|Irish Coffee: Danny Ainge’s tankless Celtics job||10.03.13 at 2:44 pm ET|
The great Ian Thomsen elicited not one, but two of the best quotes on the tanking issue facing the Celtics this season in his latest for Sports Illustrated — both from C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
Here’s the first important phrase from Ainge, addressing what many believe is the strongest NBA draft class since the 2003 edition that produced eight All-Stars (including a guy by the name of LeBron James) — headed by potential franchise players Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.
“If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was out there to change your franchise forever, or Tim Duncan was going to change your franchise for 15 years? That might be a different story. I don’t see that player out there.”
Interesting. If this isn’t some strange attempt at a Red Auerbach-esque bluff, then tanking doesn’t concern these C’s — not only because of the historically poor Ping Pong luck of the Irish, but because Wiggins isn’t LeBron.
Besides, even if Ainge wanted to tank, it’s not like he’s gathering his coach and players around the locker room and delivering an anti-motivational speech. (Which, by the way, would be great: “Great draft picks are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One season. If we played 82 games, they might win 41. But not this season. Not this year. This year, we tank them. This year, we lose all of them. And we shut it down because we can! This year, WE are the worst basketball team in the world.” And a slow clap, of course.) Anyhow, as for real Ainge quotes, here’s that second important one.
|VIDEO: Top 10 2013-14 Boston Celtics Media Day moments||10.01.13 at 10:40 pm ET|
Irish Coffee’s annual Top 10 Celtics Media Day moments. A comprehensive look at the day’s events, including interviews with Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, Vitor Faverani, Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee. Just about everyone, except MarShon Brooks, who flew under the radar. Along with his afro.
|Rajon Rondo ‘unlikely’ to return for Celtics’ season opener||09.24.13 at 1:41 pm ET|
MILTON — Over the past month, the Celtics have rapidly backed away from their projections this past spring that Rajon Rondo would be healthy for the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, and on Tuesday the organization essentially announced the four-time All-Star would not be in the lineup come Oct. 30.
“My understanding and the last time that we’ve had discussions about it is that it’s very indeterminate still, but it sounds like it would be unlikely that he would be playing at the very start of the season,” C’s coach Brad Stevens said from the team’s annual charity golf tournament. “What that means beyond that, I think that’s going to be on his doctors, the training staff and him making the call on when he’s ready. I’ve told him from Day 1, ‘Come back when you’re ready,’ because I think it’s really important that he feels really good when he’s back and ready to play.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge put it more succinctly: “I would be shocked.”
No players participated in the golf portion of the event, but Rondo was expected to arrive in Boston on Tuesday. He’s also expected to join the team when training camp begins on Oct. 1 in Newport, R.I.
‘I’ve been in constant contact with him, and so has Brad,” added Ainge. He seems to be in a really good place emotionally and mentally, and now we’re just trying to get the physical part done. And he’s got a ways to go.”
So, when exactly can we expect to see Rondo in a Celtics uniform again?
|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|
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.”
“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.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Austin Ainge Offers Window to C's Pre-Draft Process
- Trade Possibilities for C's with Draft Approaching
- Latest Buzz Surrounding Jamal Crawford, Kristaps Porzingis, Celtics'...
- Latest NBA Trade Rumors, Buzz
- Ranking Celtics' Biggest NBA Draft Needs
- Buzz Surrounding Ty Lawson, Celtics Draft Plans and More
- Realistic Targets for Celtics to Chase During Offseason