|Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February||07.15.10 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 »
|C’s make Pierce signing official||at 12:29 pm ET|
The Celtics announced Thursday that they re-signed captain Paul Pierce. No details were released, but previous reports have indicated the contract is worth $61 million over four years.
“Paul has been a cornerstone of our franchise for the last decade and we could not be more pleased that he is returning to the team,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement.
Pierce is the third-leading scorer in franchise history with 19,899 points, trailing only Larry Bird and John Havlicek. He averaged 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and made his eighth All-Star team.
“I am very excited to be back in Boston,” Pierce said in the team’s statement. “I have always said that I would love to retire as a Celtic, and re-signing here will allow me to do that. I would like to thank Danny, Doc [Rivers], the ownership group and the rest of the organization. I’m thrilled that they kept the core intact and look forward to getting back on the parquet with my teammates so we can bring Banner 18 home to Boston.
|Ainge: Tony Allen leaving ‘not a financial decision’||07.14.10 at 10:10 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had plenty to talk about on Wednesday as he introduced center Jermaine O’Neal to the Boston media, but perhaps the most the most interesting topic touched on was swingman Tony Allen‘s defection to the Memphis Grizzlies for a three-year deal worth a reported $9.7 million.
In discussing the situation with reporters, Ainge indicated that the Celtics had hoped to bring Allen, one of their three 2004 first-round draft choices, back. He said that money was not a driving factor in Allen’s decision to leave.
“Things did work out for Tony, we had a good six years with Tony,” Ainge said when asked what didn’t work out in negotiations. “We wanted Tony back and we tried to get him. It wasn’t a financial decision, there were other decisions, so I think that’s a question you’ll have to ask Tony.”
In his six seasons with the Celtics, Allen averaged 7.2 points, 1.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes and was a plus defender, often guarding the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat.
Asked to evaluate the offseason, Ainge likened making any comment now to saying how a game went while just at halftime. The C’s are looking to add five more players to give them a 14-man squad, but much of time in the near future will consist of waiting to see which players are still available after the big contracts are done being handed out. He also said he does not expect Rasheed Wallace to change his mind regarding retirement.
Ainge said that the Celtics still have needs at multiple positions, noting they are looking for help at center/power forward, backup point guard, as well as wings. He did say that he likes “unproven rookies” Semih Erden (a Turkish center) and Avery Bradley (the team’s first-round draft choice, a point guard), and that the team is in negotiations with Nate Robinson to hopefully continue to back up Rajon Rondo. Asked about Robinson, Ainge said he is a “guy we’re talking with, along with a slew of other free agents as well.”
Josh Howard was a name brought up in the session and Ainge did not deny the team’s interest, saying he would “rather not get into the people who we are pursuing” and that “there’s a long list of them, but he’s on that list.”
The 29th overall pick by the Mavericks in the 2003 draft, Howard has averaged 16.3 points, 1.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds in seven seasons. The small forward had spent his entire career in Dallas before being traded to the Wizards in February. He played in only four games for Washington before tearing his ACL, an injury he is still recovering from.
|O’Neal says he was part of Heat’s plan||at 4:59 pm ET|
WALTHAM — In meeting with the media on Wednesday, new Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal spoke about his former team, the Miami Heat, saying that he was aware that the plan was to reel in star free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh while also retaining Dwyane Wade. The Heat also wanted O’Neal back to team with the trio, but he instead took a two-year deal with the Celtics.
“I knew what the were trying to do, and I could have re-signed back with those guys, but it comes down to fit,” O’Neal said. “It comes down to personalities and style of play, and Boston has all that for me. It was the most important choice that I’ve made in my career.
“It was the first time I actually had the opportunity to even be a free agent in about 14 years, so it was very difficult, but I just felt like over the next two years I needed to be somewhere where the focus is strictly about winning now, not worrying about chemistry, not worrying about anything, just about coming in and helping the team win and doing my part of being involved in something good.”
As for having to worry about matching up against the Heat, O’Neal doesn’t seem overly concerned regarding who the top team in the Eastern Conference is.
“I don’t really look at it as an individual matchup,” O’Neal said. “Obviously they have a great tandem down there, but I feel like this team has the best team. … I had a great time down in Miami, I had an opportunity to re-sign back with them, but I just thought that this is where I’m meant to be.”
O’Neal said that he liked the Celtics’ powerhouse over the potential one Miami would eventually form based on the way Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have proven their ability to work together.
“Those guys, they have a ring already, but they want another one,” O’Neal said. “I don’t have a ring and I want one, so I felt like their hunger and their focus is at a different level. There were some other good teams out there that i really looked at that i thought could compete for the championship, but threes guys just came off an NBA finals appearance and obviously they’ve won one, so they know what it takes to get there.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge applauded the Heat for the job they’ve done, saying that though they still might make some more moves, the big pieces they’ve put in place already are substantial.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Ainge said. “They’ve put a terrific team together, but it doesn’t even matter what they do. Obviously [additional moves] could make a little bit of a difference, but the three guys that they’ve put together down there with Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem, that’s a pretty solid team.”
Asked about the chemistry element that O’Neal previously referred to and how it might apply to the Heat, Ainge said: “Wining does amazing things to team chemistry.”
|Report: Celtics to meet with Kwame Brown||07.06.10 at 3:43 pm ET|
The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that the Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers have scheduled a meeting with Kwame Brown for Wednesday in Orlando.
“We’re checking out a lot of possibilities — it’s still very early in the process,” Ainge told the Herald.
Brown spent the last two seasons with the Pistons, averaging 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game in 2009-10. The top overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft has never lived up to that selection, playing for four NBA teams (Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons) and averaging 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in his nine-year career.
Ainge also told the Herald that he has not set up a meeting with Shaquille O’Neal.
|Report: Perkins may have torn ACL||06.25.10 at 2:51 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said center Kendrick Perkins may have torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals, according to a Boston Herald report. It was initially believed that Perkins tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments, but the extent of the damage won’t be known for sure until Dr. Brian McKeon performs the surgery. That surgery originally was scheduled for Friday but was pushed back to allow the swelling to subside.
|Ainge on Big Show: Doc ‘needs some time’||06.23.10 at 6:30 pm ET|
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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