|Vin Baker attempts comeback in Venezuela||06.22.09 at 11:34 pm ET|
It has been five years since the Vin Baker saga ended in Boston. Now the 37-year-old is trying to restart his basketball career in South America.
According to several reports, Baker has signed with the Marinos de AnzoÃ¡tegui of the LPB (Liga Profesional de Baloncesto) in Venezuela. However it is unclear how much the 6-11 forward will play. The Marinos are already competing in their postseason and Baker is not listed on the roster on their official website.
Baker was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the eighth overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He joined the Celtics in 2002, but his career in Boston was overshadowed by alcohol problems. Baker was suspended in February of 2003 and received treatment for alcoholism, only to be suspended indefinitely by the Celtics the following season for violating his aftercare program. He was released in February of 2004 with $35 million remaining on his contract and filed a grievance with the NBA player’s union. Baker and the Celtics reached a financial settlement that April.
This isn’t the first time Baker has attempted a comeback. His NBA career ended six games into the 2006-2007 season when he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was arrested seven months later for drunk driving in June of 2007. Baker tried to resurrect his career in late 2008 with Liaoning Hunters in China. He was cut after just two days for poor conditioning.
Marca.com reported Baker has ‘serious economic problems.’ His former home in Durham, Connecticut was foreclosed last year.
|Rondo does not expect to be traded||06.19.09 at 12:45 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo has been one of the most highly discussed players in NBA as trade rumors begin to heat up. From the Phoenix Suns to the Memphis Grizzlies to the Sacramento Kings, several organizations have reportedly expressed interest in the young point guard. Rondo, however, doesn’t think he is going anywhere.
‘I don’t think much of it,’ he said on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show on Friday. ‘I’ve been in the gym everyday with the Celtics this off-season and I’m looking forward to doing great things next year, and hopefully trying to win a championship. If the trade happens, it happens. But I think we have a championship team here, and I don’t think [a trade] will happen.’
For now Rondo is focusing on what he does have control over ‘ ‘I want to be the best point guard in the league next season,” he said. He paid close attention to the NBA playoffs to prepare for next season and recently returned from China as part of the Nike All Asia Basketball Camp.
‘Danny [Ainge] was talking to me and he said, ‘You see what happens when you rise above your game in the playoffs. Trade rumors start to happen,’ Rondo said. ‘It happened years ago with Paul [Pierce], so you never know until it actually goes through.’
Aside from postseason performances, Rondo’s attitude has been a hot topic of conversation amid the trade rumors. In addition to his alleged stubbornness, his arrival to the Garden an hour before a playoff game raised eyebrows. Rondo shrugs it all off.
“People are going to make assumptions, everyone has opinions. I actually do try to come to games as late as possible because I don’t like to go in the locker room and talk and waste time’¦Different guys have different opinions on why they like to get to the game so early,” he said. “Some people may look at it as late but I look at it as just coming to play.’
He added, ‘As far as attitude-wise, I think I can be stubborn which is a great trademark for me because I love to compete so much, I love to win. I’m always studying the game and I’m a student of the game. At the end of the day (Celtics head coach) Doc (Rivers) and I do have a strong enough relationship where we can talk to each other on and off the court.’
Rondo noted that he would be disappointed if he did not return to the Celtics next season. But the 23-year-old has been around long enough to know the realities of the league. He will be involved “a little bit” in upcoming contract talks and will leave the rest up to his agent and the Celtics.
‘You can’t guarantee anything in this game I talked to Danny and he can’t guarantee that he’s not going to trade me, but he said that we have a championship team here,’ Rondo said, adding, ‘This is a business so you never know what happens in this game. All great players become traded one day.’
|Rondo addresses trade rumors||at 12:10 pm ET|
On Friday morning Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo addressed the recent trade rumors on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show. Rondo recently returned from China as part of the Nike All Asia Basketball Camp and has already heard the buzz. While he knows trades are part of the business, he is confident in the Celtics as they stand now.
“If a trade happens, it happens,” Rondo said. “But I think we’ve got a championship team here and I don’t think [a trade] will happen.”
Click here to listen to Rondo discuss the rumors, his offseason plans, and his goals of becoming one of the best PGs in the NBA.
|Pierce: ‘Rottweiler’ Celtics will be back||06.17.09 at 11:07 pm ET|
In the last few weeks there have been rumors of the Boston Celtics trading nearly the entire team, from starters Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, to role players Tony Allen and J.R. Giddens. In spite of these talks, Paul Pierce let everyone know on Twitter that expects the Cs to return in full force next season.
@paulpierce34: Lakers vs orlando. Looked like a german sherperd vs a poodle that’s ok the rotwieler celtics will b back in 2o10
Follow Boston athletes and teams on the WEEI.com TWEEITS page.
|Love: McHale will not return as T’Wolves coach||at 8:59 am ET|
Love Tweeted about McHale’s status with the Timberwolves before the organization had made any news public. Teammate Mark Madsen also Retweeted the news on his page.
According to the Associated Press, ‘Upon seeing the posting, a person in the league was told McHale sent a text message to Love indicating he was not coming back. The person requested anonymity because no official announcement has been made.’
Two hours after the initial Tweet, Love offered a clarification:
@kevin_love: P.S. I am not a breaking news guy…I had no idea no one knew..I’ll tell them I stayed at a holiday inn express last night. Always works….
News on McHale’s future had been expected. Last week the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported McHale and president of basketball operations David Kahn met for the third time.
The former Boston Celtic has collected a 39-55 coaching record over the last two seasons with the Timberwolves.
|Rondo trade rumors discussed||06.16.09 at 7:03 pm ET|
On Tuesday’s edition of Comcast SportsNet’s Sports Tonight, ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo and Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix shed light on the Rajon Rondo trade rumors. Both pointed to same reason for Rondo’s inclusion in offseason talks: Money.
Russillo: Yeah I think there’s a bigger chance that they’d move him than maybe Boston fans would think. I think when it was originally rumored, whatever that Phoenix deal was with Amar’e Stoudemire, I heard a lot of people say oh the Celtics would never trade Rondo. But based on what I’ve heard the last couple days, I don’t think that’s true. Look, I don’t think they’re trying to move him, but I think they’re trying to throw some pieces around and let basketball people know that they’d move some of these guys to avoid maybe having to pay Rondo all the money they’ll have to pay and then pair him with guys that are going to be two years older than they are right now.
Mannix: Well they don’t like his contract demands first of all. Rondo’s not the kind of guy who’s going to take a hometown discount to stay in Boston. He’s going to sign with whoever offers him the most dollars at the end of his contract, whenever it’s up. He’s going to be a guy who’s going to go out there and try to get the most money.
|Rondo returns from Nike camp in China||at 12:22 am ET|
While his name was being floated around in trade rumors, Rajon Rondo was overseas for Nike’s All Asia Camp in China. Rondo made the trip with another young point guard who turned heads in the posteason, Houston Rocket Aaron Brooks.
Rondo shared the details on his Yardbarker blog, including hitting the court with campers, immersing himself in a new culture, and dining with Yao Ming:
“Nihao. I just got back home from Beijing, China. I went over there for Nike’s All Asia Camp. Me and Aaron Brooks made the trip over there for Nike, and I have to admit that I was a little nervous about going because of the 13 hour flight. I don’t like to fly at all, so when I found out that the flight was 13 hours, I was a little hesitant. I’m really glad that I made the trip though-it turned out to be one of the best trips that I’ve ever taken. I got the chance to interact with the campers-I did drills, played some games, and coached the Asia Pacific team in the All-Star game (my team won). I also got to experience some of the city. I went shopping a couple of places, climbed the Great Wall, had an in store Nike appearance, and caught up with Yao for dinner one night.”
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