|Irish Coffee: The 41 best parts of the most revealing Rajon Rondo interview to date||02.25.13 at 10:45 am ET|
Rajon Rondo doesn’t usually trust the media, which makes the fact he told Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins a reason for that — his father left home in his formative years — all the more fascinating. This Jenkins piece is the definitive Rondo feature, even if most of the reporting took place prior to the Celtics point guard’s season-ending ACL injury. It offers insights we rarely ever see into the enigmatic NBA All-Star. Here are 41 great ones.
- Rondo loves Shirley Temples. So do his Celtics teammates. “Waitresses are like, ‘What?’ I feel like I have to add a splash of Patron, and I don’t even really drink.”
- Rondo loves Connect Four. Honing his skills on the front porch of his mom’s College Court home in Louisville, Ky., he plays at charitable events, if only to avoid the awkwardness. Three days before this past Christmas, after handing out bikes, Razor scooters and iPod Touches, he lost for the first time in roughly a thousand charity games. “I can’t believe it. But did you notice I played the guy five more times and won them all? I had to show him, ‘You beat me, but I’lll beat the [expletive] out of you.” His opponent was a 12-year-old named Olisa. Talk about awkward.
- Rondo doesn’t like game-time decisions. “They just want an excuse if they don’t play well.”
- Rondo doesn’t like playing grab-ass. “I’m not trying to make friends. We can talk in the summer.”
- Kevin Garnett: “With Rajon, there ain’t no [expletive]ing around.”
- Rondo admits, “A lot of times I’ll be shooting and think, Maybe I should pass.”
|Ainge on Big Show: ‘I didn’t want to move’ Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett||02.22.13 at 6:09 pm ET|
‘We really like those guys,’ said Ainge on Friday evening. ‘I like Kevin and I like Paul a lot, and I didn’t want to move them.’
Ainge wouldn’t discuss how close he ever came to trading Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan — other than to say, ‘I never talked to Kevin’ — or dealing Pierce to the Nets for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a pick.
“You don’t just give them away,’ he said. ‘There is great value in those guys.’
So, Ainge apparently wasn’t offered a deal that matched the value he places on either Garnett or Pierce, so he never had the opportunity that Red Auerbach had. For some background, here’s what Ainge told The Boston Globe two years ago (h/t @trubygreen):
|Straight out of China: D.J. White in Celtics’ sights||at 11:22 am ET|
The Celtics are interested in the services of former Bobcats big D.J. White, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Playing alongside Gilbert Arenas on the Shanghai Sharks, White averaged 21.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 assists in 33.0 minutes a night over 32 games in the Chinese Basketball Association this season. The Sharks finished their season on Sunday. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per 36 minutes in 124 games over four NBA seasons with the Thunder and Bobcats. He’s 26 years old.
Hearing that Celtics have former Charlotte big man D.J. White in their sights for 10-day deal now that White’s season in China is over
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 22, 2013
|Irish Coffee: The day Kevin Garnett both slapped Jordan Crawford, barked at Ricky Rubio||at 10:45 am ET|
Remember the NBA lockout? Fun times. All those Rajon Rondo corn hole tosses, Ray Allen golf foursomes and Jeff Green exhibition games (thankfully not just corn hole, foursomes and exhibition). We cared about workouts, too, like those involving Kevin Garnett in Los Angeles. Newest Celtics guard Jordan Crawford was there as well, and they apparently didn’t get along so well.
On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.
‘I thought they were just kidding,’ Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.
There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.
Garnett has a history of initiating European players in the NBA, and one witness in the gym had recently watched him respond to a Rubio move with the ball by barking, ‘That’s a traveling here. We don’t do that [expletive] here.’ And on and on.
|What Jordan Crawford means to Celtics||02.21.13 at 2:54 pm ET|
Celtics president Danny Ainge could’ve gone two ways at the NBA trade deadline — completely rebuilding or fortifying the current roster with precious few pieces to deal in return — and he appears to have chosen the latter.
In trading Jason Collins, his 8.1 personal fouls per 36 minutes and the injured Leandro Barbosa‘s expiring veteran minimum contract to the Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford, Ainge got the backcourt support he was looking for, partly at the expense of the team’s frontcourt depth.
In acquiring Crawford, the Celtics save a few hundred thousand dollars in salary and open another roster spot this season. They owe the 24-year-old shooting guard $2.1 million next year before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2014-15 — nothing too steep for a fourth guard option behind Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Meanwhile, they hold on to The Fab Melo Project and inch closer to getting under the luxury tax line.
Considered a below average defender with poor shot selection, decent ball-handling skills and a knack for scoring in transition, Crawford is a poor man’s Barbosa, and since Ainge recently admitted players of Barbosa’s caliber aren’t available, he appears to be the best available option. The C’s weren’t going to get J.J. Redick at this price.
The Celtics acquired Jordan Crawford from the Wizards, as first reported by David Aldridge.
Despite speculation that the C’s would send Fab Melo in return, team president Danny Ainge instead dealt little used backup center Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa — both on expiring veteran minimum contracts — according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard averaged 13.2 points , 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes a night for the woeful Wizards. His field goal (41.5%) and 3-point (34.5%) percentages are both career-highs. Over three NBA seasons, Crawford has shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.
Here’s former ESPN.com analyst and current Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger‘s scouting report on the 24-year-old:
- Shoot-happy guard who takes terrible shots. Capable passer when mood strikes.
- Very quick and has a good handle. Can finish, but poor long-range shooter.
- Abysmal defender. Undersized for 2. Must add strength and dial up effort.
|Trade rumor: Celtics eye Kings guard Tyreke Evans||at 11:47 am ET|
The Celtics are trying to land Kings guard Tyreke Evans prior to the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Rumors of the C’s interest in the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft have surfaced before, and given Sacramento’s willingness to part ways on Thursday with their first- and second-round picks from this past June’s draft — Thomas Robinson and Tyler Honeycutt, respectively — along with longtime Kings wing Francisco Garcia, it’s no surprise Celtics president of basketball relations Danny Ainge is eager to get Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie on the phone.
Evans has averaged 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.1 minutes a night for the miserable Kings organization, but the question is whether the 23-year-old former NBA Rookie of the Year has been part of the problem in Sacramento. He has a $6.9 million qualifying offer for next season.
It’s unclear what the Celtics would offer in return for Evans. Also, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported that both Evans and Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins “have been given the impression they would not be dealt.”