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New contract gives Robinson a new beginning 07.22.10 at 8:40 pm ET
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Nate Robinson is entering his sixth season in the NBA, but in a lot of ways, his career has a new beginning.

After more than four seasons with the Knicks, and a few months with the Celtics, Robinson is returning to Boston with a two-year deal that gives him a fresh start.

‘€œFor me, I think it will be a good start for me to just come in and start from scratch,’€ he said in a conference call. ‘€œI loved my time there in Boston. The fans welcomed me with open arms, the team, coach Doc (Rivers), Danny Ainge, everybody, the whole organization, they were real good to me. I decided they’€™re a great, winning organization, a lot of history, and I think I fit in well with the guys. So I was like, why not?’€

Even though Robinson was only been traded to the Celtics in February, he is preparing for next season like a player who has been with the team for years. He immediately embraced the tradition of the organization and was struck by the Celtics relentless drive for victory.

Robinson spends his days in Seattle gyms with hometown friends including Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, and Aaron Brooks. They work out three times a week and play games for two. (Robinson will also throw out the first pitch at Friday’s Red Sox – Mariners game in Seattle.)

For the first time in his career, he is spending his offseason preparing to contend, not just compete.

‘€œThe main thing that stood out to me was just their will to win,’€ he said. ‘€œThey expect to win every night. I was like, ‘€˜Wow, this is awesome.’€™’€

Robinson says he never experienced such strong team chemistry on the Knicks like he did on the Celtics. It makes his return that much sweeter knowing that Doc Rivers, the coach who expressed confidence in him when he wasn’€™t seeing major minutes, will be back on the sidelines and the core of the team is still in tact. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Brooks, Avery Bradley, Brandon Roy, Celtics
Rumor: Cavs offering Barnes the most money 07.19.10 at 3:03 pm ET
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Since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have signed with the Heat, the free agent market has seriously subsided. Now one of the biggest players available is Magic G/F Matt Barnes.

The Celtics have previously shown interest in the 6-foot-7 30-year-old, but over he past few days Barnes has played his cards close to the chest on many different teams.

NBA insider Alex Kennedy has tweeted that the Cavs have offered Barnes the most amount of money out of all the interested teams, but Barnes may take less money to play with a contender.

In his seven-year career, Barnes has averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. Barnes has said on his Twitter that he would reveal his decision for next season last Friday, but when more teams “jumped [into] the game,” Barnes decided to wait a few more days.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Matt Barnes, NBA Rumor Mill
Pierce says ‘work cut out’ for Celtics 07.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET
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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.

‘€œIt’€™s a new day and time, man,’€ Pierce said when asked if James took his revelation too far. ‘€œEverything 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, ‘€œThe 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.’€

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Tony Allen
O’Neal on D&H: ‘I couldn’t think of a better place to play’ at 2:30 pm ET
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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.

‘€œThat 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.

‘€œIf [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 »

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal,
Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February at 12:40 pm ET
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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.

‘€œIt’€™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. ‘€œWe’€™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 »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins
Rondo the salesman 07.14.10 at 5:04 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, NBA, Rajon Rondo
Report: C’s take look at Morrison 07.13.10 at 11:30 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Adam Morrison, Celtics, Rumor Mill,
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