|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.”
|Where does Paul Pierce rank among Celtics greats?||02.06.12 at 9:06 am ET|
On the verge of surpassing Larry Bird for second on the Celtics career scoring list, Paul Pierce only further cements his status as one of the storied franchise’s all-time greats — his No. 34 already reserved in the rafters.
How far Pierce climbs that ladder remains to be seen. Even when he surpasses Larry Legend’s 21,791 career total with 10 more points, it’s hard to argue Pierce soars past Bird, but where does he rank if he retired today?
‘It’s nothing I ever really think about,’ said Pierce. ‘I never go into the season trying to break records. They’re going to happen if they happen. Just to be mentioned among the great Celtics of the past is just an honor.’
As soon as seven years ago — in the aftermath of Pierce’s infamous jersey-swinging, head-wrapping ejection from Game 6 of a playoff series — this thought seemed utterly insane: The Truth is one of the top five C’s in history.
Still don’t believe it? Just examine the resumes of the best quintet ever to call the Garden home.
|Paul Pierce: ‘I see Kevin and Ray playing past this year’||12.13.11 at 5:20 pm ET|
‘I really see Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen] playing past this year, hopefully with the Boston Celtics even though their contracts are up,” Pierce said. “But if Doc [Rivers] wants to use that as motivation, then I will.’
Both Garnett and Allen are free agents after this shortened season, clearing $31 million worth of contracts from the books, and neither addressed his future beyond this season. Speculation has ranged from this being Garnett’s last season to both he and Allen signing more cap-friendly deals and making another run in diminished roles.
‘At any moment, anything can change, so this year, last year, the year before, you guys have asked this same question: ‘Is this our last opportunity?'” Allen said. “Every moment we come out here is our last opportunity, because nothing is promised.”
Pierce, on the other hand, is one of only three Celtics players signed beyond this year ($16.8 million in 2012-13 and $15.3 million in 2013-14). Obviously, he’d like to see the Big Three remain intact beyond 66 more games.
|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.
|Twitter bird logo named Larry after Celtics legend||08.11.11 at 1:31 pm ET|
Celtics fun fact of the day: Twitter’s iconic bird logo is apparently named “Larry” after C’s legend Larry Bird. Celtics director of interactive media Peter Stringer confirmed the logo’s rumored identity on Thursday with Twitter co-founder Isaac “Biz“ Stone, a native of Wellesley, Mass. No word yet on whether Google’s logo is nicknamed “Tom” after Celtics not-so-great Tom Gugliotta.
|Larry Bird to join Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson on ‘NBA 2K12’ covers||07.21.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
The last time Larry Bird and Michael Jordan were featured on the cover of the same video game in 1988 for “Jordan vs. Bird: One on One,” the game came out for such systems as the Commodore 64, Sega Genesis and of course the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Oh and the gameplay looked like this.
Now, the pair along with Laker great Magic Johnson will be featured on the cover of the game “NBA 2K12” this upcoming season and will also be able to be used as players within the game. The three players will each have their own cover all to themselves and the covers will be dispersed equally across the country (while only the Jordan cover will be available in non-US markets). Jordan famously graced the cover of “NBA 2K11,” and the popularity of that game (5 million units sold, 20 awards) led 2K Sports to give this season’s version a similar approach with two extra stars thrown in for a little extra spice.
‘Bringing Michael Jordan to the virtual hardwood last year was a huge success for NBA 2K11; however, we didn’t want to stop there,’ said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports, in a statement. ‘We’re bringing ‘His Airness’ back to the NBA 2K franchise as part of a multi-year extended partnership, along with two other legendary icons ‘ Larry Bird and Magic Johnson ‘ for a special cover athlete collection representing the NBA’s greatest heroes.’ (Read the entire statement on Facebook here.)
The game is already available for preoder and will be ready for wide release on Oct. 4, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and Windows PC. The game will be sold and played even if a lockout threatens the entire NBA season in 2011-12. No word on if it will work on NES, however.
|Larry Bird on the Big Show: I never would have coached at old Garden||06.28.11 at 6:39 pm ET|
Celtics legend Larry Bird was a guest of The Big Show on Tuesday and he sat down with Glenn Ordway for a wide-ranging interview that touched on his job with the Pacers, how he feels about the modern game — and some of the players — and his memories of playing with the Celtics.
Bird also said that he never would have coached at the old Boston Garden.
“All my memories I just wanted them to be as a player,” Bird said. “Even here in Indiana, I told Donnie [Walsh] if the Garden was still up I would never go in there as an opposing coach and play the Celtics as an Indiana Pacer coach. I just couldn’t do that. But they tore it down and I got in there in the other Garden and it didn’t bother me as much.”
Asked if he would have handed over the team to his then-assistant coach Rick Carlisle, Bird laughed, “Carlisle did a lot of it anyway. No, I just wouldn’t have taken the job. I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t see myself walking in the Boston Garden as a visitor. I just couldn’t do that.”
Listen to the whole interview on The Big Show audio on demand page. Here’s the rest of the transcription from the interview:
You haven’t made a lot of trips back [to Boston]. Is that by design or is that just how the schedule worked out?
Well, we’re pretty busy here and I try to get out there as much as I can, just never enough because my admiration I have for that city, it’s a great city, it’s a sports town. I always like to go back out there but an opportunity hadn’t arose as much as I’d like. But obviously I’m going to be there for a couple of days and I’ll probably enjoy it.
As you look back at the great period that you had with [the Celtics], is there anything you look back at and say, “I wish I had done this?”
Yeah, a couple more championships would have helped. You know in 1981 when we won our first championship, I looked at our team and I thought, “Boy, we got a chance here to win at least five championships.” And we had a couple years where we didn’t do as well. Starting in ’84, ’85, ’86, and ’87, we were well on our way to winning a lot of championships. Then all of a sudden the back issues started coming in and things started changing. I always felt that we had a good enough team to win five championships.
We played in five finals but we just won three, so that’s probably the most disappointing thing, but overall it was the greatest time of my life. It was something I loved and playing in a city that cared for their players and their teams, really it was a positive for me and I miss it. I miss being out there, I miss playing, but sometimes I forget I even played because it’s been so long. But it was a great experience for me, I grew up in Boston and met a lot of good people and obviously got to play for Red [Auerbach], and I had some good teammates. We were a good team out there. Read the rest of this entry »
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