|10 Things I Heard About Celtics III||08.22.11 at 4:18 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 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.
|Your Daily Rajon Rondo Update: On Alcatraz||08.19.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is heading to Alcatraz, and it has nothing to do with his buddy Kendrick Perkins‘ not guilty plea to public intoxication charges. But it does have a little to do with his thieving ways.
After Red Bull donated $500 for each of his 153 steals this past season ($76,500) to refurbish 13 Boston basketball courts, Rondo’s next endeavor associated with the energy drink company is hosting the second annual Red Bull King of the Rock 1-on-1 basketball tournament, scheduled to conclude on Sept. 24.
Last year’s tourney on the prison yard marked the first official sporting event ever held on The Rock. This year, 64 qualifiers from 22 U.S. cities and 12 other countries will compete for the title. Boston native Tony Lee won the New England qualifier, earning $1,000 and a trip to Alcatraz along with runner-up Marius Bausys of Lithuania.
The 25-year-old Lee captured three state championships as an All-Scholastic performer for the Charlestown High basketball team. From there, the 6-foot, 205-pound guard played four seasons at Robert Morris University, capturing conference player of the year honors as a senior after setting career rebounds and single-season assists records for the Colonials.
Lee told SLAM that he’s seeking a job after recently playing in Austria, and maybe his performance on The Rock will help further that cause. His interview with SLAM is pretty classic. I especially enjoyed this exchange: Read the rest of this entry »
|President Obama: Why doesn’t Ray Allen teach Rajon Rondo to shoot?||08.17.11 at 12:02 pm ET|
An excerpt of Jackie MacMullan‘s forthcoming biography of Shaquille O’Neal, entitled “Shaq Uncut,” provides some insight into why Rajon Rondo may have struggled after the trade of his close friend and Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins — and the reason will come as a surprise.
According to the excerpt, published by SLAM Online, a joke by President Barack Obama during a fundraiser on March 8 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts may have sent Rondo into a tailspin. Here’s the passage in its entirety:
|10 Things I Heard About Celtics II||08.16.11 at 12:07 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 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 »
|Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett?||08.15.11 at 1:55 pm ET|
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.
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 »
|Celtics targets: Michael Redd, Grant Hill, Tayshaun Prince?||08.10.11 at 10:52 am ET|
Whether or not they can get a deal done after the NBA lockout, the Celtics will be in prime position this summer to encourage prominent free agents Michael Redd, Grant Hill and Tayshaun Prince to at least consider signing in Boston if and when the season begins.
I’ve heard Milwaukee Bucks management approached Michael Redd before the lockout about returning for another season, although my impeccable sources insist he’s going to wind up with one of the Eastern Conference’s title contenders.
Redd averaged 20-plus points for six straight seasons from 2003-08 before suffering a series of knee injuries that kept him from 185 games over the final three years of a six-year, $90.9 million deal with the Bucks. Playing the final 10 games of this past season, he averaged 4.4 points (40.0 FG%) and 1.2 assists in 13.4 minutes.
Assuming Redd targets legit Eastern Conference title contenders, that should limit his potential landing spots to Boston, Miami and Chicago. While the Heat and Bulls could offer Redd more playing time, no team would allocate much more than the veteran minimum to the almost 32-year-old shooting guard — and the Celtics have one appeal those other teams don’t: Redd’s old friend and former Bucks teammate Ray Allen.
During a Celtics road trip to Milwaukee in March, Allen and Redd shared dinner the night before the C’s defeated the Bucks, discussing their three seasons together from 2000-03. Here’s what Allen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about that conversation: Read the rest of this entry »
|Your daily Rajon Rondo update: With Kendrick Perkins||at 8:23 am ET|
Of course, it’s only for one day — Friday at 1 p.m. — in the Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) High gymnasium where Perkins played prior to joining the Celtics as the No. 27 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft.
With As the culmination of a three-day basketball camp in his hometown, Perkins will host a celebrity all-star game, featuring former C’s teammate Rondo, current Thunder teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Eric Maynor as well as Bucks guard Stephen Jackson.
With the news that Durant just began negotiations on a potential deal to play alongside Deron Williams in Turkey, you can bet news outlets will be making the 90-minute trek from Houston to Beaumont.
Houston native Jackson and Rondo have long been friends of Perkins, also attending the former Celtics center’s 2009 bachelor party and wedding. And it appears Perk’s become fast friends with Durant, Harden and Maynor after being traded to Oklahoma City in February and playing just 34 games with his new team.
The news is just one more encouraging sign that Rondo — who tweeted a photo on Tuesday of his healing dislocated left elbow, knees and ankles wrapped after a lengthy workout — is on schedule to be NBA game ready when the lockout ends. Here’s a quick rundown of Rondo’s busy offseason schedule so far …
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