|Danny Ainge wanted Jimmy Chitwood role in Hoosiers||10.18.13 at 1:08 pm ET|
It’s almost impossible for the 1986 Celtics season to have been any better, but just imagine if they had Jimmy Chitwood on the roster as “Hoosiers” hit theaters that year. If Danny Ainge had his way, it would’ve happened.
“I loved the Boston Celtics,” Maris Valainis, the actor who played the iconic character, told the Beats & Eats podcast. “I remember we actually got to go to a preseason game when they were playing the Pacers. We were just getting started filming, the game was over and Danny Ainge was running off the court. We were kind of courtside, and he looks at me and pointed at me, and he goes, ‘I’m going to take your spot in the movie.’”
Seriously, just think of the added entertainment value of having Jimmy Chitwood calling the shots in the C’s front office. In 2010-11, they would have had Chitwood, Jesus Shuttlesworth and Neon Boudeaux all under one roof. All they would have needed was Scott Howard and Billy Hoyle for the greatest pickup game in basketball history.
Or, if Kobe Bryant hadn’t turned down the “He Got Game” role as he claimed to Sports Illustrated in the latest from the great Lee Jenkins, those 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals would have pitted Chitwood’s Celtics against Shuttlesworth’s Lakers. And my money’s always on Chitwood.
|Kevin Garnett’s camouflage capris could be yours||10.17.13 at 3:00 pm ET|
In classic Kevin Garnett fashion, he didn’t even pack his clothes when he got traded from the Celtics. Just up and left. Probably showed up in Brooklyn with a pair of mesh shorts, a basketball and a scarf. Oh, those scarves.
Those scarves might be yours at SportsWorld, the local memorabilia shop charged with selling KG’s wardrobe for $50 an item. Of course, you could have his Concord home, too, but that $4.85 million price tag is a little steep.
Besides, think of all his memorable duds. That Gino t-shirt. The suits he wore for his introductory press conference, the ESPYs and yelling at Ben Gordon. That Hawaiian shirt. His professor jacket. Anyone for tennis attire? A feather boa. DJ Lance Rock costume. Camouflage capri pants. All those v-neck sweaters. And cardigans. And the Mr. Rogers look. All amazing. All potentially up for grabs.
Something tells me the fire sale doesn’t include his $2,000 chrome heart hipster glasses, five-figure diamond earrings or six-figure Aire’s Traveler watch, but I call the frying pan he used to make those famous tortillas.
|LeBron James doesn’t get free agency vs. trades||at 1:12 pm ET|
Apparently, LeBron James thinks leaving for free agency is the same as being traded, since he’s equating Ray Allen‘s defection to Miami to the trade that shipped Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.
“There were a couple guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they’re leaving,” the four-time NBA MVP told ESPN.com. “That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc [Rivers], KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”
Dwyane Wade said something similar, albeit more confusing. “People say things about people when they do something when they themselves would do the same thing. It’s about putting yourself in the best situation, and at the end of the day we all do that. You can’t really say anything about someone that does it for themselves.”
This whole things stems from Pierce’s failure to forgive Allen and KG’s “I don’t have Ray’s number anymore” comments. Rivers also chastised Allen for leaving, so I understand calling him out for wanting out of Boston, but given their druthers Pierce and Garnett would still be playing for the Celtics. The former wanted to retire a Celtic, and the latter wanted to retire if he wasn’t going to be a Celtic. They reluctantly accepted a trade to the Nets.
That’s different than choosing the Heat in free agency. Allen made a conscious decision to leave Pierce and Garnett last season. Pierce and Garnett were going to be separated against their will this year. But I don’t expect LeBron to understand that, since he’s basically still defending himself taking an expletive on Cleveland.
Next thing you’re going to tell me Dwight Howard wanted the Magic to retire his number.
|Be realistic: No comparison between Celtics, Red Sox||10.16.13 at 6:39 pm ET|
Could the Celtics be the NBA version of the 2013 Red Sox? Let’s be realistic.
“Baseball is such a different sport,” said Danny Ainge, one of a dozen people ever to walk the planet as both a Major League Baseball and NBA player. “You have so many more players, and in baseball not one player dominates a game as much. In basketball, I don’t think there’s any correlation we could draw from that situation.”
For more on the differences between this year’s C’s and Sox, read this column.
|Celtics to unveil long overdue Bill Russell statue||at 5:36 pm ET|
The Celtics finally announced plans to unveil the long overdue Bill Russell sculpture designed by local artist Ann Hirsch in Boston City Hall Plaza on Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. — prior to the C’s home opener against the Bucks that night.
With Russell and his daughter Karen Kenyatta Russell in attendance, TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith will emcee the festivities, and the guest list is ridiculous.
There are the usuals: Celtics alumni Tommy Heinsohn, Sam Jones, JoJo White, Satch Sanders, Johnny Jones, Em Bryant, Togo Palazzi, Ronnie Watts, Rick Weitzman and Bill Walton; Celtics owners Stephen Pagliuca, Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein; and team president Rich Gotham. NBA commissioner David Stern and his successor Adam Silver, Red Auerbach’s daughters Randy and Nancy, Celtics legend Jim Loscutoff’s wife Lynn and Warriors president Rick Welts are also expected to attend.
The giants of sport: NBA stars Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin and Fred Brown; MLB greats Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan; and NFL legend Jim Brown.
The pop culture icons: musicians Johnny Mathis and Bill Withers, Pulitzer prize winners Isabel Wilkerson and Taylor Branch, four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and human rights activist Kerry Kennedy.
And politicians: former Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Congressman Joe Kennedy III and MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell.
In addition to the sculpture, featuring 11 elements to represent each of Russell’s championship rings, a legacy committee comprised of Russell’s daughter, Heinsohn, Menino, Pagliuca and Bobby Sager established a mentoring grant program in his honor that has already handed out $50,000 to programs in need.
“I am happy to see the Celtics embrace mentoring and create this program that benefits children,” Russell said. “My lifelong passion is to help the mentoring of children and the biggest honor of my career was to be captain of the Boston Celtics.”
A representation of the sculpture can be found on the artist’s website.
|Fast Break: Paul Pierce’s ugly Celtics reunion||10.15.13 at 10:19 pm ET|
Paul Pierce‘s first game against his former team had to be this ugly. The Nets and Celtics combined for 95 missed field goals and 43 turnovers in a brutal 82-80 Brooklyn victory, and that doesn’t even do it justice.
The Celtics held Pierce to just four points on six shots in 27 minutes, but Brooklyn bigs Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche, who started in place of a reluctantly resting Kevin Garnett, combined for 34 points in a winning effort.
Meanwhile, five Celtics scored in double figures — Courtney Lee (14 points), Kris Humphries (12), Jeff Green (12), Kelly Olynyk (10) and Jordan Crawford (10) — as the C’s showed some encouraging signs despite dropping to 1-4 in their first preseason without Pierce since 1998.
|Celtics at Nets: Paul Pierce in, Kevin Garnett out||at 10:18 am ET|
Paul Pierce is expected to play when his new team hosts his former team in the preseason on Tuesday night, but Kevin Garnett won’t be in the Nets lineup against the Celtics, and he’s none too pleased about it.
“It wasn’t my decision, so that’s where I’m going to leave that,” Garnett, who already voiced his displeasure in coach Jason Kidd‘s plan to rest him on back-to-backs, told the New York media after Monday’s win in Philadelphia. “I’m trying to be as positive as I can. It’s not up to me. I’m being positive and go with the plan that was laid out for me and being positive with that. So I’m trusting Jason and the plan he has for myself. … I just feel like every day you have a chance to better your craft and be part of the group, I’d like to be a part of that.”
Pierce has already expressed to reporters that he will not be in the Brooklyn lineup when the Nets come to Boston for the final game of the Celtics preseason on Oct. 23. The same is expected to be true for Garnett.
Meanwhile, Jeff Green pulled a KG “I don’t have Ray Allen‘s number anymore” after Monday’s Celtics practice. “I haven’t spoke to none of them since they got traded,” he said. “Probably [Jason Terry] is the last person I talked to out of them. It just got to the point where it was time to move on for me. They’re gone. I can’t worry about how they feel or how I feel. The trade happened. When I see them, brief words and then I’ll get ready to play.”
Now, if only Green can back up that statement the way Garnett did in 2011-12. He’s currently shooting a team-worst 27.5 percent from the field on a team-high 10.0 field goal attempts per game and averaging fewer points in more minutes than Phil Pressey. Perhaps that’s what Brandon Bass was trying to say here: “We don’t have our OG’s anymore, so the young G’s got to step up and be old G’s now and go out and play. It’s sunk in.”