|Irish Coffee: Kevin Garnett bleeps everything up||10.18.11 at 11:18 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski piggybacked the ESPN reports over the weekend that Celtics forward Kevin Garnett‘s involvement in collective bargaining negotiations may have disrupted a potential 50/50 split of basketball-related income between NBA owners and players. The C’s-related portion of Woj’s piece:
This fight has grown nastier, more personal, in the past weeks. Privately, management insists that everything changed when the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett walked into the negotiating room on Oct. 4. The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was KG. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making concessions to the owners.
As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”
Colleague Paul Flannery and I had a brief e-mail exchange on the subject, and I couldn’t agree with him more: Are we really going to believe that by fixing the owners with a KG stare that they packed up and went home?
Owners and players will sit down with federal mediator George Cohen on Tuesday. In an appearance on CNN, NBA commissioner David Stern indicated that the meeting could be one of the most significant days of the lockout. Here are some highlights of that interview (via The New York Times):
- The good: “We would push as hard as possible to be up and running in 30 days.”
- The bad: “We keep negotiating and we keep losing games in the calendar.”
- The ugly: “If there’s a breakthrough, it’s going to come on Tuesday. And if not, I think that the season is really going to potentially escape from us, because we aren’t making any progress.”
Calling a potential 50/50 split “a very thin deal for the NBA,” Stern also stressed three needs of the owners: 1) “an opportunity to be profitable,” 2) “a more robust revenue sharing plan” and 3) “a system that allows small market and large market teams to tell their fans: ‘We can compete if we’re well managed.’”
In related news, a group led by billionaire Joshua Harris bought the 76ers for a mere $280 million.
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics VIII||10.17.11 at 2:02 pm ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (“10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII).
10. Current and former Celtics players Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Marquis Daniels all participated in Midnight Madness festivities at their respective Alma maters over the weekend.
“Rondo, by the way, is outstanding,” UK head coach John Calipari recently said. “I mean this guy, he is working … and I told him, and I told Nazr Mohammed the same thing: When they are done if they want to come back and join this staff and finish up their degrees, they are welcome. They are great young people who want other people around them to get better and they are not afraid to share their knowledge and their experiences.”
Even C’s coach Doc Rivers showed up to watch his son Austin Rivers at Duke’s first official practice. Doc hasn’t abandoned his own Alma mater, as he is a member of the search committee for Marquette’s new AD.
Rivers’ respite from the golf course won’t last long, as he will join a slew of PGA Tour stars and former Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic pro-am. Welcome to the NBA lockout, ladies and gentlemen.
9. After totaling almost as many fouls (5) as points (7) in his losing debut for Italian team Benetton Treviso, Celtics second-round draft pick E’Twaun Moore bounced back in Game 2, totaling 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes during an 85-84 victory. He started both games.
To put his performance in perspective, Moore’s averages through two games (9.0 PTs, 4.0 PFs, 4.0 REB, 1.0 AST and 1.0 STL in 27.5 MIN) compare less than favorably to BT teammate Brian Scalabrine (12.0 PTs, 3.5 REB, 3.0 AST, 2.5 PFs and 0.5 STL in 31.5 MIN). So, tame your Moore excitement.
Meanwhile, C’s backup point guard Avery Bradley is scheduled to make his Hapoel Jerusalem debut on Monday.
|Irish Coffee: Kevin Garnett fights for the nobodies||10.07.11 at 1:28 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
If you weren’t on the players’ side of the NBA lockout before, it’s getting harder and harder not to be.
Despite the fact that they are inching closer and closer to losing paychecks, and despite the fact that the league’s top players are finding it more and more difficult to seek employment overseas — an issue we’ll get to in a moment — NBA superstars are holding firm against owners.
Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski called Kevin Garnett‘s “apoplectic” plea to his fellow players not to drop lower than a 52-48 split on behalf of the league’s next generation — even in the face of losing his $21 million salary and perhaps his last best chance at a second NBA title to a lost season — “one of the most unselfish acts in these labor talks.” Here’s what one young mid-level salary player told Wojnarowski:
“What he’s doing now, to me, it says a lot about K.G. He’s willing to sit out the year, and give up [$21 million] at the end of his last big contract, and probably his last really good chance to win another ring. For him, this is about the principle.
“I don’t want to hear this stuff from our guys saying, ‘Oh, he can afford to sit out. He’s made a lot of money.’ I respect the [expletive] out of those guys standing up for us right now, him, Kobe, all of them.”
If owners and players don’t reach an agreement by Monday, the NBA will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. If the lockout lingers any further, the players will indeed lose paychecks beginning on Nov. 15.
The four most prominent players at the most recent collective bargaining session in New York City — Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Amare Stoudemire — stand to lose a combined $219,000 per day if the NBA does not return by mid-November. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a lot of money.
“It’s very, very easy to jump ship when things get hard,” Garnett told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s very, very easy to start thinking differently. I’m not that type of person.”
NBA owners are in this for the long haul, as those who own profitable franchises will be able to make up for lost revenue fairly quickly over the course of the collective bargaining agreement and those who (claim they) don’t profit will actually save money each day the lockout continues.
That’s not the case for aging superstars like Bryant and Garnett, who have 1,401 combined hours of NBA basketball on their aching knees. And it’s not as easy as they might have once thought to make that money back overseas, as Bucks center Andrew Bogut‘s agent David Bauman noted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
|Irish Coffee: Paul Pierce to the NBA rescue!||10.04.11 at 12:20 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Only two players attended Monday’s NBA collective bargaining session with commissioner David Stern and the NBA brass. One was National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher. The other? Paul Pierce.
Pierce isn’t a member of the union’s executive committee, although CBS Sports columnist Ken Berger suggested the Celtics captain and player representative has expressed interest in becoming the Joe Biden to Fisher’s Barack Obama. Regardless, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver cited Pierce as someone who actually brought tangible ideas to the table during labor discussions in New York City over the weekend.
Not only is Pierce expected to join Fisher again on Tuesday, but Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett have reportedly been invited to join a small group of players in what might be the final negotiating window before the NBA starts canceling regular-season games. Imagine that. Lakers and Celtics on the same side of the ball.
Pierce’s presence is only magnified by the fact that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, is among a handful who encourage union decertification and drafted a letter urging the players not to accept a revenue share less than 52 percent — six points higher than Stern’s current offer and two points above what some believe could seal a deal.
Are those final two percentage points — a total of $80 or so million — worth destroying the momentum that two Celtics-Lakers finals and a Heat firestorm created over the last few seasons? It’s hard to imagine Pierce & Co. allowing these negotiations to devolve into decertification, as that could cost the league the 2011-12 NBA season. These are the issues that Pierce, Fisher, Garnett, Bryant and their colleagues face.
My how far Pierce has come since he got ejected from Game 6 of a first-round series loss to the Pacers in the 2005 NBA Playoffs, swung his Celtics jersey over his head at the Conseco Fieldhouse crowd and showed up to the post-game press conference with his head wrapped in a faux bandage.
If the 2008 NBA Finals MVP was Pierce’s defining moment on the court, this could be his moment of Truth off it. He could cement his legacy as not only a Hall of Famer but a power player in the NBA’s future for years to come.
For more on Tuesday’s pivotal NBA labor negotiations, WEEI.com’s Paul Flannery sets the stage perfectly.
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics VII||09.20.11 at 6:35 pm ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (“10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I, II, III, IV, V and VI) …
10. Taking time out from practice on the LSU campus, Celtics free agent forward Glen Davis recently traveled to South Portland, Maine to dedicate a pair of basketball courts and speak on behalf of a charitable venture.
The latter event provided us with two dichotomous Davis interviews courtesy of the local NBA affiliate: 1) the awkward exchange in the embedded video between a report intent on asking lockout questions and Davis, who clearly wanted no part of it; and 2) the poignant speech to Day One fundraisers about being raised by a mother with substance abuse problems.
We’ll start on the basketball side. The short of what Davis had to say was “I have no worry,” “Everything will be Ok” and “We’ll be back on the court.” The long of it:
- On the lockout: “The owners and the players are trying to deal with something, and they’ll make sure everything will happen the way it needs to happen. I have no worry. Everybody loves basketball.”
- On the lockout, again: “They have issues. We have to work them out. Everybody wants basketball. With everybody on the same ground, we can work something out. Everything will be Ok.”
- And again: “I think a lot of guys are working out and preparing themselves, but everybody’s at their house or doing something. We’re preparing like there’s going to be a season, and after everything gets worked out we’ll be back on the court.”
- And again: “We’ve got to work things out first. In the meantime, between time, I’m just affiliated with and doing other things, so I’m just waiting.”
Now to the human side. Here are a few touching tidbits from Davis about his childhood:
- On his hometown: “I grew up in a neighborhood where there were drugs everywhere. It was like walking zombies out there.”
- On his upbringing: “I had to face some things that I never could ever imagine that I would have had to face as a young child. I was put in situations where I had to grow up as an adult. I had to realize what life was really about.”
- On finding hoops: “In basketball, that’s where I found the values of life. It’s where I found that structure. It’s where I found that place where I can vent and be me, because I had to be someone else.”
The Portland Press Herald has more from the emotional Davis, who was introduced by Celtics legend Dave Cowens with this: “All the old guys I played with think he really knows how to play the game.”
|No biggie: Celtics saving lives and catching crooks||09.15.11 at 12:38 pm ET|
Maybe the Celtics are just too busy saving lives and leading people to tips on America’s Most Wanted to bother with the NBA lockout.
Yeah, that’s the big ticket.
Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo helped save a Belmont man’s life with CPR and a defibrillator during a pickup basketball game at Newton’s Hyde Community Center on Wednesday.
“The only part that made me nervous is when the machine said press the button, shock him,” Doo told WCVB TV, adding, “The point is I think anybody could have done it. I think I was there, and it happened to be me.”
Affectionately dubbed “B-Doo” by Kevin Garnett and other Celtics players, he has served as the team’s strength coach since 2003. Doo lives in Waltham with his wife Brianna, daughter Mikayla Jade, his dog Bella and cat Ichiro, according to the Celtics media guide.
Meanwhile, across the country, a Las Vegas man is claiming he tipped the FBI to James “Whitey” Bulger‘s whereabouts three years ago while walking the pier on vacation in Santa Monica after hearing America’s Most Wanted fugitive yell at a guy in a Celtics shirt. Read the rest of this entry »
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics VI||09.13.11 at 11:49 am ET|
On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (“10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I, II, III, IV and V) …
10. After Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett participated in the Pros vs. G.I. Joes video gaming event to promote Call of Duty, a few interviews have emerged from the event. The embedded one by a dude in a Yankees hat from Machinima.com asks which member of the Celtics is the best video game player on the team.
“I would say Big Baby,” Garnett said. “Big Baby [Glen Davis] is probably our best gamer, just because he plays a lot more than everybody else. He’s young, doesn’t really have a family yet, got all this extra time. You know, young boys, they find time to occupy themselves with gaming and other things. If I had to give it up, it would have to be Big Baby. Big Baby’s really good. He’s consistent with his play.”
Of course, the 25-year-old Davis does have a daughter who just turned 1 year old on Sept. 2, so his gaming skills may have slipped since he last played against Garnett.
9. Exhibition games continue to fill Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green’s offseason schedule, as he’ll compete in the Clash of Superstars for charity in Washington D.C. on Saturday before a game between his Goodman League squad and an Indianapolis Pro-Am team on Sept. 24.
In this weekend’s game to benefit a local Boys & Girls Club, YMCA chapters and an area basketball academy, Green will join fellow NBA players Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kemba Walker, James Harden, Greg Monroe, Corey Brewer, Jarrett Jack, Eric Maynor and Samardo Samuels.
Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to join NBA performers Zach Randolph, Eric Gordon, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, Gordon Hayward and Lance Stephenson on the Indy Pro-Am team that will face a Goodman group led by Green, Durant, Wall, Cousins and Jack the following weekend.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Michael Lee caught up with Green over the phone. The highlights: