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Report: Doc’s first call to Allen 07.01.10 at 11:53 pm ET
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When NBA free agency began on Thursday, the first phone call Doc Rivers made was to Ray Allen, the Boston Globe reported.

“I can’t go into who but I can tell you we started at 12:01 last night like everybody else did,” he said. “The first call we called Ray. We sat around and we have these names on the list and we said hey guys our most important guy is Ray. We gotta get Ray back. Paul and Ray. And we already talked to Paul because we could. Ray is a vital part to our basketball team, huge.”

Allen, an unrestricted free agent, will undoubtedly be receiving several phone calls from around the league. According to a recent report in the Miami Herald, LeBron James contacted Allen about playing alongside he, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Allen stated during the season he would like to return to Boston.

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Report: James wooing Allen? at 12:12 am ET
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LeBron James and Ray Allen could be playing together next season. (AP)

LeBron James has approached Ray Allen about the possibility of playing with him, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, according to the Miami Herald.

Stemming from an original report in the New York Daily News that James reached out to a free agent to join the trio on a “Dream Team,” Jorge Sedano of the Miami Herald writes:

“I’ve come across a source who has told me that free agent player could be Ray Allen. The source tells me that Allen has spoken to James and his preference is to remain with the Celtics, but that’s predicated on Paul Pierce remaining with the team. The money is not a huge factor. Winning more championships is the most important factor.”

Although the report did not specify which team James was referring to, the rumor mill has been buzzing for weeks about James, Wade, and Bosh signing together with the Heat.

For Allen, who turns 35 in July, he doesn’t just play basketball for the sake of it. He plays to win. But there is more to his free agency than just aligning himself with the hottest megastars for a shot at a title.

Allen likes playing in Boston and believes the C’s could have a chance to win it all next season should they return their core players. The fact that Doc Rivers is returning to the sidelines will also be a draw.

There is an off-the-court side to it as well. Allen’s young son is battling juvenile diabetes. He was hospitalized less than a month ago during the NBA finals. Being in Boston affords Allen the proximity to some of the best diabetic care in the country.

“I’ll deal with that when the time comes, but it’s obvious that I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Allen said of free agency following the Celtics Game 7 loss in the finals.

After the clock struck 12:01am on July 1, the time is here.

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Thomsen on D&H: ‘Celtics got a better version of Eddie House’ 06.25.10 at 3:17 pm ET
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A day after the NBA draft, Sports Illustrated NBA insider Ian Thomsen talked to the Dale & Holley show to discuss what the Celtics picked up in the draft, what the future holds in store for the C’s and where LeBron James will end up next year.

“The Celtics got a better version of Eddie House,” Thomsen said about Avery Bradley, the Celtics’ first-round pick. “They got a guy who’s a terrific shooter; he’s got great range, but he’s a very good defender.”

“The one thing he doesn’t do [is] he doesn’t drive the ball great. He’s a much better shooter than he is a driver. …They’re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed.”

Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the interview in full, click on The Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On the possibility of Paul Pierce signing a smaller contract to bring in a big name free agent:

You know, they renounce him and then they give up their Bird rights to him, so now when he signs a new contract, he gets none of the value of re-signing with his own team. It’s like he signed with another team. It’s a risky thing; I can’t remember the last time that happened. I’m sure it has, but would it happen?

I would say it won’t, because when you look at it now with these other teams trying to clear so much space, there’s more cap space out there than there are star players. There’s going to be a lot of money that goes unspent or it’s going to be spent badly because there’s nobody to sign. It’s one of those things you think about, it’s like a loophole kind of deal. It’s like when they drafted Larry Bird the year before they signed him. I just don’t see that happening.

On Avery Bradley:

The Celtics got a better version of Eddie House. They got a guy who’s a terrific shooter; he’s got great range, but he’s a very good defender. The one thing he doesn’t do [is] he doesn’t drive the ball great. He’s a much better shooter than he is a driver. And is he a true point guard? They’re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Thibodeau in running for Bulls job 05.31.10 at 8:55 am ET
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Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau seems destined to land one of the NBA head coaching jobs for next season. (AP)

Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau seems destined to land one of the NBA head coaching jobs for next season. (AP)

Reports last week indicated that the Hornets were ready to offer their head coaching job to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, and a story by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports late Sunday night says the team has begun contract discussions with Thibodeau’s representatives at Creative Artists Agency. However, a story out of Illinois’ Daily Herald Monday morning notes that the Bulls have interest in him as well, and multiple reports say that Thibodeau plans to remain in discussions for the Nets job.

Daily Herald reporter Mike McGraw writes that Thibodeau and former Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks are the favorites in Chicago. But the story indicates that Lakers assistant Brian Shaw (a former Celtic) now is being pushed by LeBron James associate William Wesley, who previously was campaigning for John Calipari. The rumor is that James would be interested in playing the triangle offense made popular by Phil Jackson, and Shaw has spent five seasons alongside Jackson learning the intricacies of the offense.

A side note: Creative Artists Agency, with whom Thibodeau recently signed, also represents James and fellow high-profile free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Yahoo!Sports report notes that Thibodeau risks losing out on the Hornets job if he decides to wait on the Bulls and/or Nets. Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams reportedly is the Hornets’ second choice, with some players, including star guard Chris Paul, said to prefer Williams.

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Doc on Chicago rumor: ‘That’s silly’ 05.18.10 at 11:06 am ET
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Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

ORLANDO — An unsourced rumor on the AOL FanHouse website Monday night linked Doc Rivers and LeBron James to the Chicago Bulls as part of a package deal. Rivers denied it Tuesday morning as the team went through a shootaround in preparation for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Magic.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard it, but no,” Rivers told WEEI.com. “That’s silly.”

Rivers is a Chicago native, and the Bulls do have a head coaching vacancy after they fired Vinny Del Negro. But Rivers has a year left on his contract with the Celtics and he has maintained that he will either be with the Celtics or he will spend the year in Orlando, where his family has a home.

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Thanks to T.A., C’s where they want to be 05.14.10 at 1:06 pm ET
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Tony Allen strips the ball from LeBron James during the Celtics' victory in Game 6 Thursday night. (AP)

Tony Allen strips the ball from LeBron James during the Celtics' victory in Game 6 Thursday night. (AP)

One man’s misfortune often is another’s opportunity. Such was the case for Tony Allen in the recent series against the NBA’s MVP and the team with the best record in the NBA this regular season.

With Paul Pierce once again saddled with two fouls early in Game 6, it was up to Allen to step up and help on LeBron James.

And help he did, as he held James to single figures in the first quarter and applied pressure throughout the second half in key spurts. The superstar wound up with a triple-double but he hardly was able to dictate the pace and tempo of the game with his trademark rocket cross-court passes as the Celtics prevailed, 94-85, to advance to Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando.

“That’s my role on this team,” Allen said. “I’ve got to be aggressive, just as aggressive as he is. For the most part I took that challenge. He still had a great night offensively all around. My whole thing is just to contain him, and listen to my bigs in transition.”

Whether it’s Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins or Rasheed Wallace shouting out, Allen proved he can be all ears and arms on the court.

As the Cavaliers were in the midst of a big run, cutting the lead to four on back-to-back 3′s by James, Allen recalled a key turning point.

“I remember while being in the game, I just missed getting to [LeBron] and then got encouraged from my bigs – I didn’t hear them and they cut into the lead. For the most part we stuck together, we grinded it out. We were able to get back to the lead up.”

From that point on, the Celtics re-established their double-digit lead.

Paul Pierce had a couple of huge baskets including a 3-pointer and felt like he had more energy toward the end of the game, thanks in part to T.A.

“It wasn’t really that grueling for me because I was in foul trouble, Pierce said. “I think it was more grueling for Ray and Tony because he’s a special talent, obviously he’s the best player in the NBA, tough to guard one-on-one, but you have to give a lot of credit to the other guys. He did his job, got me in foul trouble, but I’m a lot fresher in this series because of the foul trouble than I was when I played against him two years ago when he just completely wore me down.

“But those other guys, they played their hearts out on defense, it wasn’t just me, it was Ray [Allen], Tony, Kevin, Rasheed, Baby [Glen Davis], it was a number of guys. There is no person that can guard the guy so lets just leave it at that, it was nothing that one person did, it was a collective group, it was a team defense that was surrounded around stopping him.”

Ultimately, the Cavs learned that a team of reserves like Tony Allen can help shut down a team led by the two-time reigning MVP.

“Most definitely, at the end of the day everybody has their role,” Allen said. “Like Doc said before the game, ‘Do your role, do your role 100 percent.’ Everybody took that challenge, and we were fortunate enough to get that win.

“It was big, but I think guys came in focused. They meant what they said, they didn’t want to go back to Cleveland. At the end of the day we prepared for this, and we were where we wanted to be.”

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The future of Lebron James at 3:33 am ET
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The Cavaliers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night at TD Garden. After the game, Lebron James spoke about his future to the media. Kevin Garnett and Mike Brown also talked about the future of the NBA superstar.

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