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Kris Humphries is confident of a ‘good relationship’ with Rajon Rondo 07.16.13 at 10:56 am ET
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Kris Humphries (left) fought Rajon Rondo (9) last November. Now they're teammates. (AP)

Kris Humphries (left) fought Rajon Rondo (9) last November. Now they’re teammates. (AP)

WALTHAM — Kris Humphries knew the moment he was traded to Boston he would have to face the question.

How will he get along with Rajon Rondo?

It was Rondo who was so offended with a Humphries hard foul on Kevin Garnett in mid-air that the Celtics point guard went after the 6-foot-10 big man and started a fracas under the Celtics basket.

On Monday, it took just three questions before Humphries was asked if he thinks bygones will be bygones and if he can actually work in harmony know with the Celtics tempestuous point guard.

“I knew it was coming; it just took a few questions to get there,” Humphries joked before offering a serious answer.

“I haven’t talked to him but I think we’ll have a good relationship,” he said. “I think things happen within the game. Looking at it, it really was nothing. The media tends to blow things out of proportion. Obviously I just have to do my part to earn his respect in terms of playing hard and contributing to the team and just go from there.”

Humphries was given two technical fouls and ejected from the game on Nov. 28, 2012, won by Brooklyn, 95-83. Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace was given one technical for joining in, but since it was his second of the game he was also ejected. Garnett was given one technical foul but was not ejected.

The only Celtics player ejected was Rondo, who with only three assists, saw his streak of 37 consecutive games with at least 10 assists end that night due to the ejection. That mark tied him with John Stockton for second-longest in NBA history.

The fracas started when Humphries fouled Garnett, pushing him to the floor as he shot from the right baseline. Rondo shoved Humphries, sending the melee into the stands.

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Danny Ainge: Nets wanted ‘Dream Team’ at ‘any cost’ 07.15.13 at 5:10 pm ET
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Left to right, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries were introduced as new Celtics Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Left to right, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries were introduced as new Celtics Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

WALTHAM — The way Danny Ainge looks at it, trading away future hall of famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett along came down to taking advantage of a team desperate to build its own “Dream Team.”

That’s why, according to the Celtics president of basketball operations, he pulled the trigger earlier this month on a deal that sends the two stars to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Humphries.

“Brooklyn showed a great deal of interest in putting the ‘Dream Team’ together, with expense not [a factor], at any cost it seemed like,” Ainge told reporters at an introductory press conference Monday. “And the opportunity to acquire a lot of young assets and get younger and move onto a different phase presented itself. We felt like, where we were as a team, it was going to be very difficult to be a championship contender [had] we kept Paul and KG.

“The opportunity presented itself. It’s a situation we needed to do. It’s a situation that Brooklyn should do and could do, adding Paul and KG to a roster with already three All-Star type players. It’s a pretty special opportunity for them, even though it’s very expensive.”

Jason Terry was also unloaded in the deal that reshapes the Celtics roster for years to come. Was there another team that challenged the Nets in acquiring the trio?

“You don’t really want to trade to a division rival but no, there were no other teams that were even close,” Ainge admitted. “As a matter of fact, it was interesting that the offers we got for Paul and KG were greater than we got for them in years past. It was an opportunity we felt we had to jump at.”

Was it hard for Ainge to pull the trigger in the end?

“Absolutely,” Ainge said when asked. “I think it pretty much goes without saying, and there’ll be many opportunities to talk about their legacies, and I know this is not my decision alone to make, but if it were my decision alone, their numbers will be hanging from the rafters some day. Their legacy has been made here in Boston. They still have basketball left in them but at the same time, we’re going to want to beat them. But those guys were great for the city of Boston, great for the Boston Celtics franchise and great for all of us who were associated with them.

“But this is a good deal for us. We’re excited about the players we’re getting and we’re excited about the opportunity for us to start fresh and start over, not completely over because we have a lot of good players returning and a lot of good players acquired in teh trade but start over in terms of a new coaching staff, new players and a new identity.”

A fifth player the Celtics received in the deal – Kris Joseph – was waived on Monday.

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Donny Marshall on M&M: Josh Smith has ‘no position, no shot selection’ 02.21.13 at 1:16 pm ET
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A mere hours before the NBA’s trade deadline, Donny Marshall of CSNNE joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the never-ending trade rumors involving Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Fab Melo and more.

Josh Smith reportedly is not happy in Atlanta. (AP)

The Celtics reportedly have interest in making a deal for Hawks forward Josh Smith. (AP)

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, reported Wednesday that the Nets had offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a draft pick to the Celtics for Pierce.

“I love MarShon Brooks,” Marshall said. “I think that he is one of my favorite, if not my favorite first couple of years players. He’s a terrific scorer. … It comes to an end at some point and then you have to start rebuilding. Paul Pierce is the Bob Cousy, the John Havlicek of the Celtics today. He really is. You have a guy on your team that has played for you his entire career and has played through all the ups and downs. … If you can get a guy like MarShon Brooks, if you can get a guy like Kris Humphries; you know what, personality off the court aside, it helps you on the court.”

Another hot topic for the trade deadline has continued to be the possible availability of Hawks forward Josh Smith.

“I don’t know if Doc Rivers wants to coach a guy like Josh Smith,” Marshall said. “The guy has no position, I’m talking basketball alone. He has no position. He has no shot selection. Sometimes you’ll see him shooting 3′s. He’ll shoot air balls, then he’ll make two or three. Then you’ll see him shooting mid-range jumpshots, then you’ll see him in the post. He really has no position. … He hasn’t proven himself as a winner, one. He doesn’t really understand the concepts of what they’re running. Maybe that’s the coach and the system that you can play in Atlanta, but I’m not so sure that he’s a Doc Rivers-type guy.”

While Smith’s athleticism is obvious, his personality and attitude has come into question in the past.

“Everyone across the board [says] ‘We don’t know, we stay away from Josh Smith,’ ” Marshall said. “Because his personality, he will blow up at you. He will walk out of practices. These are reports from guys who are on that team; coaches and players. Obviously you have to have a guy come and experience it for yourself, but guys in the NBA talk. It’s a small fraternity and that bad news can derail, it will stay with you for a long time, and I think a lot of people know that about Josh Smith, apart from his talent on the floor.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Trade rumor: Nets offer Kris Humphries in package for Paul Pierce 02.20.13 at 6:00 pm ET
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Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

The Nets offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick — the same package made to the Hawks for Josh Smith — to the Celtics in exchange for Paul Pierce, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The C’s want Brooklyn to sweeten the pot with Mirza Teletovic and another first-rounder, but the Nets won’t add to their original offer, according to Wojnarowski, who reported a near Pierce deal with the Nets last season that involved Mehmet Okur‘s expiring contract and a lottery pick that was instead dealt to Portland for Gerald Wallace and became Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard.

The Celtics also separately inquired about Nets backup point guard C.J. Watson, but the conversation went nowhere, Wojnarowski said.

As for Brooklyn’s offer for Pierce, no word on how quickly Celtics president Danny Ainge hung up the phone. The Nets seem eager to get out from underneath the $12 million remaining on Humphries’ deal next season, especially since the controversial big man’s production has been slashed in half since averaging a double-double during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, the C’s could’ve had MarShon Brooks in the 2011 NBA draft, but instead shipped his rights to the Nets in exchange for JaJuan Johnson. And the Nets currently own the 21st pick in this June’s draft. In other words, a terrible offer.

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Poll: What do you think of the 2-game suspension of Rajon Rondo? 11.29.12 at 5:53 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo has been suspended two games without pay (approximately $268,000) for fighting with Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries during the second quarter of the Nets’ 95-83 victory over the Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday. Additionally, Brooklyn’s Gerald Wallace has been fined $35,000 and Boston’s Kevin Garnett has been fined $25,000 for escalating the altercation. The penalties were announced Thursday by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Rondo will serve his suspension on Friday, Nov. 30 when the Celtics host the Portland Trail Blazers and Saturday, Dec. 1 when the Celtics play the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

What do you think of Rajon Rondo's two-game suspension?

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Rajon Rondo: ‘I play the game hard, I play with an edge every night’ at 3:21 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo spoke for the first time since being ejected from Wednesday night’s game for fighting. Rondo said he spoke with the NBA office about an hour before Thursday’s practice and made his case for his involvement in the altercation with Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries, after Humphries fouled Kevin Garnett in mid-air on a baseline drive to the basket with 29.5 seconds left in the second quarter.

“I talked to the NBA,” Rondo said. “They recorded the conversation. I just explained what went on, what happened [late] in the second quarter. I told them the truth. I don’t know what’s going to happen. They haven’t made any decisions yet. I’m just waiting to hear back from the league. I went through practice hoping I’ll play [Friday] but you never know.”

Before getting suspended two games without pay ($268,000), Rondo said he was prepared to accept whatever penalty was dished out.

“You never know, you just never know,” Rondo said. “It’s out of my control. Whatever the consequences are, that’s what they are. I don’t think I did anything dirty. I didn’t try to start a riot. I don’t think it was more than a pushing war. That’s about it.”

What Rondo did insist was that he was just standing up for Garnett, and not trying to project a bad-boy image.

“I thought the play on Kevin was a malicious play,” Rondo said. “I got hurt last year on a similar play like that, a guy going up in the air defenseless, on his way down. I just pushed Humphries and after that it was a pushing war.”

Rondo was fouled hard by Humphries in the first quarter but insisted that had nothing to do with his run-in with the Nets forward.

“I’ve been fouled by plenty of bigs,” Rondo said. “It had nothing to do with that. I wasn’t frustrated at all throughout the game. I was frustrated at myself but there weren’t any dirty plays up to that point that I thought made me do what I did. It was just a bad foul on Kevin, that’s all.

“I know I have to be out there for my teammates, that’s the only thing about it. But I was sticking up for my teammates. I didn’t try to start a fight. I’m not trying to be a bully. I just didn’t think the play was fair that he made on Kevin.

“This game is a contact sport, it’s an emotional game. I play with an edge every night. I think that’s what separates me from a lot of guys. I’m not going to let that be taken away from my game. I didn’t do anything dirty. This is a new day and era, the style we play the game. Back in the day, the ball would’ve been checked up, some free throws would’ve been made and we would’ve kept going. But this is a new era and we have different rules now.”

As for being worried that he is building a negative reputation in the league office, Rondo said his incident Wednesday had nothing to do with his previous two suspensions, when he was disciplined for run-ins with NBA officials.

“[Wednesday's] actions were completely different from the other two I believe,” he said.

Rondo laughed when asked if he’s worried that he’s looked at as a “repeat offender” in the league’s eyes.

“Repeat offender? Is this a trial? But to [the NBA office], I think I play the game the right way,” he said. “I’m not a dirty player. Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me but I have no intentions of hurting anybody out there. I go out there and compete every night. And that’s how I play the game. I play the game hard, I play the game with an edge. I’m not a trash-talker. I don’t play the game dirty. When one of my guys is disrespected, I just retaliated. Not in a bad way.

“Just shoved, which led to… some guys are calling it a fight [but] no punches were thrown, it wasn’t a brawl. It was just five guys on the court, breaking each other up.”

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At least Rajon Rondo delivered an early Christmas present: The newest Boston-New York rivalry at 12:41 pm ET
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If nothing else, the brawl between Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo and Nets forward Kris Humphries gave birth to a brand new Celtics-New York rivalry.

“Anyone know where I can get a quick Tetanus shot in Boston?” Humphries tweeted along with a picture of his battle wounds after Rondo shoved him into the front row.

The C’s response? “Some guys are tough,” answered Jason Terry. “Some guys pretend to be. He’s one of those that pretends to be. I played with him. Maybe that’s the role [Brooklyn coach] Avery [Johnson] wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else.”

Terry dubbed Humphries “soft,” a term coach Doc Rivers used to describe his Celtics. Added Terry: “Humphries might as well come play with us then, if that’s the case.”

Meanwhile, Reggie Evans, who beat out Kevin Garnett for the title of “dirtiest player in the NBA” in a Sports Illustrated poll of players last season, lobbed this grenade at Rondo via the New York Daily News: “That’s just like a mosquito in your face. Eventually, you are going to swat at the mosquito, right? You aren’t going to let mosquitos in your face. You are going to get bumps all over your face. So, you have to knock the mosquito down.”

Added Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams: “We’re not going to back down. It’s not about being tough guys or anything like that. But we’re not going to back down.”

And newest Nets star Joe Johnson, who also witnessed Rondo’s last suspension-worthy act in the C’s-Hawks playoff series this past May, to The New York Times: “We’re trying to hold our own at this point. If you want to do anything special in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are in the way.”

As Garnett said, “This ain’t the Girl Scouts. This ain’t the Boy Scouts. This is the NBA.” And this is Boston-New York. If nothing else, Rondo gave everyone an early Christmas gift, because the next meeting between the Celtics and Nets — at noon on Dec. 25 — just got more interesting. Get your Girl Scout cookies ready.

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