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10 Things I Heard About Celtics VII 09.20.11 at 6:35 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ IIIIIIIVV and VI) ‘€¦

10. Taking time out from practice on the LSU campus, Celtics free agent forward Glen Davis recently traveled to South Portland, Maine to dedicate a pair of basketball courts and speak on behalf of a charitable venture.

The latter event provided us with two dichotomous Davis interviews courtesy of the local NBA affiliate: 1) the awkward exchange in the embedded video between a report intent on asking lockout questions and Davis, who clearly wanted no part of it; and 2) the poignant speech to Day One fundraisers about being raised by a mother with substance abuse problems.

We’ll start on the basketball side. The short of what Davis had to say was “I have no worry,” “Everything will be Ok” and “We’ll be back on the court.” The long of it:

  • On the lockout: “The owners and the players are trying to deal with something, and they’ll make sure everything will happen the way it needs to happen. I have no worry. Everybody loves basketball.”
  • On the lockout, again: “They have issues. We have to work them out. Everybody wants basketball. With everybody on the same ground, we can work something out. Everything will be Ok.”
  • And again: “I think a lot of guys are working out and preparing themselves, but everybody’s at their house or doing something. We’re preparing like there’s going to be a season, and after everything gets worked out we’ll be back on the court.”
  • And again: “We’ve got to work things out first. In the meantime, between time, I’m just affiliated with and doing other things, so I’m just waiting.”

Now to the human side. Here are a few touching tidbits from Davis about his childhood:

  • On his hometown: “I grew up in a neighborhood where there were drugs everywhere. It was like walking zombies out there.”
  • On his upbringing: “I had to face some things that I never could ever imagine that I would have had to face as a young child. I was put in situations where I had to grow up as an adult. I had to realize what life was really about.”
  • On finding hoops: “In basketball, that’s where I found the values of life. It’s where I found that structure. It’s where I found that place where I can vent and be me, because I had to be someone else.”

The Portland Press Herald has more from the emotional Davis, who was introduced by Celtics legend Dave Cowens with this: “All the old guys I played with think he really knows how to play the game.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Big Baby Davis, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce goes 1-on-1 with Maria Menounos 09.14.11 at 10:21 am ET
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Most people can only dream of scoring on Maria Menounos. Not Celtics captain Paul Pierce. Not only did Pierce wax the Medford native in a little game of 1-on-1, but she offered to buy him dinner afterwards. I guess they don’t call him The Truth for nothing. And I think I just hit the innuendo quota for one blog.

By the way, I enjoyed how Menounos said she couldn’t start her new job without everybody knowing where she stands. Um, this is a new job? Hasn’t she been doing that show for like 10 years? Apparently, she’s moved from “Entertainment Tonight” to “Access Hollywood” to “Extra,” and here I was thinking that was all the same show.

Whatever. There’s no doubt Menounos has been a long-time C’s fan. Here’s picture proof:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Extra, Maria Menounos, Paul Pierce
10 Things I Heard About Celtics VI 09.13.11 at 11:49 am ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ IIIIIIIV and V) ‘€¦

10. After Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett participated in the Pros vs. G.I. Joes video gaming event to promote Call of Duty, a few interviews have emerged from the event. The embedded one by a dude in a Yankees hat from Machinima.com asks which member of the Celtics is the best video game player on the team.

‘€œI would say Big Baby,’€ Garnett said. ‘€œBig Baby [Glen Davis] is probably our best gamer, just because he plays a lot more than everybody else. He’€™s young, doesn’€™t really have a family yet, got all this extra time. You know, young boys, they find time to occupy themselves with gaming and other things. If I had to give it up, it would have to be Big Baby. Big Baby’€™s really good. He’€™s consistent with his play.’€

Of course, the 25-year-old Davis does have a daughter who just turned 1 year old on Sept. 2, so his gaming skills may have slipped since he last played against Garnett.

9. Exhibition games continue to fill Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green‘€™s offseason schedule, as he’€™ll compete in the Clash of Superstars for charity in Washington D.C. on Saturday before a game between his Goodman League squad and an Indianapolis Pro-Am team on Sept. 24.

In this weekend’€™s game to benefit a local Boys & Girls Club, YMCA chapters and an area basketball academy, Green will join fellow NBA players Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kemba Walker, James Harden, Greg Monroe, Corey Brewer, Jarrett Jack, Eric Maynor and Samardo Samuels.

Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to join NBA performers Zach Randolph, Eric Gordon, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, Gordon Hayward and Lance Stephenson on the Indy Pro-Am team that will face a Goodman group led by Green, Durant, Wall, Cousins and Jack the following weekend.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’€™s Michael Lee caught up with Green over the phone. The highlights:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Justin Bieber, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV 08.30.11 at 12:26 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ III and III) ‘€¦

10. The success of the 1985-86 Celtics (67-15; 40-1 home; 15-3 playoffs) stemmed from not only talent but intellectualism, according to this recent NBA.com puff piece. The team featured six future NBA head coaches: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Rick Carlisle and Sam Vincent. Not to mention quote machine Bill Walton. Here’s what McHale and Walton had to say on the subject …

  • Kevin McHale: “We had a lot of guys on that team who really knew the game and understood what it took and what it meant to play it the right way. I kinda took it for granted, thinking that was the way everybody played, because I had been around guys with the Celtics where everyone understood that. I probably realized for the first time that it wasn’t that way everywhere when Danny Ainge told me that other people couldn’t totally change their game plans during a timeout and then go right out onto the floor and execute it. It was after Danny got traded to Sacramento and he said that if that team didn’t work on something in practice for three days, there was no way they could do it in a game. We could devise a whole new scheme in a timeout and then just go do it. I guess everybody on that Celtics team just had a good basketball mind.”
  • Bill Walton: “Everyone constantly thought basketball. Everyone always played a mental game. Even though we were a team that physically had the tools necessary to be at highest level of the game, it was the mental edge that allowed that team to be so special.”

9. Reason No. 893 Celtics guard Ray Allen is cool: While every other NBA player is seemingly shopping himself overseas or making headlines in exhibition games against questionable competition, the 3-point king works on his golf game as if it were just another off-season.

Last month, Allen played in Lake Tahoe. Two weeks ago, in Connecticut. Next week, in New Jersey at the Liberty Cup Charity Golf Tournament with golfer Natalie Gulbis and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan. All for charity.

I guess that’s why Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” and not someone like Kobe Bryant (interesting tidbit: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were reportedly approached for that role, but their agent wanted a guarantee that one of them would get the part).

8. As we’ve discussed previously, Austin Rivers and his Duke basketball teammates are traveling China and the United Arab Emirates, crushing every team in their path. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is also with the team to watch his son make fools out of people internationally. Dubai newspaper Gulf News caught up with the pair that hopes to soon become the third father-son NBA duo in history (Jan Van Breda Kolff and Butch Van Breda Kolff; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). Here’s what Doc had to say about his son and vice versa … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James
10 Things I Heard About Celtics III 08.22.11 at 4:18 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours (Here are “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” I and II) …

10. By now, I’m sure you’re sick of all the random Rajon Rondo ridiculousness. One week the Celtics point guard is in Louisville. The next he’s in Las Vegas. Then Boston. And Alcatraz. If they don’t get this whole NBA lockout thing settled soon, he’ll be climbing Mount Everest and sailing the Dead Sea before you know it.

Rondo’s latest adventures involve a paycheck — but sadly no basketball. He scoffed at himself in Lakers gear for a Champs Sports commercial and donned a beret and ascot for a series of Foot Locker ads, revealing some classic Rondo “quickness faces” — The General, The Panther Stare and whatever the hell the third one is called (The Grand Millimeter?) — with his signature deadpan delivery. I also enjoyed this advice from Lesson No. 3:

“It’s the fourth quarter, your most bitter rival is about to step up to the line and shoot free throws that will end your season. Don’t let this go down. Get in his mind, talk some trash and wreak havoc.”

9. Even during the lockout, a week doesn’t pass without some sort of Dwight Howard speculation. The latest? Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer claims he’s been told by Magic CEO Alex Martins that a new collective bargaining agreement may include a more significant “Bird Rights”-like clause that would give Howard’s current team an even greater chance of retaining his services over teams like the Lakers or Celtics in 2012 free agency.

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

How significant that advantage might be for the Magic is obviously up for debate between owners and players.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
10 Things I Heard About Celtics II 08.16.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours (the first “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” is here) ‘€¦

10. As SLAM noted, Celtics free agents and Louisiana natives Glen Davis and Von Wafer both made the top five plays from this past weekend’s Tournament of the Stars Basketball Clinic in Lake Charles, La. Big Baby’s post-clutch-3-pointer “big balls” dance is an instance classic, as is Wafer’s posterization. Both players would like to remain in Boston once the NBA lockout ends, and Wafer has already signed a one-year deal to play in Italy.

9. While every other NBA player tosses his name into the overseas rumor mill, Celtics captain Paul Pierce is content with his hobbies on vacation. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant‘s agents have been busy shopping him everywhere from China to Brazil, but Pierce can’t get enough poker, fishing and scheduling volunteer work — promoting his Truth on Health campaign on HGTV by making over his hometown Inglewood (Calif.) High’s athletic facilities on Aug. 20 and bowling with Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Celtics free agent Glen Davis in the 5th Annual Beckett Bowl on Aug. 29.

Of course, Pierce will play overseas — for his country. He and Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley will help form a United States All-Star team at the Continental Club Championships in Beijing from Aug. 20-28. Somehow I doubt Pierce will be earning $375,000 or whatever it is Bryant is seeking per week for his China sojourn. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West
Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett? 08.15.11 at 1:55 pm ET
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Every so often a question is posed regarding the Celtics‘ four All-Stars. In short: Which one is the most valuable/best/indispensable? What makes this question so intriguing is that there is a legitimate case to be made for all four.

Without Ray Allen‘s shooting ability the Celtics’ vaunted floor spacing begins to shrink and coach Doc Rivers loves to make use of Allen’s ability to use screens in their halfcourt sets.

Rajon Rondo is the playmaker, the only reliable point guard on the roster the last four years, and one of the few Celtics who can change pace and tempo with the flick of a switch. When Rondo has been out of the lineup — or gone through a prolonged slump — the Celtics inevitably struggle to score points.

Kevin Garnett is the defensive anchor and that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Simply put, when Garnett plays at the level he played at last season the Celtics defense is ferocious.

Then there is Paul Pierce, who does just about everything well and is the one player the Celtics reliably use to create his own shot when everything else breaks down.

You can go round and round in circles on this question and never come to a definitive answer, which is a large reason why this foursome has been so successful. Ubuntu may have been a clever rallying cry, but its tenets hold true for this collection of players. “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Take any one of these parts away and the whole suffers for it.

That’s why I watched with great interest as Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe unveiled his top 100 players list. One way or another Lowe would have to parse this group and assign a ranking. Lowe had Allen ranked 48th and Rondo 27th, which left the top spot to be decided between Garnett and Pierce. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen
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