|Travis Ford on MFB: Marcus Smart ‘just a warrior’||06.30.14 at 2:49 pm ET|
Oklahoma State basketball coach Travis Ford joined Middays with MFB Monday afternoon to discuss his former player, Marcus Smart, who was taken by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
While Smart has been praised for his defense, passing, leadership and ability to drive to the basket, the Texas native was punished this past season for shoving a fan during the closing seconds of Oklahoma State’s 65-61 loss against Texas Tech on Feb. 8. Ford said the incident is a non-issue going forward.
“That seems like it has passed. … For a solid week or two, that’s all that was being talked about,” Ford said. “I hated it for the kid. There’s no question that he made a mistake and he’s the first one that would admit it. … It was just a moment in time – a two- to three-second moment in time — that does not define Marcus whatsoever.”
Ford added that Smart, who averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 32.7 minutes a game as a sophomore in 2013-14, will bring a lot of attributes to the parquet floor.
“I think they just loved his competitiveness. Marcus is a winner,” Ford said. “There’s not many players period that I’ve ever been associated with that are as competitive as he is on a daily basis. He has a motor that just doesn’t quit. … He’s all about giving it everything he’s got and trying to win whatever it is. … Marcus is just a warrior, and I think that’s what impressed [Boston] the most.”
Smart put the college basketball world on notice during his freshman season with the Cowboys, averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists en route to being named a first-team All-American by Sporting News and a unanimous selection as Big 12 Player of the Year.
|NBA draft roundup: Celtics, 76ers, Lakers rumored landing spots for Joel Embiid; Kings likely keeping No. 8 pick||06.26.14 at 2:57 pm ET|
Foot and back injuries have caused Kansas center Joel Embiid — once expected to be the first overall selection in Thursday’s NBA draft — to slide down the boards.
Joel Embiid’s seriously in play for three spots in top part of lottery: 76ers (3), Celtics (6), Lakers (7), league sources tell Yahoo.
‘ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Embiid, a 7-foot center from Cameroon, averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in his only season with the Jayhawks, despite only playing organized basketball since 2011.
— It appears that the rumored deal between the Celtics and Kings, which would include point guard Rajon Rondo and Sacramento’s eighth overall pick as the two main components, may not come to fruition.
Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears tweeted that the Kings seem to be content to keep their pick.
The Kings appear poised to keep the 8th pick, sources said.
‘ Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 26, 2014
— With the draft fast approaching, it seems that the 76ers are going all in in an effort to acquire the first overall pick from the Cavaliers and draft Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins.
Tom Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted that the 76ers are doing everything they can to pry the top pick from Cleveland.
According to league source, Sixers in full court press with Cleveland to get No. 1 pick. “They really, really, really want Wiggins.”
‘ Bob Cooney (@BobCooney76) June 26, 2014
Philadelphia certainly has many trading chips at its disposal, including the third and 10th overall picks and a host of promising players such as Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.
The move benefits the Rapotors because it would put them in position to select Syracuse guard (and Ontario native) Tyler Ennis.
By making the trade, the Grizzlies would be able to take Prince’s $7.7 million salary cap hit off their books for next season.
|Don’t forget: Danny Ainge loves to deal (remember 2006?)||06.22.14 at 7:30 am ET|
Let’s not forget Danny Ainge‘s history. He loves to trade away his lottery picks.
Everyone remembers 2007, when Ainge famously acquired Ray Allen from Seattle, which in turn brought Kevin Garnett to Boston. The Celtics traded away the No. 5 pick (Jeff Green) along with Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak in return for Allen as well as the No. 35 pick (Glen Davis). It really goes without saying, but that trade played an enormous role in the 2008 championship banner that now hangs in the TD Garden.
No one remembers 2006, when Ainge inexplicably gave away the No. 7 pick (Randy Foye) for minimal value. The pick was shipped to Portland along with Raef LaFrentz and Dan Dickau in exchange for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a 2008 second-round pick. Foye was then swapped for Brandon Roy, who made three All-Star teams before a knee injury derailed his career. Who’s to say Roy wouldn’t have remained healthy in Boston, though?
Telfair and Ratliff did happen to be involved in the Garnett deal a year later, but there’s no way anyone can argue that was part of Ainge’s master plan. Any other average point guard and expiring contract would have filled in just fine in Minnesota’s eyes.
At the time, the word was that Ainge favored Telfair over other guards in the 2006 draft. By doing so, he passed on the likes of Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and Roy (whom the pick could have been traded for). In the end, the move didn’t hurt the Celtics at all, but at the time it was very controversial. 2014 is a much stronger draft class than ’06, but the lesson here is to keep in mind that Ainge has no problem dealing away a lottery pick in a questionable move.
Fortunately, for Celtics fans, there is another lesson. On the whole, Ainge is fantastic in the draft.
Let’s stay with the ’06 draft. One of the prospects Ainge was considering with the No. 7 pick, before trading it away, was Rajon Rondo. As we know, Ainge later purchased the No. 21 pick from the Suns and used it to select him anyway.
Today, Rondo is arguably the best player in his draft class. LaMarcus Aldridge (the No. 2 pick) probably believes otherwise, but either way, it’s one of the two. Which means Ainge snagged a top-two player in his draft class with the 21st overall pick. Impressive.
The lesson? Well, who knows … maybe the No. 17 pick in the 2014 draft could turn out to be an even better player than the No. 6 pick. Ainge has done it before.
Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow
|Antoine Walker on D&C: ‘I trusted people that I shouldn’t have trusted’||06.19.14 at 12:53 pm ET|
Former Celtics power forward Antoine Walker joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss the upcoming documentary on his financial struggles: “Gone in an Instant: The Antoine Walker Story.” To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The documentary, which is scheduled to be released in August, will chronicle the rise and fall of Walker’s career and his nine-figure fortune. Walker stated that he chose to do this documentary both in order to clear the air on some aspects of his financial turmoil as well as instruct young NBA players on how to be responsible with their money.
“I think there were a lot of false things put out there and I wanted an opportunity to get my chance to tell my side of the story the correct way,” Walker said. “I just felt like I was getting misjudged in the public eye, not so much about losing money but how I lost it and what were the things that went on to lose it. More importantly, I’m trying to use it as a learning tool for younger guys that come into the NBA, but also for kids. … I think, as an NBA player, we look at ourselves as a fraternity, so I try to make sure that I can give back and really turn this negative story into a positive.”
A three-time All-Star, Walker earned $108 million in salary during his NBA career. However, a combination of poor investing ventures, gambling and unnecessary purchases, such as a $400,000 Maybach car, led to Walker filing for bankruptcy in 2010.
“It took a while for me,” Walker said. “It took 10-plus years in the league for me to start seeing a little difference in people, let alone my financial changes. I tried to take more risks, as far as investing. I started dipping and dabbing in real estate investments and making things a little bit more difficult than it had to be. I trusted people that I shouldn’t have trusted in. … I think the gambling piece got blown way out of proportion, so I wanted to bring that to light. … People got the wrong impression that I gambled my money away.”
|Celtics’ draft lottery history revisited||05.20.14 at 1:40 pm ET|
The Celtics will take part in the NBA draft lottery for the 10th time in team history on Tuesday night, coming in with the fifth-best odds (10.3 percent) at landing the top pick in the June 26 draft. Here is a look at how the C’s have fared since the ping pong balls were instituted in 1985.
1986: The Celtics won 67 games, went 40-1 at home and won their 16th NBA title in 1986, and then they landed the No. 2 pick in the draft courtesy of the Seattle SuperSonics. The C’s traded Gerald Henderson for Seattle’s 1986 first-round pick, and the Sonics finished the 1986 campaign with the fifth-worst record in the league.
The Celtics drafted University of Maryland star Len Bias with the second overall pick. Bias was heralded as a potential star who could preserve the C’s run as an NBA power with the end of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish‘s careers in sight, but those hopes ended tragically two days later when Bias died of a cocaine overdose.
1994: The Celtics finished with the ninth-worst record in the NBA following a 32-50 season and didn’t move from their position after the lottery, landing the No. 9 pick in the draft. Boston used that pick to select North Carolina center Eric Montross. Montross played just two of his eight NBA seasons with the Celtics.
1997: The 1997 draft lottery is one that lives in infamy for many Celtics fans. The C’s finished with the worst record in franchise history and the league’s second-worst mark at 15-67, but they lost out on the Tim Duncan sweepstakes by finishing third in the lottery. Boston also got the No. 6 pick from a trade with the Mavericks, who finished with the sixth-worst record.
|Cedric Maxwell on D&C: Doc Rivers must now regret leaving Celtics||04.29.14 at 11:34 am ET|
Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan Show Tuesday, Celtics radio broadcaster, and former Clipper, Cedric Maxwell responded, “Yeah,” when asked if he thought Clippers coach Doc Rivers now regretted leaving the Celtics after the recent controversy surrounding owner Donald Sterling.
“I don’t think anyone could foresee this coming,” Maxwell said. “I don’t think anybody could see this coming with any owner in the NBA. If you know that, if you knew that before you left here, you were a fool to leave. And I know Doc Rivers is not foolish.”
Maxwell noted that when he played for the Clippers, no mention was made of the owner’s rumored racism, citing the infancy of Sterling’s NBA tenure at that point. “Nobody was talking at that point,” the former Celtic said.
Maxwell said he believes action has to be taken in regards to Sterling’s involvement with the Clippers.
“Most people that I know, most players that I’ve talked to, most people of color and even most people not of color, they want him out of the game,” he said. “Even then he still owns the team. There will still be a stigma associated to it. Until he’s out of that arena, out of basketball, I don’t know about anything that will appease the general public.”
Maxwell did take issue with how the audio was attained, while making it clear the message was inexcusable. “I have a problem with (the taping) and I have a problem with what was said,” he said, adding, “He’s not the only owner who’s ever said anything about a black player. It’s just the fact that the curtain was pulled back because it was a taped conversation.”
To listen to the entire interview, click here.
|Celtics tie franchise record with 13th straight road loss||04.09.14 at 10:15 pm ET|
The Celtics continued their losing ways, dropping their ninth straight game, losing to the Hawks, 105-97, Wednesday night in Atlanta.
The defeat was also the Celts’ 13th straight road loss, tying a franchise record originally set in 1979. The C’s only two road wins over their last 15 games away from TD Garden came against the NBA’s two worst teams, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
The Celtics are now tied with Orlando for the third-worst record in the NBA, standing at 23-55. They have four games remaining, playing the Bobcats and Wizards at home, with road games against Cleveland and the Sixers.
Milwaukee owns the NBA’s worst mark at 14-63, while Philly stands at 17-61. Utah (24-54) and the Lakers (25-53) are right behind Boston and Orlando.
Doing in the Celtics against the Hawks — who are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference — was a fourth quarter in which the C’s were outscored 35-20.
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