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Celtics: Morning Irish Coffee 09.24.10 at 9:11 am ET
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Interesting read from Fan House on former Celtics guard Nate Archibald, who hopes to become the only guy on the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list to earn a Ph.D. in education. A member of Boston’s 1981 championship team, Tiny entered the NBA in 1970 without a college degree, earning his bachelor’s degree at UTEP during summers off and getting his master’s at night from Fordham.

“It might not be a big deal to some people, but to me, getting the Ph.D. will be my greatest accomplishment,” said Archibald in the piece. “I’m no Einstein, that’s for sure, and I’m not smarter than anyone else, but maybe I’ve been more persistent. And I understand the value of education.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked to learn that most NBA players don’t have a Ph.D. Are we sure that Ron Artest isn’t putting diplomas on his walls?

NBA Jersey Sales

For the third straight season, Kobe Bryant tops the NBA’s list of highest-selling jerseys, but the Celtics placed three players in the league’s top 15: 3. Kevin Garnett; 8. Paul Pierce; and 11. Nate Robinson. As a team, the Celtics rank No. 2 behind the Lakers in jersey sales. Semih Erden and Von Wafer are yet to crack the top 15.

NBA 2K11 Player Ratings

The NBA 2K11 video game released its player ratings for each team’s projected starting five. The Celtics have the third-highest average rating (80.2) in the game, behind the Heat and Lakers (tied at 82.2).

Rajon Rondo (87) is Boston’s highest-rated player and the league’s fourth-ranked point guard (behind Dwyane Wade-97, Chris Paul-95 and Deron Williams-92).  No surprise there. Everywhere else? That’s a different question.

Pierce (83) is the sixth-rated player at his position (behind Andre Iguadola and Gerald Wallace?). Garnett ranks eighth among power forwards (behind David Lee and Josh Smith?). Ray Allen is the 12th-ranked shooting guard (behind OJ Mayo, Stephen Jackson and Vince Carter?). And Kendrick Perkins (72 when healthy) is ranked 16th among centers (behind Greg Oden, Marc Gasol, Ben Wallace and Andrea Bargnani?).

Celtics Scratch Ticket

The Celtics haven’t been in the NBA lottery since 2007, but they released a scratch ticket called “Celtics Cash.” Apparently, there’s more than $20 million dollars in prizes, so the good news for fans is that combined they’ll make less than Garnett ($21.2 million) this season!

NBA’s New Uniforms

The NBA unveiled new uniforms for all 30 teams. Don’t worry. They’re just lighter fitting, like when George Costanza introduced cotton unis to the Yankees. The Celtics are one of three teams–along with the Bulls and Blazers–that will stick with the traditional round-neck tanktop look, as opposed to the v-neck cutoff sleeves look. They’ll also be returning the tiny shorts that Nate Archibald used to wear. Just kidding.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant
Perk talks rehab and everything else 09.08.10 at 9:58 am ET
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Kendrick Perkins has become known as the best talker in the Celtics locker room; no easy feat when competing with the likes of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. But what separates Perkins is his honesty. Ask him a question and he’ll give you a thoughtful response.

Slam’s Tzvi Twersky caught up with Perkins and asked a lot of questions, to which Perk gave his usual candid answers. [Go here for the full interview]

A few highlights:

On his rehabilitation from knee surgery: It’€™s going great, man. I’€™m going to rehab everyday. It’€™s getting a whole lot better. I’€™m walking without crutches and a brace, so things are moving along. I’€™m not rushing anything, but things are moving at a great pace. It’€™s not as bad as everybody thinks. It’€™s difficult, obviously, but it’€™s not as bad as people think. If you mentally strong, you can get through it.

On statistics: I feel like stats are overrated, because stats’€”you could have an impact of the game and not have a huge number of stats. I feel like stats are overrated because’€”they just are.

On Tony Allen feeling overshadowed by the team’s stars: And to say you got overlooked a little bit’€”I ain’€™t trying to go against TA’€”but without them, people probably wouldn’€™t even know your name. We wouldn’€™t be on TV as much, or anything like that. So don’€™t take situations for granted. That’€™s why I say you should be grateful for every opportunity.

On locker room chemistry: The thing is, we all got open minds. So we all willin’€™ to listen. And that’€™s one thing Doc that says: ‘Listen to your teammate. At the time it might not come out how you want it to come out, but listen.’ And we got to be able to tell each other what we’€™re doing wrong. And I think that’€™s what makes our team different from everybody else. We keep our chemistry on the court. You wouldn’€™t know if we had an argument in the locker room or not’€”nobody would know. It wouldn’€™t show on the court in no kinda way.

On his future: Well, I’€™d love to be a Celtic for life, honestly. But, I know this is a business. So we’€™re gonna see how this year works out and just go from there. But I wouldn’€™t want to leave Boston; I love my situation. But we just gotta see and go from there, play this year out.

There’s much more in the full interview on Slam.com

Read More: Kendrick Perkins,
Artest: ‘Doc got one million excuses’ 08.31.10 at 1:03 am ET
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On his Twitter page, Lakers forward Ron Artest took issue with suggestions that his team’s triumph over the Celtics in seven games was impacted by the absence of Boston center Kendrick Perkins in the decisive Game 7 after the 7-footer blew out his knee in the previous contest.

Artest seemingly took issue with Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ contention that the Celtics have never had the opportunity to defend the 2007-08 title with the same core group at full health, noting that the Lakers have been without Andrew Bynum in their title runs.

“Boston lost to lakers because of [the] Kendrick Perkins injury. What about in [2008] when Bynum was injured. What about this year Bynum was injured,” Artest wrote in three consecutive tweets. “What about Kobe played with a broke finger …. What about Ron [Artest’s] defense [w]hen the Boston staff said Ron [A]rtest was too slow. … Doc got one million excuses.”

Read More: Andrew Bynum, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, Lakers
What about Perk? 08.10.10 at 3:06 pm ET
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Left out in the Celtics big summer moves is Kendrick Perkins who underwent knee surgery and is expected to be about until the All-Star break. With Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal on board, the Celtics are loaded with size at the center spot, so where does that leave Perk?

“Kendrick has a very bright future and obviously he knows that we think very highly of him,” Danny Ainge said. “Were not certain when he is going to be 100 percent and that does us allow to be patient with Kendrick. At the same time I’€™m sure Kendrick is worried and nervous because we are going to win basketball games with this frontline even when he’€™s not playing. Hopefully he can just focus on getting healthy and competing for his job back.”

Read More: Kendrick Perkins,
Mannix on D&C: ‘Not a unanimous decison’ for C’s on Shaq 08.04.10 at 10:09 am ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss the Celtics‘ impending signing of Shaquille O’Neal. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mannix said it’s a one-year deal for the veteran minimum ‘€” approximately $1.4 million ‘€” with a second-year player option. “This was not an easy decision for either side,” Mannix said, adding, “Shaq is obviously taking a monster pay cut. … It’s a huge, huge pay cut for this guy to play for this team and to accept a reserve role, coming off the bench.

“And for the Celtics, I can tell you this much, it was not a unanimous decision. This is not something that the entire front office and coaching staff entirely agreed upon. But it is a Danny Ainge type of move. He’s taken risks like this in the past, whether it’s Gary Payton or Stephon Marbury or Nate Robinson this past year. He’s taken chances on guys he thinks can help put them over the top. Danny obviously is convinced that Shaq is what this team needs right now.”

Asked if it was Shaq’s off-court distractions or on-court issues that made the Celtics hesitate, Mannix said: “It’s a little bit of a blend of both, but I think you’d have to start with the on-the-court problems. He is the worst pick-and-roll defender of all-time. He really is. He’s just a horrible, horrible guy when you’re coming off blitzing those screens. And Kendrick Perkins was one of the better pick-and-roll defenders on this Celtics team. This whole defense that Tom Thibodeau put together, and Kevin Garnett glued together, was based on effective pick-and-roll defense.

“It’s going to be incumbent now on Doc Rivers, and to a certain degree Lawrence Frank, who is essentially taking over that Tom Thibodeau role, to redesign the defense. They’re going to have to come up with something almost entirely new when Shaq’s on the floor. Because think about it: The two teams standing in Boston’s path are really Orlando and Miami, and those teams are going to run pick and roll all day long.”

Mannix also noted how Shaq often was in the way of Steve Nash when they were teammates in Phoenix. “Rajon Rondo is going to have similar problems,” Mannix said. “Shaq is not a guy who is even remotely comfortable playing anywhere but six or seven feet away from the basket. So, that’s going to be a challenge for Doc Rivers and his coaching staff to figure that out as well.”

All that said, Mannix said he thinks the signing is a good one for the Celtics. “He instantly becomes the best rebounder you have out there,” Mannix said. “And I’m not worried about him bogging down the fast break. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Kendrick Perkins wasn’t exactly Brad Daugherty running the floor out there for the Celtics. I just think overall, he’s a solid fit.”

Added Mannix: “While I understand the risks ‘€” and I think it’s a huge risk to a certain degree ‘€” you’re not going to get by Miami, you’re not going to get by Orlando unless you make an upgrade. And Shaq, to me, was the best available upgrade out there.”

Asked about controversial guard Delonte West, Mannix said it makes sense for the Celtics to bring him in. West was waived by the Timberwolves this week following a trade from Cleveland. “I think they should [sign him],” Mannix said. “Delonte obviously is familiar with the system, familiar with Boston, familiar with some of the pieces that are in place there. And he’s a proven combo guard. Obviously, the personal problems he’s had off the floor have been well-documented. … But again, you’re talking about adding guys for the minimum salary. If Delonte doesn’t work out ‘€” and I guess to a certain degree if Shaq doesn’t work out ‘€” you can just waive these guys.”

Read More: Chris Mannix, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O'Neal
Father: Perk won’t play for ‘Tall Blacks’ 07.24.10 at 2:12 pm ET
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Don’€™t look for Celtics center Kendrick Perkins to be suiting up for the New Zealand national basketball team ‘€” the ‘€œTall Blacks’€ ‘€” anytime soon.

Perkins’€™ estranged father Kenny Perkins lives in New Zealand and was a veteran of that country’s National Basketball League in the 1980s and 90s. However, a few days after New Zealand men’€™s basketball assistant coach Dillon Boucher said Perkins could play for their national team if he met FIBA eligibility criteria, his father said the Celtics’€™ big man will never play for the Tall Blacks.

‘€œHe has no intention of playing for the Tall Blacks ‘€” not now or ever,’€ Kenny Perkins told the Waikato Times. ‘€œThey tried this a long time ago when Tab Baldwin was the coach and I would never let him play for Tab Baldwin.

‘€œHis main goal is to play for the United States.’€

Perkins is currently out of action for six months with a knee injury suffered in Game 6 of the NBA finals against the Lakers.

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Ainge on D&C: Perk out until February 07.15.10 at 12:40 pm ET
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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.

‘€œIt’€™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. ‘€œWe’€™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 »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jermaine O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins
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