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NBA sets social media guidelines 09.30.09 at 11:57 pm ET
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Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva brought  social media to the forefront in the NBA last season when he tweeted from the locker room during halftime as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Within a period of months countless players around the league, including Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Marquis Daniels, have adopted this trend. Some have even used sites like Twitter as an outlet to break their own news. In response, the NBA has released a set of guidelines heading into the 2009-10 season.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein explained:

The NBA formally announced its new social media guidelines Wednesday, informing teams through a league memorandum that the use of cell phones, PDAs and other electronic communications devices — and thus accessing Twitter, Facebook and similar social media sites — is now prohibited during games for players, coaches and other team personnel involved in the game.

The league has defined “during games” as the period of time beginning 45 minutes before the opening tip and ending “after the postgame locker room is open to the media and coaches and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to media attending the game.”

“During games” also encompasses halftime, according to the memo, but the new guidelines do allow players to engage in social networking during the pregame media ccess period that starts 90 minutes before tipoff and lasts for 45 minutes.

Coaches and team executives are expected to largely welcome the league’s edict, as they generally frown upon mobile-phone use in the locker room and on team buses, although the severity of restrictions generally vary from team to team given the rise in recent years in texting and e-mailing from handheld devices.

The league’s announcement also included the expected caveat that teams “are free to adopt their own rules relating to the use of electronic communication devices and social media sites and services during practices, meetings and other team events.”

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers addressed the issue of social media earlier this week and said he does not plan to implement further restrictions than those enforced by the NBA.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen,
Celtics Media Day Wrap Up 09.28.09 at 11:34 pm ET
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The return of Kevin Garnett may have been the hot topic at Celtics media day on Monday, but there were plenty of other news and notes from the C’s …

(Click on the links for more Media Day reaction from Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers.)

Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent next summer if the Celtics do not sign him to a contract extension by October. On Monday he was tight-lipped when it came to business, suggesting any questions could be answered by his agent, Bill Duffy. ‘€œI don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really think about it,’€ Rondo said. ‘€œI try to just focus on camp. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. If not, I’ll play it out.’€ He reiterated that he will play wherever he is wanted and that his main focus is getting another ring. … Rondo, 23, gained 11 pounds this summer ‘€œbecause I’m growing up.’€ He trained with a new weight-lifting routine, ate three meals a day, and cut fast food from his diet. He also plans on hiring a chef.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would like to keep Rondo around as the team’s point guard for the next 10 years and has had early talks with his agent about future plans. He has not, however, had discussions with Ray Allen about his expiring contract and will not address that issue publicly. … Ainge has high expectations for the upcoming season. He believes the offseason moves and returning talent will be successful. ‘€œWe’ve added some great depth, our young players are improving, and Rondo, Perk and Glen Davis, they made great strides last year and I think they’re even going to better this year as their games are maturing. I think that Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis [Daniels] give us two more starters, proven starters, that are coming off the bench for us that should give us a lot of depth,’€ Ainge said.

Paul Pierce is making his confidence in the Celtics perfectly clear. He believes they are the best team in the league when healthy, pointing out they were on a record-breaking pace last season prior to injuries. ‘€œPeople are going to say what they want to say about my comments or whatever, but I have total confidence in this ball club,’€ he said. … Even though Doc Rivers would prefer to cut back on the veterans’ minutes this season, Pierce refuses to sacrifice playing time for wins. ‘€œI’m not willing to lose nothing. Next question. I don’t understand that, losing. No.’€ … He compared seeing Kevin Garnett back on the court for 5-on-5 drills as a ‘€œbreath of fresh air.’€

Ray Allen kicked off media day with some humor while waiting for Pierce to join him and Garnett at the podium. Allen grabbed the microphone to locate his teammate: ‘€œPaul Pierce. Paul Pierce. Your food is ready.’€ … The Celtics’ window of opportunity to win a championship has been mentioned since they acquired veterans Allen and Garnett. Allen, though, is more focused on the here-and-now than two or three years down the road. ‘€œWe don’t look at a window. We’re not looking past this year. We can’t look past this year,’€ he said. … Allen is not concerned with adding a player like Rasheed Wallace to the mix. He pointed out many of them have known Wallace since high school and the Celtics have already learned each other’s game.

Kendrick Perkins is heading into training camp 15 pounds lighter than last season and is down to 270 pounds, his lightest total in three years. Perkins did not have a weight-loss regimen but rather trimmed down during his workouts. … His shoulder, which he has dislocated in the past, feels better than it has ‘€œin a while.’€ Perkins noted he is not worried about suffering another injury and is feeling strong. … The big man has been impressed by Wallace on and off the court. Even though he did not know what to expect at first ‘€” ‘€œI didn’t know. I was just waiting to see. It was kind of like scary for a moment,’€ he said ‘€” Perkins praised Wallace’s versatile game and pointed out he is a great addition to the locker room.

Click here to listen to audio clips from media day.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
KG: Last year humbled us at 10:59 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett admitted on Monday that watching the playoffs on the bench last year was one of the most painful experiences of his career as he nursed bone spurs behind his right knee.

“I think last year did one thing for us, if anything, it humbled us,” Garnett said during media day for the Celtics. “I think, if anything, it showed that team is everything, not one or two players get things done. I’m eager to see how we come in and how our minds and how we all are in camp. This is our bonding. This is all the time where the guys we haven’t played with … see how they all fit.”

Here are some audio highlights from Monday’s media extravaganza at the Sports Authority Complex in Waltham.

Garnett said he’s excited for the beginning of camp to see what the Celtics have.

Garnett said he’s ready to go full blast.

Garnett said last year humbled the Celtics.

Garnett said Rajon Rondo and Lester Hudson seemed fast when he played pickup last week.

Paul Pierce said KG looked good getting up and down the court.

RayAllen said the Celtics Big 3 feel like it’s two years ago all over again.

Doc Rivers discussed why camp is so important.

Rivers talked about trying to build his team’s endurance through a long season.

The Celtics left Monday for Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., as camp begins on Tuesday.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
Doc: I’m not going to overdo it at 8:50 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Before leaving for Newport, R.I. and a week of getting his team in the right frame of mind to actually put some letters and numbers on the blank banner hanging in the corner of the practice facility, Celtics coach Doc Rivers let the media in on a little secret.

“I think camp is important this year but obviously with Kevin coming back, [joining] Rasheed, Paul, Ray, they’re not spring chickens,” Rivers said. “Perk’s [left] shoulder, Tony’s [right] foot, we’re going to go as hard as we need to but I’m not going to overdo it.”

So, the Celtics all got together on Monday and left for Salve Regina University after meeting their media commitments. Kevin Garnett and his right knee, Rasheed Wallace and his new uniform, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tony Allen and his right foot and Kendrick Perkins and his left shoulder joined the rest of their teammates to prepare for a run at getting back on top of the NBA world.

But Rivers was clear about one thing – the NBA Finals are played in June and the playoffs begin in April, something that was reinforced in his mind toward the end of last year.

“Listen, we’re going to try and build through the year,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to try and get everything in in camp. I can tell you right now that we’re going to be behind coming out of camp than where we were last year. I’m more concerned with just preserving. I’m not that concerned about it but that’s the way we’re going to do it.”

As for the new faces like Rasheed Wallace, Marquise Daniels and Shelden Williams all fitting in, Rivers said he’ll manage just fine.

“Bottom line is this, everybody is here for one purpose and that’s to win and when you’re together in that way, I don’t think egos are much of a problem,” Rivers said. “If you’re not together in that way, then egos become a problem. If egos become a problem on this team, then we’re not thinking in the right way and that’s the way I look at it.”

And don’t ask about windows of opportunity with this team. There’s only one window the Celtics are trying to keep open in the house.

“I’m just worried about the 2010 window right now,” Rivers said. “Our goal is to win it this year, that’s it. I don’t look at windows with this team. Obviously, this team won’t be the same in 2012 and 2013. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Report: Celtics optimistic about KG 09.11.09 at 11:35 am ET
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After undergoing knee surgery in May, Kevin Garnett returned to the Boston Celtics training facility in Waltham on Monday,  Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported. While the organization hopes he will be cleared to participate in full-court scrimmages for the start of training camp, they are proceeding with caution.

According to Spears, Garnett is currently limited to court drills but could be cleared for contract drills as early as a week before training camp begins. The Celtics main concern, though, is not Opening Night but rather the postseason.

‘€œWe’€™re looking for him to be there at the end of the season, not just the start of the season,’€ Ainge told Yahoo!. ‘€œWe’€™re getting him ready for training camp and looking forward to him being healthy in the playoffs. He looks good. Really good.’€

Garnett has not played since March 25 when he scored four points in 17 minutes during a loss to the Orlando Magic. The Celtics forward, who has not averaged less than 31 minutes per game since his rookie year, has not played over 30 minutes since February 12.

Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rasheed Wallace have also been working out at the facility.

In Celtics backcourt news, Ainge told Yahoo! he has not decided whether or not the Cs will offer Rajon Rondo a contract extension before the season. In the meantime, the Celtics are considering the addition of a third point guard. Free agents Tyronn Lue, Dan Dickau, and Mike Taylor worked out at the team’s training facility on Thursday.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo
Red Claws name assistant coaches 09.07.09 at 9:20 pm ET
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On Monday the Maine Red Claws named Randy Livingston and Mike Procopio assistant coaches for the upcoming inaugural season. Procopio, 34, has deep ties to the Boston Celtics organization. He spent four years as a scout for the Cs before working as an assistant at Boston Amateur Basketball Club under Leo Papile, the Celtics Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations. He developed a reputation as one of the top development coaches nationwide as Director of Basketball Operations for Attack Athletics in Chicago and has trained players including Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade.

‘€œAlong with having four years of NBA front office experience, Mike Procopio regularly works out some of the best players in the NBA,’€ Red Claws head coach Austin Ainge said in a team statement. ‘€œHis experience and ability to develop players should make our team a desirable place for every player looking to make a jump to the next level.  As soon as I got this job, Mike was one of the first calls I made because of his experience teaching the game.’€

Livingston, a 12-year NBA veteran, led the Idaho Stampede to the 2008 NBDL Championship. He retired from playing after his title-winning season to become the Stampede’s associate head coach. Livingston, 34, helped coach the team to a second place finish in the West Division (31-19) in his first season on the sidelines.

‘€œI feel extremely fortunate to have a coach of Randy Livingston’€™s caliber to help me,” Ainge said.  ‘€œRandy knows the game, knows our league, and has experience at every level of basketball.  I trust Randy’€™s instincts and basketball IQ implicitly and will rely heavily on his opinion.’€

Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Maine Red Claws, Paul Pierce
Eastern Conference Preparing for Competition 08.18.09 at 10:20 pm ET
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Two years ago the Boston Celtics traveled to Europe for training camp. That season they won the championship. The close-knit squad credited the trip overseas for their unwavering chemistry on the court.

“The second we got to training camp in September, we all said, hey, let’s meet in September without the coaches and come together and just start playing with each other, starting to get to know one another, and I think all that stuff really helped us,” Paul Pierce said during the 2008 playoffs.

This summer Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson hopes he can have the same effect on his teammates. Nelson is hosting the Magic at his Philadelphia-area home for ‘€œBuilding Magic,’€ a week-long getaway that combines strength and conditioning drills with team-building activities.

Like the Celtics did in 2007, the Magic traded a handful of core players in exchange for an All-Star (Vince Carter) and added to their bench along the way. After losing Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, key pieces in their postseason run, and veteran mentor Tony Battie, Nelson understands the importance of this offseason.

He explained to Sports Illustrated in July:

‘€œWe’re trying to piece it together because our team was in transition. For the most part, the big guns have committed — Vince [Carter], Dwight [Howard] and Rashard [Lewis]. After those guys have committed, no one can really back out unless they have some type of serious issue.

This year we’re doing it from the 16th through the 22nd of August. We do it at the same facility every year, same gym at Haverford College. We’ll work out with my trainers — conditioning drills, weightlifting, stuff to get your body right. The basketball stuff we do is later in the afternoon. We do that for about 2-3 hours.

Afterward, we’ll mix up the nightlife. We always do a dinner. Other days we’ll do paintball or bowling, maybe go to the movies.’€

As they gear up in hopes of reclaiming their Eastern Conference title, Rashard Lewis’ Twitpic has the Magic looking ready for battle. (Via Ball Don’t Lie)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic, Paul Pierce
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