|Paul Pierce on Lakers: ‘There’s no way I could go there’||07.20.15 at 1:12 pm ET|
“It’s a dream come true to be able to come home, finally,” Pierce told The Boston Globe from Sunday night’s NBA Players Association awards show in Las Vegas. “I grew up a Laker fan, but playing on all the Boston Celtic teams … there’s no way I could go there — so this was the next best choice. And it’s always been a dream to play in front of my family and friends.”
After spending 15 years in Boston and adding a 17th banner to the rafters of TD Garden in 2008, Pierce left with co-star Kevin Garnett to the Nets. Following one full season in Brooklyn, Pierce signed with the Wizards, which took him back to the playoffs, where he thrived. Despite rave reviews from his teammates, Pierce opted out of his contract and reunited with former Celtics coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.
Pierce already has had a big impact on his new organization as he was part of the group that holed up with DeAndre Jordan in the center’s Houston home to keep him from honoring his verbal commitment to the Mavericks. Of his experience with the team so far, Pierce admits that it’s not what he expected.
“It’s been pretty wild,” Pierce said of convincing Jordan to remain with the Clippers. “I think that whole saga took a form and shade of its own. It got a lot bigger than it was supposed to be.
“I made my decision to be a Clipper. DeAndre changed his mind to be a Clipper.”
Pierce will fill the void at small forward left by Matt Barnes, who recently was traded to the Grizzlies. Last year Pierce averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists as he helped lead the Wizards to a berth in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
|Reports: NBA questioning Celtics-Clippers trade||06.20.13 at 1:42 pm ET|
The NBA is questioning the connection between the Celtics trading Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and then relinquishing the rights to Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round picks from the Clippers, as first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein. The league’s guidelines state player deals cannot be contingent upon coaching contracts.
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy contradicted two previous reports, claiming a) Celtics president Danny Ainge reached out to Los Angeles after Tuesday’s stalled talks, and b) the Clippers did not present owner Donald Sterling with a package that would have sent Jordan and two No. 1 picks to Boston for Garnett and Rivers.
|DeAndre Jordan: ‘I’d be happy’ to play for Celtics||at 1:02 pm ET|
As trade rumors continue to fly, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is trying to block out the noise, but the 24-year-old admitted on Yahoo! Sports Radio he’d be “happy” to stay in Los Angeles or join the Celtics.
‘If I was younger, I probably would have handled it a little differently, but with me just finishing my fifth year I know that it is a business, teams want to win and they’re only looking out for their best interest,” said Jordan, who averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. “I’ve been with the Clippers my whole career. All I know is Los Angeles and the Clippers organization, but if I was to go somewhere else, if it did happen, I’d still be playing basketball — the sport that I love — so I’d be happy and just try to make the best of the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted that the deal Clippers management took to owner Donald Sterling for approval — trading Jordan to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and acquiring the rights to hire Doc Rivers in exchange for two first-round draft picks — is hitting yet another snag due to the legality of linking the two transactions under the NBA’s guidelines. The two sides have reportedly already begun discussing additional scenarios.
‘You hear stuff from your friends, media, things like that, so I just try not to listen to it,” added Jordan. “I don’t really watch it or read into it at all. I’m really just focused on getting better this summer and just preparing for next season.
‘I’m just really in the gym working out with a couple of my teammates and some other guys, just trying to get better and stay focused. I’ve got a couple things this summer that I’m focused on, and I’m just trying to get better and come out and have a better season than we did this year.’
|Report: Celtics, Clippers resume trade talks again||06.19.13 at 6:16 pm ET|
As first suggested by SportsCity.com’s Mark Heisler on Wednesday morning, the Celtics and Clippers hoped to resume discussion about a potential deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers prior to the NBA draft on June 27.
As it turns out, the Clips reached out to the C’s on Thursday afternoon in order to reopen their dialogue about a package that would send DeAndre Jordan to Boston, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers reached out to the Celtics this afternoon to resume dialogue on a possible deal, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 19, 2013
According to various reports, most notably from Wojnarowski, discussion heated up this weekend but eventually fizzled out on Tuesday after disagreements over the inclusion of Eric Bledsoe, the contracts of Jason Terry and/or Courtney Lee, or a second No. 1 pick in a package that already included Jordan and one first-round pick.
|Reports: Celtics-Clippers deal dead, Danny Ainge wants Doc Rivers back||06.18.13 at 12:45 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Celtics and Clippers ended their trade discussions Tuesday after failing to reach a compromise.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne tweeted that the Clippers have walked away and are saying that talks are “off,” while The Boston Globe’s Baxter Holmes tweeted that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has confirmed the breakdown of negotiations.
The talks are said to have centered around the Celtics sending Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles for DeAndre Jordan and a first-round draft pick, but apparently the Celtics wanted a second first-round pick and the Clippers were not amenable to sweetening the pot.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Clippers also were hesitant to pay Rivers a $35 million extension as well as $3 million for Jordan’s trade kicker. Wojnarowski additionally tweeted that Ainge has called Rivers to update him on the situation and tell him that he still wants him back to coach the Celtics.
|Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Doc Rivers has personality to pull off return to Boston if trade falls through||at 8:32 am ET|
ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to offer his take on the reported Celtics-Clippers trade talks.
The Celtics are said to be considering sending Kevin Garnett along with coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles. There has been widespread speculation that Rivers’ tenure in Boston is over either way, but Van Gundy isn’t so sure.
Said Van Gundy: “There’s a lot of people that don’t think he can still come back to Boston. I think it would work fine. He’s got the personality to pull it off. I think he’d be starting over with a different team anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens with Doc. Certainly these are interesting times in Celtic land.”
The Celtics reportedly would acquire young center DeAndre Jordan in the deal.
“I think everybody focuses on some maturity issues and his free throw shooting, and both need improvement,” Van Gundy said. “I like Jordan. I think he is a terrific athlete who has really improved defensively. He’s not like a physical guy, but he is a freak athlete who I think has shown great levels of improvement, where he came in as a second-round pick from Texas A&M after one year, not really accomplished in college. I think he’s continued to improve. Obviously, when you’re such a horrendous free throw shooter it limits how much you can play. But he is active, he can rebound.
“He’s a piece, if you’re trying to rebuild. Is he overpaid a little bit? Who’s not in the NBA? So he can just join the crowd on the long list of overpaid. But I like him better than how some people view him right now. I think he’s still an ascending player. If you’re going to go into a rebuild, he’s someone that’s intriguing.”
Touching on the NBA Finals — the Spurs have a 3-2 series lead heading into Tuesday night’s Game 6 in Miami — Van Gundy said there are intriguing story lines for both teams.
“There’s a lot on these two games for a lot of people on both sides,” Van Gundy said. “I think San Antonio played a great, great Game 5 offensively. I am so interested to see how they come out in Game 6. Do they do what Dallas did two years ago where they came in and they played a great game and beat Miami? Or do they take a sigh of relief and think that they have two games to win one, and so don’t play really as sharp or as desperate in Game 6 as they did in 5?
“And likewise, on the other hand, does the pressure get to Miami where they crack a little bit? Or have they been steeled by these last three years of long playoff runs, and do they show their championship mettle and find a way to win these two games? I’m really looking forward to it.”
|Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘A 50-50 shot’ Doc Rivers ends up with Clippers||06.17.13 at 10:24 am ET|
Basketball analyst and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, and he was unsure about whether or not a deal involving Celtics coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers would get done.
With Rivers still under contract for three more years, there are potentially a lot of moving pieces in such a trade. But fortunately for the Celtics, president Danny Ainge has a ton of leverage in the negotiations.
Still, Smith pegged the chances of a trade actually going through at just 50 percent.
‘Ultimately, all the cards are being held by Danny Ainge,’ Smith said. ‘It’s a 50-50 shot either a deal gets done or Doc Rivers stays in Boston. I don’t think Doc Rivers will sit out for the year, then do television and all this other stuff. I think he’s going to stay and coach in Boston this year, or he’ll move on because Danny Ainge will see an opportunity to get young and to get a box-office attraction to some degree, if not Blake Griffin, then some quality young guys you can build around.
‘Clearly, you have to go in that direction [getting younger]. If you’re Danny Ainge, it’s going to be a deal you want to make because you’re an older squad now, and it’s time to move in a different direction. Doc is the one hot commodity that he has. [Kevin Garnett] is 37. Paul Pierce is an aging 35. They’re not what they used to be, even though they can still contribute to a championship situation.
‘They’re not the guys to build around anymore, and if you’re Danny Ainge you know this better than anybody. As a result, it will behoove him to get a deal done. And Doc Rivers is the one piece you have that’s an ace. You have to maximize it.”
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