|Pierce says ‘work cut out’ for Celtics||07.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET|
Paul Pierce is thrilled to stay a Celtic, but thinks there is still some work to do to fill out the defending Eastern Conference champs.
In a media conference call Thursday, Pierce said he will likely retire in the Green he’s worn his whole career, but had to take less money to do so.
Pierce said he was disappointed the Celtics lost Tony Allen to Memphis, and that the Celtics has “a lot of work to do” to build another championship-caliber team.
“We got a lot [to do] right now,” Pierce said during the conference call. “We lost [Tony Allen], we don’t have Nate [Robinson], we might not have Rasheed [Wallace]. We’ve got to add a bench. We’ve got our work cut out. We need perimeter defense and we need to add a backup point guard to help out [Rajon] Rondo, if Nate doesn’t come back. And we need another big.”
But Pierce was happy with the acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal.
“I thought it was a great move picking up Jermaine [O'Neal], giving us an inside presence in case Rasheed retires, but sometimes I’m looking at all the players signing and wish we would get on the ball a little bit. I trust in Danny to put a good team around us, but I’m sitting here watching all these good players fall to other teams.”
As far as the changes to the lastest Eastern Conference favorites, the Heat, Pierce had positive things to say about LeBron James‘ televised “Decision,” and the power threesome leading the team on South Beach.
“It’s a new day and time, man,” Pierce said when asked if James took his revelation too far. “Everything has become a production. You see people living in their homes on reality TV, man. It’s a new day and time.”
On James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Pierce said, “The beginning of a new era … I think you’ll see more of this. Superstars are going to get together now to form teams. You’re hearing now about Chris Paul and [Carmelo Anthony] getting together to join Amar’e (Stoudemire) in New York next year. I think this is the way things are going to happen now.”
The newest Celtic, Jermaine O’Neal called into the Dale & Holley show to field some questions on what it’s like to be a Celtic now, what happened to him in the playoffs last season, what he expects his new role to be and the impact of Doc Rivers and Ray Allen on him choosing Boston.
“That was something I was really interested in being involved with, that same nucleus they had last year and if they didn’t have it, then I don’t think they would have been as strong as they were last year,” O’Neal said.
“If [Doc] didn’t come back, it definitely wouldn’t even be an option. Ray coming back was the next question that I was asking Danny, were they going to try to re-sign him. They told me yes and I said, ‘OK, let’s try to get this deal done and let’s start preparing to get this deal done next year.’ ”
Below are highlights of the interview. To listen to the complete interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On coming to Boston:
Yeah, it’s going to be fun. I’m excited about it and my family is excited about it. I’m coming down the stretch run of my career and I can’t think of a better way of ending it than with a championship ring.
On why he chose the Celtics:
I told myself coming into the summer that it wasn’t going to be about any money situations. God has been good to me and my family and He’s blessed us in so many different ways. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes as players we take for granted that winning is certain. Obviously over the past three, four, or five years, that hasn’t happened [for me].
That hasn’t happened and I’ve been spoiled early in my career with Indiana where we had those really good teams and it was a really sad thing that it was going to happen consistently over [the course of] my career and whatever reason things happened, the business changed, the teams change and injuries happen and sometimes you find yourself on the outside looking in. Looking at those championship celebrations with confetti and champagne and hats, that’s something I haven’t been able to experience in my career and I told myself, I talked with my family and my wife and kids, we wanted to put ourselves in the best position to win next year.
I could have gotten long term deals for much more money, but it was about playing with a team that is just that, a team. A team that plays together, plays hard, just has the passion. The organization has the passion obviously, the city has the passion. I couldn’t think of a better place to play.
On Rajon Rondo selling the Celtics to him:
It’s funny because I’m not really interested in [phone] numbers I don’t know, and I just happened to answer the number that particular day and we had an extensive conversation and he really sold it. I said as a competitor playing against the Celtics over the years, I’ve admired what they’ve put together. I admire what the fans brought to the gym every night. I like what they’ve put together and what he said really was what I was looking for and it was more of about what they expected to do this upcoming season, what they expect from me, what they would expect from an organizational standpoint.
It went from Boston being with Dallas and Denver, those were the top three teams that were heading the list, to being the top team on the list. I was basically told in that conversation about other things. Keep in mind that he doesn’t really talk a lot, but I couldn’t really tell by the conversation because he led the conversation and he was really passionate about their focus and their plan to win a championship this year. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February||at 12:40 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into the Dennis & Callahan show to discuss the offseason so far for the C’s. On the docket were many hot topics, including the signing of Jermaine O’Neal, pursuing several new players, the return of Doc Rivers and many of last year’s playoff team, and when Kendrick Perkins could be expected to return to the team.
“It’s projected that he’ll be back probably after the All-Star break, could be my guess, sometime in mid- to late February,” Ainge said. “We’ll be very careful with Perk and not be in a rush to get him back, but I guess there’s a chance to get him back probably a little earlier, that’s probably realistic.”
Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the full interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan show audio on demand page.
On the LeBron James sweepstakes and how he handled himself:
[I feel] the same thing everybody else feels. It was over the top, it was too much. I think he should have told the Cavaliers well beforehand what he was doing. I just think there were a lot of things that weren’t handled perfectly. It was not fun to watch and see. I didn’t really enjoy the dance show a day or two after either, celebrating in Miami.
I like the way the Celtics have done it and our players, like Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce], it’s hard to get them to even talk to the media after they sign new contracts.
On Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s subsequent comments:
I think they were inappropriate and I don’t think that’s the right way to handle it either. [They’re] understandable, but not the right way at all.
On the Celtics’ prospects against the new Miami Heat:
No matter where LeBron was going to go he was going to be in the Eastern Conference and [his new team was] going to be really good, whether he was staying in Cleveland or New York, New Jersey. The team was going to be built around him and it’s going to be a great team regardless. Three of the top 10 players in the league, including two of the top three, that’s going to be a tough pill to handle. I think they are going to get a supporting cast that can help them win and I think that team’s the team to beat. Read the rest of this entry »
|Rondo the salesman||07.14.10 at 5:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM — After passing a physical that finalized a two-year free agent deal, Jermaine O’Neal said that Rajon Rondo was the most important person to sell him on the value of signing with the Celtics.
“I had some great conversations with Doc [Rivers], Danny [Ainge] and Paul [Pierce] and Rondo, and Rondo actually was probably the guy who sold it the most, and I had great conversations with all four guys but he really helped me understand where my fit would be,” O’Neal said. “I’m not concerned about shots, I’m not concerned about minutes. I’m not concerned about anything but winning. At the end of the day, you can build up individual goals, but your validation is whether you win or not.”
O’Neal also gave credit to Rasheed Wallace, who also sold him on the quality of the organization. O’Neal said he texted Wallace to see if he could convince him to come out of retirement. He said he hadn’t heard back but would be getting together with him soon.
|Report: C’s take look at Morrison||07.13.10 at 11:30 pm ET|
According to Alex Kennedy of hoopsworld.com, the Celtics were one of four teams present at free agent forward Adam Morrison‘s workout Tuesday in Las Vegas. The Bulls, Clippers and Cavaliers were also present for the workout.
Morrison, the third overall pick of the 2006 NBA draft, has been a major disappointment in his three professional seasons. He played with the Lakers last season, averaging 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 31 games.
|T. Allen agrees to sign with Grizzlies||07.11.10 at 4:33 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed with a source that Tony Allen has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Grizzlies. The Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported the agreement.
Allen, an unrestricted free agent, has spent his entire career with the Celtics since being drafted in 2004. He excelled this postseason as a defensive stopper and played a critical role in containing Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
Allen told WEEI.com during the playoffs that he would like to return to the Celtics next season … and beyond.
“I am a Celtic,” he said. “I love being a Celtic. It’d mean everything in the world [return next season].”
He added, “I mean, things happen but I feel like I’m going to be a Celtic for life.”
Should Allen sign elsewhere, his departure would leave a huge gap in the Celtics second unit as the organization looks to rebuild its bench this summer.
|Report: Jermaine O’Neal will sign with C’s||07.08.10 at 1:28 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Jermaine O’Neal has agreed to sign with the Celtics. The report credits a league source with the information.
The 6-foot-11 O’Neal is a 13-year veteran who played the last two years in Miami. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 70 games last season after three injury-plagued seasons prior. The 31-year-old also reportedly had been considering offers from the Nuggets and Mavericks.