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Meaner and leaner Shaq ready to do battle 09.27.10 at 11:04 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Shaquille O’Neal is a superstar who loves to talk about having 735 days left in his NBA career. He wants those days to include two more NBA titles, giving him six, which would mean he would have one more than Kobe Bryant.

But as O’Neal reminded everyone on Monday at Celtics media, this isn’t about him and Kobe, it’s about leaving the game on top.

The newest superstar member of the Celtics has given up his mom’s hamburgers, fried chicken, mac and cheese and cornbread muffins and is ripped and ready to go for his 18th season in the NBA, starting with Celtics media day on Monday.

O’Neal said he has been playing pickup games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the Celtics facility and swimming to get in shape.

The Shaq-Kobe war of words was re-ignited Monday when he recalled the words of Bryant in the moments after the Lakers beat the Celtics for their 17th title and his fifth. ‘That’s one more than Shaq.’

O’Neal had his response on Monday. It had less to do with Kobe and more to do with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

“Yeah I heard it,” O’Neal said. “My whole career I’ve been the measuring stick. Glad to see I’m still relevant. I would’ve been more upset, more hurt, if Tim Duncan would’ve made the comment. I don’t compete with guards. They have the ball more than I do, they shoot way more than I do. You can’t compete with guard. I’m only competing w/Tim Duncan so hopefully I can get No. 5 before Tim Duncan, respectfully before Tim Duncan.”

Duncan and O’Neal each have four NBA championship rings while Bryant and Derek Fisher lead active players with five.

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Rondo the salesman 07.14.10 at 5:04 pm ET
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WALTHAM — After passing a physical that finalized a two-year free agent deal, Jermaine O’Neal said that Rajon Rondo was the most important person to sell him on the value of signing with the Celtics.

“I had some great conversations with Doc [Rivers], Danny [Ainge] and Paul [Pierce] and Rondo, and Rondo actually was probably the guy who sold it the most, and I had great conversations with all four guys but he really helped me understand where my fit would be,” O’Neal said. “I’m not concerned about shots, I’m not concerned about minutes. I’m not concerned about anything but winning. At the end of the day, you can build up individual goals, but your validation is whether you win or not.”

O’Neal also gave credit to Rasheed Wallace, who also sold him on the quality of the organization. O’Neal said he texted Wallace to see if he could convince him to come out of retirement. He said he hadn’t heard back but would be getting together with him soon.

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Report: Wallace decides to retire 06.24.10 at 8:16 pm ET
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Rasheed Wallace has officially decided to retire, TNT’s David Aldridge reported on Thursday night, citing a league source. The decision was expected following the Celtics’ Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the NBA finals. After the game, Doc Rivers said, “I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again. He’s one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him.” Wallace had $12 million and two years left on his contract, which he signed last summer.

Wallace most recently averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds during the finals, including a Game 7 start. It was a bounceback from an inconsistent regular season in which he posted 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 28.3 percent from 3-point range in 79 games.

Wallace was selected by the Bullets with the fourth overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. He earned four All-Star selections and won a championship in 2004 with the Pistons. Wallace ranked sixth in games played among all active players.

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Lakers emphasize green not their color 06.20.10 at 11:20 pm ET
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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.

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What Ray Allen needs to ‘learn real quick’ 06.04.10 at 6:10 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES – Throughout the postseason, players have studied Ray Allen’s game to learn how to defend the veteran sharpshooter.

Now Allen has his own assignment – finding a way to stop Kobe Bryant without getting into foul trouble.

Allen was whistled for five fouls in the Celtics Game 1 loss. He was limited to just 27 minutes and knows he has to stay on the court in Game 2.

“That’s a good lesson that I need to learn real quick,” he said prior to practice on Friday. “Because even on a couple of calls … I try to read the referees and how they call the games and they establish control early, so trying to figure that out without being a sieve on defense. Right now I’ve got to make that adjustment going into Game 2.”

Bryant scored a game-high 30 points on Thursday night. He shot 10-for-22 from the field and 9-for-10 from the line, a result of his aggressiveness at the basket.

“He just attacks,” said Allen. “He’s going to attack our defense, but I think primarily if he’s attacking that means he sees gaps.”

Whatever game plan Allen and the Celtics devise, Bryant is preparing for it.

“It’s not really a match up with me and Ray,” he said. “It’s really me trying to find gaps and holes in their defensive scheme and the help they provide.”

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Pierce’s daughter has his back 05.20.10 at 1:29 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Whenever the stuff hits the fan for an athlete, he can always turn to family for support.

And it’s no different if you’re a superstar captain of the 17-time world champion Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce was asked before practice on Thursday if he had heard any grief from teammates, coaches or anyone else for that matter, for telling ESPN after Boston’s Game 2 victory that the Celtics were coming home to ‘close it out’ against the Magic and Celtics fans wouldn’t let the home team not get the job done on their home court.

“Did I get any feedback? Haven’t gotten any feedback,” Pierce said. “Yesterday I was pretty much home with my daughter all day and she didn’t say anything.”

Two-year-old Prianna Lee Pierce and the Celtics are just hoping the Magic stay just as quiet as Game 3 is set for Saturday night at TD Garden, with C’s just two wins from their second trip to the NBA Finals in three seasons.

Before heading out to practice on Thursday for Game 3 of their series against the Magic, Paul Pierce denied disrespecting the Orlando Magic with a tweet following Boston’s Game 2 win on Tuesday.

“I think you guys [media] know more than me on that. I guess somebody said I said, ‘Break out the brooms.’ I’m not going to say that on the tweet,” Pierce said. “I think that’s pretty unprofessional. That’s not something I would say like that. I’ll probably talk some trash and say some things on the court I wouldn’t say here [to media] but I definitely didn’t say that.”

After a twitter post of ‘Anyone got a BROOM?’ from Pierce’s account, the Celtics captain denied it and said his account was hacked. Game 3 is set for Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston, with the Celtics leading the Eastern Conference finals, 2-0.

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Report: Cavs fire head coach Brown 05.14.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach Mike Brown a day after being eliminated the by Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, according to SI.com. Brown’s management of the team was criticized throughout the six-game series. Yahoo! Sports reported there are talks of University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari being named the Cavs next coach, but Calipari tweeted that he would not be leaving the school next year. Si.com also reported Danny Ferry will remain general manager of the Cavs “for the forseeable future.”

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