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Danny Ainge on Marcus Smart and James Young: ‘I don’t want to put too much pressure on them right away’ 06.27.14 at 11:55 am ET
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Danny Ainge was true to his word Thursday night – he decided to take the two picks he had in the first round and stay right where he was after all trade talks fell through.

As Ainge predicted 90 minutes before the draft began, there was no draft night drama for Boston. The Celtics selected powerful point guard Marcus Smart and super swingman James Young at Nos. 6 and 17 respectively in an effort to get younger and stronger at the same time.

“We’re very excited about the two guys that we drafted,” Ainge said. “Marcus Smart and James Young, we think they have a bright future. We can’t wait to get them started and get them ready for Summer League.”

Summer League begins Saturday, July 5 and runs for a full week in Orlando. “I just think they’re two guys that can be starting players in the NBA for years to come. I just don’t want to put too much pressure on them right away. We need to let these guys develop and sort of earn their stripes. I think they’re going to have very, very bright careers.”

Smart is a 6-foot-4 point guard that happens to weigh in at 230 pounds. Young is a 6-foot-7 swingman who weighs nearly 20 pounds less but showed in the NCAA title game against UConn that he can do what is an absolute must for a wing in today’s NBA – get to the basket and score. He led Kentucky with 20 points as an 18-year-old in the 60-54 loss to UConn.

In his freshman season at Kentucky, Young was the second-most prolific freshman 3-point scorer in school history with 82 threes. He was named to the 2014 All-SEC second team and All-Freshman team. In 40 games (39 starts), he averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.4 minutes per game.

“They’re young players and very talented,” Ainge said. “Good size for their position, good length and good scoring for their positions. James played very good defense and he had to guard the different perimeter positions throughout his college freshman year. He’s very young. Marcus is a terrific defender and really defends the pick-and-roll and is a guy that goes downhill on pick-and-rolls, gets to the basket, absorbs contact, plays through contact, initiates contact.”

After being recruited as a sharp-shooting wing in high school, (earning McDonald’s All-American status in Rochester Hills, Mich.), Young saw his percentage drop to 40.7 percent for John Calipari in his only season at Kentucky.

“He was a good shooter all throughout his high school life,” Ainge said. “He didn’t shoot the ball as well this year as he has in the past but he shot the ball great in the NCAA tournament. We know he’s a good shooter. He’s got a good athletic body, good size, good length for a small forward and we think he’s a prototypical small forward.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, James Young, Marcus Smart
Julius Randle gets some sage advice from Rajon Rondo: ‘Just enjoy the process’ 06.13.14 at 2:56 pm ET
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WALTHAM — After one year at Kentucky, forward Julius Randle feels he’s ready to take on the NBA.

Friday, following a pre-draft workout for the Celtics, the 19-year-old showed just how ready he is by answering a non-stop stream of questions from reporters about the state of his right foot, which had a pin placed in it in his senior year of high school to help heal a break.

There were reports Thursday that some NBA general managers believe the foot did not heal properly and that it could be an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“My foot is fine,” Randle said. “Everybody has their opinion on what [I] should do but I’m pain-free. There’s no pain before, during or after. I’m fine.”

Randle said surgery has not been considered to this point.

“It’s never been considered,” he said. “I’ve met with my own doctor and talked to specialists, some of the best doctors in the world and they said they wouldn’t do anything with it. [I] broke it back in high school. I have a pin in it. I guess some people may think they want to put a different one in. I don’t know. I have no clue. It’s the draft and they want to know about it.

Where did he get the advice on how to handle the barrage of questions that he knew would be coming? Another Kentucky product — Rajon Rondo – spoke with him before his workout and gave him some advice.

“I talked to him a little bit today and yesterday,” Randle said. “We kind of have that Kentucky connection. Rondo is a great guy. I have nothing bad to say about him. He’s a great guy, competitor. I’d love to play with him.

“Just be myself, just enjoy the process. A 19-year-old kid going through this can be a lot. Just really enjoy the process, have fun with it, and don’t let outside distractions take away from your joy of the process. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, that’s what my family has told me to do and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

The media hype Friday over a pre-draft workout in Boston gave him a little taste of what to expect in the NBA, especially if he’s selected by the Celtics.

“It’s a little bit of the same. Kentucky prepares you a lot for things like these,” he said of playing for John Calipari for just one season. “At Kentucky, this is all they know, Kentucky basketball. So, it really prepared me from an expectation level. The fans of Boston, city of Boston has great expectations for their team. This is a winning organization, a championship organization. Kentucky is the same way. Our season is a lot shorter, they don’t expect to win maybe two games at the most.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Julius Randle, Kentucky Wildcats, NBA
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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo, University of Kentucky,
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.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Delonte West, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo
20 things we learned from Rajon Rondo’s Facebook chat 09.08.11 at 6:43 pm ET
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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 »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Facebook, New York Knicks, Rajon Rondo
Your daily Rajon Rondo update: Summer highlights 08.25.11 at 11:28 am ET
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I know you miss Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but consider this highlight video from the Nation of Blue Kentucky basketball blog like Skyping during a long-distance relationship …

  • You: “So, what you been up to?”
  • Rondo: “Oh, just playing the Dominican national team with a bunch of former Wildcats.”
  • You: “Sounds fun. How’s your elbow feeling?”
  • Rondo: “Pretty good. I can dribble with my left hand and everything.”
  • You: “You know, you really should work on that jump shot of yours.”
  • Rondo: “Get off my back. I have been working on it, Ok. I made four of them.”
  • You: “Four? Really? You’re kidding, right?”
  • Rondo: “Very funny.”
  • You: “Anything else going on?”
  • Rondo: “Oh, just working on a sweet Euro step. No big deal.”
  • You: “So, tell me, when’s this NBA lockout gonna be over, so you can start working again.”
  • Rondo: “I’ve told you a million times: I have no idea. I gotta go.”
Read More: Boston Celtics, Dominican national team, Rajon Rondo, University of Kentucky
Your daily Rajon Rondo update: ‘Back to School’ 07.29.11 at 3:26 pm ET
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According to University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari, Rajon Rondo will join fellow former Wildcats John Wall and Eric Bledsoe as students at the school for the upcoming fall semester should the lockout continue.

As Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones noted, Rondo & Co. could practice with their former college team as student assistant coaches should they enroll full-time (12 credit hours in a semester).

Rondo left Kentucky after his sophomore year in 2006, while both Wall and Bledsoe departed following their freshman seasons in 2010. Presumably, the Celtics point guard is a lot closer to actually achieving his college degree than his counterparts on the Wizards and Clippers. Hopefully, the NBA lockout won’t last long enough for any of them to take two or three years of classes, although all three should be commended if they actually do enroll and attend college courses.

And there better be a “Back to School” reality show based on this with Rondo going around saying stuff like, “I hereby dedicate this building to myself,” “Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out, and then bring one every 10 minutes” and “Why don’t you call me some time when you have no class?”

I could go on all day with Rondo in “Back to School” scenarios, but I’ll spare you. Instead, check out this Rondo impression by Harlem Globetrotter Dizzy Grant and answer the poll question below …

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Read More: Eric Bledsoe, Harlem Globetrotters, John Calipari, John Wall
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