|The complicated Gerald Wallace-Tom Brady-David Ortiz man love triangle||10.14.13 at 1:01 pm ET|
New Celtics forward Gerald Wallace‘s introduction to the Boston media last month came complete with an awkward explanation of his man crushes on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
“I’m actually happy to be here in Boston. I’ve always loved the city of Boston when I came. And, besides, I’m a Red Sox and Patriots fan, so I’m closer to my teams. … I’m from Alabama. We don’t have a professional team there. I like Big Papi. I’ve always followed Big Papi. I enjoyed watching him in those days. That’s how I became a Red Sox fan. And I’m just fascinated with Brady. I like watching Brady play. I’m a big, big Brady fan since he got started in the league. I’ve been following him since Day 1. Him and Coach Belichick. Those are my favorite teams. Actually, at my house I have a split Patriots and Red Sox room. Basically shoes, material things. I have a couple Brady jerseys, a couple pictures of Brady, Belichick, the championship teams, a couple of the Super Bowl pictures, a lot of the Red Sox World Series things, I have an autographed bat from Ortiz, just some memorabilia.”
OK, then. That went from, “Oh, he’s just saying that to endear himself to Boston sports fans,” to, “Holy crap, this guy has a room dedicated to Tom Brady and David Ortiz in his house,” real fast. For those of you wondering at home, Wallace is 31 years old. And a professional basketball player. I don’t want to say Sunday should have been the best day of Gerald’s life, but Sunday should have definitely been the best day of Gerald’s life.
Especially considering Wallace attended the Patriots-Saints game and met Brady before his man crush completed one of his most improbable comebacks in a career filled with improbable comebacks. Here’s picture proof.
|Big Papi talks basketball||12.19.10 at 12:09 pm ET|
David Ortiz sat down with Scoop Jackson to talk basketball for a Jim Beam promotion. Wrap your head around that. Among other things, Big Papi said, “If you can play basketball, every other sport is easy.” There are a ton of other short videos, including more on Papi in addition to Larry Izzo and Kevin Faulk on football. NBA players Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Danny Granger, Kevin Love and Jordan Farmar also took part in the ad campaign.
|Ortiz ‘fine’ with Shaq as ‘Bigger Papi’||08.22.10 at 5:30 pm ET|
David Ortiz knows nicknames.
So what does the Red Sox slugger think of sharing his own with another star athlete in Boston?
Among the suggestions for newly-signed Celtic Shaquille O’Neal is “Bigger Papi,” a spin-off of Ortiz’s moniker. Big Papi wouldn’t mind.
“He’s a big dude,” Ortiz said of the 7-1, 325 pound center. “It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.”
O’Neal’s new nickname has been a topic of debate since the big man signed with the Celtics this summer. His past aliases include Big Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, and Shaqtus when he played for the Suns.
Boston-themed nicknames up for debate range from the Big Shamrock and Green Monster to the Big Leprechaun and Jolly Green Giant.
After 18 years in the NBA, Ortiz thinks O’Neal’s name speaks for itself.
“I think he’s got a good name,“ Ortiz said. “I don’t think he needs to change it. [I’d call him] ‘Big Shaq’ so people know who they’re talking about.”
Ortiz, an avid Celtics fan, has never met O’Neal but plans to do so this season. He believes O’Neal will make a big impact for the Celtics … no matter what his nickname is.
“I think it’s going to be a good addition to the team,” Ortiz assessed. “I’m pretty sure the 15, 20 minutes that he plays are going to be good.”
|Big Papi breaks down the NBA finals||06.02.10 at 11:30 pm ET|
Big Papi is also a big Celtics fan. When he isn’t working in the batter’s box, David Ortiz enjoys watching the C’s work toward another championship.
“I’m all the way with the Celtics,” he said.
Ortiz believe the Celtics have what it takes to win it all against the Lakers. He offered up his NBA finals analysis, including why he thinks Paul Pierce is the key to the Celtics success, how Kevin Garnett pumps him up, and what makes the C’s a “team.”
Kevin Garnett: “KG is a monster down there. KG, he puts everybody in the mood. When he’s [trash talking] people out there and getting mad, that pumps me up. That even gets me ready to play baseball. I love it. I love it. I’m telling you, when I see KG doing that, I want to jump on the court and [kick butt] with him. It’s not a secret that his game is something else.”
Paul Pierce: “I believe that Pierce has got to keep his game up the way he’s been doing it [for the Celtics to win]. … I want Pierce to stay where he’s at, scoring those 25, 30 points.”
Rajon Rondo: “Rondo’s fine in his game. I’m not worried about Rondo.”
Kendrick Perkins: “My man the center, Perkins, keep on [kicking butt]. Clean it out down there (in the paint). Don’t let anybody get in there.”
Ray Allen: “I don’t worry about Allen. He’s shooting the [heck] out of the ball. That’s a game that you know is going to be there because he’s been hot as hell. I don’t know how he does it. He’s been shooting some balls with everybody on top of him.”
Glen Davis: “Big Boy, I’m watching his game all the time. … He’s just awesome. I love watching him down there hustling and doing his thing.”
The bench: “The bench is unbelievable, too. When those guys (the starters) take a break, it’s like they’re still in because those guys on the bench, they come out and get it done. That’s a team, that’s a team. That’s what I call a team. So I’m cheering for them big time.”
Key to victory: “They’ve got everything. First of all, everybody’s healthy to begin with. The games have been unbelievable. They just have to increase the defense just a little bit more, just a little tiny bit. Not anything crazy because their defense has been great too, just a little more and that’s about it, it’s an easy win.”
|What Big Papi Sees in Big Baby||06.01.10 at 12:21 am ET|
The first time David Ortiz saw Glen Davis, he thought he was looking at a football player.
But the more Big Papi got to know Big Baby, the more he saw himself.
“When I’ve watched him playing for the past few years, he kind of gave me goosebumps because he’s just a guy that told me straight up who he wanted to be,” said Ortiz.
When Ortiz met Davis at Josh Beckett’s charity bowling event during Davis’ rookie year, he was surprised to learn the “humongous dude” was actually one of the newest members of the Celtics. The two shared a brief conversation, one that has stood out in Ortiz’s mind for years.
“He said, ‘I’m trying to work hard because I want to be one of them. I want people to remember me in this city as a great player, and I’m working hard to get to it,’” Ortiz recalled. “So I said, ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing and you’re going to be just fine.’”
Davis’ ambition reminded Ortiz of his own. As Ortiz listened to the young athlete, he was taken back to the time when he was an eager ballplayer who had just joined the Red Sox from the Minnesota Twins.
He remembered how anxious he was to put his stamp on Boston, the same sense of excitement Davis exuded.
“That’s the reason exactly why he caught my attention a lot,” Ortiz said. “I remember when I first got here with the Red Sox coming from Minnesota and there’s nothing but history and great players around. I remember my agent telling me, ‘If you go to this city and play well and help the team to win a World Series, they’re going to remember you forever.’ And I busted my tail off just to do that because it was my goal. Now watching him doing the same thing, it brings me highlights and memories back.”
Now Ortiz enjoys the highlights created by Davis on the court.
“Big Boy, I’m watching his game all the time,” he said. Ortiz applauds Davis’ energy, cheers for his intensity, and thinks he is simply “awesome.”
“Just watching him playing and watching him doing his thing out there hustling, he wanted to show the world that he was there, that he is the one guy they could count on,” said Ortiz.
Davis is hard at work making sure the Celtics, Ortiz, and the city of Boston can do just that.
|Paul Pierce meet David Ortiz||05.10.10 at 4:32 pm ET|
WALTHAM — So maybe Paul Pierce is just getting the David Ortiz treatment.
After scoring just nine points in 31 minutes on Sunday in the 97-87 Celtics win over Cleveland that evened the series, 2-2, everyone wants to know if Paul Pierce is physically fine.
And if he is, as he told reporters following Monday’s practice, why then is he having such trouble getting his offensive game going?
“I’m not a rookie, you guys. I’m not a rookie,” Pierce said with a painful smile very similar to the one a certain Red Sox slugger sported after getting grilled about his woes just TWO games into the season.
“It is my 12th year. I’ve been in every situation, regardless. Whether it’s foul trouble, not playing, things not going so well for you, I know how to get through those times, mentally. It doesn’t affect me like it used to when I was a younger player where I had two or three fouls and not really playing the kind of basketball I want to. But the key is to keep focused and doing what you can to help the team win.”
And about your physical condition Paul?
“There’s nothing wrong me,” Pierce said. “The key for me is being focused and giving my team what they need to win. So there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“No, Paul’s fine, Paul’s fine,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers added. “Obviously, we want more out of him but we’re getting a lot out of him. I think unfortunately for Paul, he’s an offensive player and that’s what everyone sees in him and he has a defensive part in this series so they’re going to look at his offensive numbers so that’s the bad part of being Paul Pierce, really.”
Specifically, it was the early foul trouble in Games 3 and 4 at the Garden that Pierce pointed to as the main culprit in robbing him of offensive rhythm.
“If you’re a scorer, you’re a scorer for life,” Rivers said. “It’s like you’re in a gang, a scoring gang. I think scorers still think, ‘OK,’ and then once they get into it they realize, ‘Wow, this is tough.’ We just keep telling him to be aggressive. The one thing I did tell him was I thought I did think we got the right matchups for him he wasn’t looking to score. When we do get those situations, we need him to morph back into Paul.”
“We don’t want to sacrifice the entire offense or the team just to get Paul involved,” added Rajon Rondo. “Paul is just an unselfish player so he’s not complaining about shots or that he’s only scoring 11 or 12 points. As long as we’re winning, he knows it’s a team sport. He’s very unselfish. It’s about sacrifices. Yesterday, I think Ray [Allen] got 21 shots up and myself. Maybe Paul gets 22 shots and maybe Ray and I only shoots four. It varies each game. If a guy has it going, you keep going to him.”
Pierce said he will not let games of 13, 14, 11 and nine points take him out of his focus of doing what it takes to help the team win the series, namely defend and help on LeBron James.
“All that other stuff goes out the window, being frustrated,” Pierce said. “You really have to concentrate on the game when you’re not in the game so that when you go back in the game, you can finish it.
“I’m digging myself a ditch as far as my fouls but I think they’re good fouls I’m getting, some bad ones but that’s the way the game goes. It’s nothing I’m really worried about. I know I can do a better job and control. No matter how I’m doing offensively, as long as we win, that’s all that matters to me.”
And winning Game 5 in Cleveland Tuesday is Job No. 1.
“We definitely have a sense of urgency going into Game 5,” Pierce said. “We have to treat it like a Game 7, trying to gather some momentum, like we’ve been trying to do. We know it’s going to be a tough place to play back in Cleveland, trying to get two wins. It’s going to be very difficult. I think we’re going to put our hard hats on and clean up some of things we didn’t do right last night and in Game 3, and hopefully, try to steal another win.”
|Horford Admires Ortiz’s Work Ethic||11.13.09 at 11:15 pm ET|
BOSTON — Amid a growing rivalry between the Celtics and Hawks, Al Horford formed a close relationship with a Boston sports icon.
Horford, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, has been a fan of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for years. The feeling was mutual. Ortiz watched Horford’s father, Tito, play in the NBA and was excited for the younger ball player to make it to the NBA.
After the two were told of each other’s mutual admiration, they met during Horford’s rookie season at TD Garden. They have developed a friendship over the past two years, and Horford even visits with Ortiz whenever the Hawks come to Boston.
“I know that since I’ve been there, the last two days he’s been at Fenway working out, that’s all I can say,” Horford told WEEI.com on Friday.
Horford always respected Ortiz’s game, and this week he saw his work ethic firsthand.
“It looks like the season just got over and he’s already getting back to work,” Horford said. “So that speaks a lot about him.”