|Ray Allen announces retirement from NBA via The Players’ Tribune||11.01.16 at 1:07 pm ET|
Ray Allen is finally retiring.
The two-time champion and former Celtics great, who hasn’t played since the Heat lost the 2014 Finals to the Spurs, announced his retirement in a letter to his 13-year-old self on the Players’ Tribune website.
“I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game,” Allen wrote. “I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.”
Allen had entertained the notion of returning to the NBA over the last year-plus, with old teammate LeBron James trying to convince him to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. But Allen declined, and made his retirement official on Tuesday.
Allen won a title with the Celtics in 2008, joining Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in the team’s new Big Three. Garnett retired this winter, and Pierce has announced that this season, with the Clippers, will be his last.
Allen retires as the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (2,973) and attempted (7,429). He shot .400 from beyond the arc and scored over 24,000 points, good for 22nd on the all-time list.
Allen spent five years in Boston, where he averaged 16.7 points a game and made three All-Star teams.
|Watch Bulls star Dwyane Wade celebrate clinching 3-pointer over Celtics with throat slash||10.28.16 at 1:02 am ET|
Bulls star Dwyane Wade, in his debut with his hometown team after more than a decade in Miami, drilled the game-clinching 3-pointer to beat the Celtics on Thursday night, and then celebrated by making a throat-slash gesture.
The NBA fined Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant $25,000 for the motion in 2013. The NFL banned it in 1999.
Will Wade be hearing from Adam Silver’s office? You be the judge.
|It already looks like make-or-break time for Celtics guards Terry Rozier, James Young||09.29.16 at 8:59 pm ET|
Terry Rozier didn’t explode into the NBA. After a lackluster rookie season, he opened some eyes in the playoffs, but he still comes to camp without the guarantee of a roster spot.
Five practice sessions into 2016, however, the improvement in the former first-round pick’s game is palpable — and it’s not going unnoticed.
“You can see Terry’s a different guy year two than he was in the first couple of days of year one, he just stands out right now,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “And I think that’s probably pretty typical because of the comfort level of going through camp again, for the first time versus again.”
Part of the growth process for Rozier has simply been experience. He’s no longer a rookie, and he’s clearly more comfortable. The challenge will be improving his ball-handling and decision-making.
“Things move really fast for everybody, and when you’re the guy with the ball, it moves even faster because you’ve got to be able to not only gauge what you need to be doing, but you’ve got to make sure everybody else is there,” Steven said. “And he’s got the ball a lot, I think he’s doing really good job of attacking and picking the spots he should attack, we can all get better at that.”
Isaiah Thomas also noted Rozier’s massive improvement, which he attributes to hard work.
“The biggest thing I’ve always said about Terry is he’s going to improve, because the guy works,” Thomas said. “From the minute we met him in the draft process, it was like this guy — there are work ethics and there are real work ethics and he’s got a real work ethic — and so I think he’ll do well.”
There’s no argument that the 22-year-old Rozier has skill. He’s torn up the D-League and summer league. He’s less of a sure thing in the NBA.
The same goes for James Young. Entering his third season at age 21, Young has yet to earn more than occasional garbage minutes. And given the team’s need for a pure shooter, Young could have filled that void some time ago.
But the reality is he’s competing for a roster spot.
“He’s improved a lot, and you can see the way he’s playing here, he’s really stepping up and we like that and that’s good for him,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s just more aggressive. The first couple of years he was a little timid, a little shy, but now he’s definitely been more aggressive, attacking the paint and playing great defense.”
Added Thomas, “He’s played well, he’s playing with confidence. I think that’s the biggest thing from previous years that I’ve been here, he’s playing like he’s confident, like he knows what he’s doing and he’s very aggressive. And he needs to be like that, for him to be successful he has to be like that.”
|Kevin Garnett announces retirement via Instagram, ending storied 21-year career that included title with Celtics||09.23.16 at 7:52 pm ET|
After 21 years, Kevin Garnett’s NBA career is over.
The 40-year-old announced his retirement via an Instagram video on Friday, hours after accepting a buyout from the Timberwolves, which was first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Had Garnett returned this season, he would’ve become the only player in league history to play 22 seasons.
Garnett’s career ends after a second stint with the T-Wolves, who drafted him fifth overall out of high school in 1995. He spent 12 years in Minnesota before being traded to the Celtics in July of 2007 as part of the C’s formation of the Big Three with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
He won the only championship of his career with the C’s in 2008, memorably screaming, “Anything’s possible!” in the moments after the win.
His career took a disappointing turn, however, when he was dealt to the Nets with Pierce prior to the 2013 season. He spent 1 1/2 seasons with Brooklyn before waiving his no-trade clause and heading back to Minnesota.
The 15-time All-Star left quite an impression with the Celtics, earning All-Star honors all but one season in Boston while averaging 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds with a stellar 52 percent mark from the field in his 396 games over six seasons.
|Celtics reportedly renounce rights on 2013 2nd-round pick Colton Iverson||08.26.16 at 9:41 pm ET|
The tumultuous Colton Iverson era appears it will end before even seeing him in green.
Per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the Celtics elected to renounce the rights of the 2013 second round pick and “give him a shot to make a roster elsewhere.”
Taken 53rd overall out of Colorado State by the Pacers and promptly traded to the Celtics, Iverson prolonged the NBA limbo he sat in since being drafted by remaining stiff in contract negations. Each year, he declined a contract with the Celtics that would enable him to be brought to camp to instead play overseas.
In fairness, the likelihood was high the now 27-year-old 7-footer would not make the Celtics roster, subsequently being waived and thus relinquishing the Celtics draft rights on him and placing Iverson in free agency.
However, the move for the Celtics to let him go now was a process that could’ve been circumvented many years ago. Speculation has been prevalent the past three offseasons if he would take a run at the NBA, and if he does (even with age now becoming a factor and his opportunity slipping by the day) it doesn’t appear it will be with the Celtics.
|Report: Paul Pierce ‘leaning heavily’ toward return to Clippers||08.17.16 at 10:34 am ET|
Don’t grab those old Paul Pierce Celtics jerseys out of the cellar. It doesn’t look like a Boston return is going to happen.
Though never really rumored that a Pierce return was imminent — or even a likely, for that matter — there was some hope among C’s supporters that maybe, just maybe, the Truth would return for one final ride in green.
That does not look likely, per a tweet Tuesday night from Los Angeles Times basketball writer Brad Turner.
Was just told Paul Pierce is now “leaning heavily towards coming” back to the Clippers. It will be his 19th season in NBA, 2nd with Clippers
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) August 17, 2016
The 38-year-old certainly is not the same player who helped bring the Celtics Banner 17 in 2008. In his first season with the Clippers in 2015-16, Pierce averaged just 6.1 points in 18.1 minutes, shooting a horrid 36.3 percent from the field compared to a 44.7 marker his previous 17 seasons.
A return to the Clippers would mark the first time Pierce has stayed with a team for consecutive season since he played for the Celtics. After getting dealt to the Nets in the monumental trade that led to the Celtics drafting Jaylen Brown, Pierce played one year in Brooklyn then one year with the Wizards before landing with the Clippers.
|What to know about 2016-17 Celtics schedule||08.15.16 at 10:07 am ET|
With the release of the 2016-17 NBA schedule, the start of what has on paper begun to shape up as one of the most interesting season’s in recent Celtics memory is inching closer and closer.
So what challenges stand in front of the Celtics?
According to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg and a group of other insiders, the Celtics actually have the easiest schedule in the league. Let’s take a look:
Five notable games
Nov. 3 at Cavaliers
What a way to really get the season going. The Celtics’ fifth game of the year will be against the team that is one of the top contenders to stand in their way in the East. Though you’re hard-pressed to say a game at the beginning of November will have a long-term impact of the makeup of the season, this game will be a good jumping off point for the Celtics to see how they stack up against a top team when (most likely) both sides are healthy. What’s more, it will be the second game of a back-to-back, with the C’s squaring off against the Bulls the night before.
Nov. 18 vs. Warriors
A game that needs no explanation, the Celtics’ home matchup against the most highly-touted side going into this season comes a few weeks in. At that point, team identities will have been formed and an indication as to where teams are headed in their seasons should start becoming clear. Oh, and Kevin Durant too. That will be an interesting reception for the prized free agent who snubbed Boston this offseason.
Nov. 25 vs. Spurs
Another measuring stick to how the Celtics compare to top talent, it will also be the first time they see the Spurs without the incessant reminder that they didn’t get Tim Duncan in the 1997 draft.
Jan. 13 at Hawks
The Celtics don’t see the team that bounced them in the first round of the 2016 postseason until mid-January, and it will be on the road as well. For redemption sake, it will be a good matchup to see how they stack up against the new-look Hawks eight months later, but it will also be compelling to see how Al Horford squares off against his former team.
April 5 vs. Cavaliers
The Celtics in a sense bookend their season with the Cavs, and if the season goes in the direction everyone imagines it will, this will be a gargantuan game in terms of postseason preparation. It will be at home with just four more games following and will likely have postseason seeding implications as well.
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