|Irish Coffee: Paul Pierce to the NBA rescue!||10.04.11 at 12:20 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Only two players attended Monday’s NBA collective bargaining session with commissioner David Stern and the NBA brass. One was National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher. The other? Paul Pierce.
Pierce isn’t a member of the union’s executive committee, although CBS Sports columnist Ken Berger suggested the Celtics captain and player representative has expressed interest in becoming the Joe Biden to Fisher’s Barack Obama. Regardless, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver cited Pierce as someone who actually brought tangible ideas to the table during labor discussions in New York City over the weekend.
Not only is Pierce expected to join Fisher again on Tuesday, but Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett have reportedly been invited to join a small group of players in what might be the final negotiating window before the NBA starts canceling regular-season games. Imagine that. Lakers and Celtics on the same side of the ball.
Pierce’s presence is only magnified by the fact that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, is among a handful who encourage union decertification and drafted a letter urging the players not to accept a revenue share less than 52 percent — six points higher than Stern’s current offer and two points above what some believe could seal a deal.
Are those final two percentage points — a total of $80 or so million — worth destroying the momentum that two Celtics-Lakers finals and a Heat firestorm created over the last few seasons? It’s hard to imagine Pierce & Co. allowing these negotiations to devolve into decertification, as that could cost the league the 2011-12 NBA season. These are the issues that Pierce, Fisher, Garnett, Bryant and their colleagues face.
My how far Pierce has come since he got ejected from Game 6 of a first-round series loss to the Pacers in the 2005 NBA Playoffs, swung his Celtics jersey over his head at the Conseco Fieldhouse crowd and showed up to the post-game press conference with his head wrapped in a faux bandage.
If the 2008 NBA Finals MVP was Pierce’s defining moment on the court, this could be his moment of Truth off it. He could cement his legacy as not only a Hall of Famer but a power player in the NBA’s future for years to come.
For more on Tuesday’s pivotal NBA labor negotiations, WEEI.com’s Paul Flannery sets the stage perfectly.
|Irish Coffee: Celtics, Heat party in NYC’s meatpacking district (not that there’s anything wrong with that)||10.03.11 at 11:58 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Enough’s enough. The NBA might still be locked out, but Irish Coffee’s holdout has officially come to an end. It’s October, and NBA training camps should be in progress. Instead, the Celtics and Heat are partying together.
After the C’s swept the Knicks and got out-athleticismed (new word!) by the Heat in five games during the 2011 NBA Playoffs, did you ever think you’d be reading about Carmelo Anthony hosting Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in New York City’s meatpacking district on Oct. 3? At least the Daily News reported that “the Boston boys and Anthony’s crew exchanged little more than ‘hi and bye’ pleasantries.”
Did you think Rajon Rondo would pledge to play alongside Wade, LBJ, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire at an event hosted by Isiah Thomas on Oct. 8? At least its for charity.
Did you think restricted free agent Jeff Green — the crux of the Kendrick Perkins deal that many believe killed the Celtics season faster than an unnamed Red Sox player can slam a beer in the clubhouse — would be discussing the oh-so-difficult process of making smoothies on some lady’s couch (see embedded video)? At least he’s staying healthy. (On an unrelated note, should we tell them that almond milk, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and ice isn’t a protein shake?)
|Celtics eBay Friday: Arnie Risen’s 1957 Celtics contract||08.12.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
After the raging success of our new running feature, we’ll continue with the third edition of Celtics eBay Fridays, taking you into the weekend with a poll question along these lines: “Would you pay [ridiculous amount] for [current or former member of the Celtics]’ [eBay item]?” Confusing enough? Good. Let’s get started.” (Ok, it’s not a raging success. It’s more of a mild-to-apathetic response.)
Two weeks ago, we featured Celtics guard Ray Allen‘s Air Jordans, and the people let their voice be heard: 160-of-267 voters said “Hell no!” they wouldn’t buy the Nike Air Jordan VIII sneakers for $1,450.
Then, Celtics eBay Fridays earned international acclaim last week when former UMass standout Tony Gaffney — now playing in Germany via a short stint with the Celtics — weighed in and denied the 1-carat diamond earrings and “autographed” receipts being sold for $3,950 under his name were actually his. Still, with that knowledge, 6-of-90 people said “Hell yes!” they would buy the overpriced jewelry. Not to mention Gaffney gave Celtics eBay Fridays his seal of approval: “This is kinda funny.” (Ok, it’s not a full-blown approval, but we’ll take it.)
Now, without further ado, let’s move on to this week’s Celtics eBay Friday item and poll question of the week. Someone is selling an original contract signed by Arnie Risen, who averaged 8.0 points on 38.8 percent shooting and 1.2 assists per game as a member of the 1957 NBA champion Celtics (their first of 17!).
While Kevin Garnett made $235,000 per game for the Celtics this past season, Risen made 50 bucks a game, so it would make sense that Arnie himself would be selling his old contract for $1,200. Except for the fact it’s advertised as Artie Risen’s signed contract, although he is 86 years old. I guess we’ll never really know, since I’ll assume he won’t pull a Tony Gaffney and comment on this blog over the weekend. Anywho, onto the question …
|Nate Robinson loves locked out sports||07.12.11 at 2:16 pm ET|
Quite an offseason for former Celtics guard Nate Robinson. First, he was arrested for urinating on a bookstore in a New York City suburb. Now, after joining hundreds of players in the unemployment line due to the NBA lockout, the former University of Washington two-sport athlete is hoping to spend his summer trying out for the NFL. Here’s what the 5-foot-9 Robinson told SLAM Magazine:
“I might go play football. Do something that nobody’s tried to do. If I can, I would love to play football a little bit. I’ve been doing a little bit of training. Why wouldn’t you want to have an NBA player that can play football try out? That’s a lot of publicity for your organization.”
There’s one little problem: The NFL is locked out, too. Kinda makes you realize why Robinson decided to pull up for 3-pointers when he was on a 1-on-4 fast break. It’s fairly safe to assume Nate Robinson is the best two-sport locked out athlete in history.
|Shaq video chronicles gruesome cast removal||07.08.11 at 1:56 pm ET|
For anyone who might think Shaquille O’Neal exaggerated the right Achilles tendon injury that kept him from all but 12 minutes of the 2010-11 NBA Playoffs, take a look at the foot-long surgical incision on his leg in the embedded video — pieced together from a series of videos he posted on Tout.
Apparently, Shaq underwent surgery on the Achilles in the month and change since he informed the Celtics that he would retire from the NBA after 19 seasons. He now sports a supportive boot, complete with a chrome lining.
During his retirement press conference, Shaq announced his final nickname — The Big AARP — laying his Superman, The Big Shamrock and countless other monikers to rest. Of course, he only lasted a little over a month before declaring yet another nickname as a result of the surgical staples you can see being removed from his calf and ankle: The Big Staple Center.
Both Shaq and girlfriend Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander hinted at more to come. First, Shaq said he’ll be hiding his removed cast somewhere and will provide clues to its location soon. And then Hoopz tweeted that she and Shaq will be driving to the West Coast and back in an RV. Kinda like “On the Road” but with Jack KerouShaq.
|Ken Berger on D&C: NBA owners ‘want the players crushed and brought to their knees’||07.01.11 at 10:36 am ET|
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger called in to Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the NBA lockout. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Berger said the key difference between the CBA negotiations in 1998 and 2011 is ‘a groundswell now of support among the owners to fundamentally change the sport.’
‘That was not the case in the ‘98-99 lockout,’ Berger said. ‘The owners wanted cost-certainty, now they want to be guaranteed profit. They essentially want the players crushed and brought to their knees.’
While Berger said that the two biggest issues in these negotiations are profit-splits and the hard-cap, he also criticized the NBA owners for misrepresenting their profitability to justify their position.
‘I don’t want to say that the owners are lying, or committing accounting fraud, or anything like that,’ Berger said. ‘But as anybody knows, anybody who’s ever done a tax return or opened a lemonade stand, you know that you can make the numbers say whatever you want them to say.
‘They are clearly massaging the figures so that certain expenses ‘¦ are counted on their books as money going out the door year after year, when it’s not really money going out the door.’
|Instant Irish Coffee: Big Baby blogs||05.31.11 at 10:27 am ET|
Following an atrocious performance for the Celtics in the conference semifinals against the Heat, free agent Glen Davis is refocusing on two things that made him so successful to start the 2010-11 season — working out and eating right — as well as one new hobby: blogging.
Here’s a bit from Big Baby, who took some time out from eating chicken burgers, pasta and kale with strength and conditioning coach Kevin Kearns to blog at iambigbaby.com:
I am very excited to start working out again, set some summer goals and really get ready for next season. It is all about a balanced lifestyle, putting time in at the gym and eating right. I have a great team around me and as you will see my main man, my trainer, is already trying to one up me in the first edition!
While Davis may have a great team of trainers around him, he doesn’t have a basketball team to play with quite yet. The Celtics have said they will offer Davis a contract but won’t match an offer from another team that exceeds his value to the Celtics.
Of course, as is always the case, the blog isn’t always entirely accurate (it is the Internet after all). In his second entry, two weeks ago, he was under the impression that the Celtics had gotten a No. 2 seed in the NBA Playoffs. Perhaps that’s why he seemed so confused in Miami.
IMPORTANT NBA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT DATES
If you’re at all interested in the possibility of an NBA lockout, Ken Berger‘s piece over the weekend is a must read. He highlights a few important dates in the negotiations and compares the NBA’s predicament to the current NFL fiasco. Here’s an important note:
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