|Artest: ‘Doc got one million excuses’||08.31.10 at 1:03 am ET|
On his Twitter page, Lakers forward Ron Artest took issue with suggestions that his team’s triumph over the Celtics in seven games was impacted by the absence of Boston center Kendrick Perkins in the decisive Game 7 after the 7-footer blew out his knee in the previous contest.
Artest seemingly took issue with Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ contention that the Celtics have never had the opportunity to defend the 2007-08 title with the same core group at full health, noting that the Lakers have been without Andrew Bynum in their title runs.
“Boston lost to lakers because of [the] Kendrick Perkins injury. What about in  when Bynum was injured. What about this year Bynum was injured,” Artest wrote in three consecutive tweets. “What about Kobe played with a broke finger …. What about Ron [Artest's] defense [w]hen the Boston staff said Ron [A]rtest was too slow. … Doc got one million excuses.”
|Report: Wafer ‘so happy’ to play for Celtics||07.31.10 at 2:08 pm ET|
When Doc Rivers delivered a straightforward message, Von Wafer was happy to oblige.
“I just hope to help the team,” Wafer told SLAM. “I’m all about the team first. I want to do anything I can to help make this a better team. Coach Rivers said, ‘If you’re not going to be a team player I don’t want you here.’ So I’m just gonna do my best to help make us a stronger group.”
Wafer, a 25-year-old guard, confirmed to SLAM that he has agreed to play for the Celtics next season. He spent time playing overseas last season. Now he is embracing the opportunity to return to the NBA … and a contender.
“I wasn’t always sure I’d be back,” says Wafer. “It’s unbelievable. I’m just so happy to be back. I’m just so happy.”
Wafer was drafted by the Lakers in 2005. He most recently averaged 12.4 points in 19.4 minutes for the Rockets during the 2008-09 season.
Click here for the entire SLAM story.
|NBA finals a ratings bonanza||06.22.10 at 1:10 pm ET|
According to numbers released Tuesday by the Nielson Co., Game 7 of the NBA finals drew an audience of 28.2 million people, ranking it as the most-watched basketball game since Michael Jordan’s last championship-clinching win in 1998.
Not including the Olympics, Thursday’s game between the Celtics and Lakers was the most-watched show on network TV since the finale of the first “Survivor” season in August 2000.
|Lakers celebrate finals win with parade||06.21.10 at 5:03 pm ET|
Avert your eyes, Celtics fans, but the rival Lakers and their rooters are spending Monday lining the streets of LA in celebration of this year’s seven-game NBA finals victory over the men in green.
Local officials expected around two million supporters to line the two-mile route, and thousands had already filed in by the morning. The police were out en masse to hopefully quell any exuberant celebration that may have erupted in a similar fashion to the violence that occurred the night the Lakers won Game 7.
The Lakers themselves rode on a flatbed float and talked to the crowd through a microphone. However, unlike past years, there wasn’t a rally of any sort following the parade, meaning there would be no moments like Pat Riley’s guarantee or Mark Madsen’s dance at this year’s festivities.
The team announced a few days prior that it would pay the entire cost of the nearly $2 million parade.
Before it even started, there was already a little bit of controversy, though. Earlier in the day, many along the parade route had complained about a lack of portable toilets. There was more controversy as it was reported that marijuana lollipops, which are legal in the state of California, were being sold to parade watchers.
|Lakers emphasize green not their color||06.20.10 at 11:20 pm ET|
After defeating the Celtics to win the 2010 NBA championship, Kobe Bryant admitted he had downplayed the significance of beating the Lakers’ storied rival during the finals series.
“I was just lying to you guys,” he said after Game 7. “When you’re in the moment you have to suppress that because if you get caught up in the hype of it all, you don’t really play your best basketball.”
Now that Bryant and the Lakers have won the trophy, there is no hiding his feelings.
The Lakers recently appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in celebration of their victory. When asked if he talks to or is friendly with any of the Celtics, Bryant quickly replied: “No.”
Derek Fisher added, “It’s just different. If you’re a Laker, it’s really hard to like anything green. Period.”
See the clip below at the 2:04 mark.
|Big Baby: Game 7 makes for long summer||06.18.10 at 7:50 am ET|
LOS ANGELES — Was the tank on empty? It was the same question asked after Game 7 against Orlando in 2009. And it’s a question that could linger with the Celtics all summer long after dropping the seventh and decisive game to the Lakers Thursday night at Staples Center.
The Celtics had built leads of 23-14 after one quarter, 40-34 at halftime and 57-53 going into the final period.
But the Celtics were outscored 30-22. And it’s the 30 points that most Celtics pointed to afterward as the real reason for the loss.
“Close is not enough,” summed up Glen Davis. “You’ve got to win it. This is the way it is. Someone else has to lose and it sucks. It’s how you look at it. It’s how you bounce back. I don’t know what’s going on with who’s coming back [next season]. But I’ll be ready when training camp comes around.”
Davis did acknowledge the play of one Laker in particular – Ron Artest. The forward burned the Celtics in Game 7 for 20 points, including a dagger of a 3 with just over a minute left that put the Lakers up six. He also ripped the ball from Davis’ own hands on a loose ball rebound with just under two minutes remaining and the Celtics down one possession.
“Artest was the difference in the game,” Davis said. “He wanted it. He took it from us.”
In the end, like everyone else in green, the next three months could be very difficult to stomach.
“It’s going to be a a long summer because of this. But, like I said, somebody has to lose and you have to take the approach in a positive way and look forward to next year.”
|TA: Hard to come to grips||at 7:24 am ET|
LOS ANGELES — No one took Thursday night’s loss harder than Tony Allen.
He was walking out of the Celtics dressing room and took a right-hand turn before bravely making a U-turn and agreeing to meet with reporters outside. He was the first Celtic player to try and express what had just happened.
Clearly heart-broken, he tried to come to grips with losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals, 83-79, as the Celtics fell short in their bid to win title No. 18. The Lakers won their 16th by rallying in the fourth quarter, outscoring Boston, 30-22.
“Definitely a tough one to swallow,” Allen began. “What I am going to say is I love this group of guys. It’s just a really emotional time for me. Just a tough one to swallow right here.”
Allen admitted that what makes this particularly hard to deal with is the uncertainty regarding veterans like Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace and head coach Doc Rivers.
“I definitely want to see this group back but who knows,” Allen continued. “It’s not that surprising. We fought hard to get here it’s just a real unfortunate Game 7 for us to lose.
“I definitely want to see Doc back. I don’t know. It’s tough right now.”
With those words, Allen became choked up and was excused by the group of reporters.