|Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘Disappointed’ in Danny Ainge’s portrayal of his Celtics departure||09.05.13 at 10:04 am ET|
It’s been more than two months since Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge played the blame game over how exactly the former Celtics coach landed in Los Angeles in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first-round pick from the Clippers.
“Honestly, I was very disappointed in that part of Danny’s press conference,” Rivers said during an appearance on Dennis & Callahan to promote September’s Hoop Dreams event at TD Garden to benefit Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). “Other than that, Danny and I have no issues. Danny knows, just like I know, that that’s not true.
“Listen, guys, this is old stuff. I’m here, and Danny’s in Boston. You can ask Danny that more and more, but there were two people in that room, and it was Danny and I, and anyone else who has a comment about what went on doesn’t really know because they weren’t in that room. It was more than one day. It was several days, and it was an agreement.”
Regardless, Rivers and the Celtics president of basketball operations are still in communication. “We’ve had our disagreements when I was there, and we’ve moved on,” added Rivers. “That was a disagreement on how that was presented. Danny knows that, and I know the truth, but you move on and we’ve talked many times since.”
|Cosmic relief: Bill Russell’s effect on Brad Stevens||08.29.13 at 11:36 am ET|
Sports Illustrated’s profile of Celtics coach Brad Stevens is fantastic for many reasons, particularly the portions about his complex defensive schemes and in-game offensive adjustments, but one cosmic detail stands above all others: Bill Russell‘s team-first philosophy had a profound effect on Stevens.
In Stevens’s first year at Butler, then assistant and future coach Todd Lickliter would introduce Stevens to Bill Russell’s book Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Winner. In it Russell sets forth the concept of “team ego,” writing, “I was the most egotistical player they would ever meet. My ego is not a personal ego, it’s a team ego. My ego demands — for myself — the success of my team.”
Stevens says, “You have a choice to make when you’re not playing: Either you’re invested and a great teammate, or you’re not. There were times, early on, where I wasn’t a great teammate. It’s a difficult concept, learning the we over me attitude. I’m glad I got to that point, because it really helped me as a coach.”
Good stuff from Sports Illustrated. Be sure to read the article in its entirety here.
|What would a full Avery Bradley season look like?||08.28.13 at 10:59 am ET|
Of course, losing a game to a few teenage girls after presenting New Hampshire’s Barker-Jobin family with a new basketball court courtesy of RE/MAX of New England probably isn’t the best sign of what’s to come.
“Yeah, the girls beat me at knockout,” Bradley joked. “That’s OK, though. I’m not used to this hoop.”
Whether it was the ankle injury that delayed his rookie year, Doc Rivers‘ reluctance to “play the kids” or the shoulder injury that cut his already lockout-shortened sophomore season even shorter, leaving him sidelined until January of this past season, we’ve never seen a complete Avery Bradley season.
“Most of the time, every summer for me has just been watching film or just going to watch people play, but this whole summer I’ve bee playing every single day,” said Bradley, who has added 16 pounds of muscle to the 180-pound frame he entered the NBA with in 2010. “I think I took three weeks off. My girlfriend kept telling me, ‘You need a break; you need to rest.’ But I was so excited to get back on the court and I’ve been here in Boston for two months, working out every day for two-a-days. Me, Jared [Sullinger] and some of the younger guys.”
Bradley may now be the second most tenured Celtics player behind Rajon Rondo, but at age 22 he’s still one of those younger guys. And if he ever combines his 2011-12 offensive game — 72 percent shooting (18-25) on right corner 3-pointers and 71 assisted buckets inside of 5 feet — with the on-ball defense that earned him an Second Team All-Defense bid last season, the Celtics could stack their backcourt up against the NBA’s best.
|Jared Sullinger hopes Rajon Rondo returns by December||08.26.13 at 10:59 am ET|
Appearing on Ohio’s “Good Day Columbus,” Jared Sullinger offered a different timeline for Rajon Rondo‘s return than the one Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has stuck to since Rondo’s ACL injury.
“He’s back working out again and hopefully he’ll be back by December,” said Sullinger (h/t MassLive.com).
Both Ainge and new Celtics coach Brad Stevens have consistently indicated that Rondo is on target to be in the starting lineup when the 2013-14 NBA season begins in Toronto on Oct. 30. That isn’t out of the question, considering Rondo suffered a partial tear in his right knee on Jan. 25 and fellow guards Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio have returned in similar timeframes. Derrick Rose, obviously, is a different story.
Was this a slip of the tongue by Sullinger? Possibly. He’s told the media in recent months that he’s been in fairly close contact with Rondo ever since their season-ending injuries occurred less than a week apart.
As for Sullinger’s own recovery from season-ending back surgery, he sounded optimistic about his return, yet reluctant to reclaim the starting power forward position he assumed just prior to his injury.
“I’m doing great,” he added. “I work out every day, five days a week. I’m just trying to strengthen up my core and my back. That was the first month. After that, it was full go, back to working out again on the court.”
You’ve also got to love Sullinger’s reaction to the host’s mention of Kris Humphries. Just straight laughing.
|Irish Coffee: Meet the new Celtics coaching staff||08.22.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
The Celtics announced the finalization of their coaching staff for the 2013-14 NBA season, completing a two-month overhaul of the staff since trading Doc Rivers to the Clippers for an unprotected first-round pick in 2015.
The C’s surrounded coach Brad Stevens with new assistants Ron Adams, Micah Shrewsbury and Walter McCarty, who join holdovers Jamie Young and Jay Larranaga from Rivers’ staff last season.
“I am really excited about our assistant coaching staff that we have here in Boston,’ said Stevens. ‘In this group, we have successfully assembled a passionate, intelligent, hard-working, and humble staff with a diverse set of experiences in coaching. We are all eager to get to work with this year’s team, and take great pride in being a part of the Boston Celtics organization.”
So, who exactly are these guys?
BRAD STEVENS: By all accounts, he’s a brilliant young basketball mind who led the unheralded Butler program to back-to-back NCAA title games. That much was evident in our half-hour discussion on the Green Street podcast. A calm demeanor, fierce competitive streak and in-depth statistical analysis guided his process-oriented approach that consistently produced steady improvement over the course of a season. Ever aware of the historical evidence against college coaches succeeding at the NBA level, he’s smart enough to know that what worked collegiately doesn’t necessarily translate to the pros.
‘There’s a minimum level of ability that goes into making this thing successful anyway,” Stevens said last month. “All the other intangibles are certainly extremely important and maybe give you an advantage in a low possession game, so you have to have that minimum level of talent, and you coach to those intangibles the best you can.’
RON ADAMS: For the past three seasons, Adams served under former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau on a Bulls team that generated a .683 winning percentage. A defensive guru, Adams began coaching his alma mater Fresno Pacific University before Stevens was even a zygote in 1972 and has served as an assistant on five NBA benches since 1992, providing the experience necessary after the Celtics hired a 36-year-old head coach.
|It appears Jeff Green can still dunk||08.19.13 at 12:09 pm ET|
The NBA recently released a highlight reel of the Top 10 Celtics plays from the 2012-13 NBA season, and four of them involved Jeff Green at the rim. Then, over the weekend, Green participated in Jamal Crawford‘s Pro Am in Seattle and unleashed another fury of dunks (h/t Red’s Army). Apparently, Jeff Green can dunk. Who knew?
Remember the “better without Rajon Rondo” contingent that cited the point guard’s absence as the reason for Green’s emergence? Those were the days. Anyway, Green coexisted just fine with Kyrie Irving, Tony Wroten and Abdul Gaddy in this exhibition. If nothing else, the Top 10 Celtics plays from 2013-14 should be pretty special.
|Nobody chills quite like Prince Paul Pierce chills||at 11:47 am ET|