|KG Youngest to Play 1,000 Games||10.31.08 at 7:04 pm ET|
Near the end of the third quarter the PA announcer told the crowd Kevin Garnett, 32, is the youngest player to play 1,000 NBA Games. He has started in all but 37 of them.
The previous record was held by Shawn Kemp, who broke the mark in December of 2002. Paul Pierce was the first Celtic to stand up and cheer and KG received a standing O from the crowd.
|Pierce and the Second Unit||at 6:04 pm ET|
Paul Pierce spent some quality time with the second unit tonight. The captain played alongside Eddie House, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe for 3:30 in the second quarter. It was Powe, not Pierce, who led this unit with four points. They outscored the Bulls 7-6 and pushed the lead up to 31-19 before every starter but Ray Allen subbed back in with seven minutes left. Pierce had also been scrimmaging with the second unit in practice.
|New Intro for the Champs||at 5:11 pm ET|
The Celtics have at least 82 games to enjoy being World Champs and they are making it known in the Garden. The new pregame introduction is kicked off with highlights from Tuesday’s ring ceremony, including John Havlicek carrying the trophy out of the players’ tunnel, Paul Pierce overwhelmed by emotion, and the 17th banner being raised to the rafter. The video montage then switches to clips from the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Seminfals. It’s a medley of slam dunks and screams that is capped off by a few words from Pierce to get the crowd riled up.
|What to Watch For: Bulls vs. Celtics||at 11:40 am ET|
The banner is up, the rings have been delivered and Paul Pierce won’t be thanking his extended family before the game. (We kid, Paul. We kid). It’s Game 2 of the NBA season for the Celtics who welcome the Chicago Bulls to town for their second-straight nationally televised game. You can catch it all on Comcast, of course, with plenty of Mike and Tommy goodness.
It’s Halloween night, or as friend of ‘eei Ian Browne called it: Grown-ups without kids night at the Garden. After the jump, five things to watch for while trying not be scared of Drew Gooden’s new look. Read the rest of this entry »
|Wahlberg Shows Another Side of Pierce||10.29.08 at 12:44 am ET|
Over the last few years the TD BankNorth Garden had become a revolving door of new faces. Countless players came and went, as did fairweather fans who no longer wanted to support a losing cause. But there were two faces that stayed the same ‘ a resilient captain and a diehard Bostonian, both who refused turn their backs on the Boston Celtics.
Celtics captain Paul Pierce and actor/musician Donnie Wahlberg developed a friendship during the 2002 basketball season. They shared a special bond of frustration and unmet expectations. Wahlberg wanted to resurrect his career after New Kids on the Block and Pierce wanted to win a title with the Cs. Through this common understanding, Wahlberg got to know a different side of Pierce.
‘Obviously to be an elite athlete you have to have an ego, you have to have confidence, but he’s a special guy because he has humility too,’ Wahlberg said during the Celtics regular season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. ‘So do I and I think that’s one of the reasons why he and I get along. We’ve always shared that mutual respect even through the worst of times. I still traveled with the team, still followed them everywhere, and he never treated me any different.’
Pierce and Wahlberg decided to stick by the Celtics. Wahlberg took in games on both the east and west coasts while Pierce never asked to leave Boston. Six years later, their loyalty paid off. Wahlberg, now on a sold out comeback tour, sat courtside to watch a teary-eyed Pierce receive his championship ring.
‘To see him tonight so emotional, it’s beautiful because you realize how much it really means to him,’ Wahlberg said. ‘He’s a laidback guy so a lot of people don’t realize how much it means to him and how hard it must have been for him during some of the dark times here. It’s a lot of weight and he never came out publicly and said ‘trade me.’ He never did what all the other superstars do. He didn’t do it.’
Despite reports of Pierce living it up in Las Vegas this summer and claiming he is the best basketball player in the world, Wahlberg said he has never become big time. The only difference he ever noticed, in fact, was that of embarrassment.
‘The only time he was ever different was when I could see times when he was really down when the team was really struggling,’ he said. ‘He’d look over and he’d give me a nod and stuff but I could see he was really hurting and embarrassed too. That’s the only change he’s really had. He’s always been consistent, always been gracious, and humble, and wonderful to me.’
To show his appreciation to Pierce for bringing the world championship back to Beantown, Wahlberg invited him to join the New Kids on stage during their first concert at the Garden in 15 years. The group donned Celtics jerseys (Wahlberg wore number 34) while Pierce proudly hoisted the championship trophy in front of a packed house. Even after winning a title and NBA Finals MVP Award, Pierce was still in awe of how Wahlberg could perform under that much pressure.
‘It’s the same thing ‘ I don’t know how he gets on the free throw line in front of all the people that are watching him. But that’s Paul. He’s a humble guy,’ Wahlberg said. ‘When we were on stage together at the show he was like, ‘Wow, I’m so happy for you,’ just the same why I was for him. I gave him a big hug after Game Six and I was just so happy for him and it’s just a good thing. It’s really cool and it’s a trip to hear him say that, but it doesn’t surprise me because that’s the kind of guy he is.’
Just as it was during Wahlberg’s return to the stage, the energy in the Garden was electrifying during the ring ceremony.
‘This building has been a surreal place for me for the last year,’ Wahlberg said. ‘Most of last season I knew there was a chance we were going to play here, I knew there was a chance the Celtics were going to play in the championship, and to actually see it all happen in just like a year’s time, it’s unbelievable. I don’t want to compare us to the Celtics in any way but to share the stage with Paul was very, very powerful for me. I’ve spent a lot of time at these games going through my own ups and downs of my career while Paul was going through his and in the last year it’s kind of been a comeback of sorts for both of us.’
In just 12 months, their six-year friendship has transformed from commiseration to celebration. The level of success has changed, but as Wahlberg says, Pierce hasn’t.
|Sounds of the game… Celtics 90, Cavaliers 85||10.28.08 at 10:23 pm ET|
The final score hardly tells this story of this one. It was one of those unforgettable Boston sports nights. One of only 17 in the legendary history of the NBA’s most successful franchise. Raise another to the rafters and hand out the jewelery. Here’s what the players had to say about a night that had it all, and a Celtics come-from-behind win to boot.
|Celtics Entertain at Shamrock Foundation Gala||10.25.08 at 10:46 am ET|
Winning an NBA title is cause for celebration and on Friday night the Boston Celtics shared their excitement at the Shamrock Foundation’s World Championship Gala. Members of the team held little back as they entertained the crowd with anecdotes, jokes, and even an operatic performance when emcee Glenn Ordway passed the mic to Paul Pierce. Highlights included:
- Eddie House gave his best Ray Allen impersonation while explaining the definition of ‘Ubuntu.’ Word is House doesn’t need to practice that anymore … he does it so often it’s like second nature by now.
- Big Baby shimmied across the stage doing his best take on KG’s dance moves. If Davis’ impression is any indication of the real thing, let’s just say ‘Dancing With the Stars’ won’t be calling Garnett any time soon.
- Pierce invited rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker to the stage for a public display of rookie initiation. The two sang an off-key rendition of ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ which sounded more like Sanjaya than R. Kelly when Giddens tried to hit a high note.
When all was said and done, the gala raised $1.5 million to benefit the Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which provides education and support for charities in and around the Boston area.
The ornate 2008 World Championship rings were revealed and featured a diamond encrusted emerald shamrock. The big ticket auction item was a personalized championship ring, which went for $15,000.
Other auction items featured autographed memorabilia from the Boston Celtics and around the NBA, including celebratory photographs of the Big Three, an oversized cover of the Sporting News with Paul Pierce and David Ortiz, a basketball signed by members of the 2007-08 Celtics and Lakers squads, and a pair of sneakers worn by Dwight Howard. Guests were also able to bid on the opportunity to dine with the 2008 Championship trophy for the evening.
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