|Irish Coffee: Why no NBA exhibition games in Boston?||10.11.11 at 1:57 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
A month ago, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo practiced alongside LeBron James at the University of Kentucky. A week ago, the C’s Big Three partied with Bron Bron in New York City. And a couple days ago, Rondo played on Queen James’ team in the South Florida All-Star Classic. Naturally, LeBron’s team lost.
And Celtics fans continue to lose, starting with the cancellation of the first two weeks of the NBA season. While C’s players Rondo, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Glen Davis, Avery Bradley, Jermaine O’Neal and JaJuan Johnson have played everywhere from Florida to China, none have offered any such glimpse to the Boston faithful.
Just this past weekend, Rondo played in the South Florida All-Star Classic and on the University of Kentucky’s Big Blue All-Stars (see the embedded video for his circus buzzer-beater to end the first half of a 115-87 victory). He reportedly buried a trio of 3-pointers but went down hard in a game against Georgetown College on Monday.
Celtics free agent combo guard Delonte West could be playing for the Goodman League in “The Chocolate City against the City of Brotherly Love” in Washington D.C. on Saturday. C’s restricted free agent Jeff Green has also played for the Goodman League in games against Los Angeles, New York, Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
During the NBA lockout, Pierce played with Michael Beasley in China and Mario Chalmers in Kansas. Davis teamed with Zach Randolph in Louisiana. Bradley and O’Neal participated in the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas. Johnson battled Green in Indiana before practicing with Rondo in Kentucky. And Ray Allen has been training at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Yet, none have played in Boston.
If fans must endure another month of lockout talk and high-profile exhibition games, would it be too much to ask someone (cough, Celtics captain Paul Pierce, cough) to organize an exhibition game in Boston? Are you telling me Pierce couldn’t recruit Rondo, Allen, Garnett, Johnson, West, Green, Big Baby and whoever else (Chris Herren, for one) to participate in a charity game in Boston benefiting his Truth on Health campaign?
Besides, if the NBA ever gets around to reaching a collective bargaining agreement, Celtics training camp will be abbreviated and games will creep up on their aged legs fairly quickly. Would it be so bad for C’s players to hold scrimmages open to the public (for a charitable donation, of course) at high schools around the city?
Or is that just another NBA fan from Boston asking too much? Read the rest of this entry »
|Irish Coffee: Kevin Garnett fights for the nobodies||10.07.11 at 1:28 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
If you weren’t on the players’ side of the NBA lockout before, it’s getting harder and harder not to be.
Despite the fact that they are inching closer and closer to losing paychecks, and despite the fact that the league’s top players are finding it more and more difficult to seek employment overseas — an issue we’ll get to in a moment — NBA superstars are holding firm against owners.
Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski called Kevin Garnett‘s “apoplectic” plea to his fellow players not to drop lower than a 52-48 split on behalf of the league’s next generation — even in the face of losing his $21 million salary and perhaps his last best chance at a second NBA title to a lost season — “one of the most unselfish acts in these labor talks.” Here’s what one young mid-level salary player told Wojnarowski:
“What he’s doing now, to me, it says a lot about K.G. He’s willing to sit out the year, and give up [$21 million] at the end of his last big contract, and probably his last really good chance to win another ring. For him, this is about the principle.
“I don’t want to hear this stuff from our guys saying, ‘Oh, he can afford to sit out. He’s made a lot of money.’ I respect the [expletive] out of those guys standing up for us right now, him, Kobe, all of them.”
If owners and players don’t reach an agreement by Monday, the NBA will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season. If the lockout lingers any further, the players will indeed lose paychecks beginning on Nov. 15.
The four most prominent players at the most recent collective bargaining session in New York City — Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Amare Stoudemire — stand to lose a combined $219,000 per day if the NBA does not return by mid-November. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a lot of money.
“It’s very, very easy to jump ship when things get hard,” Garnett told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s very, very easy to start thinking differently. I’m not that type of person.”
NBA owners are in this for the long haul, as those who own profitable franchises will be able to make up for lost revenue fairly quickly over the course of the collective bargaining agreement and those who (claim they) don’t profit will actually save money each day the lockout continues.
That’s not the case for aging superstars like Bryant and Garnett, who have 1,401 combined hours of NBA basketball on their aching knees. And it’s not as easy as they might have once thought to make that money back overseas, as Bucks center Andrew Bogut‘s agent David Bauman noted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
|Irish Coffee: Celtics, Heat party in NYC’s meatpacking district (not that there’s anything wrong with that)||10.03.11 at 11:58 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Enough’s enough. The NBA might still be locked out, but Irish Coffee’s holdout has officially come to an end. It’s October, and NBA training camps should be in progress. Instead, the Celtics and Heat are partying together.
After the C’s swept the Knicks and got out-athleticismed (new word!) by the Heat in five games during the 2011 NBA Playoffs, did you ever think you’d be reading about Carmelo Anthony hosting Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in New York City’s meatpacking district on Oct. 3? At least the Daily News reported that “the Boston boys and Anthony’s crew exchanged little more than ‘hi and bye’ pleasantries.”
Did you think Rajon Rondo would pledge to play alongside Wade, LBJ, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire at an event hosted by Isiah Thomas on Oct. 8? At least its for charity.
Did you think restricted free agent Jeff Green — the crux of the Kendrick Perkins deal that many believe killed the Celtics season faster than an unnamed Red Sox player can slam a beer in the clubhouse — would be discussing the oh-so-difficult process of making smoothies on some lady’s couch (see embedded video)? At least he’s staying healthy. (On an unrelated note, should we tell them that almond milk, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and ice isn’t a protein shake?)
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: With LeBron James||09.14.11 at 12:04 pm ET|
What, does Rajon Rondo have a private jet or something? One second the Inside Track has the Celtics point guard eating at Stephanie’s on Newbury in Boston over the weekend, and the next second LeBron James is tweeting around midnight on Tuesday about how he just got done practicing with the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, along with Wildcats alumni Rondo, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins.
If you’ll remember, Rondo defended the Heat forward on several occasions this past season. In one instance, Rondo sparked a 20-3 run on his way to a triple-double during an 85-82 Celtics win. Of guarding James, Rondo said in February, “I was just trying to cut the head off the horse, just wanted to change the tempo of the game.”
Added Celtics coach Doc Rivers, “That matchup made no sense, honestly. And it hurt us a couple times. The only thing I saw honestly is that it gave us life. Because he was trying so hard and working so hard, it just sort of forced everybody else to join in. And even Lawrence [Frank] was like, ‘We can’t do this!’ And I said, ‘You’re right, but we’re just going to keep doing it.’ And it was good for us.”
As much as James is disliked by fans, it doesn’t appear many players hold any ill will towards him. As always, here’s the quick rundown of what has been an extremely busy offseason for Rondo …
|20 things we learned from Rajon Rondo’s Facebook chat||09.08.11 at 6:43 pm ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo hosted a Facebook chat on Thursday for his fans to promote his Nike Hyperfuse sneakers on behalf of Foot Locker. It was Classic Rondo all the way, replete with short and often cryptic answers. Here are 20 things we learned from the two-time NBA All-Star …
20. He plans on the Celtics winning the 2012 NBA championship.
19. He doesn’t think the Celtics are looking too good right now.
18. His No. 1 rule about NBA pranks: Don’t talk about NBA pranks. Read the rest of this entry »
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: Cornhole dominance||09.02.11 at 10:27 am ET|
Around 2 a.m. on Friday morning, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo tweeted this photo of himself playing cornhole with the claim that he and former University of Louisville guard Alhaji Mohammed went 29-1 on the night. His opponents, former Atlanta Hawks forward Donta Smith and former Howard University all-conference player James “Mac” Wilkinson, disputed that claim, simply responding: “False.”
I guess Rondo can shoot after all. Good thing President Obama wasn’t around to crack jokes. And cue the Corey Hart music: “I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can” …
As always, here’s the quick rundown of what has been an extremely busy offseason for Rondo …
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV||08.30.11 at 12:26 pm ET|
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 (‘10 Things I Heard About Celtics’ I, II 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 »
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