|Nothing can contain Fab Melo, not even a chair||08.23.12 at 4:26 pm ET|
For your viewing pleasure: Celtics first-round pick Fab Melo collapses into a folding chair at the NBA’s Rookie Training Program. Amazing bonus quote: “The chair was too weak, and an accident happened. I lost weight. I’m good now.” The season can’t get here soon enough. He’s at least going to be a Media Day sensation.
In related news, Melo was elected “the funniest” by his fellow rookies, receiving 22.9 percent of the vote in a survey conducted by NBA.com. Never fear: There’s some game to go along with that fun. His peers voted him the third-best defender among rookies (behind only top two 2012 NBA draft picks Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis), and Melo also received votes for the question: “Which rookie will have the best career?”
Same goes for fellow C’s rookie Jared Sullinger. He finished fourth in the voting for funniest and received votes in response to the survey question: “Which rookie is being the most overlooked.” Still, I’m setting the over-under on the number of times either rookie gets Kevin Garnett to laugh at 0.5.
|The wait is over: Jeff Green signs Celtics contract||08.22.12 at 7:59 pm ET|
On Wednesday afternoon, Jeff Green tweeted, “FINALLY!!!” And the Twittersphere erupted with the assumption that after a summer of intrigue the forward put his signature on a Celtics contract. Sure enough, five hours later, the C’s officially announced his re-signing.
“We are thrilled to be able to have Jeff back with the Celtics,” Celtics president Danny Ainge said in a press release. “Jeff’s versatility on offense and ability to guard players out on the perimeter is something that we are looking forward to having on the court this season.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but previous reports indicated Green would sign for four years and $36 million. The announcement puts an end for now to a nonstop string of questions, mainly about his health following season-ending heart surgery last season. It also ensures the centerpiece from the C’s perspective in the Kendrick Perkins trade of 2011 will remain in Boston.
“I cannot wait to get back out onto the court,” said Green in a prepared statement, “and help this team towards our goal of winning another championship for Boston.”
During the 2010-11 NBA season, Green averaged 9.8 points (48.5 FG%, 29.6 3P%, 79.4 FT%) and 3.3 rebounds in 26 games for the Celtics. He also averaged 7.3 points and 2.7 rebounds over nine playoff games.
Considering their financial commitment, the C’s are surely hoping those numbers will approach or exceed his career averages of 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 315 games, including three-plus seasons for the Thunder and Sonics franchise.
UPDATE: Just two additional items of note from Steve Bulpett’s story in the Boston Herald on why the contract took so long to finalize: a) Green’s agent, David Falk, said complications from the collective bargaining agreement and other “side issues were more complicated than expected once they agreed on the basic parameters”; and b) insurance complicated matters (what’s new?), according to his player source.
|Irish Coffee: Projecting Dionte Christmas on Celtics||08.21.12 at 1:27 pm ET|
As you can see from the embedded highlights of Pennsylvania’s annual Danny Rumph Classic (3:55-5:25), Celtics training camp invitee Dionte Christmas scored somewhere between 30 and 30,000 points during the charitable tournament commemorating the former Western Kentucky star.
Obviously, exhibition basketball performances should always be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s not easy coming up with 90 seconds of highlights — even when you film yourself dunking on a seven-foot rim in your driveway.
Christmas scored 21 points in the final, leading his #SHOWYALOVE squad to the title, and it’s not like he faced a bunch of folding chairs. The tournament featured Celtics teammate Courtney Lee — who sports a “R.I.P. Danny Rumph” tattoo and will wear his college teammate’s No. 11 in Boston — as well as Marreese Speights, Markieff and Marcus Morris, Hakim Warrick, Thomas Robinson, Rasual Butler and Jason Thompson, among others.
Christmas’ Danny Rumph Classic effort might provide zero indication that he’ll succeed in camp this September, let alone make the Celtics roster, but there’s further evidence that he could contribute to the C’s this season beyond a boatload of 3-pointers and a bunch of dribble drives in a Philadelphia gym.
|Chris Wilcox: ‘I want to get better than where I was’||08.20.12 at 1:02 pm ET|
In somewhat of a lost interview, Celtics big Chris Wilcox joined “Go4it” sports radio talk show host Paul Gant recently to discuss his recovery from an enlarged aorta, his camaraderie with fellow heart surgery patient Jeff Green, returning to Boston and the team’s title hopes for this coming season. Here are some highlights.
|What we know about Jeff Green’s Celtics contract||at 12:04 pm ET|
Welcome to the biggest mystery of the Celtics offseason: Jeff Green‘s contract situation. Does he have a deal? Is it really for that much? Has he signed it yet? What’s the holdup? Is he healthy? All fair questions. All unanswered.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT JEFF GREEN’S CONTRACT
- In mid-December, the C’s announced Green required season-ending heart surgery that “should completely repair” his aortic aneurysm.
- In early January, we learned the Celtics pulled Green’s qualifying offer, preventing the possibility of any sign-and-trade deal.
- In early July, he and the C’s agreed to a four-year, $36 million contact.
- On Aug. 3, Green said, “I feel awesome. I actually feel a lot better than I did prior to the surgery. It was a blessing, and I’m doing better now.”
- On Friday, The Globe’s Gary Washburn tweeted, Green’s agent David Falk said the “deal with #celtics is close and should be official next week.”
- At present, Green’s contract remains the team’s only unsigned deal of the summer.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT JEFF GREEN’S CONTRACT
- Why it’s been six weeks and counting since Green agreed to a contract and the deal becoming official.
- How the Celtics will protect themselves against the possibility of a reoccurring heart ailment.
- Whether Green’s contract will be front-loaded, back-loaded or simply $9 million per season.
- How close his contract will push the Celtics to the salary cap apron of $74 million this year.
- What to make of unfounded internet rumors like this one.
|Jason Terry pulls a Mickael Pietrus, guarantee a Celtics championship this season every chance he gets||08.17.12 at 11:33 am ET|
By now, you’ve probably seen Terry’s new tattoo on his left biceps of the C’s logo. “There’s the lucky leprechaun,’ he told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton during an interview Thursday at Canton’s Reebok Headquarters that will air Sunday night on Sports Final, “and he’s spinning the Larry O’Brien trophy, which we will win this year.”
So much for symbolism. While the Heat added aging All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to their 2011-12 NBA title team and the Lakers brought superstars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into the fold, the Celtics acquired role players like Terry, Courtney Lee and Jason Collins to complement their core of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Still, Terry remains supremely confident in the C’s chances.
‘Looking at our roster and what Danny [Ainge] has put together, we have a good team,” he said. “A solid core of veteran guys, two Hall of Famers, one of the best point guards in the league — the best if you ask me in Rajon Rondo — and a good nucleus of young guys that are going to have to play and help us out.’
Want more of Terry’s brash takes on his forthcoming first season in a Celtics uniform?
|Irish Coffee: Emptying the Celtics notebook||08.16.12 at 12:40 pm ET|
Over the past week, the digital notebook filled up with interviews of Celtics Avery Bradley, Dionte Christmas, Kris Joseph and Courtney Lee in addition to a conversation with Syracuse assistant coach Adrian Autry.
ADRIAN AUTRY, Syracuse assistant coach
- On Fab Melo: “I think Fab is with the right team. With the personnel they have, the professionalism they have and Doc Rivers, you’re going to see him to continue to get better. He wants to be very, very good. He wants to be a great player. You’ll continue to see him get better, just like he made leaps and bounds with us from his first year to his second. He works hard in the gym. He gives 110 percent. He’ll be fine.”
- On Joseph’s character: “It being my first year coming in, he made my job a lot easier. He was the leader of our group, he was talented, and he caught on to everything very quickly. We hit it off right away. He was the first person I reached out to when I got the job. … I always knew about his talent, and I was excited to work with all the tools that he had to offer, but when I got to spend some time with him and talk about his background, it took me to another level.”
- On Syracuse’s zone: “A lot of elements of our zone are man-to-man. In practice, we do man-to-man segments because teams play us man-to-man. Our guys have an idea.”