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Full Court Press: Danny Ainge will go all out in free agency, and not just for Kevin Durant, Celtics going Eurostash 06.25.16 at 9:31 pm ET
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Mar 16, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) works the ball against Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) in the second half at TD Garden. Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Celtics 130-109. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Will Kevin Durant and Avery Bradley be teammates next season? (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Remember the pursuit of Manny Ramirez? How about the ill-fated chase for Alex Rodriguez? Think back when Zdeno Chara was on the market in 2006. The Patriots and Darrelle Revis married for one season, and it yielded New England’s fourth Super Bowl title. 

Well, the Celtics’ dream of putting Kevin Durant in green next season has the potential of eclipsing all of those in terms of media focus and civic involvement. 

Danny Ainge knows, just from their reaction to the lack of trade on draft night, that the entire fan base is in a frenzy. The Celtics are in full-in mode to get their guy who could change the fortunes of the franchise for the next decade. 

This is like the summer of 2007. They not only brought in Ray Allen on draft night in the trade for the draft pick that netted Jeff Green, they got Kevin Garnett in a trade at the end of July. There is the draft. There are trades and then there’s free agency. All three factor in Ainge’s roster building. 

This summer could be similar to ’07 as Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are potentially on the radar (that is, if Durant wants Love). Roc Nation Sports, Durant’s agency, is not only calling the shots on Durant’s deal, they are sending the message that Durant wants a full supporting cast around him that will immediately compete for his first NBA ring. 

The Celtics have a lot going in their favor. They have tradition, a red-hot young coaching talent, loads of cap space and something L.A., Golden State, Miami, San Antonio and Oklahoma City don’t have. Civic pride and brotherhood among the pro sports teams. That’s why Rob Gronkowski, Bill Belichick and David Ortiz showing up courtside really matter. The Celtics should give Gronk, Belichick, Ortiz and even Tom Brady a call to reach out to Durant. Isaiah Thomas continued this effort on Saturday

At $27.685 million committed to salaries for next season, the Celtics are in remarkably good shape to attack free agency. They not only are a young team coming off back-to-back playoff seasons, they have more cap space than any team that made the playoffs in last season. As a matter of fact, only the Sixers and Lakers, the two worst teams in the NBA last season, have less money committed to salary for the 2016-17 season. 

Of the teams pursuing Durant (Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Celtics, Thunder, Heat), only the Celtics could pull off two max-deal free agent signings. There’s Durant, Dwight Howard, DeMar DeRozan, Luol Deng and Al Horford among others. 

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Read More: 2016 NBA free agency, Alex Rodriguez, Ante Zizic, Bill Belichick
Isaiah Thomas wants a meeting with Tom Brady: ‘I need to pick his brain’ 03.08.16 at 3:13 pm ET
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Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) celebrates against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) celebrates against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM — Those who aspire to greatness always want to learn from other great ones.

That’s why Isaiah Thomas took to Twitter on Tuesday in a very public attempt to get a sit-down with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

I want to sit down and talk to Tom Brady… I need to pick his brain,” Thomas posted on Twitter Tuesday before practice. 

A day after Peyton Manning’s retirement, was there something that spurred the request of the other legendary quarterback?

“Not really. Sometimes I’m thinking on my drive to the facility, and just thinking about that,” Thomas said after practice Tuesday. “I mean, I’m in his backyard. It would be nice if somebody could make that happen to formally meet him, and like I said, just picking his brain about the road to winning a championship, like what it takes and how to focus in on being great.”

What was fascinating about Thomas’ discussion was his comparison with another current NBA star who is headed out the door like Manning.

“It would just probably be like sitting down with Kobe,” Thomas said. “I got the chance to talk to Kobe. I’m real good friends with Floyd Mayweather so I get to pick guys’ like that’s brain. I just would like to sit down and actually meet him and also just pick his brain about winning championships, and how he goes about his day, how he prepares. I like his preparation to everything. I like to pick guys’ brains, especially the best in the business, best in their field, and see what he has to say to me. Hopefully I can make it happen.”

Thomas was reminded that he is from the West and a Broncos fan. Wouldn’t that get in the way?

“He shouldn’t be mad at that,” said Thomas, a native of Tacoma, Washington and a product of the University of Washington. “I didn’t grow up here. It’s not like I grew up here and I’m not a Patriots fan. But I’m a fan of his. I like how he carries himself. He carries himself like he’s the best quarterback ever.”

Like Brady, Thomas was somewhat overlooked when he played for the Huskies in the Pac-10, becoming the NBA equivalent to the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevant in 2010 when he was the last pick of the NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.

“No doubt. He was definitely not – coming into the NFL he wasn’t supposed to be a Pro Bowler, wasn’t supposed to be a franchise player, wasn’t supposed to win Super Bowls and be arguably the best quarterback ever,” Thomas said of Brady. “And I want to be on that path. I’m not saying I’m going to be the best player ever but…”

As for taking a leadership role on the Celtics, like taking Marcus Smart aside on Saturday and settling him down, Thomas says he’s enjoying the responsibility.

“I just want to grow. I want to grow,” Thomas said. “Not just being a basketball player but being a leader in all aspects, all facets of the game. And why not learn from the best. Especially, I think it’s better to learn from different guys in different sports in how they lead and how they get respect from their teammates.

“Like I said, I would love to pick his brain, ask him a few questions. I got to do it with Kobe. I got to do it with Floyd Mayweather, always do it with him and things like that. Manning’s retired so I can’t do it with him. So I’d love to do it with Brady.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Floyd Mayweather, Isaiah Thomas, NBA
Tom Brady goes all Rajon Rondo in wishing Celtics ‘good luck’ this season 10.29.14 at 12:13 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady is at it again on Facebook.

On Wednesday, his page posted a photoshopped image of him from his childhood holding an old-school Voit basketball. The photoshopped part was the Rajon Rondo-esque headband.

Brady appears a bit chubby in the photo but with an endearing smile.

The post wishes the Celtics “good luck this season.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Rajon Rondo, Tom Brady
The complicated Gerald Wallace-Tom Brady-David Ortiz man love triangle 10.14.13 at 1:01 pm ET
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New Celtics forward Gerald Wallace‘s introduction to the Boston media last month came complete with an awkward explanation of his man crushes on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

“I’m actually happy to be here in Boston. I’ve always loved the city of Boston when I came. And, besides, I’m a Red Sox and Patriots fan, so I’m closer to my teams. … I’m from Alabama. We don’t have a professional team there. I like Big Papi. I’ve always followed Big Papi. I enjoyed watching him in those days. That’s how I became a Red Sox fan. And I’m just fascinated with Brady. I like watching Brady play. I’m a big, big Brady fan since he got started in the league. I’ve been following him since Day 1. Him and Coach Belichick. Those are my favorite teams. Actually, at my house I have a split Patriots and Red Sox room. Basically shoes, material things. I have a couple Brady jerseys, a couple pictures of Brady, Belichick, the championship teams, a couple of the Super Bowl pictures, a lot of the Red Sox World Series things, I have an autographed bat from Ortiz, just some memorabilia.”

OK, then. That went from, “Oh, he’s just saying that to endear himself to Boston sports fans,” to, “Holy crap, this guy has a room dedicated to Tom Brady and David Ortiz in his house,” real fast. For those of you wondering at home, Wallace is 31 years old. And a professional basketball player. I don’t want to say Sunday should have been the best day of Gerald’s life, but Sunday should have definitely been the best day of Gerald’s life.

Especially considering Wallace attended the Patriots-Saints game and met Brady before his man crush completed one of his most improbable comebacks in a career filled with improbable comebacks. Here’s picture proof.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, David Ortiz, gerald wallace, NBA
Paul Pierce can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to Boston and its fans 07.16.13 at 5:15 pm ET
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Paul Pierce was always at the leading edge of social media among Boston athletes in his 15 years in Boston.

He showed again why on Tuesday, taking to Instagram, creating an account [paulpierce] with a similar handle to his Twitter account of @paulpierce34, to say thank you to the city of Boston and its fans for their support over his time with the Celtics.

He created a hastag of #THANKYOUBOSTON for those on Instagram wishing to surface all of the photos he has collected over the years.

His home page features a photo of him with a youngish Tom Brady (circa the 2001-02 season).

Pierce was formally traded on July 12 to Brooklyn along with fellow future hall of famer Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry for Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace and Kris Joseph and three first-round picks. In one of his first acts as a member of his new team, he wanted to show Tuesday that he hadn’t forgotten all that was accomplished with the team that brought him into the NBA.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Instagram, NBA
Stephen Curry, Tom Brady and the NBA All-Defensive power of Avery Bradley 02.28.13 at 6:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics coach Doc Rivers and captain Paul Pierce both had high praise for Avery Bradley before Thursday’s practice. The C’s guard will have the unenviable task Friday of guarding Warriors counterpart Stephen Curry, who scored 54 points against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

  • Pierce: ‘€œI think every great team needs a player like that, especially a great defensive team. With so many great scorers in this league and great individual play, you need that one guy who can go out there and kind of slow those types of guys down. We have that in Avery Bradley. He’€™s shown a willingness to sacrifice so much. I believe he can give us a lot more defensively, but he’€™s so great on the defensive end that it has an impact on this whole team. You don’€™t have to double as much, you don’€™t have to give as much help when you’€™ve got a guy like that who can defend at a high level. In my eyes, he’€™s probably the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA. I’€™d be very surprised if he didn’€™t make the All-Defensive Team.’€
  • Rivers: ‘€œThey’€™re picking him now. They’€™re getting him off of [his assignments], and that’€™s what they should do, but it’€™s nice to have a guy that can pressure the ball. I don’€™t know if Avery’€™s going to shut down everyone, but I know he’€™s going to give you the attempt to pressure, and ball pressure is important. I just use a football analogy: If you didn’€™t blitz Tom Brady and you just let him sit back there all day, he’€™s going to pick you apart. It’€™s the same in basketball. If you let the passers just sit there with no pressure, they’€™re going to pick you apart. And Avery is our blitzer.’€

For more on the NBA All-Defensive case for Bradley, read this column.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
Doc Rivers: ‘Have to give [Rajon Rondo] room to do what he wants’ during injury 01.30.13 at 7:42 pm ET
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Doc Rivers believes his team is equipped to handle life without Rajon Rondo.

The first test for the Celtics is handling a Kings team that beat them like a drum in the fourth quarter of a 118-96 loss in Sacramento.

“Not really, I’d rather have him,” Rivers said when asked if coaching without his top point guard represents a unique opportunity. “But the coach in me and the players understand they don’t have him. It’s another challenge and hopefully, we’re up for it.”

Will Rondo be around the team before and after his upcoming ACL surgery?

“I don’t know,” Rivers said. “I don’t ever ask. I don’t really care. I want him to do what he needs to do. It’s very hard to come to every game. I had that same injury. There are days you want to be around the guys and there are days you don’t. I think you have to give him room to do what he wants.”

Apparently, what Rondo wants right now is the very best advice before going ahead with right knee reconstruction. According to injury expert Will Carroll, Rondo is consulting the “Big 3” of knee doctors, including Neal ElAttrache, James Andrews and Walt Lowe. ElAttrache, you’ll recall, did the ACL reconstruct for Tom Brady in 2008.

Rivers also said one of the advantages of having Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley in the backcourt together is that they’re a more physical combo than Rondo and Bradley.

As for the Kings, Wednesday represented a chance at redemption against DeMarcus Cousins, the 22-year-old who went off for a triple-double on Dec. 30.

“He’s not athletic but he’s very [smart] and instinctive,” Rivers said in a moment of pre-game frankness.

As for the Kings, who entered Wednesday 17-29, Rivers had this assessment.

“They’re a talented, young team and there are nights when they get all activated and all together as a group and they’re really good.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, DeMarcus Cousins
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