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LA Times: McHale in running for Clippers job 06.24.10 at 10:40 am ET
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While Kevin McHale has been mentioned as a possible successor to Doc Rivers should the Celtics coach elect to take some time off, The Los Angeles Times reported that the Hall of Fame big man is one of the names being considered to lead the Clippers.

Here’s what the Times story had to say:

According to league sources who were not authorized to speak publicly, the Clippers are interested in Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey, former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro, former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, former Minnesota executive and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale, and possibly ESPN’s Mark Jackson, who played for the Clippers, and Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin.

McHale, who coached the Timberwolves twice on an interim basis, had informal discussions with the Bulls before they filled their coaching vacancy, and was believed to have interviewed with the Cavaliers.

Del Negro is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances in Chicago, and Woodson the same with the Hawks. Casey was a finalist for the Hawks job recently filled by Larry Drew. More important, he has head-coaching experience in the NBA, having been at Minnesota for a season and a half, and incidentally, followed McHale on one of the interim periods.

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Report: C’s offer Perkins for pick at 7:05 am ET
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According to a report at AOL FanHouse, the Celtics have offered center Kendrick Perkins and their No. 19 draft pick to teams with high lottery picks leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft. Perkins, who has an expiring contract worth $4.4 million next season, is preparing for surgery after tearing his medial collateral ligament and partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals vs. the Lakers.

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Ainge on Big Show: Doc ‘needs some time’ 06.23.10 at 6:30 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge talked with The Big Show Wednesday afternoon about the Celtics offseason, and one of the big topics of discussion was Doc Rivers and his decision whether to stay on as coach or leave for family reasons. Either way, Ainge believes that Rivers should take his time in making his decision.

“I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’t want him personally to make a decision too soon,” Ainge said. “I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision.”

Below is a transcript of some of the other highlights from Ainge’s interview. To hear the entire interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Have the Phoenix Suns contacted you about their GM job as was reported by Sports Illustrated?

No, they have not. I have a contract, and I love what I’m doing. I love the people I work with. I have a great relationship with the ownership, and we have still things to accomplish here. So that’s just a rumor that has no substance.

Has Doc Rivers told you of his decision?

No, he has not. Doc has not made a decision. I know everybody wants to speculate, but the reality of it is he has not made a decision. I don’t want him personally to make a decision too soon. I know that Doc is one of the great competitors around. I think that it’s really tough on him with the loss. He sees the bright side of what the team accomplished, and it accomplished more than he probably thought a few months ago and all the things we just discussed. I know that it’s still really hard. A coach invests so much more than the players in my opinion, and he invests a ton and left it all out on the table. So he needs some time to get himself right before he makes a decision. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thibodeau announced as Bulls coach at 12:36 pm ET
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Tom Thibodeau officially became coach of the Bulls on Wednesday. (AP)

Tom Thibodeau officially became coach of the Bulls on Wednesday. (AP)

On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls announced Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach.

“I am very excited to be here and to join the Bulls organization. Chicago is a great city with great fans and a storied history,” Thibodeau said. “I would like to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and [general manager] Gar Forman for presenting me with such a terrific opportunity. We have a talented team with a good nucleus of players, and I am eager to get started.”

Thibodeau served as an assistant coach for the Celtics from 2007-10. He had been drawing interest for head coaching positions since helping lead the C’s to the 2008 championship as an assistant coach. The Celtics repeatedly have credited his emphasis on defense as a key to their success.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Tom Thibodeau as our new head coach,” Forman said. “As I went through the process to search for the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the longer the process went it became apparent that Tom was a perfect fit for the Bulls. He is a great communicator and teacher of the game, and he fits our organizational philosophy from a defensive standpoint. With his experience and knowledge of the NBA, I am confident he will be a great leader for our team.”

The Celtics will look to replace Thibodeau on the sideline this summer.

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The 19th pick in the NBA draft at 8:11 am ET
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nba-draft-logoOn Thursday, the Celtics will put the past behind them and look to the future with the NBA draft in New York City. The C’s are going to have plenty of gaps to fill, with the possibility of Rasheed Wallace retiring, the future of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in question, and other players, namely Nate Robinson and Tony Allen, becoming free agents.

The Celtics have one pick in the first round of this year’s draft, just beyond the halfway point, at 19. A pick at that number typically is not somebody a team can build around, but a pick that can be a role player or a deal-maker in trades. A role player would be just what the Celtics would need.

Looking over the past picks at No. 19, a few names stick out. There’s Hakim Warrick from 2005, Zach Randolph from 2001, Jamaal Magloire from 2000, Scot Pollard from 1997, Rod Strickland from 1988 and John Paxson in 1983. Boston has had the 19th pick twice in the past 15 years: 1993 (Acie Earl) and 1990 (Dee Brown). The Celtics also got 1996’s No. 19, Walter McCarty, a year after his rookie season. Back before the NBA-ABA merger, the 19th pick was in the second round, but there were significant picks, like Jerry Sloan in 1964 and the list’s lone Hall of Fame No. 19, Nate Archibald in 1970.

Here’s a list of the No. 19 picks in the past 25 NBA drafts.

2009 – Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
2009-present: 71 games, 228 points, 122 assists, 67 rebounds, 39.6% FG

2008 – Cleveland Cavaliers: J.J. Hickson, NC State
2008-present: 143 games, 934 points, 49 assists, 565 rebounds, 54.3% FG

2007 – Los Angeles Lakers: Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
2007-2009: 113 games, 595 points, 201 assists, 276 rebounds, 44.2% FG Read the rest of this entry »

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NBA finals a ratings bonanza 06.22.10 at 1:10 pm ET
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According to numbers released Tuesday by the Nielson Co., Game 7 of the NBA finals drew an audience of 28.2 million people, ranking it as the most-watched basketball game since Michael Jordan’s last championship-clinching win in 1998.

Not including the Olympics, Thursday’s game between the Celtics and Lakers was the most-watched show on network TV since the finale of the first “Survivor” season in August 2000.

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Rivers on D&C: ‘Leaning’ one way about future 06.21.10 at 11:12 am ET
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Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his final weekly visit of the 2009-10 season. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rivers said he has not decided whether or not he will return to the Celtics next season. “I’m not going to say which way I’m leaning — and I am one way — but I could look you in the eye and tell you I haven’t decided,” he said.

Rivers said he did not discuss the matter with his family during Father’s Day Sunday. “We didn’t talk about it at all, really,” he said. “It’s still very difficult to get through Game 7, let alone talk about your future, to be honest.”

Rivers said the players have been encouraging him to return, which makes him feel great but embarrassed to be in the spotlight. That type of support is the main reason why he would consider returning. Said Rivers, “The only reason you stay is your love for the guys you coach … knowing that if you do leave, you’re not going to get that back.”

Rasheed Wallace, like Rivers, is considering leaving the game. Rivers said he expects we’ve seen the last of the controversial center. “I think you have,” he said. “It’s so emotional right after the game. But Rasheed told me before [Game 7]. He told me the the night before. He walked up to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. I really believe this is my last game that I’m going to play.’ And he said this year was very difficult for him physically. He never felt like — even the conditioning part of it hurt. He said he doesn’t think he wants to go through that again, and he wants to watch his kids. I do think it’s the last time we’ll see him in a Celtics uniform.”

Rivers said he’s watched some video of the fourth quarter of Game 7. “I’ve looked at some of it but I couldn’t watch it [all],” he said. “It’s still very difficult.”

The coach said one thing he might have done differently is to get Rondo some rest at the start of the fourth. “I think I should have given Rondo another blow,” Rivers said. “I thought he was tired. I thought he played that way in the fourth. And that was a tough one, because he was starting to play well at the end of the third, so it was tough to pull him out.”

Rivers also said he wished the team would have attacked the post more, although he noted that some post plays were called, and Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace both were tiring. “You could just feel that we were running out of gas,” he said.

Rivers also said the referees’ more frequent whistles down the stretch were an adjustment the Celtics did not handle well. “The whole fourth quarter, it was called tighter,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that after watching [the video]. That hurt us a lot. … It was just a free throw line parade. That’s the one line you can’t defend.”

Rivers also credited Ron Artest as the key to the Lakers’ comeback. “We didn’t defend him the way we should have defended him,” he said. “I thought Ron Artest was the difference in that game.”

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