|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:
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics V||09.06.11 at 6:25 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 and IV) ‘¦
10. It seems free agent point guard Carlos Arroyo has spent more time in the recording studio than on the floor for the Celtics this past season (190 minutes), as a couple of his new tracks are making the rounds. Meanwhile, back in Argentina, he’s been doing his best Rajon Rondo impression for the Puerto Rican national team during the FIBA Americas Championship.
Arroyo has averaged 16.5 points and 4.0 assists in 29.5 minutes as Puerto Rico has improved to 5-1 two games into the second round. Virtually assured of a spot in the semifinals, Arroyo could lead his home country to its first Summer Olympics berth since he helped Puerto Rico upset the United States in 2004.
“He’s our captain, the leader, the veteran,” said J.J. Barea, a Northeastern alum and member of the NBA champion Mavericks. “He’s been here for so many years, and he’s doing a great job leading the team.”
Interestingly, another local product — Auburn, Mass. native Javier Mojica — has also contributed to PR’s success. If you don’t remember Mojica’s riveting story, here’s a tremendous feature from 2007 on the Central Connecticut State walk-on and former Northeast Conference Player of the Year by The Globe’s Chris Gasper.
9. Try to forget the fact that the Celtics will enter the 2011-12 NBA season’s free agency period (if there is one) with Jermaine O’Neal as the sole center on the roster when you read this next sentence: Nenad Krstic has averaged 17.2 points per game for Serbia (4-1) during EuroBasket 2011.
Of course, the fact that he’s only grabbed 3.6 rebounds per contest should soften the blow that Krstic left the Celtics via free agency to sign a two-year deal in Russia, leaving the C’s with only restricted rights to Jeff Green as part of the Kendrick Perkins deal. Somewhere, the lone guy who bought a Krstic No. 4 Celtics jersey weeps.
|Kevin Garnett: ‘You trust no one’ in NBA lockout||09.01.11 at 12:41 pm ET|
Celtics all-star forward Kevin Garnett joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning to promote the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” He discussed everything from not trusting the NBA owners, to the possibility of an extension with the Celtics, to how close he was to joining the Lakers, toShaquille O’Neal hitting a softball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Here are the highlights from my transcription of Patrick’s interview with Garnett. Enjoy what was a great conversation …
Dan Patrick: Do you trust the owners?
Kevin Garnett: You trust no one in this, to be honest. You trust the players, because we are all communicating, and it is negotiating, but you never trust the other side, you know? Because you don’t know what they’re thinking, and you don’t want them to know what you’re thinking. You try to come to some common ground that makes sense going forward.
DP: Do you think the owners want a season?
KG: I don’t know. I’m not on the owners’ side. I don’t know what they want.
DP: But you have to understand your opponent, I guess, if you go into a business agreement. I just get the feeling that they’re willing to sacrifice a season.
KG: Naw. You say that, and you hear that, but you don’t understand some of the motives of some of this. We have a take, and we have a stand that we’re going to take on some issues. I think at the end of the day common ground will be found. I just think that this game is too beautiful, with everything that’s going on and all the story lines that surround our game, I can’t see just blowing away the season. But I think if we did, both sides are prepared for that.
DP: You’ve got a year left on your contract. Have you talked about an extension?
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV||08.30.11 at 12:26 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 and III) ‘¦
10. The success of the 1985-86 Celtics (67-15; 40-1 home; 15-3 playoffs) stemmed from not only talent but intellectualism, according to this recent NBA.com puff piece. The team featured six future NBA head coaches: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Rick Carlisle and Sam Vincent. Not to mention quote machine Bill Walton. Here’s what McHale and Walton had to say on the subject …
- Kevin McHale: “We had a lot of guys on that team who really knew the game and understood what it took and what it meant to play it the right way. I kinda took it for granted, thinking that was the way everybody played, because I had been around guys with the Celtics where everyone understood that. I probably realized for the first time that it wasn’t that way everywhere when Danny Ainge told me that other people couldn’t totally change their game plans during a timeout and then go right out onto the floor and execute it. It was after Danny got traded to Sacramento and he said that if that team didn’t work on something in practice for three days, there was no way they could do it in a game. We could devise a whole new scheme in a timeout and then just go do it. I guess everybody on that Celtics team just had a good basketball mind.”
- Bill Walton: “Everyone constantly thought basketball. Everyone always played a mental game. Even though we were a team that physically had the tools necessary to be at highest level of the game, it was the mental edge that allowed that team to be so special.”
9. Reason No. 893 Celtics guard Ray Allen is cool: While every other NBA player is seemingly shopping himself overseas or making headlines in exhibition games against questionable competition, the 3-point king works on his golf game as if it were just another off-season.
Last month, Allen played in Lake Tahoe. Two weeks ago, in Connecticut. Next week, in New Jersey at the Liberty Cup Charity Golf Tournament with golfer Natalie Gulbis and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan. All for charity.
I guess that’s why Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” and not someone like Kobe Bryant (interesting tidbit: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were reportedly approached for that role, but their agent wanted a guarantee that one of them would get the part).
8. As we’ve discussed previously, Austin Rivers and his Duke basketball teammates are traveling China and the United Arab Emirates, crushing every team in their path. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is also with the team to watch his son make fools out of people internationally. Dubai newspaper Gulf News caught up with the pair that hopes to soon become the third father-son NBA duo in history (Jan Van Breda Kolff and Butch Van Breda Kolff; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). Here’s what Doc had to say about his son and vice versa … Read the rest of this entry »
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