|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.”
|Pierce wants to end career in Europe||08.20.10 at 10:29 am ET|
Celtics captain Paul Pierce said in an interview with CSNNE that he would like to finish his playing career in Europe. Talking about the contract he signed this offseason — which will keep him in Boston for three more seasons with an option for a fourth — Pierce said he couldn’t picture himself in another NBA uniform, but he would like to see what a European jersey looks like.
“As far as retiring from the NBA, I think I will be done after this contract because eventually I want to go overseas and play and live for a couple of years,” he said. “That’s why this is a big contract for me, knowing I’m going to retire a Boston Celtic. … I want to go to either Italy or Greece for a year. I think I want to be able to bring my family over to just kind of share a different experience overseas for a couple of years before I settle into retirement.”
|Davis helps give back in a big way||08.19.10 at 12:37 am ET|
Glen Davis has been visiting deserving children this week and presenting them with a new home basketball court as part of the RE/MAX of New England Home Court Program contest.
This year’s winners included the Plummer Home for Boys of Salem and the Cassidy family of Haverhill. A total of three winners were selected from hundreds of entrants who submitted letters explaining why they were in need of a home court makeover.
Davis, along with Cedric Maxwell, conducted community basketball clinics with the winners. The Plummer Home for Boys also received a donation from the Forever Young Foundation and the Cassidy family received a bedroom makeover.
For more information on the RE/MAX of New England Home Court Program contest, visit www.celtics.com.
|Report: Trail Blazers turned down Celtics||at 12:05 am ET|
For weeks, Rudy Fernandez was the center of Celtics offseason rumors after expressing his unhappiness playing for the Trail Blazers. And while those talks had quieted recently, there was still chatter as to whether or not the Celtics would acquire the Spanish guard.
All of those rumors can be put to rest. On Wednesday, the Oregonian reported, “Fernandez has informed agent Andy Miller that he is prepared to be suspended by the Blazers and forfeit the final two years of his contract in order to return to Europe and play in his homeland of Spain in 2012.”
According to the report, the Trail Blazers turned down offers from the Celtics, Bulls, and Knicks. Trail Blazers general manager Rich Cho told the Oregonian, “I’m not going to be pressured into making a deal. I’m not going to make a trade just to make a trade. It has to be the right deal for the team.”
Yahoo! Sports also reported the Celtics were one of approximately 15 teams that expressed interest in Fernandez.
Fernandez is still under contract with the Trail Blazers for the upcoming season. The team has an option for the 2011-12 season.
|Video: Shaq’s introduction to Boston||08.10.10 at 2:23 pm ET|
Sporting a bow tie and a gray pinstripe suit, Shaquille O’Neal sat beside Celtics coach Doc Rivers for his introductory press conference on Wednesday. As forward and new teammate Kevin Garnett and Luke Harangody overlooked the event from a higher level at the Celtics’ practice facility, the center fielded questions and held up his No. 36 jersey as he became the first player in franchise history to wear the number. Check out some video highlights from the press conference below:
|Celtics community roundup||08.06.10 at 8:24 pm ET|
This week the Celtics took some time out from preparing for next season to give back to the Boston community.
Rookie Avery Bradley was on hand at the State House to help the Celtics and Massachusetts State Lottery honor the 2009-10 Heroes Among Us recipients. Celtics legend Satch Sanders, team co-owner Robert Epstein and Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill also recognized the recipients, whose acts range from saving lives to helping the less fortunate. Over 550 individuals have been presented with the Heroes Among Us award since the program was established by the Celtics 12 years ago.
Later in the week, Bradley, Brian Scalabrine, members of the Celtics organization, and a group of volunteers distributed approximately 40,000 pounds of food and essentials to help local families through Feed The Children (FTC) at the Harborside Community Center in East Boston and the Holland Community Center in Dorchester. FTC’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan has helped more than 120,000 families in cities affected by the economy.
“I feel very fortunate to be in the position where I can come out into the Boston community and help these families in need,” said Bradley. “Whenever I have the opportunity to donate my time to a great cause like this, I plan on doing it.”
See below for more photos, courtesy of the Celtics.
|Report: Wafer ‘so happy’ to play for Celtics||07.31.10 at 2:08 pm ET|
When Doc Rivers delivered a straightforward message, Von Wafer was happy to oblige.
“I just hope to help the team,” Wafer told SLAM. “I’m all about the team first. I want to do anything I can to help make this a better team. Coach Rivers said, ‘If you’re not going to be a team player I don’t want you here.’ So I’m just gonna do my best to help make us a stronger group.”
Wafer, a 25-year-old guard, confirmed to SLAM that he has agreed to play for the Celtics next season. He spent time playing overseas last season. Now he is embracing the opportunity to return to the NBA … and a contender.
“I wasn’t always sure I’d be back,” says Wafer. “It’s unbelievable. I’m just so happy to be back. I’m just so happy.”
Wafer was drafted by the Lakers in 2005. He most recently averaged 12.4 points in 19.4 minutes for the Rockets during the 2008-09 season.
Click here for the entire SLAM story.
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