|Meaner and leaner Shaq ready to do battle||09.27.10 at 11:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Shaquille O’Neal is a superstar who loves to talk about having 735 days left in his NBA career. He wants those days to include two more NBA titles, giving him six, which would mean he would have one more than Kobe Bryant.
But as O’Neal reminded everyone on Monday at Celtics media, this isn’t about him and Kobe, it’s about leaving the game on top.
The newest superstar member of the Celtics has given up his mom’s hamburgers, fried chicken, mac and cheese and cornbread muffins and is ripped and ready to go for his 18th season in the NBA, starting with Celtics media day on Monday.
O’Neal said he has been playing pickup games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the Celtics facility and swimming to get in shape.
The Shaq-Kobe war of words was re-ignited Monday when he recalled the words of Bryant in the moments after the Lakers beat the Celtics for their 17th title and his fifth. ‘That’s one more than Shaq.’
O’Neal had his response on Monday. It had less to do with Kobe and more to do with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.
“Yeah I heard it,” O’Neal said. “My whole career I’ve been the measuring stick. Glad to see I’m still relevant. I would’ve been more upset, more hurt, if Tim Duncan would’ve made the comment. I don’t compete with guards. They have the ball more than I do, they shoot way more than I do. You can’t compete with guard. I’m only competing w/Tim Duncan so hopefully I can get No. 5 before Tim Duncan, respectfully before Tim Duncan.”
Duncan and O’Neal each have four NBA championship rings while Bryant and Derek Fisher lead active players with five.
|Report: Smith ‘blessed’ by Celtics training camp invite||09.18.10 at 5:09 pm ET|
Jamar Smith considers himself “blessed beyond belief” to be invited to the Celtics training camp, he told the Evansville Courier & Press. Smith, a shooting guard, shared his excitement about getting the call to come to Boston:
“I’ve been working out like crazy,” said the former University of Southern Indiana star and Division II Player of the Year.
By “crazy,” he means several hours per day on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, sometimes with members of the Illini basketball team and coach Bruce Weber, who originally signed Smith.
Now Smith has a chance to fulfill a dream. But sometimes that chance seems to be a dream.
“When my agent told me (about the Celtics’ invitation), I was, ‘Are you serious?’ ” said Smith. “Now I’m in the gym two or three times a day. My dad called me and asked, ‘Are you working hard?’ When I said I was, he said, ‘Well, you have to work harder.’ “
Smith averaged 21.6 points per game last season at USI.
|Shaq calls out Cavs, Mo Williams||09.04.10 at 5:07 pm ET|
There was a time when being a role player would not have sat well with Shaquille O’Neal. That time has passed.
In a recent interview with the Times-Picayune, O’Neal explained that he now looks forward to playing for an unselfish ball club, even if it means less time on the court.
“I’m at the point in my life where I can’t carry a team by myself anymore, but I can be a piece on a team that’s already good,” he said. “The Celtics are good with or without me. A lot of people say, ‘How can I be a complementary player?’ But at 38, it’s easy. If I was 28, it would be a problem, Doc.”
O’Neal called out his most recent team, the Cavaliers, for their approach on offense. He singled out one former teammate in particular.
“I like that they (the Celtics) play together and nobody really worries about shots,” O’Neal said. “When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn’t even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I’m only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that’s cool.
“So I said, let me get with a good team for the last two years. I don’t mind people calling me a journeyman. I’ve been programmed to move around every three years.”
O’Neal averaged a career-low 8.7 shots per game last season. LeBron James led the Cavs with 20.1 field goal attempts. In contrast, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 12.1 attempts each.
O’Neal also added that he had been interested in the Hawks and Hornets before signing with the Celtics.
|Pierce talks Pacquiao, ‘greatest athlete to ever live’||08.17.10 at 12:11 am ET|
When Paul Pierce isn’t battling on the court, he enjoys watching battles in the ring. Elie Seckbach from AOL FanHouse recently caught up with the boxing fan, who says Manny Pacquiao is the “best pound-for-pound boxer in the world” and shares who he considers to be “the greatest athlete to ever live.” (Watch to the end to get former Celtic/Laker Rick Fox’s take on Shaq in green.)
Click here for more on the Celtics special relationship with Pacquiao.
|Shaq takes on crime and Boston accents||08.07.10 at 4:41 pm ET|
Shaquille O’Neal recently sat down with Vanity Fair Magazine to discuss the second season of his television show, Shaq Vs., and talked about fighting crime, Boston accents and staying focused on next season with the Celtics.
Read a few excerpts below or click here for the entire interview:
What happens if one of your kids comes home from school and says, “Aw pop, I had some chowda today that was wicked awesome?”
That’s when they get grounded.
What do you say when you’re roughing up a perp? “On the floor, dirtbag!” “Book ‘em, Danno!” That kind of thing.
Well, uh. (Long pause.) My job is to be a little girl.
I play a little girl on the Internet. So whatever name I’m going by, that will probably be my catchphrase. If I’m Tanya, then it’ll be something like, “Tanya says hello.” And they’ll be like, “Tanya who?” And I’ll say, “You don’t know no Tanya, huh? I’m Tanya. Let’s go.” And that’s when the cuffs get slapped on you.
Are you going to do any undercover police work in Boston?
No, probably not. This is going to be my last year in the NBA, so I really want to concentrate and be focused.
|Look back: Shaq, Celtics teammates before||08.04.10 at 11:45 pm ET|
When Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal suit up for the Celtics next season, there will be some familiarity with their new teammates on the court. Both played with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the 2004 and 2005 NBA All-Star Games.
In 2004, Pierce (Celtics) and Jermaine O’Neal (Pacers) represented the East while Garnett (Timberwolves), Allen (SuperSonics), and Shaquille O’Neal (Lakers) played for the West. Shaq (24 points, 11 rebounds) took home MVP honors as the West won, 136-132, in Los Angeles.
The following year, Shaquille O’Neal changed conferences and joined Pierce and Jermaine O’Neal on the East team as a member of the Heat. Garnett and Allen played for the West. Allen led all players with 17 points and Jermaine O’Neal tied MVP Allen Iverson with 15 for the East. The East won, 125-115, in Denver.
Check out the video of Garnett and Shaq from the 2004 All-Star Game:
|Report: Fernandez trade talks ‘likely on back burner’ for now||07.28.10 at 11:17 pm ET|
The rumor mill has been buzzing with reports of the Celtics being in the mix to acquire Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez, who is reportedly unhappy with his current role behind Brandon Roy. But the talks may quiet down until next week.
On Wednesday Jason Quick of the Oregonian tweeted, “Rudy trade talks likely on back burner until Sunday. GM Cho tells agent Andy Miller he will meet w/coach McMillan in Vegas on Sun to discuss.”
That doesn’t mean, though, that speculation will be curbed until then. On Tuesday, Fernandez wrote in his blog, “There is gossip about my future and everyone asks me but I’m really just focused on the national team right now.”
In the meantime, here is a glimpse into why Fernandez is drawing interest around the league:
Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract and is set to earn $1.25 million next season. He averaged 8.1 points and 2.0 assists in 62 games last season.
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