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10 Things I Heard About Celtics III 08.22.11 at 4:18 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours (Here are “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I and II) …

10. By now, I’m sure you’re sick of all the random Rajon Rondo ridiculousness. One week the Celtics point guard is in Louisville. The next he’s in Las Vegas. Then Boston. And Alcatraz. If they don’t get this whole NBA lockout thing settled soon, he’ll be climbing Mount Everest and sailing the Dead Sea before you know it.

Rondo’s latest adventures involve a paycheck — but sadly no basketball. He scoffed at himself in Lakers gear for a Champs Sports commercial and donned a beret and ascot for a series of Foot Locker ads, revealing some classic Rondo “quickness faces” — The General, The Panther Stare and whatever the hell the third one is called (The Grand Millimeter?) — with his signature deadpan delivery. I also enjoyed this advice from Lesson No. 3:

“It’s the fourth quarter, your most bitter rival is about to step up to the line and shoot free throws that will end your season. Don’t let this go down. Get in his mind, talk some trash and wreak havoc.”

9. Even during the lockout, a week doesn’t pass without some sort of Dwight Howard speculation. The latest? Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer claims he’s been told by Magic CEO Alex Martins that a new collective bargaining agreement may include a more significant “Bird Rights”-like clause that would give Howard’s current team an even greater chance of retaining his services over teams like the Lakers or Celtics in 2012 free agency.

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

How significant that advantage might be for the Magic is obviously up for debate between owners and players.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Celtics sign-and-trade options for Glen Davis 08.08.11 at 4:46 pm ET
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There has been plenty of discussion about sign-and-trade opportunities for the Celtics concerning unrestricted free agent Glen Davis, which leads to a number of questions:

  • How does a sign-and-trade work?
  • Who could the Celtics get in return for Davis?
  • What are the odds of a sign-and-trade after the NBA lockout?

Here, we’ll attempt to answer all three of those issues.

HOW DOES A SIGN-AND-TRADE WORK?

Under the now expired collective bargaining agreement, the sign-and-trade option benefited all three parties involved. Ideally, the player got a better contract than he would have on the open market, his new team got a player coveted by its opponents and his old team got a a player, picks or some kind of trade exception in return.

For example, the Celtics own “Bird rights” to Davis and could sign him for more dollars than another team at or above the salary cap. I’m guessing Big Baby wouldn’t turn down the extra cash. So, let’s say the Magic and Hawks both want Davis, the Celtics could shop him to the highest bidder in exchange for acting as the middle man.

Recent history of sign-and-trades involving players of Big Baby’s caliber haven’t garnered too much in return. I think we can agree that Davis falls somewhere in between 2010 C.J. Watson and 2006 Al Harrington. Watson signed a three-year, $10.2 million deal with the Warriors, and then got shipped to the Bulls for a second-round draft pick. Harrington inked a four-year, $35.3 million deal with the Hawks, and then got traded to the Pacers for a first-round draft pick. The Harrington deal turned into the No. 11 overall pick in a fairly deep draft — which Atlanta wasted on Acie Law — so there is some value there.

WHO COULD THE CELTICS GET IN RETURN FOR DAVIS?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Dwight Howard, Glen Big Baby Davis
What we know about Celtics’ financial situation 07.21.11 at 4:10 pm ET
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In case you haven’t heard, NBA owners have locked out their players, and the outlook appears grim, as Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is among a group willing to lose the entire 2011-12 season over the labor dispute.

Grousbeck and the rest of the ownership group purchased the Celtics in late 2002 for a then-record $360 million, taking on $180 million in debt. Forbes.com valued the franchise at $452 million after their near-title 2009-10 season, a 65.0 percent increase in value since the 2001-02 season.

Before we put how much the Celtics have made — and stand to make — from their new TV deal into perspective, let’s take a year-by-year look at how the Celtics have done financially since the current owners took helm …

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, gilbert arenas, NBA lockout
Larry Bird on the Big Show: I never would have coached at old Garden 06.28.11 at 6:39 pm ET
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Celtics legend Larry Bird was a guest of The Big Show on Tuesday and he sat down with Glenn Ordway for a wide-ranging interview that touched on his job with the Pacers, how he feels about the modern game — and some of the players — and his memories of playing with the Celtics.

Bird also said that he never would have coached at the old Boston Garden.

“All my memories I just wanted them to be as a player,” Bird said. “Even here in Indiana, I told Donnie [Walsh] if the Garden was still up I would never go in there as an opposing coach and play the Celtics as an Indiana Pacer coach. I just couldn’t do that. But they tore it down and I got in there in the other Garden and it didn’t bother me as much.”

Asked if he would have handed over the team to his then-assistant coach Rick Carlisle, Bird laughed, “Carlisle did a lot of it anyway. No, I just wouldn’t have taken the job. I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t see myself walking in the Boston Garden as a visitor. I just couldn’t do that.”

Listen to the whole interview on The Big Show audio on demand page. Here’s the rest of the transcription from the interview:

You haven’t made a lot of trips back [to Boston]. Is that by design or is that just how the schedule worked out?

Well, we’re pretty busy here and I try to get out there as much as I can, just never enough because my admiration I have for that city, it’s a great city, it’s a sports town. I always like to go back out there but an opportunity hadn’t arose as much as I’d like. But obviously I’m going to be there for a couple of days and I’ll probably enjoy it.

As you look back at the great period that you had with [the Celtics], is there anything you look back at and say, “I wish I had done this?”

Yeah, a couple more championships would have helped. You know in 1981 when we won our first championship, I looked at our team and I thought, “Boy, we got a chance here to win at least five championships.” And we had a couple years where we didn’t do as well. Starting in ’84, ’85, ’86, and ’87, we were well on our way to winning a lot of championships. Then all of a sudden the back issues started coming in and things started changing. I always felt that we had a good enough team to win five championships.

We played in five finals but we just won three, so that’s probably the most disappointing thing, but overall it was the greatest time of my life. It was something I loved and playing in a city that cared for their players and their teams, really it was a positive for me and I miss it. I miss being out there, I miss playing, but sometimes I forget I even played because it’s been so long. But it was a great experience for me, I grew up in Boston and met a lot of good people and obviously got to play for Red [Auerbach], and I had some good teammates. We were a good team out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dwight Howard, Larry Bird, LeBron James,
Transcript of Shaquille O’Neal on D&C: ‘I didn’t want to let the people of Boston down two years in a row’ 06.03.11 at 11:06 am ET
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Future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, the day of his scheduled press conference at his Orlando house to formally announce his retirement after one injury-plagued season with the Celtics and 19 years in the NBA.

Asked if this is a happy or sad day, O’Neal said: “A little bit of both. Business-wise, I felt that the Boston organization and the people of Boston treated me very, very well. I could have gotten a little minor surgery and then been out for nine months, but then we would have been in the same situation again, everybody sitting around waiting for me. So, I thought it was great business to let Danny [Ainge] go out and get some younger talent.”

Added O’Neal: “I didn’t want to let the people of Boston down two years in a row.”

Asked if he’s 100 percent certain that he will stay retired, Shaq coyly replied: “For now, yes.”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The big question is where does Shaq appear on the Mount Rushmore of big men in the NBA. Is that a question you want to deal with?

I never really deal with it. For me, coming from where I come from, how I was taught to play the game ‘€” my father used to mention all those great names to me. Like, “Son, when you block a shot, don’t show off and knock it out of bounds. Keep in inbounds, like the great Bill Russell. Son, I need you to dominate. I need them to change the rules for you like they with Wilt Chamberlain. You know what, son, the jump hook is nice. I need you to shoot the little hook like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar].”

So, for me to have my name mentioned next to those guys ‘€” and you can’t forget Chief, Robert Parish. He was great. too. So, for me to have my name mentioned up there, it’s a blessing.

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Read More: Bill Russell, Danny Ainge, Dwight Howard, Jermaine O'Neal
Keeping an eye on Dwight Howard 05.31.11 at 4:29 pm ET
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No one knows what free agency in the NBA will look like next summer, but if Magic center Dwight Howard terminates his contract after next season he will instantly become the next big prize. Unlike the summer of 2010 when LeBron James and friends were set to hit the open market, the uncertainty over a new labor agreement clouds everything at the moment.

Howard could be joined in free agency by players like Chris Paul and Deron Williams, but Howard is the main attraction for obvious reasons. He’s the most dominant center in the league by far, he’s never been seriously injured and he’ll be just 27 years old at 2012 and still in his prime.

As it stands the Celtics could be big players in free agency after next season (again, depending on the new salary cap rules) with under $30 million in salaries currently on the books to three players — Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley. That number will rise obviously but the Celtics are positioned to be active players in 2012.

Howard has the power to alter the dynamic if he chooses to sign an extension with the Magic that is reportedly on the table. He hosted a free barbecue in Orlando over the weekend and told the Orlando Sentinel that he wants to stay.

“I want to start my own path and I want people to follow my path and not just follow somebody else’s path,” he said. “I want to have my own path, and I want to start that here in Orlando.”

He also dropped Shaquille O’Neals name, which as SI.com’s Zach Lowe pointed out, is probably not an accident. Lowe writes:

“Howard must know that invoking Shaq’€™s name is a big, big thing in Orlando. It transforms what would otherwise be the latest in a series of benign pseudo-commitments to Orlando into a memorable, loaded quote in which Howard distances himself from the player who defined the franchise before him. Howard will never be able to avoid this quote if he leaves.”

An Orlando television station reported that Howard was close to signing a two-year extension with the team, but there has been no further corroboration on anyone’s part.

This has already begun to turn into a drama much like the ones that enveloped James in his last season in Cleveland or like the one that surrounded Carmelo Anthony in Denver. Howard’s case is somewhere in the middle. While James played coy with everyone last season, Anthony forced the Nuggets’ hand by refusing to sign an extension. As long as the possibility of signing an extension exists, the Magic will wait on Howard.

Read More: 2012 free agency, Dwight Howard,
Instant Irish Coffee: Big Baby blogs at 10:27 am ET
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Following an atrocious performance for the Celtics in the conference semifinals against the Heat, free agent Glen Davis is refocusing on two things that made him so successful to start the 2010-11 season — working out and eating right — as well as one new hobby: blogging.

Here’s a bit from Big Baby, who took some time out from eating chicken burgers, pasta and kale with strength and conditioning coach Kevin Kearns to blog at iambigbaby.com:

I am very excited to start working out again, set some summer goals and really get ready for next season. It is all about a balanced lifestyle, putting time in at the gym and eating right. I have a great team around me and as you will see my main man, my trainer, is already trying to one up me in the first edition!

While Davis may have a great team of trainers around him, he doesn’t have a basketball team to play with quite yet. The Celtics have said they will offer Davis a contract but won’t match an offer from another team that exceeds his value to the Celtics.

Of course, as is always the case, the blog isn’t always entirely accurate (it is the Internet after all). In his second entry, two weeks ago, he was under the impression that the Celtics had gotten a No. 2 seed in the NBA Playoffs. Perhaps that’s why he seemed so confused in Miami.

IMPORTANT NBA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT DATES

If you’re at all interested in the possibility of an NBA lockout, Ken Berger‘s piece over the weekend is a must read. He highlights a few important dates in the negotiations and compares the NBA’s predicament to the current NFL fiasco. Here’s an important note:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Glen Davis, NBA
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