|Shaq calls out Cavs, Mo Williams||09.04.10 at 5:07 pm ET|
There was a time when being a role player would not have sat well with Shaquille O’Neal. That time has passed.
In a recent interview with the Times-Picayune, O’Neal explained that he now looks forward to playing for an unselfish ball club, even if it means less time on the court.
“I’m at the point in my life where I can’t carry a team by myself anymore, but I can be a piece on a team that’s already good,” he said. “The Celtics are good with or without me. A lot of people say, ‘How can I be a complementary player?’ But at 38, it’s easy. If I was 28, it would be a problem, Doc.”
O’Neal called out his most recent team, the Cavaliers, for their approach on offense. He singled out one former teammate in particular.
“I like that they (the Celtics) play together and nobody really worries about shots,” O’Neal said. “When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn’t even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I’m only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that’s cool.
“So I said, let me get with a good team for the last two years. I don’t mind people calling me a journeyman. I’ve been programmed to move around every three years.”
O’Neal averaged a career-low 8.7 shots per game last season. LeBron James led the Cavs with 20.1 field goal attempts. In contrast, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 12.1 attempts each.
O’Neal also added that he had been interested in the Hawks and Hornets before signing with the Celtics.
|Celtics reportedly will open season vs. Heat||08.03.10 at 6:51 am ET|
According to multiple reports, the Celtics will open the 2010-11 season by hosting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat in a matchup of Eastern Conference powers. The game, scheduled for Oct. 26, will be televised nationally on TNT. The NBA is scheduled to announce its opening week and Christmas Day schedules Tuesday night.
|Broussard on D&H: C’s ‘did what they had to do’||07.27.10 at 3:25 pm ET|
Dale & Holley welcomed ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard Tuesday afternoon to talk about all things basketball this offseason, including the topics of LeBron James, the Celtics’ offseason pickups and re-signings and Doc Rivers possibly returning for more than one season.
“If they have a great season, maybe win the championship, I do think that there would be a lot of pull to return to the franchise,” Broussard said of the coach. “I think he’s doing the right thing, I think it’s a fluid situation and he’s leaving his options open, so I’m not too surprised to hear Doc say that.”
Below are highlights. To listen to the full interview click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On when he figured out that LeBron James would be leaving Cleveland:
It’s interesting, because throughout that whole process there were a lot of people close to LeBron who wanted him to stay in Cleveland, and it’s not a smokescreen, to my knowledge. I would have believed he was trying to get Chris Bosh to go there. Toronto agreed to do a sign and trade, LeBron was trying to sell Bosh on coming to Cleveland and being his second guy. If he was able to do that, then I think LeBron would have stayed in Cleveland.
And then of course, LeBron was also trying to talk to Chris Paul. They were trying to figure out a way Chris Paul could be traded to Cleveland. If one of those two things happened, then I think LeBron would have stayed because there was a part him that wanted to stay, that understood legacy. [Michael] Jordan turned a terrible franchise into a champion, Isiah Thomas did it. You hear it, even in the criticism about LeBron’s decision, that the great ones always stay with one team.
He understood that and wanted to stay, a part of him did, but when he realized they couldn’t get that second guy, and then you looked down the road [he asked] “Would I be able to ever get that second guy here? It’s been seven years and it hasn’t happened.” That’s when he really had to say, “You know what? I may have to go.”
Now, Chicago was always very strong in consideration and Miami with their situation was always right there too, but I really think he gave Cleveland a legitimate shot. Finally, when Bosh made it clear that [he] was going to Miami with [Dwyane] Wade, that’s when LeBron realized he wasn’t going to be able to get anybody [in Cleveland]. Can [he] get through Boston what they’re going to do in Miami, Chicago and the Lakers, other teams, like Orlando, without that second guy. He had to go make sure that he had a couple of star teammates.
On the Celtics’ offseason strategy of re-signing their veterans:
I think they’ve done well. The Jermaine O’Neal move was a good one. I know they hate to lose Tony Allen, his defense was critical down the stretch, but I think they should move on without him. I’ve got to admit, I was among the surprised when they played so well in the playoffs, so I do wonder if they’ve got enough left to reach the finals again next year.
I was just talking about with age and things like that. You wonder two years from now, they’re going to be old and pretty much done with that. With [Rajon] Rondo, who’s developing into an All-Star and they’ve got a few other young guys, but that’s my only worry, I think they did what they had to do. I think it’s the right thing to go ahead and try to take one more shot at it. My pick is Miami in the East, but I think the Celtics will be right there.
|Report: No collusion probe by Cavs or Raptors||07.12.10 at 9:46 am ET|
The Cavaliers and Raptors will not request an investigation by the NBA to look into if there was any collusion prior to the two teams losing superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, respectively, to the Heat this offseason, according to an ESPN.com report. NBA commissioner David Stern had previously mentioned that if the two teams wanted such a probe, the league would be obligated to follow through with one.
There had been rumors of collusion among the players involved as well as Dwyane Wade after the trio reportedly met for a free agent summit before the market opened on July 1. However, the league has decided that individual players cannot be charged with tampering in the same manner as teams can unless it is apparent that the player is working directly under the orders of team management.
The two teams had separate reasons for not requesting the probe. One Cavs official told ESPN.com that the team just wants to move on after the wake of “The Decision” and try to focus all of its efforts on its future without James. Toronto decided that it would rather let the league decide matters such as these, according to the report.
|T. Allen agrees to sign with Grizzlies||07.11.10 at 4:33 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed with a source that Tony Allen has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Grizzlies. The Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported the agreement.
Allen, an unrestricted free agent, has spent his entire career with the Celtics since being drafted in 2004. He excelled this postseason as a defensive stopper and played a critical role in containing Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
Allen told WEEI.com during the playoffs that he would like to return to the Celtics next season … and beyond.
“I am a Celtic,” he said. “I love being a Celtic. It’d mean everything in the world [return next season].”
He added, “I mean, things happen but I feel like I’m going to be a Celtic for life.”
Should Allen sign elsewhere, his departure would leave a huge gap in the Celtics second unit as the organization looks to rebuild its bench this summer.
|Cavs owner: LeBron quit during Celtics series||07.09.10 at 6:45 am ET|
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert bashed LeBron James shortly after the superstar announced Thursday night that he was leaving Cleveland for Miami.
Gilbert told The Associated Press in a phone interview that James “quit” on the team during the Cavs’ second-round playoff series against the Celtics.
“He quit. Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.”
Gilbert also offered his opinion on why James decided to go to Miami and made a bold prediction.
“LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship,” Gilbert said. “We will win a championship before [the Heat] do.”
Added Gilbert: “It’s not about him leaving. It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.”
In Miami, Dwyane Wade said he was stunned by Gilbert’s comments.
“I think I’m happy that I have the owner that I have here in Miami,” Wade told the AP late Thursday night. “I’m happy Micky Arison is my owner. I couldn’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s very unfortunate and I think it makes LeBron that much better about his decision.”
Added Wade: “We knew ‘Bron would take some backlash. I told him he’s a strong man for it.”
Gilbert also took out his anger toward James by posting a letter on the Cavaliers website, calling LeBron’s actions “cowardly.”
“As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.” Gilbert wrote. “You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.” Read the rest of this entry »
|What LeBron’s decision means for the Celtics||07.08.10 at 10:02 pm ET|
After an interminable half-hour of television that followed two years worth of hysteria and hype, LeBron James announced that was leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a new superteam.
In the end, we may never know the whole story on all the background machinations. Maybe there was a master plan all along. Maybe it was just a bunch of young men playing mogul.
Regardless of all the drama, both real and contrived, James joins Wade and Bosh as the single biggest free agent haul in the history of the sport. James will also have to live with the fallout for the rest of his career after he abandoned his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now that it is official, we can finally ask the basketball question: How good are the Heat? Good enough to instantly become one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference along with the Celtics and Magic, even with just five players and three second-round draft picks on the roster at the moment.
One of those players, Michael Beasley, is expected to be traded in a salary-cap dump, which leaves Mario Chalmers as the only other player with NBA experience on the roster. Pat Riley has his work cut out for him in shaping the roster.
They are over the cap now, which means they will have to entice a center and most of a bench with minimum contracts. What’s also unknown is how these three superstars will play together. [Note: An earlier version of this post noted the Heat's interest in Mike Miller with the mid-level exception. They don't have the MLE after these moves.]
This isn’t quite like the Celtics moves in the summer of 2007 when Danny Ainge added Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to Paul Pierce. Those were all veteran players hungry to win a championship and the better-than-expected young core of Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo certainly helped them attain that goal.
Wade, Bosh and James are at different stages in their careers and there is no one remotely as good as Perkins, to say nothing of Rondo on the Heat roster.
Ainge has brought the Celtics back together for one more run after a playoff run that saw them beat Wade and James’ teams, and it has been reported that Tony Allen will be as returning as well. Allen will have his work cut out from him when they play the Heat.
If nothing else, this move, and others in free agency, make the East much stronger. The Knicks added Amar’e Stoudemire and appear ready to try and play to win again, while the Bulls finally added a low-post scorer in Carlos Boozer.
The Celtics road to repeat as Eastern Conference champions just got more difficult, but not impossible.