|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?
|NBA working toward solution for economic issues||07.14.09 at 11:34 pm ET|
LAS VEGAS – NBA players may be viewed as superstars, but that doesn’t mean the league is immune from the same economic problems faced around the country.
On Tuesday, the NBA held a Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas to address its financial issues and concerns. Commissioner David Stern said less than half of the teams made a profit in the 2008-2009 season. Now, the league is working to combat the slide.
In response, Stern has appointed a Labor Relations Committee consisting of league executives, a group that includes Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck. This select group will participate in a meeting on Aug. 4 with the National Basketball Players Association Union’s executive committee.
Stern said it is important for the players to be aware of the financial state of the league, as they are impacted by the decreased salary cap and increased luxury tax.
‘We would very much like to begin these negotiations on a positive note of complete disclosure of financials and the readiness to provide more,’ he said, ‘Because that will lead us together to look for a good agreement moving forward that will continue to pay our players, which is the what is the largest average salaries in the history of professional sports, while at the same time return our teams to profitability.’
After projecting a 10 percent drop in ticket revenue and experiencing less interest in sponsorship opportunities, the NBA will focus on new revenue opportunities. The league will hold also hold workshops on the best practices for increasing profits.
In the meantime, teams around the league are getting creative to build championship contenders. Rather than shelling out millions for stars, organizations are opting for trades instead of max contracts.
‘In some ways, you can’t sign free agents because only four teams were under the cap, so you have to have trades. That’s just is the way it’s going to happen,’ Stern said. ‘You’ve got to be imaginative to get these things like these four-team trades that I have to sit down and have someone explain to me with large charts so I can understand what happened. So that’s ongoing.’
The reality is that not every team will be able to pull off a blockbuster deal. The league is working toward new rules and regulations that will allow its organizations to thrive in this market.
‘We want our teams to be competing,’ Stern said.
|Sounds of Sheed||07.09.09 at 10:16 pm ET|
WALTHAM – From the ’18′ on the backboard shot clock above the dais to the ’20:10′ on the clock with the number ’30′ on scoreboard, the Celtics practice facility was decked out on Thursday for the arrival of Rasheed Wallace.
It was arguably the most significant press conference held at Healthpoint, as the Big Three introductory presser of July 2007 was at the Garden.
Eight people were on the dais at that presser as opposed to the to six on Thursday.
Once all the parties sat down, they shared their thoughts on the newest member of the Celtics after he agreed to a three-year deal.
Here’s some of the highlights, in audio form.
|Pierce sees great things in Wallace, Celtics||at 8:58 pm ET|
Pierce couldn’t help but think back two summers ago when coming off a 24-win season, the Celtics went out and acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, leading to a 66-win, NBA Championship campaign 11 months later.
Pierce was up on the dais with Allen and Garnett and had similar thoughts dancing through his head.
“It started two years with Ray and Kevin and I just think with getting Rasheed, it just gives you an extra boost of energy,” Pierce said. “Even the last few weeks, it’s hard for me to stay out of the gym. I’ve been coming in, working out, picking up the ball here and there. Just making sure that I’m ready for the upcoming season because I’m excited with the moves that we made.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Rubio to stay in Spain?||06.25.09 at 11:50 pm ET|
Leading up the Draft Night there was chatter of Ricky Rubio’s preference to play in a big market. Minnesota certainly isn’t one, and now the flashy point guard may return to Spain.
Rubio’s father, Esteve, told the MARCA.com in Spanish, “With this pick, it is possible that Ricky will play a year or two more in Europe.”
He added, “He can still go, he can stay a year … and until two. Everything is open, although the most probable is continuing in Europe for some time. We have to talk with the people in Minnesota … and to see what happens, because, at this time, we can be in Minnesota or in another place.”
The Timberwolves selected Rubio with the fifth overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They took another point guard, Jonny Flynn, with the following pick.
Rubio noted on his Twitter page, “Ser el #5 del draft es increÃble. ¡Estoy muy contento! Be the 5th pick in the NBA draft is incredible. ¡I’m very happy!”
|High flying action to hold you over||06.03.09 at 12:32 am ET|
After non-stop hoops through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the stretch before Game 1 of NBA Finals can seem like four weeks rather than four days. The good news is, there is still some high flying action to enjoy before the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic get underway on Thursday,
The NBA and Sprite are searching for the best dunker to compete in the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown during the 2010 All-Star Weekend. Contests are being held in eight cities around the country and each winner will receive $1,000. In addition, LeBron James and a panel of judges will select two winners from a pool of online video submissions.
Once those 10 dunkers have been selected, fans will vote on four contestants to go to Dallas for All-Star Weekend and compete for $10,000 and a spot in the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Click here to watch the winners from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco. Check out the Bay Area’s winner, Guy Dupuy, who throws down a windmill over six people. Submit your own videos at www.nba.com/dunk.