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Tag:Paul Pierce
Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Paul Pierce eliminated from WSOP

Posted by Matt Moore

All good things must come to an end. All good poker runs, too. Paul Pierce has been eliminated from the World Series of Poker main event.  From ESPN: 
With only 20 minutes to go in Level 9, Paul Pierce made his exit from the WSOP main event. The NBA All-Star had been the attention of all at the secondary feature table, even players like Dennis Phillips who asked him for an autograph during play. Pierce played a patient game, but seemed to get active after dinner and would ultimately find himself in a rough spot with 2-2 all-in preflop against the J-J of Allan Vrooman. The board ran clean for Vroonman (K-8-5-4-K) and Pierce stood up from his chair, grabbed his backpack and walked out the door with spectators and players giving him a round of applause as they announced his departure.
via 2011 WSOP Main Event Blog: Paul Pierce eliminated - ESPN.
  Ducks, Pierce? (Pair of twos equals "ducks" by the way. Named so because of how twos look. Also because they fall out of the sky every time you try them.) Really? Not even connectors? It better have been in position at least. If Vrooman slowplayed the Jacks first-round and you were on the button trying to steal blinds, maybe. But even then I'd go with a hopeful 9-7, even off-suit, before I'd roll the dice with ducks. Least a high pair of connectors you've got a decent shot at it being a race. 

Going in with ducks? That's like bringing a poodle to a.... nevermind.

To be fair to Pierce, he did last as long as Johnny Chan and Andy Bloch, which isn't bad company. Way, way short of the money though, since this thing takes forever. 

We should totally organize some NBA Celebrity Poker. That would be really entertaining.

...

It's going to be a long lockout. 
 
Posted on: July 11, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:30 pm
 

Paul Pierce makes second day at WSOP

Posted by Matt Moore

Players are looking for all sorts of income opportunities during the NBA lockout. Ron Artest is shopping his stand-up comedy wares. Deron Williams is taking his talents to Turkey. And Paul Pierce? Well, he's mostly just having fun. But he's still got a shot at making some money from non-basketball sources.

CSNNE reports that Pierce has made the second day at the World Series of Poker main event.

Why is Pierce in the tournament?

Well, it's pretty obvious it's not just a totally fun endeavor, considering the $10,000 buy-in. From CSNNE: 
"The prize," Pierce told ESPN when asked why he was taking part in the Texas Hold 'Em tournament in Las Vegas. "Who wouldn't want to try and come and win that?"

Pierce calls himself an amateur poker player, but he has survived as about half of the more than 2,000 players who entered the tournament have been eliminated. Former WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker is one of the professionals already gone.
via Pierce advances in World Series of Poker tourney.

Now Pierce has a long way to go to win the title.  But even if he places, he's made a great return on his investment. And the key to getting out of the first day is just to avoid the mammoth number of donkeys and wild-eyed kiddos who come in with a dream doing things like re-raising a dead pot. Then again, Pierce could be one of those players. Hopefully, he makes Final Table so we can get an idea of his playing style. He's got a great shot at lasting with where his stack position is. 

How many wheelchair jokes do you think he has to sustain? Also, there's also always an inordinate amount of Lakers fans at these events because of the proximity of Vegas to L.A. and the number of pros that come over from the California casinos. Fun times.

As someone who's spent a lot of time in poker rooms over the years, based off what I know of Pierce's personality, I'd probably play him aggressively to try and goad him into a big move. Pierce's penchant for bravado could be used against him if played correctly. I would not let him bully me out of pots. Of course, that depends on stack position. 

I also would keep him away from the right elbow of the table. He seems pretty dangerous there. 
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Basketball players lead top 50 richest athletes

Posted by Royce Young

It's good to be a basketballer.

Sports Illustrated released its annual "Fortunate 50" list that compiles the top 50 earners in sports. And basketball players lead the way with 19 of the top 50. Baseball was second with 17, the NFL third with eight, NASCAR and golf tied for fourth with three.

LeBron James was the top basketball money-maker, coming in third overall with an estimated $44.5 million this past year. That included $30 million from endorsements alone. All that badwill created from The Decision didn't appear to hurt King James in the pocketbook. Maybe he can offer Dirk Nowitzki a couple milion to touch the trophy.

Kobe Bryant checked in sixth making $34.8 million total, Kevin Garnett was seventh making $32.8 milion total and Dwight Howard 10th making $28.6 million total. So if you count that up, four of the top 10 came from the NBA. Three came from the NFL, and two apiece from golf and baseball.

(One thing to note: The original 50 list doesn't include international athletes. Yao Ming made $35.6 million last year and would've ranked sixth, ahead of Kobe, but he's on a separate international list. Dirk and Pau Gasol both made around $21 million.)

The rest of the NBA list:

11. Dwyane Wade: $28.2 million
16. Amar'e Stoudemire: $24.5 million
21. Carmelo Anthony: $23.1 million
24. Tim Duncan: $22.3 million
27. Vince Carter: $20.5 million

29. Rashard Lewis: $20.3 million
31. Kevin Durant: $20.0 million
34. Michael Redd: $18.5 million
36. Gilbert Arenas: $17.9 million
37. Zach Randolph: $17.7 million

40. Kenyon Martin: $16.8 million
43. Joe Johnson: $16.5 million
45. Elton Brand: $16.5 million
49. Paul Pierce: $15.6 million
50. Chris Bosh: 15.5 million

Posted on: May 12, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Report: Celtics to lock up Doc Rivers long-term?

The Boston Celtics are reportedly negotiating a multi-year contract offer with coach Doc Rivers. Posted by Ben Golliver. doc-rivers

One day after the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat, the Associated Press is reporting that the team is looking to secure coach Doc Rivers to a long-term contract.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Boston Celtics and coach Doc Rivers are working on a deal that would keep him on their bench for multiple years. The deal is for “more than two or three years,” the person told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the details were still being worked out.
With an aging core and the rise of younger, more athletic competitors, it's no surprise that the Celtics are looking for a measure of stability. Indeed, we noted earlier that Celtics president Danny Ainge is considering major rotation changes -- such as sending Paul Pierce to the bench -- and admitted that he would trade one of Boston's Big Three if a favorable trade came along.

In other words, it could be a choppy few years for the team as it works to reload, and possibly rebuild. The good news: It's clear from comments made to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that Rivers wants to stick around. For the Celtics, keeping Rivers in place would not only provide a steady, trusted hand but could also serve as a potential lure for free agents. 

But, really, it's the continuity factor driving this decision. Locking up Rivers gives the Celtics a solid slice of an identity during what could be a major roster overhaul. Whichever players stick around will need someone they trust. Whichever players are brought in will need someone that carries a massive respect factor.  Rivers fulfills both categories, so if a reasonable financial agreement can be worked out, why not?
Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Ainge with some interesting thoughts on Celtics

Posted by Royce Young

Less than 24 hours removed from a disappointing Game 5 and series loss to the Heat, the Celtics are in a mode of reflection. And potentially in a mode of transition.

Doc Rivers has indicated he wants to return next year but with the team aging and the roster a bit in question, some are curious as to where the Celtics are headed from here. The man at the front of that ship is general manager Danny Ainge who spoke to WEEI in an interview Thursday. He had a lot to say, most of it pretty intriguing.

On maybe changing the starting lineup:

"Maybe there’s a change of roles. Maybe Paul [Pierce] comes off the bench, cuts down on his minutes. Maybe we find a way to get Jeff [Green] more minutes. His role will expand if he’s back here next year. There’s no question about that ... "

"It wouldn’t totally shock me if there’s a change in the starting lineup, but that’s just way too tough to tell."

That's right, Ainge said the idea of bringing Paul Pierce off the bench is on the table. The indication there with Green is that maybe he becomes the starter. Of course that means Green returns to the team next season, which is in question as he's a restricted free agent this summer.

On that Ainge said the team would put up Green's qualifying offer, but the market will ultimately determine if the Celtics bring back Green.

On the possibility of trading one of the Big Three:

"I would have to look into that if a good trade came about." Ainge has said that before, reportedly flirting with trading Ray Allen a year ago. He wasn't afraid to pull the trigger on dealing Kendrick Perkins and Ainge is always looking long-term. He knows the window is starting to close on the Celtics and that Allen, Pierce and Kevin Garnett won't be there forever.

On the possibility of trading Rondo:

"Probably not. I can’t ever say never, but that’s not our plan right now, probably not." By the sounds of it, Ainge is committed to building around Rondo for the future. Maybe a Rondo, Jeff Green core? Who knows.

Ainge's biggest regret of the season:

Surprisingly, it's not the Perkins trade that was so widely criticized. Instead, it was letting a player walk in free agency.

"I would have fought harder to bring Tony Allen back," Ainge said. "We tried to sign Tony, we tried to come within our rules of staying in our two-year program. I think that Tony would have helped us.

"We offered Tony a two-year deal out of the gate, but then when Memphis showed him some love and he started thinking about the idea of more playing time ... Then, he wanted a change of scenery."

Ainge was also asked about Rivers' future with the organization and Ainge said he thinks Rivers would like a "Jerry Sloan type coach" meaning he stayed with one organization for a long time. That seems to contrast most of what we've all heard with Rivers, but with him saying "I'm a Celtic" last night after the game, it seems like he doesn't see himself patrolling another bench for a while.

This Celtics season is going to be one that's talked about for a long time. The big blockbuster trade at the deadline that tested the team's chemistry and togetherness. The injuries to key players. The battle against age and an upcoming supertrio. Most want to put a bow on the Celtics as we know them and while it sounds like Ainge is ready and willing to move parts, I'd think this core has at least one more run left in them.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 1:50 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 2:42 am
 

Series Grades: Heat defeat Celtics 4-1

Grades for the Heat and Celtics after the Heat's 4-1 series win to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Posted by Matt Moore




The biggest series of the playoffs is over, and the juggernaut created by "The Decision" in free agency 2010 downed the UBUNTU machine. Grades seem like they don't do this series justice, but we've got to get some perspective. 


Miami Heat:

LeBron James: If the 2007 series against the Detroit Pistons was when LeBron James truly announced to the world that he had arrived, the 2011 series against the Celtics may have been the one where he showed how much he's learned. It wasn't the mos impressive series from a statistical standpoint, but the way James closed, especially Game 5, makes it feel like it. James didn't hog the ball, didn't go ISO too much, hit big shots, worked with his teammates, and became the emotional leader the Heat needed him to be. He had a rough Game 3, but responded to close out the Celtis. And, oh, yeah, this time no one will say he quit in a Game 5. 

Grade: A- 


Dwyane Wade: Wade struggled in the playoffs last year, and especially this regular season versus the Celtics. They were a plague on the game of his house. But in this series, Wade wiped it all away. Never scoring fewer than 23 points, Wade was a beast. He dominated Game 1 and Game 5. His Game 5 was particularly brilliant. For three quarters, LeBron James couldn't get his scoring on track. Wade kept the Heat in it with timely play and amazing score after amazing score. He blocked Kevin Garnett. He made a wild reverse over his head for the and-one. He did everything you need your franchise player to do and eventually contained Ray Allen. LeBron James may have won the game for the Heat, but Dwyane Wade put him in a position to do so. 

Grade: A+


Chris Bosh: Is this the series where Chris Bosh starts to make himself into a known player? Before the series, I was dangerously close to writing a post called Shark Bait: Chris Bosh and detailing all the ways Kevin Garnett would destroy him. After a surprisingly strong Game 4, Garnett came out swinging in Game 5. Bosh looked overrun, again. Bosh finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, one point less than Garnett and tied in boards. He made huge plays, kept the ball alive, and hit a few open looks. It wasn't a great series from Bosh, but he definitively wasn't the weakpoint. He was good enough to get the Heat a win.

Grade: B-


Heat supporting cast: This series proved that you really can beat the Celtics with three guys. Mario Chalmers didn't play consistently enough to get time, Mike Bibby continued his disappointing play, Mike Miller still couldn't hit a barn door with a shotgun, Joel Anthony had a few nice moments but also dropped passes and failed to capitalize on opportunities, James Jones had a hot start but then faded back into the background (though his 3-pointer in Game 5 was huge). There's a million ways we could call into question if the Heat can win with getting such little support from the rest of their players... but they just beat the Celtics.


Grade: C (passing only in that they did not prevent the Heat from winning)


Heat defeat Celtics 4-1
Erik Spoelstra: Spoelstra's insistence on giving minutes to Bibby over Chalmers, and Ilgauskas over Anthony continues to perplex. It's one thing for the starters, but post-half, the Heat kept getting out in sluggish starts and having to overcome them. Spoelstra does get credit for keeping the Heat's focus and getting them to stay together and play to the end, but with how much the Triad run things, it's hard to see him getting the majority of the credit. But beyond the offense, Spoelstra does get credit for the Heat's defense, and that's what was the backbone of the series win.

Grade: B-


Miami fans: In the name of all that chants "D-Fence," are you going to show up at any point, South Beach? You're embarrassing us as sports fans at this point. Go to the game, already!

Grade: F-


Boston Celtics


Rajon Rondo: Rondo played through the dislocated arm. Rondo wasn't playing terrific prior to that. Rondo made huge plays with that busted wing. Rondo was also such a defensive liability that he had to be benched at the end of games due to the injury. Rondo's no-show in the first two games helped put Boston in an inescapable hole. Rondo's effort in Games 3, 4, and 5 was good enough that if healthy, you could have seen the Celtics taking the series lead, let alone avoiding a gentleman's sweep. We'll never know what Rondo would have been like if he hadn't been injured. But based on what we saw, we got all sides of Rondo, the good and the bad. 

Grade: B


Kevin Garnett: Garnett was owned in three and a half games of this series. He had a brilliant Game 3, but never really established himself against Bosh as he should have. He came out gangbusters in Game 5, determined to make his mark. Then he completely vanished after the first quarter. Garnett had to take over in order to keep his legacy as an impact player alive. He didn't. And now he's headed home, with people struggling to understand how Chris Bosh outplayed the great Kevin Garnett. He probably yelled a lot, too.

Grade: D


Paul Pierce: If any player showed his age in this series, it was Pierce. Pierce continually tried to put the team on his back, and continually found himself being outdueled by James. He put the effort in, but the ability just wasn't there. Turnovers were a huge problem. He scored under 20 points three times in the series. The Celtics needed a hero. They got the Half-Truth. 

Grade: B-


Ray Allen: Allen clearly had significant problems with communicating with Rondo in the second half of this season, and the problems only increased in this series.  Allen would go long stretches getting no shots, then heat up, then disappear. Allen finally warmed up in Game 5. He was the one Celtic to really go down swinging, but Dwyane Wade's defense was just too much for him.

Grade: B+


Glen Davis: Glen Davis was a sixth man of the year candidate for much of the season. He was an outright disaster versus the Heat. He rarely drew charges, bobbled passes, too often settled for his jumper, failed to commit defensively, and didn't finish at the rim. All the Celtics lost on this series. Bug given Davis' free agency status, he may have lost more.

Grade: D-


Jeff Green: Hey, nine points and three rebounds in 23 minutes! That's pretty good! ... Okay, yeah, Green had two huge turnovers at the end of the game and was a huge reason the Celtics fell apart down the stretch. Green is destined to be ruined by the scrutiny of the Kendrick Perkins trade. Which is a shame, because he shouldn't have been asked to take on the responsibility of being the next great Celtics this early, at midseason. But them's the breaks. And it broke bad for Jeff Green. 

Grade: D-


Celtics supporting cast: The Celtics' supporting cast wasn't terrible. It really wasn't. It played fine. But no one stepped up enough to make an impact except Delonte West, who inevitably tried to to do too much eventually. 

Grade: C


Doc Rivers: You can't coach your players younger. Rivers made smart adjustments, tried different players, different rotations, the works. Rivers did his job. There just wasn't any way to coach this team up to where it needed to be. 

Grade: B


Danny Ainge: Sorry, Danny. Trading Perkins may have been right for the future financials of the Celtics. Green's future may be bright. But you traded Perkins, the heart and soul of the Celtics, and though he may not have helped at all versus the Heat, we'll never know. That's how history is judged, unfortunately. 

Grade: D-
Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:15 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 2:43 am
 

LeBron James apologizes for "The Decision"

LeBron James apologizes for the way "The Decision" went down.

Posted by Matt Moore




In his post-game comments following the Heat's 97-87 win over the Celtics to win their series 4-1, LeBron James apologized for the way "The Decision" want down.  James told reporters that he was sorry for how the one-hour special occurred, but felt that teaming up with Bosh and Wade in Miami was necessary to get past the Celtics. As CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports, James told reporters:
"I knew I had to go through Boston at some point. I went through a lot signing to be here and the way it panned out. I apologize for the way it happened, but I knew that this opportunity was once in a lifetime."
James will continue to receive condemnation over the event, for his attitude, approach, and behavior. But after the game, he spoke candidly to TNT's Craig Sager about how much of a demon the Celtics represented to him:
"First of all thanks to the Boston Celtics, coach Rivers, that coaching staff, those player, they make you fight for everything. You can never take a second off. "
James was tortured by the Celtics, who swooped in after his 2007 Finals run and took over the Eastern Conference. Their own version of the Big 3 raised the bar for rosters, leaving James frustrated with how his Cavaliers team compared. Right or wrong, James felt compelled to raise the talent around to him to a higher level. He did so, and on Tuesday night, that decision, "The Decision" proved to be the right one for his career agenda. 


How he did it was wrong. It was always wrong, and somewhere inside him, James knew that, despite refusing to apologize for it in Cleveland earlier this year. It may seem easy to apologize now that he's made the Conference Finals and gotten past the Celtics, but for someone who has made so many P.R. gaffes over the last year, it's a step in the right direction, this humilty. This is the LeBron James Reclamation Project now. It started with beating the Celitcs in Miami.  It will only truly end with a championship ring.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 10:10 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 2:40 am
 

Rivers says he's leaning heavily towards return

Coach Doc Rivers says he plans to return in 2011-2012 to coach Celtics, despite elimination by Heat and a possible end of an era. 

Posted by Matt Moore




Update 11:05 p.m.: Ken Berger spoke with Rivers before the game about his decision and talks more with the Celtics' coach and where his career his headed. 


Just minutes after what was likely the end of the Celtics' season, where they were vanquished by the younger, faster, hungrier team in just five games, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:
"I'm leaning heavily toward coming back. I can tell you I probably will. I've kind of come to that over the last couple of weeks. You know, I'm a Celtic...I want to win here again. ... I don't think this team is done."
Rivers had to be convinced to return this season by his family and the Celtics, and his son is a freshman for Duke next year (and a strong lottery prospect). Rivers may be speaking from emotion, but given how tough this Celtics team's end was, and how close they are, it's conceivable that Rivers means it and will return. The question will be whether he should. 


Shaq won't be back, neither will Jermaine O'Neal. Those aren't huge pieces. But with the Big 3 getting another year older, and possibly losing half the season to a lockout, plus having to try and replace Delonte West and Glen Davis who will both likely depart in free agency, there's a lot of changes coming to the Celtics. Eventually the age catches up and makes it impossible for the system to hold. This wasn't just a series win, it was an emphatic one. Rondo's injury, sure, that's a huge turning point. But the overriding theme of this series was the Celtics being overrun by the Heat's talent, youth, and athleticism in the Triad. 


But even after last year's doubt, Rivers has come to the conclusion as he said, "He's a Celtic." Sometimes even if the situation isn't right, you have to stick with your guys. Rivers looks like he intends to stick with his.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com