Tag:Boston Celtics
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:08 pm

Kevin Garnett 'smacked' Jordan Crawford?

Posted by Ben Golliverkevin-garnett

Basketball never stops during the NBA lockout, or so they say, and neither, apparently, do Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett's on-court antics.

Garnett, who has barked like a dog on the court, made his teammate cry on the bench, allegedly called an opponent a "cancer patient" and wasted hundreds of thousands of words nonsensically trash-talking anyone that comes into his vicinity, was up to his same old song and dance during a recent pick-up game in Southern California.

Yahoo Sports reports that Garnett got physical with second-year Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford
His indoctrination has come against old pros like Billups, yes, but with Kevin Garnett in the gymnasium, too. On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.

“I thought they were just kidding,” Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.

There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.
The Washington Post reports that Crawford and an observer had a slightly different version of events.
When asked about the incident, Crawford wrote back in a text message that nothing happened and added, “Stop believing everything you read.”

A person who was at the gym in Reseda, Calif., that afternoon also played down the incident, explaining that neither side really wanted to fight but added that Crawford refused to back down to Garnett.

The person said Crawford started yapping because his team was winning handily. Garnett got upset and two players shoved each other before Pierce held back Crawford. When Pierce let go, Crawford squared up with Garnett, then turned and walked away. Garnett tapped Crawford in the back of the head and Crawford went back at Garnett before cooler heads prevailed.
Normally, I would be the last person to condone Garnett's tired act, but this has karma coming to call written all over it. Crawford, a 23-year-old rookie who averaged 11.7 points and 2.8 assists per game last year, recently had the audacity to suggest that he believes he can be the greatest basketball player of all time. 

“I don’t tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan,” Crawford said in October.

The NBA universe spends way too much time caring about veterans initiating younger players into the league's culture and history. Yes, dues need to be paid, but they almost always are, and most young guys who don't get in line don't last very long in the league. But Crawford definitely needed a reminder of his place in the pecking order, a clear message that it's OK for an average player to want to be better than Michael Jordan but that it's not OK to say that you can be better than Michael Jordan. It's a subtle difference, sure, but it's one worth standing up to protect.

A vast majority of the basketball world wanted to chin-check Crawford after he made that silly rookie mistake declaration. It sounds like Garnett just beat everyone to the bunch.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:10 pm

Rajon Rondo throws off-the-head alley-oop video

Posted by Ben Golliver

Back in October, Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo threw a one-handed alley-oop pass over his head, the most magical and inspired assist on the ongoing NBA lockout. Until now?

Rondo was back at it during this weekend's Boston Charity Classic, a charity exhibition game played at Harvard University, when he threw an alley-oop backwards off of his own forehead. Seriously. It almost defies explanation.

Leading a break in transition, Rondo put the ball above his head with both hands as he jumped, craning his neck backwards so that his forehead would serve as a launching pad. He then brought the ball down on his forehead as he descended, causing the ball to vault into the air. The ball's arc lined up perfectly for Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, who caught the pass with his left hand and slammed it through in one motion, southpaw-style. As you can imagine, the crowd immediately went nuts.

Here's the video via YouTube user brohrbach.

Hat tip: DimeMag.com
Posted on: November 21, 2011 10:14 am

Rajon Rondo involved in 'scuffle'

By Matt Moore 

Rajon Rondo held a charity basketball game on Saturday night, the first time he and Kendrick Perkins had shared a floor since Perkins' trade. Then that night, they went out to have a good time. But the night ended with someone taking a swing at Rondo. From the Lowell Sun:
Officers working details and patrolmen assigned downtown were already at Brian's Ivy Hall, 74 Merrimack St., yesterday about 1:45 a.m., as a packed event featuring Rondo began to empty out.

Officer Michael Kandrotas noticed a scuffle, and learned that someone "took a fighting stance and threw a punch" at the Celtics all-star and his entourage, which included fellow NBA players Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, former Celtic Nate Robinson and Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Police and Kevin Hayhurst, co-owner of Brian's Ivy Hall, said members of Rondo's entourage wrestled Valarezo to the ground.

A police report indicates Valarezo continued to resist when officers arrived, but was soon arrested and led from the building.

Hayhurst was unsure what prompted the scuffle. But he said Rondo was "unpersonable" and "disrespectful toward patrons."
via Man arrested after scuffle with C's star - Lowell Sun Online.

Rondo? Unpersonable? Surely you jest! He's such a happy-go-lucky guy! He's like a rainbow of marshmallows whenever you see him! It couldn't have been him that unpersonable. 

Maybe the best part about this story is that the man who was charged with misdemeanor assault for the thrown punch said he didn't even know who Rondo was, that he's "not an NBA fan." So some random dude just threw a punch at some guy he felt disrespected him, and it turned out to be Rajon Rondo. 

Small world. 

Also, speaking of small, please tell me it was Nate Robinson that wrestled him to the ground. Please, please, please. 

Luckily no one was seriously injured in the incident.

(HT: SI.com)
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:42 am

Doc Rivers misses his guys

By Matt Moore 

Doc Rivers was considering hanging it up, being with his family, going to a lot of Duke games, and taking it easy. But instead, he came back, immediately after the Celtics lost to the Heat in the playoffs, returning for another stretch with Boston to make one last run with the core. 

Or not.

Rivers isn't locked out, but his players are. He's a general without his troops, and it's been difficult for him to deal with it, especially considering how close Rivers is to this particular group of guys. From the Boston Herald: 
"It’s like I was telling Danny Ainge,” he said. “The blessing of this is that I’m nowhere near ready to not do this. I miss it. So there’s some good things to this too.”

The lack of contact with his players is probably the oddest aspect of the NBA lockout for Rivers, as evidenced by his chance encounter with Ray Allen during a recent golf tournament in Florida. Player and coach, walking in opposite directions, shook hands and kept moving.

“That was strange, really strange,” he said. “We walked by each other, so you could shake hands, but you couldn’t say much to each other. Just the way it is, but I miss it. I miss being around them – all of them."
via BostonHerald.com - Blogs: Celtics Insider» Blog Archive » Rivers anxious to return from the lockout vacuum.

The lockout is ridiculous from any angle, and this is another. Two people who won a championship together, who would bleed for one another can't talk at a golf tournament. This, my friends, is sheer idiocy.

But it's how it is. And if this thing plays out like it looks it will at this particular moment in time, Rivers may miss out on his last opportunity to make a run with this group of guys he believes in so much.

The damage of the lockout goes so much deeper than just owner and player money.  
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 2:48 pm

Samuels: NBA players 'panicking' over lost wages

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Lost in Monday's talk of "nuclear winter" for the NBA is that fact that Tuesday, Nov. 15, was the first day that NBA players were to receive paychecks for the 2011-2012 regular season. While the league has already sacrificed its training camp, preseason and at least six weeks of its regular season, Tuesday is the first day that the money schedule is officially interrupted.

This begs the question: When will the long-anticipated financial pressure now facing the players bubble to the surface? It already has.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Samardo Samuels already sees his colleagues feeling the Heat
“A lot of people in the league are panicking,” Samuels said. “You’re talking about missing paychecks. Those paychecks you’re missing are going to add up and guys have families and responsibilities and bills to pay. I’m just a guy that’s coming out of college. I’m 22 years old, I don’t have much responsibility.”
Samuels also hints at a potential rift among the players caused by disparate financial conditions. 
Some of the league’s stars, such as Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, have led the charge in recent days to disband the union, irking some of the younger players like Samuels.

“It’s easy for Paul Pierce to say that. You’ve been in the league how long?” Samuels said. “You’ve got a decent amount of money saved up, but what about the guys just coming into the league who don’t have [anything] saved up?”
The union's take on the situation, as expressed by NBPA executive Maurice Evans to BusinessWeek.com, is that the current labor battle is about far more than direct deposits.
“This goes far beyond paychecks,” Maurice Evans, a member of the union’s executive board who finished last season with the Washington Wizards, told reporters following what he said was a unanimous vote. The union will become a trade association. “It’s bigger than just basketball. It’s about guys who will play after us and it’s about guys who played before us.”
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Pierce has banked more than $137 million in career earnings and Evans has netted more than $13 million in career earnings, Samuels, though, earned just $500,000 in his rookie season with the Cavaliers.

As the dust was settling on the NBPA's decision to send the NBA a disclaimer of interest, disbanding the union and taking the league to court, the move was seen by observers, including NBA commissioner David Stern, as a "negotiating tactic" intented to compel the owners to improve their offer to the players. 

Time waits for no man, and it continues to act as leverage on the players, union or not, to make a deal, any deal. The two sides have roughly six or seven weeks to reach a compromise or the entire season will be lost, a year's worth of paychecks that will be gone for good. While the disclaimer of interest removes the NBPA formally from the negotiating process, talks between the two sides can continue, and it's a virtual certainly that voices, like Samuels', will get louder as time passes and more paychecks are missed. 

In this never-ending game of lockout "chicken", Samuels just flinched a bit on behalf of his fellow players. The task at hand for the players now is convincing all of its members to retain faith in the disclaimer of interest strategy despite no clear promise of an end in sight. Without some move towards picking up talks with the league, it's an impossible task. The panicking crowd that Samuels makes reference to is only bound to get louder.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher said on Monday that the collective bargaining talks had "completely broken down" and that the NBPA's player representatives unanimously agreed that the league's proposal was not acceptable. There's no guarantee that those feelings will be the same one month (and two more paychecks) from now.
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:48 am

Shaq excerpt of the day: Big Baby violence

By Matt Moore

Shaq was going to kill Kobe. Shaq says LeBron got his way too much in Cleveland. Shaq's new book, "Shaq Uncut" is turning out to be confirmation of what most people have thought for years. And each day there's a new set of wholly unsurprising yet "Jeez, you don't have to actually say it" excerpts that hit the web. 

Today's Shaq du jour?  Last season with the Celtics, Shaq was open. He was ready. He would destroy. And Glen Davis wouldn't give him the ball. O'Neal says his response was less than benevolent. From the Boston Globe

“Big Baby” Davis kept looking me off and taking it himself. Doc is shouting at him to go inside, but he won’t. So Doc calls timeout and draws up a play for me. I go out there, and I back Andrew Bynum way under the rim. I’m loose, I’m ready. I’ve got Bynum under the basket and again, Baby won’t give me the ball. So I go up to him and say, “If you ever miss me again I’m going to punch you in the face.” I was hot.

Two nights later we’re playing in Sacramento and here we go again. I take three shots the entire game and again I’ve got my man isolated underneath the basket, and Baby ignores me and takes a jump shot. So the next time we’re in the huddle I let Baby have it.

I tell him, “Pass the [expletive] ball inside.” He comes back at me a little bit and now I’m really heated. All hell is breaking loose. We’re going back and forth. Doc is standing there and he’s not saying a word. The message is pretty clear: Work this out yourselves. I tell Baby, “You’re a selfish player. Everyone on this team knows it.” Hey, all the fans knew it. He takes shots when he shouldn’t.
via Shaq spills some Celtics secrets in new book -Celtics blog - Boston Globe basketball news.

Davis was never really known for his mid-range jumper until the 2009 playoffs, when he went to it with great success against the Magic. But since then, it's declined. Davis shot 41 percent from 16-23 feet in 2009, but just 33 percent in 2010 and 35 percent in 2011. Too often Davis tends to think that's a shot he should focus on, when his strengths are at the rim cleaning up the offensive glass.

O'Neal's defense fell apart in his later years, but surprisingly, his offense remained effective. But if Davis was aware as Shaq claims everyone on the Celtics should have been that he couldn't be relied on, how could he be expected to pass to him? How do you depend on someone you know you can't depend on?

This story will not help Davis in free agency which he's expected to hit once the offseason begins. If it begins.  

Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:08 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:22 pm

Paul Allen emerges as latest lockout villain

Posted by Ben Golliver

The NBA lockout gained its first true villain when Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett allegedly helped hijack labor talks a week or so ago. (NBA commissioner David Stern and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter have been reviled for so long that they don't count as villains any more.)

Garnett, the story went, interjected into the discussions to stamp his foot down and launch into one of his patented intimidation acts, sending a message to both the league's owners and his own union leadership that he was there to draw a line in the sand. Garnett caught hell for this story, of course, because he's a bully on the court, he's stubborn, he's a little bit off his rocker, he was called uninformed as to the state of earlier negotiations and, most importantly, he's rich beyond his wildest dreams, having netted career NBA earnings of more than $200 million. 

But everything said about Garnett goes double, triple, or one hundred fold, for Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. And, wouldn't you know it, Allen emerged on Thursday as the latest villain of the ongoing NBA lockout charade.

Hunter said in a news conference that Allen was tasked with telling the players union that the owners would refuse to negotiate if the players would not agree to a 50/50 revenue split. Hunter said he responded by asking whether they could table that issue to return to a discussion of system issues, and Allen only responded with silence. Shortly thereafter, talks broke down.

Allen is Garnett on steroids.

You want stubborn? Allen rode his pipe dream of running a cable company all the way to the ground, losing billions of dollars and eventually declaring bankruptcy.

You want off his rocker? He's currently being sued by his own ex-military bodyguards amidst allegations of illegal activity, his helicopter recently crashed during an excursion to Antarctica and, oh yeah, he's gone through two general managers and a vice president of basketball operations since the 2010 NBA Draft. He passes his time, including on Thursday morning, exchanging tweets about what rock song the Seattle Seahawks, his NFL franchise, should play at practice. Carroll plays along, of course, because he, like every Allen employee, knows his job depends on it.

You want "uninformed" on the state of the negotiations? Allen deputized team president Larry Miller to attend Board of Governors meetings and labor negotiations on his behalf. He put exactly the same amount of blood, sweat and tears into the possibility of a labor agreement as Garnett: none. 

You want emotional? Allen recently wrote an autiobiography that included many unflattering stories about, and a recounting of decades-old grudges towards, his Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the world's greatest philanthropists. The book led to a falling out between the two men, who had been friends since high school, with Allen admitting during a television interview that Gates had stopped talking to him.

And, of course, there's the money issue. All you need to know about that is that Allen has a private island for sale, owns multiple yachts (one of which cost $200 million to make, nearly as much money as Garnett has earned during his NBA career), and has a helipad on the roof of the Rose Garden, Portland's home arena. Forbes pegged his net worth at $13.2 billion on a recent list of the 400 richest Americans, a figure that made him worth more than the next two richest NBA owners on the list, combined. 

Why, you might be asking, would the owners pick Allen, of all people, to deliver the hard-line message to the union that ultimately led to the disintegration of talks and all sorts of harsh accusations on Thursday?

Because he's so rich that he's immune to the criticism, as capable of buying silence and peace of mind for himself as anyone on the planet. A man who has been cleanly divorced from the common man for decades. A man who claims to have lost a billion dollars on the Blazers in his two decades of ownership and therefore couldn't care less about the fallout that results from a nuclear explosion in the middle of labor talks.

Allen refused to take questions from the media after firing GM Kevin Pritchard on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft and again refused questions when he abruptly fired GM Rich Cho in May. He doesn't care about accountability and he definitely doesn't care about the notion of a "fair deal for both sides." All he cares about, in the end, is pursuing his own self-interest to the max. Allen answers to no one, ever. If he can toss aside a childhood friend, business partner and colleague like Bill Gates, why are we or the NBPA surprised in the slightest that he is only willing to negotiate on his terms? Everything is take it or leave it with him.

Allen in the ultimate pit bull. Next to him, Garnett looks like a poodle. Did either man personally derail these lockout talks, which have seemed headed for disaster for months now? No. But if you were looking for an NBA villain, you got one on Thursday.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:44 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 8:53 pm

Rajon Rondo throws over-the-head alley-oop pass

Posted by Ben Golliver
We can debate who the best point guard in the NBA is all day, but there's no question that Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics is the cheekiest.

Rondo simply has every trick in the book: zip passes, bounce passes, alley oops, through the leg passes, around the back passes, you name it. And that's just on offense. He's averaged nearly two steals per game for his entire career, suckering opponents into turnovers by playing mind games, purposefully leaving his man open or sneaking up behind big men when they least expect it. He's the ultimate trickster, a basketball jester in the best sense of the word. The guy even turned his elbow around backwards during the playoffs and kept playing. He leads the league in leavings fans slack-jawed and smiling.

With the NBA still locked up by a labor impasse, Rondo has taken his show to the Big Blue All-Stars, a collection of former University of Kentucky Wildcats and NBA players who are playing in a series of exhibition games against local colleges throughout October. Rex Chapman is coaching so you know this is legit.

On Tuesday, in a game against Union College, Rondo tossed the best assist of the lockout, an over-the-head, no-look, one-handed, alley-oop pass to Denver Nuggets draft pick Kenneth Faried, who slammed it in cleanly. He set the pass up beautifully, walking the ball back to the top of the key as if to reset the offense after a failed look in transition. The defense relaxed ever so slightly and bang. Two points.

Here's a look at Rondo's inspired wizardry via YouTube user wazoosports08.

Hat tip: Deadspin.com
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