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Doc laughs off trades on ‘PTI’ 06.11.09 at 11:14 pm ET
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On Thursday Celtics head coach Doc Rivers dropped in on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” to talk NBA Finals, Kevin Garnett, and the possibility of trades looking ahead to next season.

PTI: You were in the same situation last year that the Lakers are now. Up 2-1 and you won Game 4 and won the series, so how important is this game to the Lakers?

Rivers: Well it’s important to the Lakers. I think it’s more important to the Magic, obviously. You know the Lakers are looking at this, they would clearly like to win the next two games, but they’re thinking if they win one, they go back home with six and seven to win one, so for them that’s the way they’re thinking. Obviously for Orlando, they just have to try to hold serve at home. I’ve always thought, and I still believe, it’s a disadvantage they have three games in a row at home because when teams are evenly matched, it’s tough to win three games in a row anywhere. And so I do think it’s tougher on Orlando in that way.

PTI: Alright Doc, when all is said and done who do you think is going to win this series and the NBA Championship?

Rivers: You know, I hope neither one wins. I would just like to table it for next year. (Smiles) But now that I know that that can’t happen, I think being in the East, you’re always cheering for the East Coast teams. You don’t want the West to win anything. Having said that, I think the Lakers are the favorite. I just think they’re just so talented and they’ve been there before, so you’ve got to make them the favorite in this series.

PTI: Now let me ask you the hypothetical question that maybe you just alluded to with the beginning of that answer. If Kevin Garnett had not gotten injured, did you like your chances to repeat this year?

Rivers: Yeah I did, but he was and that’s part of the game and so I accept that. There’s times when you watch and you wish you could have had the opportunity to compete with a healthy basketball team. But guys, as you know in sports, injuries are absolutely part of the season and it happens and unfortunately it happens for us. And so to me the two best teams right now are Orlando and the Lakers and they deserve to be there. Next year we hope that’s a different story.

PTI: Doc, Kevin Garnett just had successful surgery and I know you’re hoping he’s going to be back for at least 75 or more games next year. But how did you feel about this guarantee that he was going to be able to lead the Celtics to another title. Is that a check you guys can cash?

Rivers: I love it. (Laughs) I love it. I hope he’s right. I hope it’s not a Patrick Ewing guarantee – I lived through those. No, I love it. I love when players are confident. I think Kevin believes that, he wants that to happen, and so do we. And to me it’s good. I like when players start guaranteeing things. I like it more when they back it up and I’m hoping Kevin can do that.

PTI: I’m just thinking about two summers ago when you guys had the blockbuster move that kept talk radio and our show going for weeks. Are you and Danny (Ainge) plotting anything like that this summer? Do you see your personnel needing to be shuffled in that way?

Rivers: No I don’t, but we’ve got a huge trade we’re going to announce. I’m just joking. There’s no trade coming. (Laughs) No, no we’re good. I like who we are. I think we do have to add some length to our basketball team as well, especially with Leon Powe maybe not coming back for at least til midseason or later. We’ve got to add one more big to our team. Other than that, I love our basketball team, I love our guys, and I think we’ll be in great shape next year.

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Grousbeck: KG is feeling great 06.03.09 at 2:36 pm ET
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Celtics.com is Tweeting from the Boston Celtics Corporate Partners Summit and providing updates on their Twitter feed. Below are a few posts, including co-owner Wyc Grousbeck’s take on Kevin Garnett:

  • Wyc: “I saw KG this morning, he’s feeling great and he’s the most fired up he’s ever been. For KG, that’s saying something.”
  • Ray on NBA’s International growth: “We enjoyed Rome for training camp. We enjoy playing overseas in bigger arenas; fans are just as crazy.”
  • Ray: “Anytime I’m in the gym, somebody runs down to rebound for me. They’ve built a great team (off court) so we can focus on basketball.”

(via RedsArmy)

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KG undergoes successful surgery 05.26.09 at 2:14 pm ET
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On Tuesday the Boston Celtics issued the following statement regarding Kevin Garnett:

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Kevin Garnett underwent successful right knee arthroscopy and removal of posterior knee bone spurs today at the New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Michael Belkin and Dr. John Richmond.

“After this successful surgery, Kevin can now begin to focus on rehabilitating his knee, returning to top physical shape and fully preparing for the 2009-10 season,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge remarked.

Garnett appeared in 57 games this season for the Celtics averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.11 steals and 1.19 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game.  Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to have played in 1,000 career games when he played against the Bulls on October 31, 2008 at the age of 32 years and 165 days.  Garnett was named to the 2009 NBA All-Defense First Team for the second consecutive season and his 10th consecutive season of being named to either the First or Second Team. The Farragut Academy product was named to his 12th All-Star game this past season and his 12 appearances are second-most among active players behind only Shaquille O’Neal.

“I expect Kevin to return to active duty in full force and be that consummate two-way professional that he has shown all of us throughout his fantastic NBA career,” Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers added.

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Draft prospect compared to Garnett 05.25.09 at 7:57 pm ET
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B.J. Mullens

Mullens has the intense face down.

This summer B.J. Mullens is looking to make a name for himself in the NBA Draft, but he doesn’t mind being compared to certain players along the way.

Very few players would complain when drawing similarities to one of the best in the game.

“I can get compared to Kevin Garnett, his inside game,” Mullens told HOOPSWORLD (Click here for video), “Outside game, Dirk Nowitzki, explosive like Amar’e (Stoudemire). Those three guys I like to compare myself and mix them all together and do a little bit of triple threat.”

Mullens has been working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, where Garnett has also trained. The 7-foot, 260-pound center averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in his freshman season at Ohio State. He lists his strengths as his footwork, outside jumper, and versatility playing both inside and outside.

Like Garnett, he was named to the Parade Magazine First Team All-American in high school. Mullens plans to work out for 15 teams before the draft, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.

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Cassell hired as Wizards assistant coach 05.21.09 at 9:11 pm ET
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Sam Cassell made his goal very clear when he signed with the Boston Celtics in 2008 — he wanted to coach. On Thursday, he accomplished that mission. Cassell was hired by the Washington Wizards to serve as an assistant coach to the newly appointed Flip Saunders. According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Cassell is already participating in pre-draft workouts.

“After 15 seasons playing in this league, I have accomplished all that I have dreamed of as a player,” Cassell said in a statement issued by the Wizards. “Now the time has come for to me to take my love for the game to the coaching ranks and pass on what I’ve learned. This team is loaded with talent, and it’s a great way for me to start my coaching career.”

Cassell will be part of a coaching staff that has close ties to Kevin Garnett. Cassell and Garnett were teammates in Boston and Minnesota; Saunders served as the Timberwolves head coach for ten seasons; and Wizards assistant coach Randy Wittman coached Garnett in Minnesota during the 2007 season.

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Ainge: We never question KG at 12:11 am ET
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Kevin Garnett held out hope. The Boston Celtics front office held out hope. Even though the probability of playing seemed unlikely, a chance is still a chance. And for that, Celtics president Danny Ainge has no regrets on leaving the possibility of Garnett’s return open.

“There was some question if KG would be able to play at some point in the playoffs, and we had hope. And we still had hope for that, and it just didn’t turn out that way. But one thing that we can’t do, and one thing that we don’t do internally, is never question Kevin Garnett,” he told WEEI’s The Big Show. “I mean, Kevin Garnett for 12 years has never given anybody any reason to think he would not play if he could. The guy just doesn’t miss games.

“But the reality of it is, is there was still hope. I think there was a bit of hope in Kevin’s mind, there was hope in our minds, there was hope in Doc’s mind even though we knew that the possibility, that the stronger possibility existed that he probably wouldn’t play, there was a little bit of hope that he might be able to at some point. So I think second-guessing doesn’t do any good. It didn’t turn out, he wasn’t able to play, and we don’t really think that we’ve set ourselves that far back.”

In retrospect, holding off surgery during the season may actually help Garnett’s recovery.

“We think the surgery now is fine. Anyway, Kevin’s gotten stronger, he’s been working extremely hard,” Ainge said. “And some people think the stronger your legs are when you get the surgery, the better prepared you are for your rehab anyways. So we’re not second-guessing any of that.”

Garnett is slated for surgery next week.

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Report: KG to have surgery next week 05.19.09 at 8:37 pm ET
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The Boston Globe has reported Celtics president Danny Ainge said Kevin Garnett will have surgery on his knee next week. According to the Globe, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck expects Garnett to return next season at full strength. The Celtics had not set a date for surgery during the playoffs, leaving a small window open for the possibility of his return. Garnett injured his knee in February.

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