|How close is Jermaine O’Neal to being a Hall of Famer?||09.08.11 at 1:31 pm ET|
When former Boston College and current Suns forward Jared Dudley tweeted on Wednesday, “Jermaine O’Neal look like J.O. from the Pacers,” it got me thinking: He’s no Bill Russell, but just how close is O’Neal to being a Hall of Fame player?
Now, this is not an argument for O’Neal’s Hall of Fame candidacy. Repeat: This is not an argument for O’Neal’s Hall of Fame candidacy. It’s simply an examination of how surprisingly close the 32-year-old center is to knocking on Springfield’s door.
- His six straight NBA All-Star appearances from 2002-07 are more than Hall of Fame centers Bob McAdoo (5), Wes Unseld (5) and Walt Bellamy (4).
- His 0.425 NBA MVP Award shares ranks No. 55 in history, higher than 42 Hall of Fame players — including former Celtics center Robert Parish (0.286).
- He has ranked in the top 10 for a single season in blocks seven times and rebounds four times.
- His 1,659 blocked shots (since 1973-74) puts him No. 24 all-time. Of the 15 Hall of Fame eligible players with more career blocks, nine made it. Of the six that didn’t, only Larry Nance had more than 7,000 points.
- His career defensive rating (since 1977-78) of 99.93 ranks No. 44 in history, placing him higher than defensive stalwarts Dennis Rodman (100.26) or Scottie Pippen (101.51) on that list.
- His career player efficiency rating of 18.23 places him No. 117 in history, between surefire Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd (18.25) and Hall of Fame Celtics guard Bill Sharman (18.18)
THE CONS Read the rest of this entry »
|Glen Davis to join Zach Randolph, Stephen Jackson and other NBA players in Baton Rouge Pro-Am Classic||09.07.11 at 1:48 pm ET|
While plenty of hype appropriately surrounds the two-week Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series — which includes Celtics Jermaine O’Neal and Avery Bradley among 40 NBA players already committed — free agent forward Glen Davis will be competing against some stellar competition of his own, at a more unlikely location.
Big Baby will join Louisiana State University alumni Marcus Thornton (a restricted free agent), Anthony Randolph (Timberwolves) and Ronald Dupree (D-League’s Utah Flash) as well as a host of other NBA talents in the Baton Rouge Pro-Am Classic on Saturday and Sunday.
Grizzlies O.J. Mayo and Zach Randolph, Bucks swingman Stephen Jackson and retired four-time NBA All-Star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway are also expected to participate in the tournament, scheduled to tip off at 9 a.m. on the Baton Rouge Community College campus. Proceeds from the $5 to $15 tickets will benefit the BRCC men’s and women’s basketball programs.
Of course, Davis is among many other Celtics who have trained with Impact Basketball over the years — including Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. That “Lockout League” is scheduled to begin on Sept. 12, so Davis would be available to play in Las Vegas, too. Perhaps he could catch a ride with Randolph and Jackson, who like O’Neal and Bradley are among the 40 players already committed.
Pierce is slated to play alongside fellow University of Kansas alumni in the now sold out Legends of the Phog exhibition on Sept. 24, the day after the Lockout League’s scheduled championship game. Likewise, Rondo is committed to appear at Red Bull’s King of the Rock 1-on-1 basketball tournament on Alcatraz Sept. 24 — so he and Pierce may also be available to participate in Las Vegas.
|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.
|Celtics on eBay: Danny Ainge’s Blue Jays bat||09.02.11 at 4:17 pm ET|
It’s time to take you into the weekend with the sixth 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.
Last week I actually bid three months of a blogger’s salary (or $20) for Tommy Heinsohn‘s handwritten thoughts from his Hall of Fame enshrinement day in 1986, but someone out-bid me by 50 cents about five minutes before the auction ended. Oh, well. I guess that’s the price you don’t pay. At least I know now that I have a nemesis out there — a Kurt Rambis to my Kevin McHale, if you will.
Anyhow, this week’s item is a game-used bat from Danny Ainge‘s storied career as a member of the Blue Jays from 1979-81 — for the low, low price of $350. A brief rundown of Ainge’s time in Toronto: .220 batting average, .264 on-base percentage and .269 slugging percentage. A modern-day Fritz Knothe if I ever did see one.
Want to waste more time this weekend? Vote on these overpriced/awesome Celtics items from previous weeks:
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: Cornhole dominance||at 10:27 am ET|
Around 2 a.m. on Friday morning, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo tweeted this photo of himself playing cornhole with the claim that he and former University of Louisville guard Alhaji Mohammed went 29-1 on the night. His opponents, former Atlanta Hawks forward Donta Smith and former Howard University all-conference player James “Mac” Wilkinson, disputed that claim, simply responding: “False.”
I guess Rondo can shoot after all. Good thing President Obama wasn’t around to crack jokes. And cue the Corey Hart music: “I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can” …
As always, here’s the quick rundown of what has been an extremely busy offseason for Rondo …
|Kevin Garnett: ‘You trust no one’ in NBA lockout||09.01.11 at 12:41 pm ET|
Celtics all-star forward Kevin Garnett joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning to promote the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” He discussed everything from not trusting the NBA owners, to the possibility of an extension with the Celtics, to how close he was to joining the Lakers, toShaquille O’Neal hitting a softball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Here are the highlights from my transcription of Patrick’s interview with Garnett. Enjoy what was a great conversation …
Dan Patrick: Do you trust the owners?
Kevin Garnett: You trust no one in this, to be honest. You trust the players, because we are all communicating, and it is negotiating, but you never trust the other side, you know? Because you don’t know what they’re thinking, and you don’t want them to know what you’re thinking. You try to come to some common ground that makes sense going forward.
DP: Do you think the owners want a season?
KG: I don’t know. I’m not on the owners’ side. I don’t know what they want.
DP: But you have to understand your opponent, I guess, if you go into a business agreement. I just get the feeling that they’re willing to sacrifice a season.
KG: Naw. You say that, and you hear that, but you don’t understand some of the motives of some of this. We have a take, and we have a stand that we’re going to take on some issues. I think at the end of the day common ground will be found. I just think that this game is too beautiful, with everything that’s going on and all the story lines that surround our game, I can’t see just blowing away the season. But I think if we did, both sides are prepared for that.
DP: You’ve got a year left on your contract. Have you talked about an extension?
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV||08.30.11 at 12:26 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 and III) ‘¦
10. The success of the 1985-86 Celtics (67-15; 40-1 home; 15-3 playoffs) stemmed from not only talent but intellectualism, according to this recent NBA.com puff piece. The team featured six future NBA head coaches: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Rick Carlisle and Sam Vincent. Not to mention quote machine Bill Walton. Here’s what McHale and Walton had to say on the subject …
- Kevin McHale: “We had a lot of guys on that team who really knew the game and understood what it took and what it meant to play it the right way. I kinda took it for granted, thinking that was the way everybody played, because I had been around guys with the Celtics where everyone understood that. I probably realized for the first time that it wasn’t that way everywhere when Danny Ainge told me that other people couldn’t totally change their game plans during a timeout and then go right out onto the floor and execute it. It was after Danny got traded to Sacramento and he said that if that team didn’t work on something in practice for three days, there was no way they could do it in a game. We could devise a whole new scheme in a timeout and then just go do it. I guess everybody on that Celtics team just had a good basketball mind.”
- Bill Walton: “Everyone constantly thought basketball. Everyone always played a mental game. Even though we were a team that physically had the tools necessary to be at highest level of the game, it was the mental edge that allowed that team to be so special.”
9. Reason No. 893 Celtics guard Ray Allen is cool: While every other NBA player is seemingly shopping himself overseas or making headlines in exhibition games against questionable competition, the 3-point king works on his golf game as if it were just another off-season.
Last month, Allen played in Lake Tahoe. Two weeks ago, in Connecticut. Next week, in New Jersey at the Liberty Cup Charity Golf Tournament with golfer Natalie Gulbis and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan. All for charity.
I guess that’s why Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” and not someone like Kobe Bryant (interesting tidbit: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were reportedly approached for that role, but their agent wanted a guarantee that one of them would get the part).
8. As we’ve discussed previously, Austin Rivers and his Duke basketball teammates are traveling China and the United Arab Emirates, crushing every team in their path. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is also with the team to watch his son make fools out of people internationally. Dubai newspaper Gulf News caught up with the pair that hopes to soon become the third father-son NBA duo in history (Jan Van Breda Kolff and Butch Van Breda Kolff; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). Here’s what Doc had to say about his son and vice versa … Read the rest of this entry »
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