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Report: Celtics expressed interest in second pick 06.09.09 at 11:58 am ET
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The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported the Boston Celtics have expressed interest in acquiring the second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft from the Memphis Grizzlies. No word on what, if anything, had been offered in exchange. The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks have also approached the Grizzlies regarding the pick, according to the report.

Spanish guard Ricky Rubio is the projected second pick behind Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin. Once the Grizzlies drew their pick in the Draft Lottery, buzz began surrounding Rubio’€™s disinterest in playing in Memphis. However Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace met with Rubio’€™s agent, Dan Fegan, and had a ‘€œcordial meeting,’€ according to the Commercial Appeal.

Rubio is not the guaranteed second pick, though. To start, the Grizzlies already have a young point guard in Mike Conley Jr.  and have not committed to drafting Rubio. Secondly, Rubio still has to pay a multi-million dollar buyout from DVK Joventut before he plays anywhere in the NBA. And there are still other attractive prospects out there. According to several mock drafts, center Hasheem Thabeet (UConn), guard James Harden (Arizona State), and forward Jordan Hill (Arizona) round out the top five projected picks.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Ricky Rubio,
Russell discusses Auerbach book at 9:42 am ET
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Following the release of his new book, Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend, Bill Russell sat down with USA Today to discuss his relationship with Red Auerbach. Click here for the complete interview. Excerpts include:

Q: Would Red have been able to adapt to today’s NBA player?
A: I tell you something: He would not have had to adapt. He always took the players as they came to him. He didn’t make any (preconceived) judgment. All he was interested in was, ‘Can this player help me win games?’

When I started playing, he said he didn’t know what I was doing because he had never seen anything like that. I went against everything. I started defense to offense. Everybody else was (the opposite), including him. He saw things I did and, after he understood them, made it part of his system. We were learning from each other.

When I was a rookie, I had a beard (against league policy regarding facial hair). He never once said anything about it. Not one single time. He never put artificial pressure on our backs.

Q: Why did the Celtics always stand during timeouts?
A: That started before I joined the team. Red had a thing ‘€” the Celtics never sat during timeouts because we were always in shape. We didn’t need to rest ‘€” it was a (psychological tactic used against opposing teams).

But my first game, I went and sat down. Red said, to me, ‘Why aren’t you in the huddle?’ I said, ‘I don’t need to be in that huddle. I play center. Everybody else is playing center (tonight). I don’t need to be in the huddle to know to stay the hell out of the way.’ His reaction was, ‘OK, nobody else is playing center.’

When we got home from that trip, he put in a play specifically for me. If he didn’t think the play was called enough, he would call it from the bench.

Q: What is your best memory of your coach and friend?
A: The last time we talked (just before he died) and Red warned me, ‘Don’t fall.’ So concise, so meaningful. I’ll always remember that ‘€” until the moment I fall.

Read More: Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Red Auerbach,
Report: Suns haven’t talked to Celtics 06.05.09 at 2:14 pm ET
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Earlier this week, radio station KTAR in Arizona floated the rumor of trade discussions between the Boston Celtics in Phoenix Suns that would send Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo out west in exchange for Amar’€™e Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa, and the 14th pick.

The Arizona Republic has reported the Suns have not had conversations with the Celtics:

“There’s a lot of stuff flying around out there that has no basis,” Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. “There’s just a ton of speculation but there really is nothing substantial going on.

“With most of these deals being speculated about, I haven’t even had a conversation with the opposing team. I read this stuff and laugh.”

The notion of trading forty percent of the Celtics starting lineup is startling at first. But there are reasons why Allen and Rondo could be heard in rumors this offseason. Allen turns 34 this summer and is entering the last year of his contract in which he is set to earn nearly $20 million. His expiring deal ‘€“ plus proven track record ‘€“ could make him an attractive option.

Rondo, on the other hand, is just starting to play up to his potential. At 23 he is the type of player a team can build around. The Celtics, however, have to decide how much they want to pay Rondo. He will become a free agent in 2010 so they can either sign him to an extension or take a risk on the going rate next summer.

Either way the Celtics will be financially limited when they try to add depth to their bench this summer and making trades is one way to work around that. It’€™s only the beginning of June and there is no doubt more rumors like this are sure to follow.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen,
Bird’s favorite player is a Laker? 06.04.09 at 10:33 pm ET
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During halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, ABC aired an interview between Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant in which Johnson revealed Larry Bird considers Bryant his favorite player. Turns out Bryant has a one-sided love-hate relationship with Bird.

Johnson: Larry Bird told me that Kobe Bryant is his favorite player. How do you respond to that?

Bryant: You know what? That makes me feel, that makes me feel great. You know, I hated Larry growing up. I did, I hated his guts. But I loved him as a player and his work ethic and his intensity, his tenacity and I wanted to be that way. And the funny thing is, I’ve never actually met Larry Bird.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Los Angeles Lakers
An answer to Kobe vs. LeBron at 11:42 am ET
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Even while the Boston Celtics were defending their championship, advertising during the playoffs was dominated by Kobe vs. LeBron messages. Now that the NBA Finals match up is LA Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, what will happen to all the commercials? Dwight Howard has an answer. Check out vitaminwater’s newest ad, produced and directed by Howard, which will debut tonight during Game 1.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant,
Grousbeck: KG is feeling great 06.03.09 at 2:36 pm ET
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Celtics.com is Tweeting from the Boston Celtics Corporate Partners Summit and providing updates on their Twitter feed. Below are a few posts, including co-owner Wyc Grousbeck’s take on Kevin Garnett:

  • Wyc: “I saw KG this morning, he’s feeling great and he’s the most fired up he’s ever been. For KG, that’s saying something.”
  • Ray on NBA’s International growth: “We enjoyed Rome for training camp. We enjoy playing overseas in bigger arenas; fans are just as crazy.”
  • Ray: “Anytime I’m in the gym, somebody runs down to rebound for me. They’ve built a great team (off court) so we can focus on basketball.”

(via RedsArmy)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen,
Tony Allen undergoes surgery at 10:10 am ET
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The Boston Celtics issued a statement today announcing Tony Allen has undergone successful surgery:

BOSTON, MA ‘€“ The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Tony Allen underwent successful arthroscopic right ankle surgery and posterior tibial tendon repair today at the New England Baptist Hospital. Surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by Dr. Mark Slovenkai and Jason Rand, PAC. Full recovery is expected with return by training camp this fall.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Tony Allen,
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