|Larry Bird on Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade Celtics greats, the death of Len Bias and his love for Kobe Bryant||02.07.12 at 1:31 pm ET|
By now, you’ve heard Celtics president Danny Ainge‘s version of the trades Red Auerbach supposedly turned down for Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in the twilight of their careers — and how it relates to the current Big Three’s trade availability.
The story goes that the Pacers offered Chuck Person, Herb Williams and Steve Stipanovich in exchange for Bird while the Mavericks proposed a deal for McHale involving Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. According to Ainge, Auerbach refused both.
But, in an interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons on the B.S. Report, Bird remembers it differently.
“I was there with Danny and Red and McHale the day we were talking about that,” Bird told Simmons. “The one thing that Danny threw in there was players’ names. The whole time I was in Boston I never heard Red mention any other players on other teams. I heard him talking about draft picks, but I never heard anything about, ‘Larry, I can trade you for this, this and this.’ He just never did that.”
|Paul Pierce: ‘I’m probably at about 83.7 percent’||01.28.12 at 12:47 am ET|
After totaling 52 points, 18 assists and 16 rebounds in consecutive wins against the Magic and Pacers, Celtics captain Paul Pierce discussed the improving health of the sore right heel that kept him out of training camp.
Pierce’s recent hot stretch raises his career total to 21,676 points, just 115 behind Pacers president Larry Bird for second on the C’s all-time scoring list. There’s at least a chance Pierce could achieve the mark in seven games (if not sooner) against the Lakers in Boston on Feb. 9. Of course, you’ll remember Allen set the NBA’s all-time 3-point record against Kobe Bryant & Co. in the Garden last season.
|Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo ‘frustrating,’ says Shaq||11.08.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
Jackie MacMullan’s latest, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” co-written with Shaquille O’Neal, hits bookstores on Nov. 15. Excerpts about Shaq’s tenures in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Miami and Boston have already leaked.
We know about his claims that he told Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge he would never return from the Achilles injury, that he almost punched Glen “Big Baby” Davis for being selfish and that he believed Nate Robinson‘s obsession with Twitter put him in Doc Rivers‘ doghouse.
We also know that everything Shaq claims should be taken with a grain of salt, so keep that in mind when you read the following revelations, as relayed by the Herald’s Dan Duggan on Twitter.
- Shaq said he was really interested in [Rajon] Rondo. Said Rondo was always a topic of convos. Very stubborn and won’t change.
- Vets told Shaq how important but frustrating Rondo was. Vets liked when Rondo would get put in his place b/c he ticked them off at times.
- Shaq did say Rondo earned the respect of the Big 3 by his defense and passing. Rondo and Doc had “respectful beefs” over plays/decisions.
- Shaq said Baby drove Doc crazy. No surprise there. Said KG [Kevin Garnett] wouldn’t confront Baby; KG has mellowed later in his career.
- Shaq said practices were very competitive. [Von] Wafer-Delonte [West] wasn’t the only skirmish.
- Shaq said he told Danny not to do Perk [Kendrick Perkins] trade b/c he didn’t know if he’d be back. Said trade was strictly biz. C’s weren’t going to pay Perk.
- Shaq said KG’s legs/knees were all screwed up last season. Said Ray [Allen] is a future GM, already like a front office guy. [Paul] Pierce is the leader.
- Shaq had very high praise for Doc, positive memories of Boston.
- Shaq also blatantly admits to manipulating the media/public. Says he made up a story about Bill Russell brokering peace w/ Kobe [Bryant] in 2006.
- Shaq shook Kobe’s hand before the game and when asked said Russell told him to do it. Said he made that up to boost Russell’s legacy.
- One last thing from Shaq’s chapter on Boston is how misleading the Celtics were on his injury.
|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).
“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.
|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?
|DeMar DeRozan: ‘Kevin Garnett’s got a dirty mouth’||08.23.11 at 4:43 pm ET|
The matchup between the Goodman League and Drew League over this past weekend finally gave basketball fans a chance to watch a few NBA stars actually competing against each other, and what would a weekend of basketball be without at least some mention of Kevin Garnett and his dirty mouth.
The news that Garnett might swear once or twice or 10,000 times per game should come as no surprise to anybody that’s been watching the Celtics over the past four seasons. I’m sure you’ll recall his involvement in the Charlie Villanueva “cancer patient” incident or the Channing Frye nut tap fiasco.
The latest comes from Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan — likely a nobody in KG’s eyes — who sat down with The Basketball Jones blogger Holly MacKenzie after his contributions to the Drew League. Here’s the exchange involving Garnett, which also features his nod to Kobe Bryant as the game’s greatest competitor: