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10 Things I Heard About Celtics III 08.22.11 at 4:18 pm ET
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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 24 hours (Here are “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I and II) …

10. By now, I’m sure you’re sick of all the random Rajon Rondo ridiculousness. One week the Celtics point guard is in Louisville. The next he’s in Las Vegas. Then Boston. And Alcatraz. If they don’t get this whole NBA lockout thing settled soon, he’ll be climbing Mount Everest and sailing the Dead Sea before you know it.

Rondo’s latest adventures involve a paycheck — but sadly no basketball. He scoffed at himself in Lakers gear for a Champs Sports commercial and donned a beret and ascot for a series of Foot Locker ads, revealing some classic Rondo “quickness faces” — The General, The Panther Stare and whatever the hell the third one is called (The Grand Millimeter?) — with his signature deadpan delivery. I also enjoyed this advice from Lesson No. 3:

“It’s the fourth quarter, your most bitter rival is about to step up to the line and shoot free throws that will end your season. Don’t let this go down. Get in his mind, talk some trash and wreak havoc.”

9. Even during the lockout, a week doesn’t pass without some sort of Dwight Howard speculation. The latest? Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer claims he’s been told by Magic CEO Alex Martins that a new collective bargaining agreement may include a more significant “Bird Rights”-like clause that would give Howard’s current team an even greater chance of retaining his services over teams like the Lakers or Celtics in 2012 free agency.

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

How significant that advantage might be for the Magic is obviously up for debate between owners and players.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kevin Garnett loves playing table tennis 08.18.11 at 1:18 pm ET
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Not much needs to be said about this brief video from China Central Television of Celtics forward Kevin Garnett towering over his Chinese fans, throwing down dunks and getting schooled in table tennis, other than the fact that KG appears to be having an amazing time on the second leg of his Anta promotional tour — in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province and the most populous city in Central China.

Here are some pictures of Garnett’s trip (courtesy of CCTV), followed by some Celtics links:

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President Obama: Why doesn’t Ray Allen teach Rajon Rondo to shoot? 08.17.11 at 12:02 pm ET
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An excerpt of Jackie MacMullan‘s forthcoming biography of Shaquille O’Neal, entitled “Shaq Uncut,” provides some insight into why Rajon Rondo may have struggled after the trade of his close friend and Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins — and the reason will come as a surprise.

According to the excerpt, published by SLAM Online, a joke by President Barack Obama during a fundraiser on March 8 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts may have sent Rondo into a tailspin. Here’s the passage in its entirety:

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10 Things I Heard About Celtics II 08.16.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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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 24 hours (the first “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” is here) …

10. As SLAM noted, Celtics free agents and Louisiana natives Glen Davis and Von Wafer both made the top five plays from this past weekend’s Tournament of the Stars Basketball Clinic in Lake Charles, La. Big Baby’s post-clutch-3-pointer “big balls” dance is an instance classic, as is Wafer’s posterization. Both players would like to remain in Boston once the NBA lockout ends, and Wafer has already signed a one-year deal to play in Italy.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce tweeted this photo from his fishing trip this past weekend.

9. While every other NBA player tosses his name into the overseas rumor mill, Celtics captain Paul Pierce is content with his hobbies on vacation. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant‘s agents have been busy shopping him everywhere from China to Brazil, but Pierce can’t get enough poker, fishing and scheduling volunteer work — promoting his Truth on Health campaign on HGTV by making over his hometown Inglewood (Calif.) High’s athletic facilities on Aug. 20 and bowling with Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Celtics free agent Glen Davis in the 5th Annual Beckett Bowl on Aug. 29.

Of course, Pierce will play overseas — for his country. He and Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley will help form a United States All-Star team at the Continental Club Championships in Beijing from Aug. 20-28. Somehow I doubt Pierce will be earning $375,000 or whatever it is Bryant is seeking per week for his China sojourn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett? 08.15.11 at 1:55 pm ET
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Who's better: Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce? (AP)

Every so often a question is posed regarding the Celtics’ four All-Stars. In short: Which one is the most valuable/best/indispensable? What makes this question so intriguing is that there is a legitimate case to be made for all four.

Without Ray Allen‘s shooting ability the Celtics’ vaunted floor spacing begins to shrink and coach Doc Rivers loves to make use of Allen’s ability to use screens in their halfcourt sets.

Rajon Rondo is the playmaker, the only reliable point guard on the roster the last four years, and one of the few Celtics who can change pace and tempo with the flick of a switch. When Rondo has been out of the lineup — or gone through a prolonged slump — the Celtics inevitably struggle to score points.

Kevin Garnett is the defensive anchor and that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Simply put, when Garnett plays at the level he played at last season the Celtics defense is ferocious.

Then there is Paul Pierce, who does just about everything well and is the one player the Celtics reliably use to create his own shot when everything else breaks down.

You can go round and round in circles on this question and never come to a definitive answer, which is a large reason why this foursome has been so successful. Ubuntu may have been a clever rallying cry, but its tenets hold true for this collection of players. “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Take any one of these parts away and the whole suffers for it.

That’s why I watched with great interest as Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe unveiled his top 100 players list. One way or another Lowe would have to parse this group and assign a ranking. Lowe had Allen ranked 48th and Rondo 27th, which left the top spot to be decided between Garnett and Pierce. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celtics targets: Michael Redd, Grant Hill, Tayshaun Prince? 08.10.11 at 10:52 am ET
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Whether or not they can get a deal done after the NBA lockout, the Celtics will be in prime position this summer to encourage prominent free agents Michael Redd, Grant Hill and Tayshaun Prince to at least consider signing in Boston if and when the season begins.

Here’s the note on Redd from Racine Journal-Times reporter Gery Woelfel (h/t SLAM):

I’ve heard Milwaukee Bucks management approached Michael Redd before the lockout about returning for another season, although my impeccable sources insist he’s going to wind up with one of the Eastern Conference’s title contenders.

Michael Redd

Redd averaged 20-plus points for six straight seasons from 2003-08 before suffering a series of knee injuries that kept him from 185 games over the final three years of a six-year, $90.9 million deal with the Bucks. Playing the final 10 games of this past season, he averaged 4.4 points (40.0 FG%) and 1.2 assists in 13.4 minutes.

Assuming Redd targets legit Eastern Conference title contenders, that should limit his potential landing spots to Boston, Miami and Chicago. While the Heat and Bulls could offer Redd more playing time, no team would allocate much more than the veteran minimum to the almost 32-year-old shooting guard — and the Celtics have one appeal those other teams don’t: Redd’s old friend and former Bucks teammate Ray Allen.

During a Celtics road trip to Milwaukee in March, Allen and Redd shared dinner the night before the C’s defeated the Bucks, discussing their three seasons together from 2000-03. Here’s what Allen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about that conversation: Read the rest of this entry »

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10 things I heard about Celtics 08.09.11 at 5:07 pm ET
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Even on a slower Celtics news day than normal, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours …

10. Jeff Green‘s 26 points and last-minute 3-pointer helped seal the Nike D.C. Pro City championship in a 105-101, double-overtime victory on Sunday. Of course, his team also featured Pistons forward Greg Monroe (32 points), and their opponent was comprised of Georgetown’s incoming freshmen class.

As HoyaReport.com reported, “One of the best players in Pro City this summer, Green has had a penchant for playing well but not necessarily focused. He has used the league to work on his outside game and have fun. Sunday was different. It was clear he was dialed in.”

9. According to the Lawrence Journal, Paul Pierce is among a group of former University of Kansas players that could be playing in an NBA alumni weekend exhibition game in September. The other potential players: Grizzlies Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby; the Thunder’s Cole Aldrich and Nick CollisonMario Chalmers (Heat); Drew Gooden (Bucks); Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), Darnell Jackson (Kings); Marcus Morris (Rockets); Markieff Morris (Suns); Brandon Rush (Pacers); and Julian Wright (Raptors).

“It’s something we’ve talked about,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told the paper. “That’s certainly something we’d consider doing. We have talked about a lot of things, and that is one of them. It’s certainly an option.”

Obviously, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has already signed for a similar exhibition game between the Dominican National Team and a bunch of University of Kentucky alumns (Rondo, John Wall, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans). You can vote for Rondo as a starter for that team here.

8. A photographer recently captured a photo of Shaquille O’Neal and girlfriend Nicole Alexander. The 5-foot-2, 100-pound Hoopz really puts into perspective just how big the 7-foot-1, 325-pound former Celtics center was. Shaq’s jorts and slippers are a whole different matter. Here’s the photo: Read the rest of this entry »

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