|Now healthy, winning the priority for O’Neal||07.14.10 at 5:57 pm ET|
WALTHAM ‘ Jermaine O’Neal came clean on why he struggled so mightily against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs this past season. The new C’s center said he was kicked in the left ankle in a March 11 contest against the Knicks, which led to it being ‘extremely swollen.’ He tried toughing it out in the playoffs, but the results weren’t pretty, as he average just 4.2 points and 5.6 rebounds and saw the Heat fall in five games.
‘You go out there, you’re telling your team, you’re telling your followers that you’re ready to play, and whatever excuse you have should be kept in the locker room, so I chose not to talk about it because it didn’t really matter,’ O’Neal said. ‘I still felt like I could go out there and help the team. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do it. It was just one of those things.’
Both he and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that he is healthy, and O’Neal now looks forward to embracing a new environment in Boston as he enters his 15th season in the league.
‘One thing I admired about the Boston Celtics team was the coaching and also the way the players played together, it was very selfless on the court,’ O’Neal said. ‘They compete at a very high level on both ends of the floor. They don’t really care who gets the credit for scoring or rebounding or whatever it may be, they just kind of play together and play to win.’
O’Neal said he looked at the way Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett united in Boston for a chance at a first ring, and that his decision was strongly based on their line of thinking, saying, ‘I thought those guys [were] at a position in their career where I’m kind of at that same position.’
With starting center Kendrick Perkins out for the time being with torn MCL and PCL ligaments, the popular line of thinking has been that O’Neal will be the starting center until whenever Perkins returns (sometime in early 2011, whether it be January of February) and that he will then spell both Perkins and Garnett in a reserve role with Glen Davis.
Given what O’Neal has been able to accomplish in his career statistically, it might be hard to imagine a six-time All-Star turning down other offers for a potential job off the bench. Still, despite coming close to averaging a double-double from 2000 to 2007, O’Neal is extremely content with his new role.
“It’s not about options, it’s about winning,” O’Neal said. “That’s what it really boils down to. I’m not at a point in my career where I need to worry about that. I’ve been on an Olympic team, I’ve had Nike campaigns, I’ve had All-Star games, All-NBA’s and I don’t have an NBA finals appearance, which is the most important thing to me and that’s what I really value the most right now.
“Sometimes as players we kind of take for granted that it’s going to keep happening. All those great years in Indiana, you couldn’t have told me that I would go five straight years of basically talking about ‘ going into camp ‘ talking about just making the playoffs. It’s a big difference when you come into camp talking about a championship run and talking about trying to make the first round.”
There could be a string of factors that could make the road bumpier than some would hope, whether it be keeping everyone happy, fighting off injuries, or dealing with O’Neal’s old team, now fully equipped with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, but it’s quite clear the center is all smiles and glad to be in Boston.
|Report: Could Shaq fit in Boston?||07.06.10 at 1:03 am ET|
According to a report on ESPN.com, which cited league sources, the Celtics have expressed interest in center Shaquille O’Neal. With the C’s already over the salary cap, they could offer no more than the $5.8 million per year mid-level exception. According to the report, O’Neal would be intrigued by the idea of playing for Celtics coach Doc Rivers and with forward Kevin Garnett.
With Kendrick Perkins sidelined for part of the 2010-11 season following surgery to repair his torn ACL, the Celtics are looking for help at center. O’Neal averaged 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds a game while playing 23 minutes a night for the Cavaliers in 2009-10.
The report said that O’Neal has also encountered mutual interest with the Hawks and Mavericks, and that if LeBron James returns to Cleveland, he would consider a return to the Cavs. O’Neal, 38, has played for the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns and Cavs in his career.
|Celtics sign Semih Erden||07.05.10 at 1:54 pm ET|
The Celtics signed center Semih Erden of Turkey, the team announced on Monday. Erden was drafted by the Celtics with the 60th pick in 2008.
The 7-foot, 240-pound big man averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for Fenerbahce Ulker this past season en route to the Turkish League championship.
Erden is on the Celtics Summer League roster and will play for Turkey in the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
The Celtics are in need of a big man following the injury of Kendrick Perkins.
|Celtics Harbor Cruise raises over $50,000||07.01.10 at 11:25 pm ET|
Earlier this week, the Celtics and Xfinity hosted a harbor cruise on the Spirit of Boston and raised over $50,000 to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, and Brian Scalabrine joined over 100 Celtics fans on the two-hour Boston Celtics Harbor Cruise. C’s legends Cedric Maxwell, Dana Barros, and former ‘American Idol’ finalist Ayla Brown also attended.
‘It’s always great to come out and support the Shamrock Foundation because it’s all about giving back to the kids,’ Perkins said. ‘It’s fun to have the opportunity to spend some time with the fans away from the court.’
The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation benefits children directly through programs that provide education and support, including partners Perkins School for the Blind, Children’s Hospital Boston, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). More information on the Shamrock Foundation is available at www.celtics.com.
|Report: Celtics targeting Miller||06.27.10 at 11:04 pm ET|
The C’s are in need of a big man this summer after the future of their front court was left in question at the end of the season. It is unknown when Kendrick Perkins, who suffered a knee injury in Game 6 of the NBA finals, will be able to play again. Last week Danny Ainge told the Boston Herald Perkins may have suffered an ACL tear, and more will be known after his surgery. The retirement of Rasheed Wallace also leaves a void down low.
At seven feet tall, Miller’s size and veteran experience could be a fit on the Celtics. He is entering his 13th season with proven minutes behind him on the court. Miller appeared in all 82 regular season games for the Bulls last season and started in 37. He averaged 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds as a starter.
The Celtics have their midlevel exception available to sign the 34-year-old Miller, who has the versatility to play the power forward and center positions. Several contenders are expected to pursue Miller, but sources say the chance to play for the defending Eastern Conference champions has significant appeal to him.
The two-time All-Star also has eight seasons of playoff experience. His most memorable postseason moment among Celtics fans came during the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Miller was fouled by Rajon Rondo late in Game 5 and missed a pair of potential game-tying free throws with two seconds left in overtime. The Celtics went on to win the game, and the hard foul between Miller and Rondo exemplified the intensity of the series.
|Report: Perkins may have torn ACL||06.25.10 at 2:51 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said center Kendrick Perkins may have torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals, according to a Boston Herald report. It was initially believed that Perkins tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments, but the extent of the damage won’t be known for sure until Dr. Brian McKeon performs the surgery. That surgery originally was scheduled for Friday but was pushed back to allow the swelling to subside.
|Report: C’s offer Perkins for pick||06.24.10 at 7:05 am ET|
According to a report at AOL FanHouse, the Celtics have offered center Kendrick Perkins and their No. 19 draft pick to teams with high lottery picks leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft. Perkins, who has an expiring contract worth $4.4 million next season, is preparing for surgery after tearing his medial collateral ligament and partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA finals vs. the Lakers.
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