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Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo ‘frustrating,’ says Shaq 11.08.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Jackie MacMullan’s latest, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” co-written with Shaquille O’Neal, hits bookstores on Nov. 15. Excerpts about Shaq’s tenures in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Miami and Boston have already leaked.

We know about his claims that he told Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge he would never return from the Achilles injury, that he almost punched Glen “Big Baby” Davis for being selfish and that he believed Nate Robinson‘s obsession with Twitter put him in Doc Rivers‘ doghouse.

We also know that everything Shaq claims should be taken with a grain of salt, so keep that in mind when you read the following revelations, as relayed by the Herald’s Dan Duggan on Twitter.

  • Shaq said he was really interested in [Rajon] Rondo. Said Rondo was always a topic of convos. Very stubborn and won’t change.
  • Vets told Shaq how important but frustrating Rondo was. Vets liked when Rondo would get put in his place b/c he ticked them off at times.
  • Shaq did say Rondo earned the respect of the Big 3 by his defense and passing. Rondo and Doc had “respectful beefs” over plays/decisions.
  • Shaq said Baby drove Doc crazy. No surprise there. Said KG [Kevin Garnett] wouldn’t confront Baby; KG has mellowed later in his career.
  • Shaq said practices were very competitive. [Von] Wafer-Delonte [West] wasn’t the only skirmish.
  • Shaq said he told Danny not to do Perk [Kendrick Perkins] trade b/c he didn’t know if he’d be back. Said trade was strictly biz. C’s weren’t going to pay Perk.
  • Shaq said KG’s legs/knees were all screwed up last season. Said Ray [Allen] is a future GM, already like a front office guy. [Paul] Pierce is the leader.
  • Shaq had very high praise for Doc, positive memories of Boston.
  • Shaq also blatantly admits to manipulating the media/public. Says he made up a story about Bill Russell brokering peace w/ Kobe [Bryant] in 2006.
  • Shaq shook Kobe’s hand before the game and when asked said Russell told him to do it. Said he made that up to boost Russell’s legacy.
  • One last thing from Shaq’s chapter on Boston is how misleading the Celtics were on his injury.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Irish Coffee: E’Twaun Moore or E’Twaun less? 11.07.11 at 11:12 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee.

If you just watched this highlight video and knew nothing else about E’Twaun Moore, you might think the Celtics second-round draft selection is destined to become an NBA rotation player once the lockout comes to an end — especially when the announcer for his Italian club Benetton Treviso yells: “E-Twaun Moore-ah, alley-oop-ah!”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In four games and 26 minutes a night as a starter for Benetton TV (2-2), Moore is averaging 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks per contest. Sure, he’s shooting 50 percent from the field, but he’s making just 30 percent of his 3-point shots and 50 percent of his free throws.

While Moore’s production in all phases of the game (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist in 25 minutes) during a 72-55 blowout win on Sunday is encouraging, let’s put his performance into perspective.

Brian Scalabrine and Von Wafer, two players who could barely crack the Celtics lineup in the Big Four era, also play in the same Italian league. In fact, Scalabrine, plays for the same team, and he’s generating 12.0 points (71.4 FG%, 66.7 3P%), 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 steals in 32 minutes a night. Wafer plays Moore’s position for Vanoli-Braga Cremona, averaging 19.4 points (63.6 FG%), 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.2 assists and 0.4 blocks in 31.4 minutes over his first five games.

Moore’s ability to make the Celtics roster might depend less on his expected contribution and more on the team’s financial situation after a new collective bargaining agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Irish Coffee Archives: Celtics Halloween 10.31.11 at 1:36 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

What a difference a year makes. Three games into the 2010-11 NBA season, Ray Allen‘s party and Shaquille O’Neal‘s tour of Boston dressed as a woman last Halloween set the tone for what appeared to be a likable Celtics group that seemed destined for a third Finals appearance in four seasons.

That optimism soon devolved into a succession of injuries, the trade that shall not be referenced, another late-season slide,  a playoff beatdown courtesy of the hated Heat and the ongoing misery that is the NBA lockout.

Still, we’ll always have the legendary Top 10 Celtics Halloween photos from 2010 — featuring a cameo by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz (followed by a handful of links, including Avery Bradley‘s status overseas) …

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Irish Coffee: Manny Pacquiao loves the Celtics 10.27.11 at 12:18 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

When Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao plays basketball, he wears a Kevin Garnett Celtics jersey — and drops 15-foot buckets like No. 5. Maybe Garnett should implement the old bounce-the-ball-off-the-defender’s-knees move from the embedded video. If only the 5-foot-7 Pac-Man were a foot taller.

Pacquiao’s man love for KG & Co. — and vice versa — has long been publicized. Soon after the 2008 NBA title run, a bunch of Celtics attended the southpaw’s victory against David Diaz in Las Vegas and celebrated with him afterward. In March 2009, Pacquiao sent a bunch of autographed boxing gloves to the Celtics prior to a game. And last summer, Paul Pierce called Pacquiao the “best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.”

Pacquiao’s next fight just happens to be against Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Nov. 12. I’m guessing it’s no coincidence that Allen Iverson‘s Las Vegas Superstar Challenge is scheduled for Nov. 12-13, and Pierce is involved. Let’s just say there could be a few players battling hangovers in the championship game of The Answer’s two-day tournament. Good thing Iverson has no distractions during the showcase.

Maybe Garnett, Pierce and Rajon Rondo could also link up with Pac-Man when they visit Macau — about a two-hour flight from the Philippines — during the All-Star World Classic tour that begins in Puerto Rico on Sunday. All three Celtics are scheduled to participate in the exhibition along with Kobe Bryant and 10 others.

Or maybe the NBA lockout will end by Sunday, and Pacquiao can watch all 82 Celtics games on TV.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)

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Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo’s NBA lockout ‘just boring’ 10.26.11 at 10:29 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Rajon Rondo granted interviews to a number of reporters after participating in an exhibition game in Kentucky on Monday night, which is more than can be said about plenty of Celtics games.

Among his comments was this gem on the NBA lockout (via The Kentucky Kernel): “It’s just boring.”

Tell me about it, bro. Why I else would I be combing the interwebs for anything interesting about the Celtics, like this youth football photo of you? (By the way, I’m 92 percent certain Rondo could start for the Oakland Raiders this Sunday and be better than the Kyle Boller/Carson Palmer Soup du Poop.)

At least NBA owners and players will resume collective bargaining negotiations on Wednesday, according to Newsday. Can’t they just agree on a 50/50 split and end this boredom?

Moving on to a few other Rondoisms (via Kentucky Sports Report and WHAS-11):

  • On losing: “I don’t like to lose. I missed a free throw, so I was pretty pissed off a little bit. I compete to win, and I don’t like to lose. I never like to lose, even a game like this.”
  • On mentoring: “I had a couple of mentors I looked up to and was able to talk to about what I was going through when I was young. That is what I’m doing for those guys. When I’m around, I am showing them positive things to do and how to handle themselves as young men, because I have been through what they are going through. They all want to be in the league and want to win and be the man, but there are certain steps you have to take. They are all very young. Just be patient. I try to tell them not to be in a rush to grow up and get this life so fast.”
  • On playing: “I’m ready to get it going. I’m excited about the season this year. I’m just trying to stay healthy, most of all, and try to get back to the championship and win.”

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Rajon Rondo schools Villians like the Green Lantern 10.25.11 at 4:25 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo highlights from the Big Blue All-Stars vs. Villains game referenced in this morning’s Irish Coffee, complete with jump shots and everything (via Celtics Town). The behind-the-back inbound pass is ridiculous.

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Irish Coffee: At what point do NBA players cave? at 1:27 pm ET
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NBA commissioner David Stern is set to cancel two more weeks of the season. Or he isn’t. Or games through Christmas are in jeopardy. Or an 82-game season is still possible. Or you can torch the entire 2011-12 calendar, including the final years of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen‘s Celtics contracts.

Anything is possible.

If indeed the first 13 games of the Celtics season are canceled, here’s how much money each of the six C’s currently under contract might lose if their first two bi-weekly paychecks are never issued:

Kevin Garnett: $1,630,769.23
Paul Pierce: $1,179,487.23
Ray Allen: $769,230.77
Rajon Rondo: $769,230.77
Jermaine O’Neal: $478,923.08
Avery Bradley: $117,267.69
TOTAL: $4,944,908.77

Garnett has reportedly made more than $300 million in salary and endorsements, so $1.6 million is chump change (0.5 percent of total earnings) — especially when you consider he has $35 million in deferred salary from his last two contract extensions due to him over the first seven years of his retirement, according to NBA.com.

Bradley made $1.4 million in salary as a rookie this past season, so $117K is a crapload of money (8.4 percent of total earnings). Especially when you consider he could be fired after one game in a Hapoel Jerusalem uniform.

Since the Celtics are still selling merchandise, it’s difficult to tell how much revenue they would lose should those 13 games over 28 days go up in smoke. In the 2009-10 NBA season, the C’s earned $68 million in gate receipts over 53 home games (41 regular season, 12 playoff). With six home games scheduled through Nov. 28, that’s $7.7 million in ticket revenue based on the 2009-10 numbers. And that doesn’t include revenue generated from concessions or media rights. Still, they could be saving nearly as much in player expenses.

At what point do the vast majority of NBA players — who are making closer to Bradley-level money than Garnett-level money — panic about losing these paychecks? No matter how hard Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant urge them to hold their ground, at some point they’re bound to cave. And that’s what Stern is counting on.

Read the rest of this entry »

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