|Turn up the volume: C’s not living in past||10.23.09 at 5:25 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Before this season ever starts, nearly everyone in a Celtics uniform wants to make one thing clear. This is NOT 2008.
On Friday, the Celtics held a two-hour practice before going home to get clean and ready for their team dinner Friday night in Boston.
Here’s what a number of them had to say about this year, comparisons to two seasons ago and other miscellaneous items.
|KG on knee questions: ‘That [stuff] is getting old’||at 3:57 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Kevin Garnett reached his breaking point on Friday afternoon with questions about whether he is physically ready and back to 100 percent following surgery last May to remove bone spurs behind his right knee.
“Next question,” he answered when asked.
But the question was asked moments later, in a different way.
“I just told you. That [stuff] is getting old, now. That [stuff] getting real old. You’re going to have to sit in your offices and come up with some new questions. Drink a little more beer now or whatever gets you going to come up with your questions.”
Told that he’s likely going to hear that same question all season long, Garnett replied, “You’re going to get the same answer, alright?”
Eddie House drew a comparison to another famous New England athlete returning from a knee injury.
“I’m very happy he’s back, he’s moving well,” House said. “He’s even taken a few blows to the spot where he had the surgery and he bounced back up. It’s kind of like the Tom Brady effect. At first, he’s kind of ginger. He doesn’t really know until he gets hit a couple of times. ‘I can plant, I can throw.’ Like Kevin, now he can catch lobs, can plant, step-backs. He’s doing everything Kevin Garnett does.”
|Doc: ‘We’re ready’||at 3:26 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers put his team through a spirited workout on Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility, four days before the team opens the season on Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Rivers said following the practice that he senses his team is geared up and ready.
“I like where we’re at,” Rivers said. “I’m very happy where we’re at. We’re going to add things all year. We’re ready to play. Even if I didn’t add anything else all year, I think we’re ready to play an NBA game.”
|Celtics hire Lue to their coaching staff||at 2:51 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics hired NBA former point guard Tyronn Lue as their Director of Basketball Development on Friday. He will assist the coaching staff and observe practices.
The 32-year-old Lue made his debut on Friday in Waltham as the Celtics prepare for their season opener on Tuesday in Cleveland. Lue played 11 seasons with seven different teams, including last year with Orlando. He won NBA titles in 2000 and ’01 with the Lakers.
|NBA tells players to take a seat||10.02.09 at 2:31 pm ET|
Mixed in with the news of the NBA’s social media guidelines was a new policy on sideline behavior. According to a memo obtained by ESPN.com, the league is restricting players from standing on while they are on the bench. This comes in response to complaints received last season.
Marc Stein reported, ‘Starting this season, league rules dictate that players will be required to remain seated on the bench while the ball is live except to ‘spontaneously react to a notable play [and] immediately sitting down on the bench afterward’ or ‘to approach the scorer’s table to report into the game.’ The memo states that ‘players will not be permitted to stand [in front of] the bench at any other time while the ball is in play, including standing for the last minute of a game or standing until the team scores its first point in game.’’
According to the memo, teams may be fined for not following the rule.
|Uncovering a treasure trove||09.14.09 at 11:46 am ET|
If you grew up on the NBA in the 80′s you probably remember the Zander Hollander basketball annuals. The books packed rosters, stats, essays and scathing, often hilarious, scouting reports on each NBA player written by NBA beat writers.
My all-time favorite was from a mid 90′s edition description of former Net Chris Morris which read: Body by Atlas, ability by Zeus and brains by Tinker Toy.
Sadly my collection was lost somewhere between college and various cross country moves. Fortunately Basketball-reference’s Neil Paine came across a blog by John Marzan that reprinted some of the best take-outs from the 1986 edition and it’s an awesome time-waster (original link via True Hoop). Here are some of the highlights from the Celtics chapter:
Jerry Sichting: Showed he can take a punch when Houston’s Ralph Sampson clocked him twice on the chops in Game 5 of finals. “I didn’t know if that was a punch or a mosquito,” said Sichting. “My son hits harder than that and he’s only three years old.”…
Danny Ainge: Still feisty, still hated by most fans outside Boston, still an integral part of Boston attack…
Robert Parish: Will he ever be accepted as a “true Celtic,” whatever that is?… Boston press ripped him after he had 3-for-15 shooting effort in Game 3 of finals… Seemed to mellow a bit last season, answering criticism calmly for the most part, although he did jilt the press for one day in Houston, earning the monicker “Chief Run ‘n’ Hide” for his efforts… Soft-touch jumper is maddeningly accurate… Stone-faced expression always makes him look like he’s apathetic, but neither teammates nor management have any problems with him…
Kevin McHale: Always open and witty with media, he gets burned occasionally but never seems to care… Would rather be fishing, with a six-pack beside him, than just about anything else…
Larry Bird: What else can he do?… Another regular-season MVP award, another postseason MVP award, another NBA championship ring… “Well,” he said, “I can do it all again.” Don’t bet that he won’t… The best there is and, arguably, the best there has ever been.
And just because…
Randy Breuer: How did this guy become a starter?…Celtics‘ super fan Busty Hart, an exotic dancer, pegged the Bucks right when she said they were the “doughnut team, a team without a center.”… He tries, but fails…
|Iverson signs with Grizz||09.09.09 at 3:52 pm ET|
Allen Iverson is all a-twitter about signing with Memphis. This one isn’t really related Celtics-related (although I’m a little surprised the Celtics didn’t kick the tires on AI), but it’s an interesting development. And by interesting, I mean doomed to failure.
It’s been proven on two different occasions that not only has Iverson regressed as a player, but that teams are better off without him. Both Philly and Denver improved without Iverson on the roster and the fact that he was replaced by two steady point guards wasn’t lost on the rest of the NBA.
Still, if you’re like me, you think the NBA is a better place with Iverson in it, but why did it have to be Memphis? The feeling is that Memphis owner Michael Heisley thinks that Iverson can help fill the building with his star power. The problem with that line of thinking is that it’s been proven to be demonstrably false. Fans may come to see a visiting star player (and even that bump is rather negligible), but home fans have proven time and again that what they want to see is a winner, and it’s hard to see Iverson making a difference in the win column.
If the Grizzlies believe that their core group of players is Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol (a debatable point, but still) then adding Iverson not only doesn’t help them get better but it may also detract from their young players’ development. The same can be said of wayward power forward Zach Randolph who was acquired from the Clippers in the offseason.
At one time Iverson was the complete package in terms of being a star player and a cultural phenomenon, but those days are mostly over. It would have been nice to see if he could have convened a third act in which AI became a kind of elder statesman on a good team, but that wouldn’t have been really Iverson would it?