|Greg Stiemsma: ‘I’d love to pick Bill Russell’s brain’||02.16.12 at 1:50 pm ET|
BOSTON — Celtics rookie Greg Stiemsma won three Wisconsin high school Division 4 state championships in four seasons. Celtics legend Bill Russell won 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. Needless to say, they’re worlds apart.
However, for one night at least, those worlds collided, as the two sat courtside to start Wednesday night’s Celtics loss to the Pistons — Stiemsma on the C’s bench and Russell next to team owner Stephen Pagliuca.
Of course, the the Development League project and the greatest winner in sports are forever linked after Celtics announcer and former Russell teammate Tommy Heinsohn compared Stiemsma to Russell earlier this season.
“His timing and how he goes about blocking shots does remind me of Russell,’’ said Heinsohn. “He makes guys commit, he’s quick to his leap, and he gets his hand up there right when the ball is leaving the shooter’s hand.’’
While Stiemsma has 22 blocks in 176 minutes this season for an average of 4.5 blocks per 36 minutes, Russell is considered the game’s greatest shot blocker, so even the Celtics rookie laughed off the comparison.
“I mean, I heard it. Like I said before, that’s pretty far out of my realm. I would never imagine that,” he said, adding, “It was an honor to get that reference. And then, for it to come full circle, for him to be in the arena, it’s all part of the experience, all part of this journey that’s brought me here, so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can.”
|Where does Paul Pierce rank among Celtics greats?||02.06.12 at 9:06 am ET|
On the verge of surpassing Larry Bird for second on the Celtics career scoring list, Paul Pierce only further cements his status as one of the storied franchise’s all-time greats — his No. 34 already reserved in the rafters.
How far Pierce climbs that ladder remains to be seen. Even when he surpasses Larry Legend’s 21,791 career total with 10 more points, it’s hard to argue Pierce soars past Bird, but where does he rank if he retired today?
“It’s nothing I ever really think about,” said Pierce. “I never go into the season trying to break records. They’re going to happen if they happen. Just to be mentioned among the great Celtics of the past is just an honor.”
As soon as seven years ago — in the aftermath of Pierce’s infamous jersey-swinging, head-wrapping ejection from Game 6 of a playoff series — this thought seemed utterly insane: The Truth is one of the top five C’s in history.
Still don’t believe it? Just examine the resumes of the best quintet ever to call the Garden home.
|Irish Coffee: Naturally, Celtics legend Bill Russell taught Joe Torre everything he knows||11.17.11 at 12:08 pm ET|
Naturally, former Yankees manager Joe Torre — who grew up in Brooklyn as the Knicks lost three consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 1950-53 in his formative years — is a Boston Celtics fan. Ugh.
“I was a Boston Celtics fan,” Torre told CBSSports.com. “In fact, I really got my idea of team play from watching the Celtics in the ’50s with those guys, how they shared the ball all the time. Bill Russell, of course, when I met him and told him that story, I think he was a little surprised. I just love that nobody was bigger than the other guy.”
At least we can now credit Russell for the four Yankees World Series titles from 1996-2000. Add them to his list of championships. I know this Torre type. I’m sure he was a Steelers fan in the 1970s, too. Typical.
DELONTE WEST HEADING FAR EAST?
According to a SheridanHoops.com report, the Guangdong (Beavis: “Huh-huh huh-huh-huh) Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association “is contacting Rodney Stuckey and Delonte West, one of whom may come to China.” However, over the summer, West claimed a judge ruled he could not play overseas due to his ongoing probation from a 2010 weapons charge, which isn’t expected to end until July 2012.
|Irish Coffee: Celtics legend Bill Russell sues NCAA||10.06.11 at 11:59 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Dear Electronic Arts,
I’ve got good news and bad news for you.
You want the good news first? Kudos on the NBA 2K12 commercial featuring San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson. His argument for the 1986 Celtics as the greatest team ever is pretty much perfect.
I particularly enjoyed this quote from the Winchester, Mass. native: “If you were to take all those players and put them in a blender of greatness, you’d get strawberry milkshake, because they’re sweet.”
Now for the bad news. Bill Russell is suing you. And he’s suing the NCAA. It takes a lot to get under the skin of the greatest winner in sports history, but you’ve gone and done it. The lawsuit accuses the two conglomerates of using Russell’s likeness without compensation or his consent.
Russell’s claim argues that the NCAA violates antitrust laws by profiting from video of former student-athletes, like $150 videos of his two University of San Francisco championship seasons. The Celtics legend also accuses EA Sports of using his image in the “Tournament of Legends” portion of their college basketball game.
“Bill Russell, one of the greatest NCAA, NBA and Olympic basketball players in history, joins the lawsuit brought by Ed O’Bannon alleging that the NCAA has violated federal antitrust law by unlawfully foreclosing former Division I men’s basketball and football players from receiving any compensation related to the commercial use of their images and likenesses,” attorney Jon King told Bloomberg via e-mail.
Have fun arguing against a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree in court.
|Celtics on eBay: Bill Russell’s signed parquet||09.16.11 at 4:03 pm ET|
It’s time to take you into the weekend with the eighth edition of Celtics on eBay. We ask, “Would you pay [a pretty penny] for [current or former member of the Celtics]‘ [eBay item]?” Confusing enough? Good. Let’s get started.
We’ve had some pretty hefty landslides in weeks past, but it’s always interesting to find out — for example — that 42 people would be willing to pay $275 for Brian Scalabrine‘s sweat-soaked Celtics practice jersey. Who are these people with that kind of expendable scratch, and how do I hang out with them?
Anywho, this week’s item is pretty straightforward: A 4×9-inch piece of the old Boston Garden parquet floor signed by Bill Russell, the greatest winner in sports history. Now, I’ve got to imagine more people would pay $300 for this than Scalabrine’s skivvies. But who knows? Anything can happen when it comes to Celtics on eBay.
Want to waste more time this weekend? Vote on these overpriced/awesome Celtics items from previous weeks:
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics V||09.06.11 at 6:25 pm ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (“10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I, II, III and IV) …
10. It seems free agent point guard Carlos Arroyo has spent more time in the recording studio than on the floor for the Celtics this past season (190 minutes), as a couple of his new tracks are making the rounds. Meanwhile, back in Argentina, he’s been doing his best Rajon Rondo impression for the Puerto Rican national team during the FIBA Americas Championship.
Arroyo has averaged 16.5 points and 4.0 assists in 29.5 minutes as Puerto Rico has improved to 5-1 two games into the second round. Virtually assured of a spot in the semifinals, Arroyo could lead his home country to its first Summer Olympics berth since he helped Puerto Rico upset the United States in 2004.
“He’s our captain, the leader, the veteran,” said J.J. Barea, a Northeastern alum and member of the NBA champion Mavericks. “He’s been here for so many years, and he’s doing a great job leading the team.”
Interestingly, another local product — Auburn, Mass. native Javier Mojica — has also contributed to PR’s success. If you don’t remember Mojica’s riveting story, here’s a tremendous feature from 2007 on the Central Connecticut State walk-on and former Northeast Conference Player of the Year by The Globe’s Chris Gasper.
9. Try to forget the fact that the Celtics will enter the 2011-12 NBA season’s free agency period (if there is one) with Jermaine O’Neal as the sole center on the roster when you read this next sentence: Nenad Krstic has averaged 17.2 points per game for Serbia (4-1) during EuroBasket 2011.
Of course, the fact that he’s only grabbed 3.6 rebounds per contest should soften the blow that Krstic left the Celtics via free agency to sign a two-year deal in Russia, leaving the C’s with only restricted rights to Jeff Green as part of the Kendrick Perkins deal. Somewhere, the lone guy who bought a Krstic No. 4 Celtics jersey weeps.
|Impromptu Irish Coffee: The Next Bill Russell?||07.28.11 at 1:58 pm ET|
When someone compares a player to Bill Russell, my usual reaction is a rolling of the eyes, followed by an audible sigh and capped by a sarcastic, “And Harold Miner is the next Michael Jordan.” However, when a member of the Celtics’ front office makes the analogy, that’s an entirely different story.
Celtics senior director of basketball operations Leo Papile — also the Boston Amateur Basketball Club’s director — told Louisville’s Courier-Journal that the current star of his AAU program, Nerlens Noel (great name, by the way), could indeed be the next William Felton Russell:
“No one has ever been compared to Bill Russell, but I said that about this kid when he was in the eighth grade. He has a basketball brain like no other player that I have ever coached. He’s a special kid. …
“He has great timing. Everything he does is just perfect. He passes, his team defense … it’s all just perfect. And now he has an offensive game.”
ESPNU’s No. 3 ranked recruit and top-ranked center in the Class of 2013, Noel led Papile’s BABC team to the Peach Jam title earlier this month and the AAU Super Showcase championship game this past week. This winter, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Everett native enters his junior season at New Hampshire’s Tilton School.
To put Papile’s statement in perspective, he has worked for the Celtics since 1997 and currently serves as one of the team’s chief talent evaluators at the NBA, D-League, international and collegiate levels. Founding the BABC in 1977, he has helped develop NBA talents like Patrick Ewing and Dana Barros.
So, the real question is: Does the 17-year-old Noel even know who is the greatest winner in professional sports? Read the rest of this entry »
- Boston Celtics Daily Links 12/9
- State of the Celtics: Jordan Crawford named Eastern Conference Player of...
- Paul Pierce practices, might play tomorrow against Celtics
- An emotional week ahead for the Celtics
- State of the Celtics
- Brad Stevens keeping everyone on an even keel
- It's a laugher: Celtics trounce Knicks 114 - 73