|This is what Doc Rivers said about Boston in April||06.19.13 at 4:05 pm ET|
These questions from Dennis & Callahan came just days after the Boston Marathon bombings — during a period of healing when the NBA offseason was furthest from everyone’s mind — so keep that in mind when reading the following quotes from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a part-time Back Bay resident expressing his city pride.
Still, Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report — that “Rivers pushed for the Clippers partnership because of his desire to bypass a rebuilding process with Boston” — somehow cheapen Doc’s sentiment, particularly considering he signed a five-year, $35 million deal knowing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce wouldn’t be on the 2015-16 Celtics.
Does this feel like your town?
“Absolutely. I grew up in Chicago, and that will always be in me. I grew up 18 years there, but I’ve been here nine years. For me, this was it. This is it for me as far as a city. That doesn’t mean someday I won’t get fired or get old or retire and come back like Phil Jackson may do, but this will never get out of you — this city, this place — and I think a lot of people who have been here feel that way.
“You probably don’t appreciate it, because you live here, but I really think a lot of it is because of the passion of the fans. You get engrossed in that. It becomes part of you, and you don’t get that in other places. I’ve coached in one other city, but I’ve played in a lot of other places, and it’s rare. The true passion is what I call it. Anyone joins on when you’re winning. Very few places are in all the time, and this is a city that is in all the time.”
|Report: Celtics ‘deep in discussions’ about trading Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers to Clippers||06.15.13 at 4:57 pm ET|
The Celtics and Clippers are “deep in discussions” about a trade that would send coach Doc Rivers and surefire Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowksi.
Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to join Rivers in L.A., according to the report, but the C’s insistence on acquiring Eric Bledsoe in addition to the current Clippers package of DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round draft picks could be the last remaining hurdle of a blockbuster deal.
A swap of Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe works under the salary cap, and the draft picks would reportedly be enough to entice the Celtics into allowing Rivers to walk from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract and take assistant coach Tyronn Lue with him to Los Angeles.
On Saturday, Rivers and Chris Paul may discuss the All-Star point guard’s plan to re-sign with the Clippers should Garnett join him, Wojnarowski reported, but both the Celtics and their coach are willing to walk away should the deal not be finalized in the next couple days.
|Rajon Rondo: ‘I still am’ hard to coach||06.11.13 at 10:02 am ET|
Long silent since tearing his right ACL in February, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has begun popping up across the country as he is wont to do in the summertime. Prior to Game 2 of the NBA finals on Sunday, we saw him along with several other stars reading mean tweets from their Twitter timelines.
Rondo’s line: “Is it me or does Rajon Rondo look like that turtle named Franklin on Nick Jr.?”
Then, Rondo discussed everything from Celtics coach Doc Rivers to Connect Four and algebra with Red Bull Signature Series host Sal Masekela and Sheridan Hoops contributor Brian Kamenetzky on a series of videos promoting the energy drink (h/t NBC Sports). Before we get into Rondo’s dominance of Milton Bradley products and mathematics, let’s deal with the basketball-related discussion centered around Rondo’s coachability.
Rajon Rondo: “I always try to be on the same page as Doc, so I’m always looking at him and reading his mouth, but I pretty much know what he’s going to say. I’ve been playing for him for seven years, and we’ve always pretty much been on the same page, especially now. Each year, we’re growing and communicating better and learning each other more and more.”
Sal Masekela: “A lot of times, you see people who are potentially great players come in the league, and the main problem is coachability. How much of that is on the coach? And how much is it on the player?”
RR: “As a young player, you always think the coach is pretty hard on you, which he should be. If he’s not, that means he doesn’t care. They always say, ‘When I stop talking to you, then you should worry.’
“My first year was pretty rough, but I had great mentors in my life that I could call, and they’d be like, ‘You know what? Just hang in there. You’ve got to listen to your coach.’ So, I was able to make it through that.
“It wasn’t a big deal. We were struggling the first year. We lost 18 in a row that year, so I felt like I could help the team, and you’ve got to look at it a different way. I look at Doc differently now. You don’t look at your coach as trying to hurt you. Obviously, we all want the same thing — to win — so whatever he’s telling me or telling the team, it’s for the betterment of the team, and you have to take yourself out of it and look at it from a team aspect.”
Brian Kamenetzky: “Do you think you were hard to coach earlier in your career?”
RR: “I still am. It’s not that I’m hard to coach; it’s just that I may challenge what you say. I know the game myself. I’m out there playing, so I may have seen something different versus what you saw from the sidelines. I’m going to be respectable. I’m going to let the coach talk. Me and Doc talk all the time; it’s just different dialogue. We’ve built to that relationship, and I’ve been fortunate to play for Doc for seven years. If I have any questions, he’s pretty much got all the answers. And if he doesn’t, he’s always honest with me. I wouldn’t rather play for any other coach.”
There you have it. Rondo isn’t the easiest player to coach, and yet he and Rivers have built a working relationship. All the more reason the Celtics must be weary of Doc’s strange comments about his future in Boston.
Enough about basketball. Let’s get to Rondo’s true passion: Connect Four. In a “Bobby Fischer style” game between Rondo and his two interviewers, we’re treated to this amazing exchange with the four-time NBA All-Star.
|Doc Rivers on Celtics return: ‘I’d rather not say’||06.10.13 at 10:49 am ET|
Last month, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told The Globe Rivers would return for the third season of a five-year, $35 million contract, but Rivers is yet to confirm Ainge’s statement.
Meanwhile, Rivers continues to oversee pre-draft workouts in Waltham and work with Ainge on the team’s offseason. Still, five weeks after telling reporters in the aftermath of a Game 6 loss to the Knicks, “I’m coming back until I say I’m not,” Rivers’ unwillingness to confirm his return has led to rampant speculation.
Is this tied to the June 30 decision on Paul Pierce‘s contract? Or Kevin Garnett‘s own looming decision? Would Rivers really hold the Celtics hostage as big-name coaches find work elsewhere? All valid questions.
Asked if he would address his future in the coming weeks, Rivers told Washburn only, “Soon.”
|Irish Coffee: 10 Things I Heard About Celtics||06.05.13 at 6:34 pm ET|
This is the worst. An aging Big Three stands in the way of LeBron James and a second straight NBA title — only it’s the Spurs, not the Celtics. Instead, Boston basketball fans are inundated with all sorts of ridiculous rumors. I think Kevin Garnett‘s uncle’s cousin’s brother’s sister-in-law just claimed KG’s coming back. That’s why, on another slow C’s news day in June, we’re revealing the latest edition of 10 Things I Heard About Celtics.
10. Heated rivalry: Speaking of LeBron, he went One on Two with Ahmad Rashad and Ahmad Rashad’s earring before taking on San Antonio. Asked if he considered Kobe Bryant his greatest rival, James waxed unpoetically about Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, ultimately landing on Paul Pierce as the closest thing to a rival (h/t @MrTrpleDouble10). Somewhere, a pajama clad Kevin Durant stoically cleans gutters.
“I would say that I don’t really have an individual rivalry. I think the closest would be Paul Pierce,” said the four-time NBA MVP. “I would say Boston is a rival of mine, because I’ve met them so many times in the postseason. I’ve been able to advance against them, they’ve sent me home fishing a few times, so I would say Boston and Paul Pierce would kind of be that guy if I had to name just one guy.”
9. Trading faces of franchises: “Healthy” and “Pierce” haven’t been mentioned in the same sentence too often over the last couple years, except when Boston Herald beat writer Steve Bulpett recently wrote, “there is reportedly healthy interest in Pierce out on the market.” Now, we don’t know who considers what healthy, but I’m guessing the offers are more of the Kris Humphries ilk than the Eric Gordon variety.
|Grande & Max to host weekly ‘Celtics Summer Cooler’||at 1:27 pm ET|
The first edition will air this weekend, and the show will run through Sept. 28, leading up to training camp. Grande and Max have called more than 1,200 games since teaming up for Celtics radio on WEEI in 2001, including the 2008 title. The two expect to have C’s front office personnel, players, beat writers and columnists on the show.
‘This is going to be the most interesting offseason for the Celtics since 2007 when [president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] pulled off the big trades for KG [Kevin Garnett] and Ray Allen,’ said Jason Wolfe, VP of Programming and Operations for WEEI. “Celtic fans deserve a show that will be devoted to the team’s efforts this summer, and no one knows the strategy better than Grande and Max.”
|Michael Carter-Williams: Playing for Celtics ‘would be a blessing’||05.28.13 at 9:05 pm ET|
Even the most trusted experts can’t agree on where Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams will go in next month’s NBA draft. While many forecast the Hamilton, Mass., native as a top-10 pick, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford slotted him to the Celtics at No. 16 as recently as three weeks ago.
‘I don’t really pay attention to any of the mock drafts,’ Carter-Williams told WEEI.com’s Ben Rohrbach on his Green Street podcast. ‘At the end of the day, they’re all pretty much wrong anyway.’
That’s why the point guard was caught off guard when the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett asked him at this month’s NBA scouting combine about playing for the Boston team he grew up rooting for on the North Shore.
‘I kind of want to get away and play somewhere else,’ he told Bulpett.
Given some time to mull the possibility of playing for his hometown C’s, Carter-Williams sang a different tune on Rohrbach’s podcast this week.
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