|Irish Coffee: Boston Charity Classic leftovers (mmm … leftovers)||11.22.11 at 2:34 pm ET|
How fleeting Rajon Rondo‘s Boston Charity Classic was, providing Celtics fans a glimpse of the past, present and future for just one Saturday night before the cold reality of the NBA lockout endures into the winter. All that remains is this highlight package I put together and a few interesting quotes from the postgame interviews. It is the week of Thanksgiving after all, so here are some leftovers from what was a fun evening on the Harvard campus.
CELTICS CAPTAIN PAUL PIERCE
On decertifications: “A lot of players looked to me for leadership when they talk about negotiations, when they talk about options, when they talk about decertification. A lot of guys ask me, and what I did with that was just kind of give them the information. At the end of the day, as a whole, players gotta make a vote — make a choice whether to negotiate, decertify or file an antitrust lawsuit.”
On negotiations: “Right now, I want to get a deal. I want to play. I don’t have too many more years left. But we want the right deal. I think that’s the most important thing.”
On ultimatums: “We don’t feel like it’s a fair deal. If we did, we would have signed it, obviously. Maybe some players do, some players don’t, but as a majority we didn’t feel that was the right deal for us. … If I had a vote, would I make the deal now? You know what? I don’t think the deal that’s on the table is a deal that I would take.”
On meetings: “I wasn’t at the last couple meetings, so it kind of took me by surprise that last day when they broke up the union. So, a lot of that really took me by surprise, but I don’t think it was mentioned to bring it to the whole body, the whole union for a vote. The player representatives get a vote, and we’re at where we’re at.”
On veterans: “A lot of the older guys are kind of different players in this, because it’s for the older guys to say, ‘Take the deal, we already have contracts, we’re on our last two or three years and finish out.’ But it’s something bigger than everybody’s individual legacy. It’s about the future of the league, and that’s what we talked about when we get together. Me, Ray [Allen], Kobe [Bryant], guys who are veterans in the league — we feel like that’s the most important thing moving forward with the NBA.”
|Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo consider overseas options||11.20.11 at 11:57 am ET|
In the past, Paul Pierce has stated his desire to play in either Italy or Greece after his Celtics career is finished and before his retirement begins. For better or worse, the NBA lockout might offer that opportunity prematurely.
“I’ve been thinking about it, truthfully,” Pierce said at the Boston Charity Classic on Saturday night, addressing Italy specifically. “I love the game of basketball. It’s a shame I’m sitting at home not playing, so it’s definitely crossed my mind. Maybe I’ll think about it around mid-December. If I can see that there is no future of the league starting this year, then that’s definitely a strong possibility.”
Likewise, Celtics teammate Rajon Rondo and good friend Kendrick Perkins have discussed playing abroad as a package deal. Yahoo! Sports first reported that their representatives have put out feelers to foreign teams.
“You never know,” said Rondo. “I’m still here being a family man and just trying to do the right thing and staying in shape. I probably won’t make that decision until January. Me and Perk have talked about doing package deals, but right now we’re just enjoying our time. For me, it’s a gift and a curse. I’m trying to get as healthy as possible with all my injuries. But I’m ready to play.”
Rondo, who said his injured left elbow felt “good” after the game, has no offers currently on the table. In recent months, with players such as Kobe Bryant, the difference between the money foreign teams can offer and the insurance premiums for a star player has been too minimal to make economic sense. Since both Perkins and Rondo both finished this past NBA season battling serious injuries, they’ll likely face the same issue.
|Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was a tough situation||08.23.11 at 5:11 pm ET|
Once again, unrestricted free agent Jeff Green explained the difficulty he experienced trying to integrate himself into the Celtics’ offensive and defensive schemes after the Kendrick Perkins trade. NBA.com’s David Aldridge discussed the issue with him earlier this month, and Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears also pressed Green on his statistical drop-off after leaving the Thunder. Here’s what Green told Spears:
- On joining the Celtics: “They’ve been together for a number of years. They’ve already won a championship, they already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. It was tough to go into that situation.”
- On replacing Kendrick Perkins: “The one thing about me is that I’m not trying to fill anybody’s shoes. Kendrick is a totally different player than myself. People looked at me being the type of player I am and with the name I have going into this situation, they expected me to fill his shoes.”
- On adjusting to the Celtics: “It was tough to gather all that information so fast and try to gather the concepts of what they are trying to do.”
- On remaining with the Celtics: “I’ve been in the gym working, but things have been hairy. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m always going to be prepared. I’m just taking it day by day. There is nothing much I can do right now. When things get done, they get done.”
Green doesn’t ever really say anything about remaining with the Celtics (although he admits his stint with Boston’s Big Three was “amazing”). The C’s have already extended a $5.9 million qualifying offer to Green. Another team would have to offer Green more, and even then the C’s could still match any such offer.
As I’ve noted before, the Celtics would be crazy to let Green go elsewhere, considering his future on the team is the only possible way the team can save face from the Perkins deal — especially since center Nenad Krstic has already signed a two-year deal in Russia.
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: With Kendrick Perkins||08.10.11 at 8:23 am ET|
Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo will play together again.
Of course, it’s only for one day — Friday at 1 p.m. — in the Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) High gymnasium where Perkins played prior to joining the Celtics as the No. 27 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft.
With As the culmination of a three-day basketball camp in his hometown, Perkins will host a celebrity all-star game, featuring former C’s teammate Rondo, current Thunder teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Eric Maynor as well as Bucks guard Stephen Jackson.
With the news that Durant just began negotiations on a potential deal to play alongside Deron Williams in Turkey, you can bet news outlets will be making the 90-minute trek from Houston to Beaumont.
Houston native Jackson and Rondo have long been friends of Perkins, also attending the former Celtics center’s 2009 bachelor party and wedding. And it appears Perk’s become fast friends with Durant, Harden and Maynor after being traded to Oklahoma City in February and playing just 34 games with his new team.
The news is just one more encouraging sign that Rondo — who tweeted a photo on Tuesday of his healing dislocated left elbow, knees and ankles wrapped after a lengthy workout — is on schedule to be NBA game ready when the lockout ends. Here’s a quick rundown of Rondo’s busy offseason schedule so far …
|Rajon Rondo and his Celtics teammates let the Kendrick Perkins trade get into their heads||07.26.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
Time often puts things into proper perspective.
In the weeks following the Kendrick Perkins trade in late February, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge dismissed the notion that any professional athlete would let the trade of a friend off the court affect his play between the lines.
Five months later, Rajon Rondo admitted to Yahoo! Sports that The Trade influenced the team “more than it should have” — and that was a mistake. Here’s what the C’s point guard said Tuesday of the deal that sent Perkins along with Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic:
“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something. I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”
Of course, if you remember the fifth episode of NBA Entertainment’s “The Association: Boston Celtics,” which aired soon after the Feb. 24 trade, Rondo sang a different tune at the time:
|List: Danny Ainge’s best, worst draft day moves||06.23.11 at 8:37 am ET|
The Celtics’ season has been over for a while now, and if you’re still in mourning, we’re sorry. But it’s times like these when it’s best to look to the future, and in this case, that means Thursday’s NBA draft. The C’s have the 25th pick in a relatively thin class, but as history has shown, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge always is capable of creating some draft day drama. Here are a few of Ainge’s best moves when the Boston is “on the clock” (followed by a few he’d rather have back).
5. Drafting Ryan Gomes in the second round in 2005
Overall, the 2005 NBA draft was a disappointment for the Celtics (see below), but Ainge managed to pluck a promising talent out of the second round. Boston took Ryan Gomes of Providence with the 50th pick, one spot ahead of Robert Whaley and two spots behind Mickael Gelabale. Gomes started 33 games in his first year and 60 his second year, and ended up averaging 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2006-07. In the same fashion as Al Jefferson, Gomes saw his trade value increase with his breakout season, and he eventually was used as one of the many pieces in the Kevin Garnett trade.
Gomes never was a back-to-the-basket player in college and was vastly undersized in the NBA. Still, he’s managed to develop into a solid small forward for the Clippers and is averaging over 10 points per game in his career.
4. Trading for Kendrick Perkins in 2003
In his first year as general manager, Ainge had two first-round picks in one of the most talented draft classes in NBA history. No, he didn’t miraculously trade up for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Dwyane Wade, but he did trade draft picks Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell to the Grizzlies for their first-round picks, Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. You might only recognize one name from that transaction, but KP43 is the only one that mattered.
|Danny Ainge: 2012 NBA Draft ‘will be better’||06.22.11 at 3:49 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Danny Ainge has crafted a reputation as a GM who isn’t afraid to wheel and deal. Just don’t expect it Thursday night. So, in other words Celtics fans, be patient.
The Celtics president of basketball operations said Wednesday that he doesn’t foresee trading his two draft picks on Thursday to move up for an elite position in the NBA Draft. The Celtics are currently slotted to select at position 25 in the first round and 55th overall in the second round.
“We don’t want to move next year’s pick to [move up] in this year’s draft because 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.
The Celtics will get a 2012 first-round pick via their Feb. 24 trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kendrick Perkins. It will be the less favorable pick from either the Minnesota Timberwolves or Los Angeles Clippers, and is “Top-10″ protected.