t stick with the team. He said he wasn’t surprised that they released him.
As for his game, Gallon said, “I’m a versatile big. I can shoot the ball, play inside. I really don’t label myself as having a position. I just play basketball. People say I’m a power forward or something like that. I just play basketball.”
Gallon’s number is 63 and he said that made him feel like an offensive tackle. He’d like to change it if he stick around, but that seems like a mighty big if right now.
|Celtics: Irish Coffee||10.05.10 at 9:40 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Members of the Knicks, Lakers and Timberwolves were among the Americans warned yesterday of potential terrorist plots at sports arenas, according to the New York Daily News. The teams would reportedly return to the United States immediately if the terror alert increased.
“This is real,” a fomer senior U.S. counterterrorism official told the paper.
Man, after watching Jean Claude Van Damme in Sudden Death as a kid, I used to wonder if I’d enjoy teams like the Knicks and Lakers being involved in a terrorist plot, but this is scary stuff. In all honesty, let’s hope these teams make it home safe.
While the Lakers were busy losing to the Timberwolves overseas, NBA commissioner David Stern spoke to the British media about the sport’s future in Europe. His hope is that the upcoming 2012 London Olympics will spark basketball’s popularity in the United Kingdom. You know, because John Amaechi‘s 6.2 points per game didn’t quite capture the nation’s hearts during his five-year NBA career.
“It’s no secret that the UK trails other European markets in development, but we think this is a great market and participation rates are increasing,” Stern said. “That’s why we have our European headquarters in London, and we think the Olympics provides a huge opportunity to demonstrate that this is a sport of great inclusiveness.”
Admitting it’s certainly not in the near future, Stern was receptive to the idea of having not only one but an entire European division of NBA teams. “As our game gets better known post-Olympics, maybe that will come into view,” he said, “but it’s nothing soon.”
The NBA will gain further exposure when the Raptors and Nets meet for two games in London in March. I’m not sure a Raptors/Nets series will be the exposure Stern is looking for, but still …
Rondo: “It’s still the Big 3″
Rajon Rondo sat down with ESPN.com to promote today’s release of NBA 2K11. We learned that he’s gathered more about the history of his league from playing the video game than watching actual NBA games as a kid; Nate Robinson, Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis are actually video game geeks; and Rondo wants a 99 rating (the highest in the game). Yet, when Rondo discussed his real team, he was much more modest:
“It’s still the Big Three,” he told ESPN.com. “Shaq is four. Shaq is an enforcer. I know that from experience. He knocks guards like myself down, but he can’t hit me no more, so I’m excited about that. I’m just one of the guys. I’m not saying I’m not important, but this is a team game. The Big Three still get a lot of attention, and I’m just really excited to start the season with them and be a part of this team.”
C’s a safe bet
Gambling lines are already coming out for the C’s opening night game against the Heat on Oct. 26, and according to the oddsmakers, these teams are pretty even. PinnacleSports.com has the Celtics +1 home underdogs.
The MGM Mirage in Las Vegas reportedly listed the Celtics at 5-1 odds to win the NBA title. The Heat were 3-2, the Lakers 9-5, Bulls 6-1 and Magic 10-1. But on the Sportsbook.com website, the Celtics are 10-1 to win the NBA title this season, tied with the Orlando Magic behind the Lakers (5-2) and Heat (8-5).
If gambling were legal in the United States, that 10-1 C’s bet would be a solid value.
Hazed and confused
According to NBCSports.com, rookie hazing has begun in the NBA. The Sixers sent Evan Turner to buy Chick-fil-A for the entire team, while Pacers rookies Lance Stephenson and Paul George have been caught wearing pink Disney backpacks.
What do you think the Celtics should do to Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody and Semih Erden? I think they should make them wear the C’s uber-short ’80s shorts during the preseason. Maybe dance like fools in Halloween costumes? Oh, wait, KG, Robinson and Big Baby did that already.
|Poll: Avery Bradley top rookie defender||09.19.10 at 11:18 am ET|
If there’s one thing the Celtics think rookie guard Avery Bradley can do right away, it’s defend. That’s also the opinion of his fellow first-year players who overwhelmingly voted Bradley the top defensive player in the rookie class, according to a survey posted on NBA.com.
It’s not surprising that Bradley won the player vote, but what is interesting is that he dominated the results.
Which rookie is the best defender?
1. Avery Bradley, Boston — 41.7 percent
2. Hassan Whiteside, Sacramento — 8.3 percent
3. Lazar Hayward, Minnesota — 5.6 percent
Ekpe Udoh, Golden State — 5.6 percent
Bradley also received votes in categories ranging from best shooter and playmaker to most overlooked and likely to have the best career.
One other interesting tidbit from the poll: Kobe Bryant was the runaway winner for favorite player among the rookies.
|Celtics community roundup||08.06.10 at 8:24 pm ET|
This week the Celtics took some time out from preparing for next season to give back to the Boston community.
Rookie Avery Bradley was on hand at the State House to help the Celtics and Massachusetts State Lottery honor the 2009-10 Heroes Among Us recipients. Celtics legend Satch Sanders, team co-owner Robert Epstein and Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill also recognized the recipients, whose acts range from saving lives to helping the less fortunate. Over 550 individuals have been presented with the Heroes Among Us award since the program was established by the Celtics 12 years ago.
Later in the week, Bradley, Brian Scalabrine, members of the Celtics organization, and a group of volunteers distributed approximately 40,000 pounds of food and essentials to help local families through Feed The Children (FTC) at the Harborside Community Center in East Boston and the Holland Community Center in Dorchester. FTC’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan has helped more than 120,000 families in cities affected by the economy.
‘I feel very fortunate to be in the position where I can come out into the Boston community and help these families in need,’ said Bradley. ‘Whenever I have the opportunity to donate my time to a great cause like this, I plan on doing it.’
See below for more photos, courtesy of the Celtics.
|New contract gives Robinson a new beginning||07.22.10 at 8:40 pm ET|
Nate Robinson is entering his sixth season in the NBA, but in a lot of ways, his career has a new beginning.
After more than four seasons with the Knicks, and a few months with the Celtics, Robinson is returning to Boston with a two-year deal that gives him a fresh start.
‘For me, I think it will be a good start for me to just come in and start from scratch,’ he said in a conference call. ‘I loved my time there in Boston. The fans welcomed me with open arms, the team, coach Doc (Rivers), Danny Ainge, everybody, the whole organization, they were real good to me. I decided they’re a great, winning organization, a lot of history, and I think I fit in well with the guys. So I was like, why not?’
Even though Robinson was only been traded to the Celtics in February, he is preparing for next season like a player who has been with the team for years. He immediately embraced the tradition of the organization and was struck by the Celtics relentless drive for victory.
Robinson spends his days in Seattle gyms with hometown friends including Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, and Aaron Brooks. They work out three times a week and play games for two. (Robinson will also throw out the first pitch at Friday’s Red Sox – Mariners game in Seattle.)
For the first time in his career, he is spending his offseason preparing to contend, not just compete.
‘The main thing that stood out to me was just their will to win,’ he said. ‘They expect to win every night. I was like, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’’
Robinson says he never experienced such strong team chemistry on the Knicks like he did on the Celtics. It makes his return that much sweeter knowing that Doc Rivers, the coach who expressed confidence in him when he wasn’t seeing major minutes, will be back on the sidelines and the core of the team is still in tact. Read the rest of this entry »