|Ray Allen, Celtics talk NBA lockout during workouts||09.15.11 at 11:48 am ET|
This NBA offseason of lockout talk has been anything but ordinary, but leave it to Ray Allen to maintain business as usual. Per usual at the end of each summer, the NBA 3-point king is practicing at his alma mater.
As you can see from the embedded video, the Celtics shooting guard knocked down shots on the regular in a shooting drill with the UConn men’s basketball team. And when he finally misses, he’s none too happy.
“I want to show them how to get into the rhythm,” Allen told The Hartford Courant. “the template of being a shooting guard.”
Allen and former Huskies teammate, longtime friend and Celtics commentator Donny Marshall arrived in Storrs, Conn., on Tuesday and are expected to work out with Jim Calhoun‘s team for the next few weeks. UConn alums Rudy Gay and Kemba Walker have also stopped by to practice at Guyer Gym this summer.
While this summer has been status quo for Allen, his fall plans seem destined to be disrupted, as NBA labor negotiations seemingly disintegrated during the latest collective bargaining session on Tuesday.
“I’m optimistic,” Allen told Connecticut’s Journal Inquirer. “Both sides want to play basketball. Both sides want the same thing, for the game to grow, and to make it better for our fans. I purposely in my mind am expecting camp on the date I would normally expect it. That way, once I get to end of September, my body will at least be in a good place and I don’t have to worry about rushing it if it comes at the last minute.”
Allen’s Tuesday workout reportedly lasted for several hours, after which he spoke to the current UConn squad for more than half an hour and signed autographs for onlooking fans. Then, the 1995-96 Big East Player of the Year spoke to reporters about his impressions of the current Huskies: Read the rest of this entry »
|How close is Jermaine O’Neal to being a Hall of Famer?||09.08.11 at 1:31 pm ET|
When former Boston College and current Suns forward Jared Dudley tweeted on Wednesday, “Jermaine O’Neal look like J.O. from the Pacers,” it got me thinking: He’s no Bill Russell, but just how close is O’Neal to being a Hall of Fame player?
Now, this is not an argument for O’Neal’s Hall of Fame candidacy. Repeat: This is not an argument for O’Neal’s Hall of Fame candidacy. It’s simply an examination of how surprisingly close the 32-year-old center is to knocking on Springfield’s door.
- His six straight NBA All-Star appearances from 2002-07 are more than Hall of Fame centers Bob McAdoo (5), Wes Unseld (5) and Walt Bellamy (4).
- His 0.425 NBA MVP Award shares ranks No. 55 in history, higher than 42 Hall of Fame players — including former Celtics center Robert Parish (0.286).
- He has ranked in the top 10 for a single season in blocks seven times and rebounds four times.
- His 1,659 blocked shots (since 1973-74) puts him No. 24 all-time. Of the 15 Hall of Fame eligible players with more career blocks, nine made it. Of the six that didn’t, only Larry Nance had more than 7,000 points.
- His career defensive rating (since 1977-78) of 99.93 ranks No. 44 in history, placing him higher than defensive stalwarts Dennis Rodman (100.26) or Scottie Pippen (101.51) on that list.
- His career player efficiency rating of 18.23 places him No. 117 in history, between surefire Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd (18.25) and Hall of Fame Celtics guard Bill Sharman (18.18)
THE CONS Read the rest of this entry »
|What’s up with all the bizarre courtroom drama involving Celtics Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal?||08.04.11 at 6:13 pm ET|
First, a group of Las Vegas casino security officers countersued Bobcats assistant coach Charles Oakley, claiming current Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal was present when the former Knicks enforcer threw one pool employee off a patio table to the ground, pushed a security officer, threatened others, kicked and punched a few more, elbowed a couple more in the face, spit on another one, swore and “threatened to knock people out.” So JO might have seen Oakley turn into the Incredible Hulk. No big deal.
Then, there was former former Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal‘s ties to a Los Angeles man named Robert Ross, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Main Street Crips and beaten over a non-existent sex tape of Shaq and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal. And the ensuing ridiculous Ross lawsuit that accused Shaq of ordering him to kill a whole bunch of people. And then another Shaq acquaintance’s lawsuit that alleges the surefire Hall of Famer planted tracking devices on Shaunie’s car, recruited law enforcement to help frame his former friend and covered up an affair with Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels (see photo). Who hasn’t been accused of kidnapping, murder and framing someone for possession of child pornography in the course of a single summer?
What the hell is going on here? Lawsuits are getting out of control, right? I mean, you can pretty much sue anybody for anything, and some judge will be like, “Sure, why the hell not, let’s take a look?” Can’t somebody just step back and say, “Well, Robert Ross appears to have less than zero credibility”?
And now it starts to get weird. Now, you say? Yes, now. In Seattle, Wash., during the murder trial of two men — Brandon Chaney and Bryce Huber — accused along with two other men of killing another man for revenge over the robbery of a drug dealer (got all that?), a witness detailed her experience on the night of the shooting (Super Bowl Sunday, obviously). She claimed one of the men she saw before and after hearing gunshots looked like Kevin Garnett. Not that he was KG. He just looked like KG. That didn’t stop the defense attorney from carrying on a conversation with the witness as if Garnett was actually present at the scene of the crime. Here are the details from WestSeattleBlog.com:
|Report: Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal cited in Charles Oakley’s assault lawsuit||07.15.11 at 11:45 am ET|
This past season, when Charles Oakley was hired by the Bobcats as an assistant coach in January, Celtics guard Ray Allen openly wondered why it took so long for a team to give Oakley a chance to mentor younger players in the NBA. Now, we might know why, and Allen’s teammate Jermaine O’Neal might have to answer for it.
A group of Las Vegas security officers are countersuing Oakley, seeking damages of at least $20,000 for a May 2010 incident — during which Jermaine O’Neal was reportedly present — that they claim was the third of a series of assaults by Oakley on Vegas casino employees since 2005, according to business journal Vegas Inc.
Oakley had sued them along with the Aria hotel and casino on May 12, claiming the officers physically attacked him following an argument at the hotel-casino’s Liquid pool. Oakley missed the final 13 games of the season with back problems he claimed stem from this incident, and the Bobcats have since hired assistant coach Rob Werdann as a potential replacement should Oakley not be able to return to the bench next season.
Here’s the passage from the Vegas Inc. website that indicates the current starting Celtics center was present when the incident went down:
|Danny Ainge is realistic about the 2011 draft||06.22.11 at 2:48 pm ET|
WALTHAM — On the eve of the 2011 NBA draft, Celtics president Danny Ainge said that it’s unlikely the team will find much help for the upcoming season with the 25th pick in the first round.
“When you’re drafting where we’re drafting, I’m not trying to put a negative spin on this, I’m trying to be realistic, the 25th pick in the draft is probably not going to help us, immediately,” Ainge said on Wednesday at the team’s training facility in Waltham. “But there are some players that we think can fit our roster, fit into the personality of our team and have a work ethic that can make our team better in practice and add depth to our roster.”
Ainge said that had no intention of trading the future Clippers pick that is top-10 protected through 2016 to move up in this year’s draft and agreed with the overall sentiment that this is a down year for talent. ‘The picks we have aren’t good enough to get to the very, very top of the draft and we think next year’s draft will be better,” Ainge said.
Here are some other items of interest from Wednesday’s media gathering that also included coach Doc Rivers:
On Rajon Rondo: “He’s not 100 percent yet,” Ainge said. “He’s probably about four weeks away from playing basketball at full speed, but he can do some training and conditioning right now.”
Rondo was running on a treadmill above the practice court at Waltham and wasn’t wearing any kind of a brace for his elbow that he dislocated in the playoffs. He turned down requests for an interview.
On Jermaine O’Neal: “He has every intention of coming back,” Ainge said. “Something could happen, that he won’t come back, but he has every desire to come back and play, and he didn’t like the way it finished this year. He doesn’t want to end his career on that kind of note, wants to be a much bigger contributor next year.”
O’Neal has been in Waltham getting treatment and working out and Ainge said that O’Neal decided not to have more surgery on his knee.
On Lawrence Frank, who has been a finalist for several head-coaching jobs: “Lawrence has interest in coming back,” Ainge said. “Lawrence will have an opportunity to coach, as you know, he’s been a top candidate in a lot of teams this year. We want Lawrence back. Lawrence will have options with other teams, too, he’s not under contract, so he has an option to explore all those options.”
Frank was also getting in some treadmill time.
Ainge also confirmed that free agent center Nenad Krstic has signed with CSKA Moscow and will not be back.
On possibly trading one of their core players: “We love our core group. I will just say this. I never tell players that I would never do anything like that,” Ainge said. “We have to keep our options open and explore. That’s my job. Our intention is to bring our core group back.”
|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|
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.
|Irish Coffee: Cutting Big Three’s minutes to win it||05.13.11 at 1:04 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Plenty of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge‘s comments on The Big Show on Thursday incited debate, and perhaps none more than the potential of bringing team captain Paul Pierce off the bench in favor of starting Jeff Green next season.
“Maybe Paul comes off the bench to cut down on his minutes. … That’s just hypothetical,” said Ainge. “I have no idea if that’s going to happen. If Jeff is back next year, I think his role will be expanded, and it wouldn’t shock me if the starting five is different.”
Now, whether or not Pierce becomes the team’s Sixth Man in 2011-12 (doubtful, in my eyes), Ainge’s larger point is a good one: The Celtics need to cut down on the minutes next year for Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and possibly even Rajon Rondo, and the best way to do that is to increase opportunities for young talent like Green (age 24), Avery Bradley (20) and Free Agent X.
As a result of injuries to Delonte West, Marquis Daniels and the O’Neal “brothers,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers called on the Big Four more over the course of this regular season than he did in 2009-10, when the C’s reached the NBA Finals. With three of those guys entering the autumn of their careers and the other dealing with injuries to almost every part of his body, that’s not what the Doc was looking for.
Here are the per-minute averages for the Celtics’ core for the last two regular seasons …
- Paul Pierce: 34.0 in 2009-10, and 34.7 in 2010-11
- Ray Allen: 35.2 in 2009-10, and 36.1 in 2010-11
- Kevin Garnett: 29.9 in 2009-10, and 31.3 in 2010-11
- Rajon Rondo: 36.6 in 2009-10, and 37.2 in 2010-11
Those numbers should be declining, not climbing (unless, in Rondo’s case, he’s completely healthy). It’s kind of like when people sell their grandfather’s 1988 Buick with only 97,000 miles on it: “Other than running a few errands during the week, he mostly drove it on the highway to see his grandchildren every Sunday.” In this scenario, the playoffs would be that Sunday drive out on the highway.