|Talking hoops podcast: Episode 1||10.13.10 at 9:51 pm ET|
Introducing the newest weei.com podcast: Talking Hoops.
In the debut episode, I talked with AOL/Fanhouse senior NBA writer Sam Amick about a number of topics including whether the Celtics have the attention of the Western Conference, and whether anyone can challenge the Lakers in the West. Amick also talked about Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins (check out his story on Cousins here) and gave his prediction for the finals and MVP.
In the second segment, Michael Holley and I talked Celtics and gave our thoughts on the Heat.
|NBA Power Rankings, 10/7||10.07.10 at 12:48 pm ET|
1. LA Lakers: As the long as the Lakers avoid terrorist threats in Europe and manage to stay healthy, they’ll hang on to this spot throughout the preseason. I’m not too worried about a loss to the T-Wolves or Kobe’s knee being 60 percent. And they’re pretty used to surviving without Bynum at this point.
2. Boston: When your biggest question mark is whether Von Wafer or Mario West will fill the final spot on the roster, I’d say your team is in pretty good shape … as long as Nate Robinson doesn’t hurt Shaq with one of his pranks. Oh, and Semih Erden looks like he’ll actually contribute.
3. Miami: Don’t let D-Wade’s hamstring injury alarm you. Those things happen in the preseason, and he’s played through far worse. The Heat looked good. No surprise there. And if Udonis Haslem keeps contributing like he has, they just might slide up to No. 2 on opening night.
4. Oklahoma City: The Thunder recently invited the greatest name in the NBA to their training camp: Longar Longar. If he makes the team, watch out league. What better complement to Durant, Westbrook and Green?
5. Dallas: The Mavericks are a bunch of 30-somethings who have a limited window left to challenge for an NBA title. Sound familiar? Yup, they’re like the Celtics, only they don’t rebound much and play porous defense. Still, they’ll be tough out West.
|Kevin Garnett on D&C: Offseason a ‘dark place’||09.29.10 at 11:37 am ET|
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett spoke with Dennis & Callahan at Celtics media day in an interview that aired on Wednesday morning’s show. Garnett spoke of the depressed mood he was in following the Celtics’ NBA finals Game 7 loss to the Lakers.
Said Garnett: ”Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire.”
Garnett said his passion for the game though has not waned throughout the years. “I feel older in the fact that I’ve played for multiple years,” he said. “But when it comes to competing, being in shape, passion — none of those things are lacking, not with me. When I get out on the floor, man, I’m going to compete. I wear my heart on my sleeve with anything that I do, anyway. Basketball is one of the things I enjoy in this world, so it’s like I’m having a tryout here. When I work out, I work out to better myself, to better my craft. Basketball is pure enjoyment for me.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To listen to the full interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
When you’re done — whenever that is — will it be physical or emotional? Will it be that passion that goes first or will it be the knees?
I think it will be physical. When I retire, it will probably be because I’m hurting on a regular basis. I’m a passionate guy. Anyone who knows me or hangs out with me, they know that if I’m playing a video game or telling a story or something, I’m passionate about it.
How come nobody knows you, other than your family and friends? You’re pretty private, people don’t know much about you. Ray Allen is out playing golf, Shaq is everywhere already, but you don’t see much of Kevin Garnett.
Those guys like to be seen, I like to be in the back.
Are you shy?
I wouldn’t say shy, I’m just private. I think to get to know anybody is a moment. I look at life like, guys get to see me perform, play ball, a lot of things that we do are on blast anyways. So, the little private life that I do have I like to keep it private. I don’t like to — you know, I don’t have a Twitter, I don’t have a Facebook. It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social, but I like to be social with the people I know.
I just feel like everybody out here is not for you. If you let everybody in, you let those people in with that. I just prefer to have my circle tight and have my family and friends close to me. That’s how I like to interact and be around people. Shaq has the personality, his personality’s so big that you can’t really withhold that. Ray is a good golfer. I guess he likes people to see his swing or whatever. I’m just to the back. If I go out and go somewhere I like to sit down and chill. I’m not a rah-rah guy, I’m rah-rah when I’m on the court. I’m pretty laid back.
|Celtics practice report: O’Neals pass first test||09.28.10 at 5:51 pm ET|
NEWPORT, R.I. — It was hot inside Rodgers Recreation Center at Salve Regina University Tuesday, where the Celtics held their first practice of the 2010-11 season.
“Way too warm, felt like the [Boston] Garden in the ’80s,” said Doc Rivers, who played in his share of summer playoff games vs. the Celtics during his years with the Hawks.
“It a little humid in here, a little warm,” said Jermaine O’Neal, who felt the players did a “pretty good” job dealing with the heat.
Rivers felt that the temperature inside the gym — best guess was somewhere in the low 90s — “didn’t help” the players during a three-plus hour session, but he wasn’t going to make excuses.
“I think that we’re not in great shape, personally,” said Rivers. “I don’t think that we’ve come back in the condition that we want. So we’re going to have to come back in better shape.”
– It was the first day as a member of the Celtics for both Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal. Rivers was pleased with the efforts of both.
“Shaq was great, actually. He looked fine,” said Rivers, who when asked about Jermaine O’Neal noted, “What did I see [from him]? He’s going to help us.
Both O’Neals were seen practicing with the first team [the media was allowed to watch the last 20 minutes or so of the session] but it was Shaquille O’Neal who spent some time with the second unit — “The White Team” — that also included Delonte West, Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels.
“My game is real limited,” Shaq said when asked if he preferred to start or come off the bench. ”I know to look for [Kevin] Garnett and to look for my shooters. I’ve always played with great big men and great shooters, so it’s no different.
“I’m not going to be playing 30-40 minutes a game, just 20-30.”
Jermaine O’Neal didn’t seem concerned about the starter/reserve situation, either.
|Celtics: Morning Irish Coffee||09.24.10 at 9:11 am ET|
Interesting read from Fan House on former Celtics guard Nate Archibald, who hopes to become the only guy on the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list to earn a Ph.D. in education. A member of Boston’s 1981 championship team, Tiny entered the NBA in 1970 without a college degree, earning his bachelor’s degree at UTEP during summers off and getting his master’s at night from Fordham.
“It might not be a big deal to some people, but to me, getting the Ph.D. will be my greatest accomplishment,” said Archibald in the piece. “I’m no Einstein, that’s for sure, and I’m not smarter than anyone else, but maybe I’ve been more persistent. And I understand the value of education.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked to learn that most NBA players don’t have a Ph.D. Are we sure that Ron Artest isn’t putting diplomas on his walls?
NBA Jersey Sales
For the third straight season, Kobe Bryant tops the NBA’s list of highest-selling jerseys, but the Celtics placed three players in the league’s top 15: 3. Kevin Garnett; 8. Paul Pierce; and 11. Nate Robinson. As a team, the Celtics rank No. 2 behind the Lakers in jersey sales. Semih Erden and Von Wafer are yet to crack the top 15.
NBA 2K11 Player Ratings
The NBA 2K11 video game released its player ratings for each team’s projected starting five. The Celtics have the third-highest average rating (80.2) in the game, behind the Heat and Lakers (tied at 82.2).
Rajon Rondo (87) is Boston’s highest-rated player and the league’s fourth-ranked point guard (behind Dwyane Wade-97, Chris Paul-95 and Deron Williams-92). No surprise there. Everywhere else? That’s a different question.
Pierce (83) is the sixth-rated player at his position (behind Andre Iguadola and Gerald Wallace?). Garnett ranks eighth among power forwards (behind David Lee and Josh Smith?). Ray Allen is the 12th-ranked shooting guard (behind OJ Mayo, Stephen Jackson and Vince Carter?). And Kendrick Perkins (72 when healthy) is ranked 16th among centers (behind Greg Oden, Marc Gasol, Ben Wallace and Andrea Bargnani?).
Celtics Scratch Ticket
The Celtics haven’t been in the NBA lottery since 2007, but they released a scratch ticket called “Celtics Cash.” Apparently, there’s more than $20 million dollars in prizes, so the good news for fans is that combined they’ll make less than Garnett ($21.2 million) this season!
NBA’s New Uniforms
The NBA unveiled new uniforms for all 30 teams. Don’t worry. They’re just lighter fitting, like when George Costanza introduced cotton unis to the Yankees. The Celtics are one of three teams–along with the Bulls and Blazers–that will stick with the traditional round-neck tanktop look, as opposed to the v-neck cutoff sleeves look. They’ll also be returning the tiny shorts that Nate Archibald used to wear. Just kidding.
|Celtics looking at McCants and Morrison||09.15.10 at 1:24 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Two former college stars are in Waltham this week, working out with the Celtics, a source familiar with the team told WEEI.com.
Former North Carolina star Rashad McCants and Gonzaga standout Adam Morrison are in town this week working out for the Celtics. Morrison worked out on Tuesday and had a second session scheduled for Wednesday. The third overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Bobcats, Morrison spent 2½ seasons in Charlotte — missing one season with a knee injury — before being traded to the Lakers, where he played limited minutes while his team won two NBA titles.
McCants starred on the 2005 Tar Heels team that captured the NCAA title and played with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings and was involved with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian before she met and married Lamar Odom.
Yahoo! Sports reported that the Celtics are set to hire Nets assistant Roy Rogers to coach the big men. He would replace Clifford Ray. Rogers briefly played for the Celtics during his three seasons in the NBA in the late 1990s.
The Celtics open camp in Newport, R.I. on Sept. 28, with their season opener set for Tuesday, Oct. 26 at home against LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
|Ortiz ‘fine’ with Shaq as ‘Bigger Papi’||08.22.10 at 5:30 pm ET|
David Ortiz knows nicknames.
So what does the Red Sox slugger think of sharing his own with another star athlete in Boston?
Among the suggestions for newly-signed Celtic Shaquille O’Neal is “Bigger Papi,” a spin-off of Ortiz’s moniker. Big Papi wouldn’t mind.
“He’s a big dude,” Ortiz said of the 7-1, 325 pound center. “It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.”
O’Neal’s new nickname has been a topic of debate since the big man signed with the Celtics this summer. His past aliases include Big Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, and Shaqtus when he played for the Suns.
Boston-themed nicknames up for debate range from the Big Shamrock and Green Monster to the Big Leprechaun and Jolly Green Giant.
After 18 years in the NBA, Ortiz thinks O’Neal’s name speaks for itself.
“I think he’s got a good name,“ Ortiz said. “I don’t think he needs to change it. [I’d call him] ‘Big Shaq’ so people know who they’re talking about.”
Ortiz, an avid Celtics fan, has never met O’Neal but plans to do so this season. He believes O’Neal will make a big impact for the Celtics … no matter what his nickname is.
“I think it’s going to be a good addition to the team,” Ortiz assessed. “I’m pretty sure the 15, 20 minutes that he plays are going to be good.”
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