|Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘Disappointed’ in Danny Ainge’s portrayal of his Celtics departure||09.05.13 at 10:04 am ET|
It’s been more than two months since Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge played the blame game over how exactly the former Celtics coach landed in Los Angeles in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first-round pick from the Clippers.
“Honestly, I was very disappointed in that part of Danny’s press conference,” Rivers said during an appearance on Dennis & Callahan to promote September’s Hoop Dreams event at TD Garden to benefit Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). “Other than that, Danny and I have no issues. Danny knows, just like I know, that that’s not true.
“Listen, guys, this is old stuff. I’m here, and Danny’s in Boston. You can ask Danny that more and more, but there were two people in that room, and it was Danny and I, and anyone else who has a comment about what went on doesn’t really know because they weren’t in that room. It was more than one day. It was several days, and it was an agreement.”
Regardless, Rivers and the Celtics president of basketball operations are still in communication. ”We’ve had our disagreements when I was there, and we’ve moved on,” added Rivers. “That was a disagreement on how that was presented. Danny knows that, and I know the truth, but you move on and we’ve talked many times since.”
|A history of Danny Ainge’s first-round picks||08.16.13 at 9:05 am ET|
With Fab Melo dealt to the Grizzlies Thursday, the Celtics have already moved on from a player they selected 22nd overall in the 2012 NBA draft. In honor of that move, here is a look at all of the Celtics’ first-round picks under Danny Ainge and how they worked out for the club.
Marcus Banks (13th overall) – The Celtics traded up to acquire Banks, dealing the 16th and 20th overall picks (Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones) for him and the 27th overall pick Kendrick Perkins. Banks was a disappointment with the Celtics, and only played only five games in three seasons with Boston before being traded along with Mark Blount, Ricky Davis, Justin Reed and two second round picks for Dwayne Jones, Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak, and a 2009 first round pick. Banks last played with the Raptors — his fifth team in eight years in the league — in 2010-11, when he averaged 2.0 points in 7.3 minutes per game.
Kendrick Perkins (27th overall) – Perkins, a center project out of high school, was the better half of that draft day trade and became the Celtics starting center in 2006-07. He used his strong defensive play to help the Celtics to an NBA Championship in 2008, and averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in 2009-10. Perkins was traded with Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash and a 2012 first round pick — which turned into Melo.
Al Jefferson (15th overall) – Jefferson was supposed to be the big man of the future, and was one of the Celtics top players in 2006-07 when he averaged 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game. Jefferson was the centerpiece in the package that the Celtics sent to Minnesota to acquire Kevin Garnett. Since then, Jefferson has been one of the best centers in the league with the Timberwolves and the Jazz. Jefferson signed a three-year deal worth an estimated $41 million with the Bobcats this offseason.
Delonte West (24th overall) – West had success with the Celtics early in his career, when he started at guard for Boston between 2005-07. West was a part of the trade that landed the Celtics Ray Allen though, and was later dealt to the Cavaliers where he started for a little over one season. West had brief stints with the Celtics and Mavericks between 2010-12, but did not play in the league last season.
Tony Allen (25th overall) – Allen has consistently been a strong defensive guard throughout his career, and helped the Celtics to the 2008 championship when he spent time guarding Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Allen signed with the Grizzlies as a free agent in 2010 and started all 79 games that he played last season.
Gerald Green (18th overall) – Green was good for a few highlight dunks, but he has not made a real impact in the league as a small forward/shooting guard. Since being included in the Garnett trade, Green has spent time with five different teams. He did not play in the league in the 2009-10 or 2010-11 seasons, but made a nice comeback with the Nets in 2011-12 when he averaged 12.9 points in 25.2 minutes per game.
The Celtics traded their first round pick (Randy Foye — 7th overall) along with Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz to the Portland Trail Blazers for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a 2008 second round pick. Telfair, who was the major piece in the trade, only spent one season with the Celtics before being included in the trade for Garnett.
The Celtics traded their first round pick (Jeff Green — 5th overall) along with West and Szczerbiak for Allen. Ainge re-acquired Green in a trade for Kendrick Perkins and averaged 12.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game last season.
J.R. Giddens (30th overall) – Giddens spent two seasons with the Celtics organization and only played in 27 games before being traded alongside Eddie House, Bill Walker and a 2014 second round pick for Marcus Landry and Nate Robinson. Giddens last played in 2010 with the Knicks, when he averaged 4.1 points in 12.7 minutes per game.
The Celtics had included their pick in the trade for Garnett. The Timberwolves selected Wayne Ellington with the pick.
Avery Bradley (19th overall) – Bradley started out slow, only averaging 5.2 minutes per game in 31 games his rookie season. However, he has emerged as a very good defensive guard in his second and third seasons as a Celtics, and was a starter for Boston in 2012-13. He averaged 9.2 points and 1.3 steals in 28.7 minutes per game last season and is slated to start again for the Celtics this upcoming season.
JaJuan Johnson (27th overall) – Johnson was acquired in a draft-day trade for Marshon Brooks and a second round pick, and only spent one season with the Celtics before being dealt in a three-team deal that landed Boston Courtney Lee. Johnson did not play in the NBA last season.
Jared Sullinger (21th overall) – Sullinger averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game in his rookie season before missing the rest of the season with a back injury. The Ohio State product started five games last season.
Fab Melo (22th overall) – Melo averaged 1.2 points and 0.5 rebounds in six games with Boston last season before being traded along with cash for Donte Green Thursday.
|18 things we learned from the Brad Stevens podcast||07.25.13 at 10:48 pm ET|
Celtics coach Brad Stevens joined the Green Street podcast for his longest interview in Boston since signing his six-year, $22 million contract. Here are 18 things we learned from the conversation.
18. He’s not goal-oriented; he’s process-oriented: “My goal is to win the next game one possession at a time. That’s it. I don’t have any other goals. I’ve never been a goal guy. I didn’t have a goal at Butler. Our goals were always to get better every day and win the next game one possession at a time, and that was it. And so that’s what we’ll try to do.”
17.He really likes Phil Pressey: “Pressey is a guy who can affect a game. If a game is not really going your way, he can spark you. He can get inside the defense, he can make plays defensively. He can his hands on balls. He is a cerebral point guard. I like his game. I think he does a lot of good things.”
16. Danny Ainge inquired about his interest before the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade: “After Doc left, he had actually called me and talked about, ‘Are you interested in the job?’ And, ‘This is what I’ve got going on this week.’ It was draft week, and then he said there are some other things that may be coming down the pike as well, so it’s going to be a busy week for me, so we just agreed to talk later on.
“So, that’s when I saw and heard about Kevin and Paul, and obviously they did such terrific things for this place. It’s really amazing what they were able to do and what they were able to accomplish, and they’ll go down as two of the best that ever played here. But I knew that was coming when I accepted the job. I knew that it was a formality by the time I accepted the job, and so that didn’t have any impact on accepting it or not.”
|Brian Scalabrine optimistic about Celtics as he leaves Boston for Golden State||07.17.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine is in the midst of a very productive offseason.
The 35-year-old native of Long Beach, Calif., is returning closer to home after joining Mark Jackson’s coaching staff with the Warriors. Scalabrine also is working as a spokesperson with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, and he served up the popular “Big Ginger” cocktail behind the bar to excited patrons for three hours at Granary Tavern on Tuesday night in Boston.
“Scal” also sat down for a one-on-one interview with WEEI.com, and the former Celtic and Comcast SportsNet broadcaster shared his insight on topics ranging from the Celtics’ championship in 2008, the bitter loss to the Lakers in 2010, and the work Danny Ainge has performed this summer. Scalabrine also quieted any speculation that he was in the running to replace Doc Rivers as coach in Boston.
“If four people would have passed on the Celtics, then I would have been interviewed to be the coach of the Celtics,” Scalabrine said. “But there’s no way four people were going to pass on that.”
Scalabrine was eager to share how greatly he evolved as a basketball player during his time with the Celtics.
“You have to look around at what you have,” he said. “That year [in 2007-08], we had Kevin Garnett directly from Minnesota coming in and changing the culture of our organization. He made sure guys were ready and focused. We could have fun in the locker room and joke around, but when it came to game time or practice, or the weight room or your individual time, it was time to lock in and get serious. Later on, on the bus or the plane, that’s when we could joke around. At the end of the day, we were about winning. We were about being successful.”
Winning a championship on a team driven by the likes of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen helped Scalabrine perfect his own philosophy on the game of basketball.
“I’m about having success in life, but also having fun. There’s a misconception that I joke around and I’m not serious about the game of basketball. I’m ultra-serious about the game. I like the challenge of working with young guys, making them better, and getting them ready for a championship-caliber type of team. It’s not about getting better so you can be mediocre. I’m about getting you better so we can win a championship. That’s my focus.”
|Danny Ainge: Nets wanted ‘Dream Team’ at ‘any cost’||07.15.13 at 5:10 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The way Danny Ainge looks at it, trading away future hall of famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett along came down to taking advantage of a team desperate to build its own “Dream Team.”
That’s why, according to the Celtics president of basketball operations, he pulled the trigger earlier this month on a deal that sends the two stars to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Humphries.
“Brooklyn showed a great deal of interest in putting the ‘Dream Team’ together, with expense not [a factor], at any cost it seemed like,” Ainge told reporters at an introductory press conference Monday. “And the opportunity to acquire a lot of young assets and get younger and move onto a different phase presented itself. We felt like, where we were as a team, it was going to be very difficult to be a championship contender [had] we kept Paul and KG.
“The opportunity presented itself. It’s a situation we needed to do. It’s a situation that Brooklyn should do and could do, adding Paul and KG to a roster with already three All-Star type players. It’s a pretty special opportunity for them, even though it’s very expensive.”
Jason Terry was also unloaded in the deal that reshapes the Celtics roster for years to come. Was there another team that challenged the Nets in acquiring the trio?
“You don’t really want to trade to a division rival but no, there were no other teams that were even close,” Ainge admitted. “As a matter of fact, it was interesting that the offers we got for Paul and KG were greater than we got for them in years past. It was an opportunity we felt we had to jump at.”
Was it hard for Ainge to pull the trigger in the end?
“Absolutely,” Ainge said when asked. “I think it pretty much goes without saying, and there’ll be many opportunities to talk about their legacies, and I know this is not my decision alone to make, but if it were my decision alone, their numbers will be hanging from the rafters some day. Their legacy has been made here in Boston. They still have basketball left in them but at the same time, we’re going to want to beat them. But those guys were great for the city of Boston, great for the Boston Celtics franchise and great for all of us who were associated with them.
“But this is a good deal for us. We’re excited about the players we’re getting and we’re excited about the opportunity for us to start fresh and start over, not completely over because we have a lot of good players returning and a lot of good players acquired in teh trade but start over in terms of a new coaching staff, new players and a new identity.”
A fifth player the Celtics received in the deal – Kris Joseph – was waived on Monday.
|Larry Bird: ‘Believe me, Danny Ainge knows what he’s doing’||07.08.13 at 6:29 pm ET|
One of the greatest Celtics in franchise history believes the team’s intensely loyal fan base should trust in Danny Ainge.
Larry Bird, speaking to reporters Monday at the Orlando summer league games, said he understands why his former teammate and current president of basketball operations of the Celtics traded heart-and-soul pieces Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last week to the Brooklyn Nets.
“Believe me, Danny Ainge knows what he’s doing,” Bird said. “He won a championship. I never doubt Danny Ainge. Danny does a good job. You know, you do get older. You can’t beat Father Time, and I’m sure things will work out.”
Pierce will be 36 next season while Garnett will be 37 when he suits up with Brooklyn. Both, Bird said Monday can be productive with the Nets.
“I think they’ve both been pretty healthy throughout their careers,” Bird said Monday. “They haven’t had the major, major injuries that I had. I think they got plenty left. The way they will be coached and the bench that they have. Yeah — they’ll pick their spots, but when the time comes, they’ll be there.”
Bird, who serves as Ainge’s counterpart with the Pacers, acknowledged it’s disappointing to see Pierce, the second-leading scorer in Celtics franchise history, not be able to do what he did and finish his career playing only for the Celtics.
“I would have loved to see it,” Bird said. “I got a lot of respect for Paul and what he has accomplished. But who says he’s not going to play another four years? It’s a tough situation.”
Pierce, who turns 36 Oct. 13, averaged 18.6 points per game this past season and, with 24,021 points, trails only John Havlicek on Boston’s all-time scoring list.
“[Pierce] is one of the better ones to ever come through there, he really is,” Bird insisted.
|Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘Damn lie’ for Danny Ainge to say he’s not tearing down Celtics for rebuild||at 11:53 am ET|
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Celtics’ hiring of Brad Stevens and the team’s rebuilding process.
“I like the hire,” Smith said. “I think he’s a bright, young coach. I think Danny Ainge deserves a lot of credit, did a phenomenal job in plucking him out of the college game. I think when you consider what he brings to the table, not just in terms of his acumen as a coach but his temperament, I think that goes a long way towards helping the Boston Celtics basically resurrect themselves. Because where they are right now, obviously they’re going to be struggling for quite some time. You’ve got to remember, this is a team that’s been plucked. They’re rebuilding now. [Kevin Garnett] is gone, Paul Pierce is gone. You’ve got all of this stuff going on. In my opinion, even though they’re talking about keeping [Rajon] Rondo, I think Rondo should be gone. You’ve just got to start anew.
“In the end, what it comes down to is that this man knows basketball He’s a bright young mind. He’s not the kind of guy like Rick Pitino — as great as Rick Pitino is as a coach, we all know that he’s the kind of individual that really pushes the envelope to some degree and was screaming and pacing around like a bat out of hell. Trying to do it for 82 games, that kind of stuff wears on professional athletes getting paid millions of dollars. The kind of temperament that Brad Stevens brings to the table I think is incredibly beneficial to the Boston Celtics. And I think they deserve a lot of credit for picking him as their guy to succeed Doc Rivers. I think it’s a tremendous hire.”
Ainge has insisted the team is not tanking, but Smith puts little faith in that statement.
“I think that’s kind of a lie, to be quite honest with you,” Smith said. “Listen, I’m not trying to denigrate Danny Ainge in any way. But the fact of the matter is, you lose KG, you lose Paul Pierce, you go in a different direction even though Rondo is here. You’re clearly in rebuilding mode. There’s no way around this.
“And if you didn’t think you were in rebuilding mode, Brad Stevens would not have gotten a six-year deal. This is a guy you plucked out of college, you gave him a six-year deal worth about $22 million. He’s getting pair nearly 4 million a year. There’s plenty of coaches in this league who have coached in this league, who have a modicum of success, that are not getting paid the salary that Brad Stevens is getting paid. You know why you had to pay him those dollars? It wasn’t just to pluck him away from a mid-major like Butler. It was to ask him to stay the course, because you know this is going to be a long way back to prominence. That’s what this is.
“So, Danny Ainge can tell you what he wants to. I respect the man, I respect what he’s accomplished. And I certainly am not trying to denigrate him in any way. But that’s a damn lie, what he just said right there. I’m sorry.”
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