We have roughly a month and a half until training camp begins. This would be a good time to get some reading in. There are many fascinating books on the Celtics out there to keep us busy during the off season. Many give you a background glimpse of the franchise and players you couldn't get otherwise. Here are a few that I have read and recommend.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY by Red Auerbach and John Feinstein, Little, Brown and Company; 2004.
In more than 50 years with the green and gold, Auerbach collected countless friends, admirers and stories. Now 86, he’s forgotten nothing and has an opinion on everything. These great storytellers make this book so effortless to read that you can almost hear Red reciting each line and smell him lighting up that famous cigar.
DYNASTY’S END – Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics by Thomas J. Whelan, Northeastern University Press; 2004.
Thomas J. Whalen chronicles Russell's memorable last season and the Celtics' dazzling triumph. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s and Boston's own turbulent and bitter struggles with race, he tells the fascinating story of how an improbable championship team overcame poor health, indifferent fans, disruptive personnel changes, and internal morale problems. Whalen recounts how Russell transformed the game of basketball during his remarkable career and revisits the outspoken superstar's conflicted relationship with Boston. He also tells why the Celtics, the first team to break several NBA color lines, failed to attract a loyal following among the city's largely white sports fanatics and press corps.
BIRD WATCHING, On Playing and Coaching The Game I Love by Larry Bird with Jackie MacMullan, Warner Books; 1999.
Just as he stunned opponents with over-the-shoulder passes, killer steals, and jaw-dropping long-range jumpers on the court, Larry Bird now offers one startling revelation after another as he candidly recounts his rise to become one of the most respected NBA coaches in the game today. He tells us for the first time what really happened in "Celtics Land" after he retired and why he chose Indiana for his first coaching job. He shares a last look back at the Celtics dynasty, at Robert Parish and Bill Walton, at Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson. He describes his last duels with Magic Johnson and with Michael Jordan, as well as his experience playing on the great 1992 Olympic team ... knowing that it was the last time he would be sharing a court with them. But Bird Watching is more than a book about basketball. Recalling his own painful shyness, battles with the press, and the demands of stardom, Bird also talks about the world he never left behind: drinking a beer at Jubil's bar in French Lick, doing his own yard work, and remembering the lessons he learned from his hardworking mother. I think my favorite story in this book is from the Olympics. He was telling how they could never get out of the hotel without being mobbed and so he rarely ventured out. Then one day he was shown a back door and he would sneak out to watch the USA baseball team play and he was just one of the crowd there.
THE LAST BANNER - The Story of the 1985-86 Celtics, The NBA’s Greatest Team of All Time by Peter May, Simon & Schuster; 1996.
Whether the 1985-86 Boston Celtics were the greatest NBA team of all time is certainly debatable, but there is little doubt they were the best of a long line of outstanding Celtic squads. May (The Big Three, S. & S., 1994) argues here that although Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, and Danny Ainge formed a potent starting five, it was the bench, led by Bill Walton, that lifted the team to championship status. As for the team's place in history, he contends "they played at a time when the competition was never better and the game was not yet contaminated by the ravages of expansion." How such a surfeit of talent came to be assembled and blended in a cohesive unit makes for an interesting study.
THE BIG THREE by Peter May, Simon & Schuster, New York; 1994.
The Boston Celtic front line of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish dominated the National Basketball Association with three championships in five years in the early 1980s. May, a veteran Celtic beat reporter, examines each player's career from youth through college and into their NBA years. Though he relies to a great extent on game accounts and basketball anecdotes, May tries to probe beneath the surface. Not only does he reveal the private side of each player's personality, he also examines why they were able to work so well as a unit.
DRIVE - THE STORY OF MY LIFE by Larry Bird with Bob Ryan; Doubleday, New York; 1989.
The Boston Celtic forward addresses his troubled past, discussing his teammates and telling basketball anecdotes in the process. This book gives you a look into the private Larry Bird that you rarely see in the media or in the spotlight.
THE BIRD ERA - A HISTORY OF THE BOSTON CELTICS 1978-1988 by Bob Schron and Kevin Stevens; Quinlan Press, Boston, MA; 1988.
This is a great book that gives a behind the scenes look at the Celtics during the Bird Years, including the three championships won during that time. Great insights into the building of the 3 championship teams of that era as well as the interactions between the players and coaches on those teams.
REGGIE LEWIS - QUIET GRACE by Craig Windham; ACTEX Publications, Winsted, CT; 1995.
It has a positive,inspiring message, especially for young people (and not just basketball fans). Reggie was not overly-talented,but he made the most of the gifts he had."Quiet Grace" is a wonderful account of his life, from his boyhood in Baltimore to his stardom with the Boston Celtics (It also includes an interesting photo album section.)And "Quiet Grace" lays to rest the rumors surrounding Reggie's tragic death. This is an excellent, fascinating biography.
HIGH ABOVE COURTSIDE – The lost Memoirs of Johnny Most by Mike Carey with Jamie Most, Sports Publishing LLC; 2003.
If you think Tommy Heinsohn is the biggest Celtics homer, you never listened to Johnny Most. Every opposing player was the enemy and every Celtic was a saint. This book is a tribute and a memoir of one of the great figures in Celtics History. Who can ever forget the call... "Havilchek stole the ball! Havilchek stole the ball! It's all over!!"
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics by Jack McCallum; Summit Books, New York; 1992.
For any Celtics fan of the Bird Era, this book opens doors that would have otherwise have stayed closed: we get to see the biting yet inclusive humor of the aging C's, especially McHale, as well as the overall intelligence of the team that produced a slew of future NBA coaches and GM's. This was a team to be admired and maybe even loved, despite their lack of a championship. This is the book I am reading right now. I have just read how instead of having veterans against kids or green/white teams in practice, they used to play blacks against whites. A very interesting read. This is the year I got to see the Celtics in person and so this season is special to me, in spite of not winning a championship.
It is now 45 days until training camp... and I am counting the days. I can't wait until the season starts again. I am tired of watching tapes of last season's wins (I don't save the losses). The news comes in sporadically about what is going on with the Celtics. We know that Powe is working out like a mad man. Perk has been in Houston working on his conditioning and game and is ready to get back to playing full force. Al is rehabbing quicker than expected now that they finally found the problem. Pierce is rehabbing. Wally is feeling good. Tony is waiting on pins and needles to find out how his legal problems will end as his trial was postponed indefinitely. West has been doing Basketball Without Borders. Scal has been doing the Seeds of Peace camp. Rondo has been impressing people wherever he goes. Ratliff is missing in action. We get news in bits and pieces but nothing of substance.
The Celtics sit right now with 16 players on their roster who should be there come training camp. We can't count Brian Grant or Kandi, who are still listed but won't be with the team. On a team that was painfully young last year, Danny managed to add 4 more rookies. Most of us are anxiously checking the news daily to see if Danny has pulled the plug on a trade yet. There is a possibility that a smaller trade will go down to bring in a player who can help, but may not be the star that Danny has been alluding to going after. I don't see any stars still available at this point but you never know with Danny. If not, one player will be cut before the season.
The one position where we are weak is center. We have Perk, who I expect to have a monster year. But behind Perk, everything gets a bit muddy. We have Ratliff, who may or may not be healthy enough to play the whole season. His past doesn't bode well for him being available for 82 games. We have Dwayne Jones, who for whatever reason, in spite of showing some good things when he plays, didn't even get playing time in summer league. Al can fill in at center when they play small ball, but hopefully we won't be playing small ball all that much. And finally, we have Pittsnogle who is allergic to playing under the basket. He is a great shooter, but we have wings who are great shooters. We need centers who play under the basket, not out on the arc, even though Danny and Doc seem enamored by that type of player.
45 Days till training camp... and all's quiet on the Celtic's front. But I expect Danny to pull off one more move before it starts. Maybe not the blockbuster trade for a star but maybe a small trade to bring in a reliable back up center.
No, they aren't a comedy team... they are the Celtics team of strength and conditioning coaches. They have both been with the Celtics for 3 years now and you just have to look at the before and after photos of Perk to see that they can do great things with a player if that player is willing to work. Hopefully we will see more of their handiwork with a stronger and better conditioned Al Jefferson this season as well. So, just who are these 2 guys?
We read their names all the time in articles about the Celtics' players, but who are these guys? First and foremost they are the strength and conditioning coaches for the team. They are the guys responsible for the workouts that keep the players in shape. They are the guys who helped turn Perk from a chubby kid to a rock wall. They are the guys who try to keep all the kids in shape during the season and the off season.
Bryan Doo is starting 4th season as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston Celtics. He was named to the position on August 3, 2003. Prior to joining the Celtics, Doo founded Optimal Fitness in Waltham, MA, which specializes in home personal training and post physical therapy. He also served as the Wellness Director at the Harvard Business School from 1998-2001 and spent three seasons as the Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach.
Doo earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Exercise Science in 1995 from Messiah College in Pennsylvania, while also minoring in Business. He is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
In his spare time, Doo enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, surfing, yoga and spending time with his nieces and nephews. Brian is a very devout Christian and shares his faith openly both with his words and his actions.
Walter Norton, Jr. is also beginning his 4th season as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston Celtics. He was named to the position on August 3, 2003, the same day as Brian Doo. Norton is a founding partner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, one of the nation’s largest private strength and conditioning facilities which trains professional athletes in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, WNBA, WUSA and MLS. They also prepared 25 athletes for the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games. Prior to joining the Celtics, Norton spent three seasons as the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the WUSA’s Boston Breakers. Before moving to the Breakers, Norton spent three seasons in the MLS serving as the New England Revolution’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. Norton also served as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston Bruins in 1998.
Norton received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Movement from Boston University in 1993. He currently resides in Boston, MA.
Walter is a featured speaker and presenter nationwide and is known for his passionate and enthusiastic approach to training.
Brian Doo says this about his goals:
"I have found that my biggest goalwith players is to change their mindset from “playing will get me better” to “working on my body will allow me to get better”"
Here is another quote from Brian Doo from a Messiah College alumni paper:
"I have been in a great, but challenging situation where the players’ ages range from 18–36. This has allowed me to teach the young players “how to train hard,” since they really are coming from a place of no training. Last year one of our players lost 50 pounds of fat, dropped 12 percent body fat, and increased his vertical jump by six inches. Coming out directly from high school and taking the year to get in shape has really changed his outlook on himself and his future. Some players have come from various other teams, so you are constantly trying to find a way to implement your training style and beliefs with them without losing their trust. Players have rituals and “things that got them there” beliefs, so there is a fine line on how you approach them.
Without a doubt, he is talking about Perk. He really did make himself completely over. What an amazing difference in just one year.
So, when you hear about Al losing 14 lbs and being in great shape, or Gerald getting into shape, you will know that Brian Doo or Walter Norton are behind them, pushing them, and guiding them to be the best they can be.
The Harrington to the Pacers deal is soff again according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In the same paper there is an article that proposes 3 possible deals that would be good for Atlanta. Of course, Boston is one of them, along with the Lakers and the Nuggets. I still don't think that he fits our team needs right now. And I definitely don't want to give up Perk or Al. But, you know the old saying.... Where there's smoke, there may be fire.
3. Do a sign-and-trade with the Celtics for Vin Baker, Brian Grant and either Al Jefferson or Kendrick Perkins.
Whichever of the young guys the Celtics would be willing to include is the player that makes this deal for the Hawks. Both Jefferson ($1.6 million) and Perkins ($1.6 million) are the ideal young big men to add to the Hawks' frontcourt rotation, as both can play center. The contracts of Baker ($5.3 million) and Grant ($1.8 million) look like burdens until you realize that both of their deals are up at the end of the season. More] source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What ever happened to the good old days when the entertainment was the quality of basketball being played on the floor? I can only imagine that Red is fit to be tied. The Celtics have resorted to cheap and tawdry gimmicks to catch the fans' attention. It is a sad day indeed for those of us who remember the 60's and the 80's.
The traditionally buttoned down Boston Celtics are jumping on the NBA’s entertainment bandwagon, with plans for celebrity-style courtside seats and dancing girls.
High-rolling fans will have 16 perches - retailing from $1,250 to $1,500 per game - next to the players’ benches and along the court.
It is a class of seats that has become popular with stars like Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles and Spike Lee in New York, and Rich Gotham, the Celtics chief operating officer, says he believes that Boston will be no exception.
But Celtics fans may have more than celebrity watching to keep themselves occupied. The team’ first dance squad - featuring 21 women from across the country - will take the floor this season.
It’s part of an effort to rev up the entertainment at games.
“If there is a little more of a Hollywood, celebrity, VIP feel, they (fans) may feed off that,” Gotham said. [More] source: Boston Herald
Consider me firmly in place on the Leon Powe bandwagon. The recent article on him is just one more piece that makes me really, really like this kid.
First consider all the hardships he has been through with his house burning down, growing up in foster care, losing his mother... Consider the effort and inner strength that it took to come back from not one, but two major reconstructive surgeries on his knees.
Consider the work ethic that has him spending every moment in the gym working out, practicing, working on his game. The work ethic that allowed him to add 2 or 3 inches to his vertical leap since last season.
Consider his character that makes him go back to the surgeon who reconstructed his knee to say thank you. The character that has him taking care of his brothers and sisters and has the goal of having them all together under one roof. The character that says that being a role model and helping the kids in the community is more important than the money. The character that will make him get his degree because he made a promise.
You just have to love this kid. I can see why Danny was making calls to every team trying to get him when he saw that he was still available in the draft. He is hungry. He works hard. He has a great skill set. And although, at 6'8", he is somewhat undersized for a 4, he has a big wingspan and is increasing his vertical leap as I write this. I can see him being a big surprise if he is given playing time and I can see him being one of the big steals of this draft (right along side of Rajon Rondo).
So, jump on the bandwagon now before the season starts and it gets too crowded.
Danny Ainge has truly been fearless when it comes to pulling the trigger on a blockbuster trade that he feels will help the Celtics. From the big Antoine Walker trade soon after he took over (that resulted in his being called a snake by Walker) to the Blount/Ricky/Banks/Reed for Wally/Jones/Kandi deal last January. He has consistently said in interviews this offseason that he is looking to bring in a star player in a trade but he won't just trade for the sake of making a trade. He is content to stay with what we have until the right trade comes along. In the meantime, he keeps Celtics' fans on pins and needles waiting to see what he will do next. Since Ainge is very tight lipped about possible trades, we probably won't know about it until after the trade has already been done.
Danny Ainge grew up in Eugene, Oregon. Talented in multiple sports, Ainge starred in high school on his football team and led North Eugene High School to back-to-back state basketball championships in 1976-77, earning all-state honors both years. He also was named to the 1977 Parade Magazine High School All-America team.
As a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Danny chose to attend Brigham Young University. An All-American and winner of the Wooden Award as college basketball player of the year in 1981, Ainge also played professional baseball while attending Brigham Young University. In parts of three seasons with the AL's Toronto Blue Jays, he batted only .220, playing primarily at second base. Because he seemed intent on baseball as a career, Ainge wasn't chosen until the second round of the 1981 NBA draft, by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics bought out his Toronto contract and he joined the team for the 1981-82 season. Things didn't go very well for Ainge at first in his basketball career. According to Larry Bird in his autobiography Drive, Celtics players used to make fun of Ainge's initial shooting percentage, some joking that his batting average of .220 was better than his shooting percentage on the basketball court. But Ainge became one of the important pieces of the team that won the NBA title in 1984 and 1986, and a major contributor of the mid to late 1980s Celtics teams.
Ainge became a good outside shooter and was known for hustling, aggressive play that involved him in a number of on-court fights. The most famous was between the 6'5" Ainge and 7'1" Tree Rollins. Ainge had been in the league for only two years when he tackled Tree Rollins in a Celtics-Hawks playoff game at the old Boston Garden in April 1983. Rollins was a 7-footer, but Ainge -- looking like a cornerback bringing down a giant tight end -- hit Rollins low and took him to the floor. While the two rolled around the parquet, Rollins bit Ainge's finger, a wound that required a tetanus shot and 5 stitches. The headline in the next day's paper read "Tree Bites Man." The most amazing part of the story is that it has been completely inverted in most retellings and the majority of American sports fans seem to believe it was Ainge who bit Rollins.
In 1989, Ainge was traded to the Sacramento Kings for young center Joe Kleine, whom the Celtics saw as a possible substitute to the aging Robert Parish. Despite Ainge's leadership, the Kings could not make it to the playoffs.
In 1990, Ainge was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. Being a native of Oregon, he was considered a hometown favorite by Blazers fans. He helped the Blazers reach the 1992 NBA Finals, only to succumb to the Chicago Bulls in six games. He tied a record in this series: On June 5, he scored nine points in the extra period to tie an all-time NBA record for most points in an overtime during a finals game.
After the 1991-92 NBA season, Ainge became a free agent. He had stated in media interivews that he ideally wanted to stay in Portland, and would contact Blazers management before seriously entertaining offers from other teams. On July 1, 1992, however Ainge signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns on his first day of free agency. The news came as a surprise to the Blazers front office, as Ainge had not contacted them first and subsequently led him to fall out of favor with Blazers fans.
The Phoenix Suns were a team looking for a new identity. They inaugurated a new home, hired a new head coach, and brought in a new superstar in Charles Barkley. They signed Ainge as a free agent prior to the 1992-1993 NBA season, figuring that his experience would help the team during the playoffs. Ainge responded by scoring 11.8 points per game as the Suns went 62-20 that year, only to lose to the Bulls in six games.
After retiring from basketball, Danny became head coach of the Suns. His resignation from the Suns coaching job was a sudden one. He cited a need to spend more time with his family as his reason for leaving. After that, he was a broadcaster for TNT. He even owned a hat store while in Phoenix which he has since sold.
In 2003, Danny was named the GM for the Boston Celtics. On naming him the GM, Red Auerbach had this to say, "I know that it will be a great relationship because he is a worker. He has a great personality, he’s smart and bleeds green!"
On the personal side, Ainge and his wife, Michelle, currently live in Wellesley, Massachusetts. They have six children. His son, Austin, currently plays basketball at BYU and was an Honorable Mention at the All-Mountain West Conference during the 2004-05 season. His nephew, Erik Ainge, is a rising athletic star as well. He's expected to start as quarterback on the football team at the University of Tennessee as a junior.
As when he was a player, you either love Danny Ainge as the GM or you hate him. Many feel that he has done a great job gathering young talent and draft picks to either trade or to become stars in their own right. Others feel that the moves he has made continue to keep the Celtics in mediocrity. It is no secret that the Celtics are a much more exciting team than they were when he took over. It is also no secret that Danny isn't afraid to make a big move if he thinks it will improve the team. Love him or hate him, he sure has made things interesting.
Metro Boston had a good interview with Allan Ray. He played very well in Summer League but we are very crowded at that position unless a trade goes down. He may see some time in the DLeague or Danny may clear some roster space with a trade. I really like the fact that he talks about playing aggressively on defense... we can only hope.
PHILADELPHIA — Delonte West has been a pleasant surprise for the Celtics the last two years. The Philly native has stepped in to provide a spark in the Boston backcourt, averaging 9.2 points and 3.5 assists per game over his first two years with the C's.
Boston Head Coach Doc Rivers and basketball boss Danny Ainge are hoping to continue that trend with the recent signing of ex-Villanova guard Allan Ray. Ray, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored 2,025 points in four years with the Wildcats, good enough to become the sixth all-time leading scorer in Villanova history. After signing a free agent deal with the C’s a month ago, he took a few moments to chat with Metro.
There was a lot of positive feedback after your Summer League performance with the Celtics. How do you think you did? I think I played well. I think I showed people what they didn’t see me do a lot in college, which is handle the ball. I just felt very comfortable in Boston’s system.
You thought Boston was the best place for you to stick? After speaking with Ainge and Head Coach Doc Rivers, [it’s clear] they were looking to speed up the tempo. They are looking to play a more up-and-down game this year. We kind of did that at Villanova. We sped the game up and played aggressively on defense. That’s what they are trying to do in Boston. [More] source:Metro Boston
With the players already profiled, we turn to the coach of the Celtics. Doc had been criticized by most Celtics' fans for his in game substitutions, his lack of a set rotation, and his in game coaching. He has also not shown any kind of realization that defense is important in building a championship team. It is believed by most of us that Doc is on the hot seat and if his coaching doesn't improve this year, especially his lack of emphasis on defense, he may be on his way out. Danny has steadfastly supported Doc, while at the same time stressing the need for more work on the defensive end. This year will be very important, not only for the players, but for the coach as well.
Glenn "Doc" Rivers is entering his third season as the coach of the Boston Celtics. He is the 16th Head Coach in the franchise's history. Before coming to Boston, Rivers spent four seasons as the Head Coach of the Orlando Magic. In his first year as Head Coach in Orlando, he led a team predicted by most to finish near or at the bottom of the league to a 41-41 record. For his efforts, was named the 1999-2000 NBA Coach-of-the-Year. Rivers is only the fourth coach in Celtics history to have earned the NBA Coach of the Year Award, joining Tom Heinsohn (1972-73), Bill Fitch (who won it with Cleveland (1975-76) and Boston (1979-80)) and Red Auerbach (1964-65) for whom the trophy is named.
In his four-year tenure at Orlando, Coach Rivers continued to lead the team to outstanding victories including three consecutive trips to the playoffs. The 03-04 season started off poorly for the Magic as they slumped to a 1 and 10 record. The result was that Doc was fired as Head Coach. Doc was an assistant coach for the 2001 USA Basketball Goodwill Games.
Rivers played 13 seasons in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks (1983-84 to 1990-91), Los Angeles Clippers (1991-92), New York Knicks (1992-93 to 1993-94) and San Antonio Spurs (1994 to 1995-96). Rivers averaged 10.9 ppg., 5.7 apg. and 3.0 rpg. over the course of his career. His teams advanced to the NBA Playoffs 10 times, where he averaged 11.4 ppg., 5.9 apg. and 3.3 rpg. Rivers saw action in 864 regular season games over the course of his career and 81 playoff games. He averaged a double-double in 1986-87 (12.8 ppg., 10.0 apg.), was selected to play in the 1988 NBA All-Star Game and averaged a career-best 15.2 ppg. in 1990-91. He also shares an NBA single-game playoff record for most assists in one half (15 vs. Boston, May 16, 1988).
Rivers was drafted after his junior season out of Marquette University (Wis.) by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round (31st overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft. He played the first eight years of his career with Atlanta, setting the Hawks' single-season assists record with 823 in 1986-87. He is Atlanta's all-time leader with 3,866 assists. Rivers played the 1991-92 season for the L.A. Clippers, before going to New York and concluding his career in San Antonio in 1995-96.
A product of Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, Rivers earned the nickname “Doc” from former Marquette coach Rick Majerus, when he wore a “Dr. J” t-shirt to a summer basketball camp. Rivers earned a pre-law/political science degree from Marquette in 1985 and was honored by the Pro Basketball Writers with the 1990 J. Walter Kennedy Basketball Citizenship Award.
In between his coaching stints, Doc worked as the lead NBA analyst for ABS Sports and also as an analyst on TNT.
Doc and his wife, Kris, have four children. They decided not to uproot the children who were all settled in school in Orlando, with the older children very active in sports. Doc has been traveling back and forth from Boston to Orlando every chance he gets to see his wife and children and to watch his children's games when he could. His son Jeremiah will be attending Georgetown University and playing basketball in the coming school year.
Although known for his defense as a player, he hasn't exactly been defensive minded as a coach. Hopefully that will change this year. He has 2 years left on his contract with the Celtics but many fans don't expect him to be around for both years unless he does a better job of handling the roster and in-game coaching. Danny continues to support Doc, even reportedly saying he will leave if Doc does. Maybe Danny knows something we don't... but time will tell...
Once again Derrenmatts over on Celtics Green has posted some very good thoughts. Jefferson has been labeled as soft and written off by a lot of fans. I would have to say that the exact opposite is true. The kid had real damage in his ankle and was told to "play through the pain" and to "suck it up" and he did just what he was told. He tried to play toward the end of the season. He has been working out and tried to play through it in summer league, but the pain just wouldn't go away. Even players as great as Larry Bird, who was known to play through a lot of pain, had to shut it down and have surgery when he had bone chips in his ankles. Jefferson has been treated very unfairly by fans and the Celtics' organization alike. He had to go to the press himself to present the truth about the damage in his ankle. The doctors and the Celtics' brass were all saying it was minor and exploratory, and nothing was there. Technically, Big Al could sue them for slander... I have a feeling that the chip this season won't be in Al's ankles but on his shoulder and will cause him to have a breakout year and silence his critics for good. Thanks to Derren for another good piece...
Jefferson's bright career took a detour when he injured his ankle prior to the start of training camp last season. He came off a promising rookie campaign, highlighted by a really good showing in the 1st round of the playoffs against Indiana. It wasn't a matter of 'if' Jefferson was going to be a force, but a matter of 'when' he was going to arrive.
Last year was a mostly wasted year for Jefferson because of his early ankle injury, which knocked him off course for the early part of the season. He came back eager to build upon his promising rookie season, and for a short while, it looked like he was ready to explode. But then he severly sprains his ankle again, which takes him out for the rest of the season and ends his chances of redeeming his up and down sophomore season.
Initially, we were told that it was just a severly sprained ankle with a bone bruise. No big deal, right? A month or two of rest and relaxation, and after that, he'll be all better and ready to get back in the gym to work tirelessly on his game to prove himself for the upcoming season. But that wasn't the case. After lingering pain kept him from competing at full strength in the summer league games, and after people started questioning his heart and his ability to tolerate some pain, Jefferson began to question what was really wrong with his ankle. Why was it taking this long to get rid of the nagging pain in his ankle, which prevented him from going more than 2 weeks without shutting down.
Well, now its revealed that the cause of his recurring pain in his bothersome ankle that bothered him for months on end were bone chips that needed to be immdiately removed.
So finally, Jefferson's ankle has been properly taken care of, and now he can resume getting back on the track to stardom.
If we look at this season as Jefferson's second season, and minus out last year due to ankle injuries that have derailed his sophomore year, we can once again get excited for this kid's future.
It just wasn't fair to him, or to the fans who believe in him, that so many disappinted fans were calling him a bust because he didn't show significant growth from his rookie season. How could he when he was playing on a bum ankle for most of the year? Its tough enough that he's trying to learn how to play the post, how to play defense, and how to rebound at the highest level of basketball competition in the world, coming straight out of high school. To have to play on one leg only isn't a fair deal for any player, not even proven veterans, let alone a raw 20 year old familiarizing himself and transitioning himself into the NBA game.
Getting his ankle issue out of the way and eliminating the constant pain that held him back from performing to his capabilities will allow Jefferson to shine on the court once again. [More] source: Derrenmatts - Celtics Green
With everything I read about Powe, I become more and more impressed. Consider all the plans he has for the money he is earning as a pro: Helping with back to school expenses for his siblings, free basketball camps for kids, travelling to camps to work on his own game, personally thanking the doctor who reconstructed his knee, helping foster children and spiffing up his lone piece of jewelry, a tribute to his late mother. On top of that, the kid has a tireless work ethic: lifting weights, working in the gym, seeking advice of veterans, adding 3 inches to his vertical leap, and on and on. I don't know how you can't love this kid and pull for him. I sure hope that Doc gives him a chance. If Doc buries him on the bench as he did with Gomes last year, it will be a disservice to the Celtics and to Powe. I believe that he will surprise a lot of people... if only given the chance to do so.
A quick outline of Powe's schedule since being drafted in the second round (No. 49 overall) by the Nuggets, being traded to the Celtics and signing a two-year guaranteed contract for $400,000-plus per:
-- Six weeks of hard-core workouts at Baker Beach with other Bay Area players. Some were occasional drop-ins; Powe made every session.
-- Working out at Cal, shooting and lifting weights.
-- Working out with the Celtics and playing summer league (Powe's five-game averages: 15 minutes, 46 percent field-goal shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 6.6 points).
-- Workouts and scrimmages at the Warriors' headquarters.
-- Runs up Berkeley's Strawberry Canyon.
-- NBA camp in Las Vegas, where he scrimmaged with and sought the advice of stars like Jermaine O'Neal and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
"That's Leon Powe," says Ward. "Run, lift and shoot."
Today we take a look at Brian Scalabrine. He is known as a good team mate, good locker room guy, energy guy. But he isn't known for his steller play on the court. When you look at who he is, maybe it will be a little easier to cheer for the red head who hopefully will be the Celtics' 11th or 12th man this year.
Brian Scalabrine is the Celtics that most fans love to hate. He is a hard working player that isn't necessarily good at anything but is a good "energy guy" and a good "locker room guy" according to all reports.
Scalabrine played his prep basketball at Enumclaw High in Enumclaw, Washington. He attended Highline Community College and averaged 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game as a freshman in 1997, helping lead Highline to a 31-1 overall record and the state junior college championship. He red shirted his second year at Highline. He transferred to University of Southern California and was named the 1999 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a 1999 sophomore ... He was the only Trojan to start all 28 games.
On graduating from USC, he entered the NBA draft and was chosen in the second round by the New Jersey Nets with the 35th pick overall. He played sparingly his first 3 seasons in New Jersey. His fourth season he seemed to come on a bit more and averaged 6.3 points per game in 21.6 mpg. He became a fan favorite in New Jersey.
Last off season, Scalabrine signed a 5 year deal with the Celtics worth 15 millions dollars. He played in 71 games, averaging 13 mpg, 2.9 ppg, and 1.6 rpg. He hasn't had the success here yet that he had in New Jersey.
On the personal side, Brian has 2 brothers and 1 sister. He married Kristin Couch in August of 2003 in Hawaii. He is very active in the community and started the Brian Scalabrine “Take it to the Hoop” Basketball Camp in Stamford, CT and runs several basketball camps throughout New Jersey during the summer.
He has several nicknames. In college, his nickname was Redd. After being chosen by NJ in the draft, they started calling him Secaucus Red. Former Nets assistant coach Mike O'Koren nicknamed him "Veal" because he thought Brian's last name sounded like an Italian dish and the nickname has stuck. Another of his nicknames is Scal.
This offseason he participated in the SEEDS of Peace camp in Otisfield Maine where he was a counselor for campers from all over the Middle east.
I found this article on Fox Sports I think Brian Scalabrine set a record in Boston on Wednesday night.
Now the NBA doesn't keep such records, so it would be hard to source, but I can't imagine anything like it ever happening before. Scalabrine is listed at 6-foot-9, 235 pounds. He played 34 minutes against the Cavaliers on Wednesday. There were 100 missed shots in the game. Scalabrine hauled down zero rebounds.
So while I can't prove this definitely, I'm going to go ahead and assume that never before had a player this size played this many minutes— in a game with this many missed shots — without collecting a single rebound.
Wesley "Stick" Person may have done it. Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues may have done it. But can you imagine a 6-foot-9 power forward not being able to gather in any one of 100 missed field goal attempts? Or any of the seven defensive rebounds that were available off Cleveland missed free throws? Zero. Nada.
That's right, despite playing 34 fewer minutes than Scalabrine on Wednesday night, you matched him rebound for rebound. Of course you didn't receive $36,585 for your effort. He might not pull down any rebounds, but Scalabrine does pull down almost 40 grand per game, thanks to his baffling 5-year, $15M contract. And lest you think Wednesday night was some weird statistical quirk, in his last five games Scalabrine has played 111 minutes and reined in a meager nine rebounds.
It pretty much says all you need to know about Veal. Doc played him a lot more last year than most Celtics fans wanted him to play. He is the player most fans would like to see cut from the team or traded. He seemed to be out of shape all season and never seemed to fit into the system.
But, he is obviously a good teammate and good guy. He was always the first one off the bench to congratulate a teammate coming off the floor and was always cheering his teammates when he was on the bench. For what he is being paid, I guess having him there to encourage the kids and help with the comradery in the locker room isn't all that bad. We could do a lot worse. We could have Blount back... A player with Scal's skill set AND a bad attitude.
The whole truth about Al's ankle injury is finally coming out. Unfortunately, it is Al who is telling it. On August 3 The Boston Globe had this to say, "Al Jefferson underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle yesterday due to discomfort caused by a tendon. The procedure was more exploratory than anything else." The Herald went even further to say that the doctors found nothing. They made it sound like they operated just to make Al feel better. Now, contrast this with the real story that Scott Souza unveils in his article today (and Shira mentioned in her article on Sunday). Unfortunately, it is Al who has had to tell the true story and not the Celtics' organization who outright lied to cover their own failure. Al did indeed have bone chips in his ankle. It is convenient that they found them just as he was going to New York for a second opinion. It does make one wonder what kind of medical staff the Celtics have.
I am now pulling for Al more than ever. I am hoping that he heals quickly, which so far seems to be happening. No one should have to go through what he has because the medical staff wasn't thorough enough to correctly diagnose his problem. I hope Al comes in and has a break out season and quiets the critics for good.
WALTHAM -- Al Jefferson knew of the growing perception about him and didn't like it one bit. The thing he disliked most was that, with the recurring pain in his right ankle, he couldn't do anything about it.
At the Toshiba Vegas Summer League last month -- more than five months after spraining the ankle -- Jefferson was still having soreness. It would feel better for a few weeks, then the pain would return. He would start to move like he wanted to again, then he would have to shut it down for a few days.
The worst part was that it was an injury that was supposed to take three weeks to heal and nobody could tell him why that wasn't fully happening.
"It frustrated me a lot because a lot of people were saying that I was faking it," Jefferson said yesterday. "Or that I wasn't tough enough. This and that. But it kept giving me problems. It became a big problem over the summer. I started thinking: Damn, there's no way I will be ready for camp."
It was the week after he returned from Las Vegas when Jefferson said he reached a tipping point. Unable to walk without pain during a brief return to his home in Mississippi, he scheduled another in the series of MRIs that dated back to the original injury. He said the latest one finally did reveal significant swelling and led to a CAT scan that diagnosed bone chips in the ankle.
"That was right before I was going to New York for a second opinion," he said. "They saw it, too. Everyone agreed that I needed surgery (as soon as possible)."
That surgery was two weeks ago at New England Baptist Hospital and Jefferson said he could see an immediate difference.
"They did a lot of work on the ankle with shaving the bone and everything and they thought it would be fat or swollen afterwards," he said. "But the only way you could tell I had the surgery was the stitches."
Since getting back on his feet last week, Jefferson has spent almost every day at the team's Waltham training facility working out with the strength and conditioning staff while wearing a boot on his foot. He said he intends to keep fit so that he can return to the court within three to five weeks and be ready for the opening of training camp in October.
While the ongoing ankle pain stole nearly half of his second season, Jefferson seems to have put aside any bitterness about why it took so long to find out the source of his discomfort.
"At first I was thinking that if this was it we could have had the surgery in May or June," he said. "But it's not their fault because everybody was looking at the same (MRIs) and it didn't show up.
"I am just glad that we found the problem," he concluded. "We can put it behind us and now we can get ready for the next season."
In these days of being starved for information, Celtics.com has an interview with Danny Ainge. Some of the things Danny touches on are: Rondo being the biggest surprise, he loves Delonte, Perimeter play, Wally's doing great, Pierce is feeling fine, Al's rehab is ahead of schedule, Ray and Pittsnogle have their work cut out for them to make the roster, he isn't going to do a deal just to do one - he likes our players, he is going to be patient, Grant is still on the roster but isn't going to play with us this year, Theo will provide an experienced shot blocker and rebounder, and more. Lots of good things to hear.
The calendar says it's the NBA offseason, but things haven't slowed down much in the Celtics' executive offices, as the team made several moves at the NBA Draft and then had a strong showing in the Toshiba Vegas Summer League showcasing plenty of young talent.
And now, with veteran players on the mend and the schedule released, Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge checked in with Celtics.com for an exclusive interview on Monday afternoon. Ainge gave us an update on some of the injured Celtics, as well as his thoughts on the team's offseason moves and the road ahead to training camp and the upcoming season.
Celtics.com: So now that the draft is past, and you've had a chance to see some of the new acquisitions in the Summer League and other workouts, how do you feel the reshaping of the roster has gone this summer?
Ainge: "First of all, I was very impressed with a lot of the things I saw in the summertime and post-draft, as we evaluate our own drafting and so forth. Sebastian Telfair had a fantastic summer and a great camp with us and continues to give us a lot of hope.
Rajon Rondo is probably the biggest surprise around the league with his play, not only in the Vegas Summer League, but he continued drawing attention to how good of a talent he is in [Tim] Grgurich's camp in Vegas. We got a lot of positive feedback from his quality play there.
Gerald is progressing; Gerald had a good Summer League. Allan Ray played well in the summer. But, it's just Summer League." [More] source:Celtics.com
A great post by eja117 on Celtics Green. A look at what we have and how it stacks up against the rest of the league. I honestly believe that Perk is going to be a top 3 center. He has a work ethic that is second to none in the league. He practices hard (as evidenced by the fact that he dislocated his shoulder in practice) and he plays hard. He has advanced an amazing amount so far without much playing time. The key to how quickly he develops further will be how much playing time he gets this year. If Doc goes small like he has been saying he will and keeps Perk on the bench, I believe that will be a big mistake. We need the defense and rebounding in the middle to start the fast break and Perk is an excellent outlet passer. Al, if healthy, has a chance to develop into a top player as well. I expect both to make significant strides this year if given the playing time.
I've been thinking about Perk and how good he can become and what stands in his way. This is basically his senior year in college. So he'll basically peak 4 years from now. At that point he will pretty much stop getting better. He'll be 26 and will be set for about 5 years of being as good as he'll ever be. So by then the following guys should be gone or greatly diminished. Shaq Ilgauskas Rasheed Wallace Brand will be no spring chicken Zo Ben Wallace Duncan (exact same age as Wallace) McDyess
Guys that will still be young Emeka D Howard Kaman Oden Durant TT Alridge Al J KG and Jermaine ON will only be like 32ish Amare Barganani Dirk Bosh
Can Al J or Perk be as good as those guys? I think they have a shot at being better than some or equal to some, but not all.
So then you have to consider our swing men. A lot of guys will be getting old by then but a lot of guys won't D Wade and Lebron are going to be around forever In addition there are many other youngins like Melo, Brandon Roy and Randy Foye. I think GG and maybe even TA can put up a fight against these guys but even if everthing we hope for comes true we can't possibly expect GG to be better than Lebron or D Wade.
That leaves us with pgs. Can Rondo or Sebastian do it? I think we actually have a shot in heck at this. Chris Paul will dominate this field for a while Tony Parker is still young Jameer Nelson is good
But Bibby, Nash, and Kidd are actually getting older.
I have to wonder what will happen if we have say the 8th best player at every position and the 5th best 6th man and ok bench.
Looking at who is at the bottom of the top (I'll use my fantasy rankings for this) here is what we'd have.
Ilgauskas Elton Brand Ak 47 Jason Richardson Mike Bibby
Those guys are ranked 7th at their positions. Look at the drop off to eight
Eddy Curry Chris Webber Peja Richard Jefferson Kirk Heinrich
That team would have been blown out of the water in the finals this year, maybe even by the Mavs.
The heat this year according to Lindys had the #1 center, #1 pg (he's a sg now), and the #6 pf.
The Mavs had the #3 PF, and #10 pg.
What would be far more realistic and hopeful for us would be like the equivalent of the #6 center (Emeka) #11 or 12 pf (Zach Randolph, Donyell Marshall) #9 sf (Rashard Lewis), # 13 0r 14 sg (Joe Johnson, Eddie Jones) and #10 pg (Jason Terry)
Then a Gomes and a Ricky Davis type coming off the bench. Would that team give us shot at the championshp? Absolutely not. Not even close.
Our big hope is that we end up with something along the lines of #3 center (Ben Wallace), #7 pf (Elton Brand) #6 sf or sg (Vince Carter or Rip Hamilton) and #7 pg Bibby.
We could just end this by bringing in KG. That is a ticket straight to the conference finals for years to come. Instead we probably missed our shot and McHale will hope Foye is the next Wade, and if he is he might just win a championship.
We're in the position of maybe the Clippers now. Nice team. Will never win anthing. Or even worse, amybe Paul's Hornets. One great guard that will keep us from ever getting anything good in the draft so we'll be mediocre for a long time. Too good to get a top pick, too bad to win anything.
If the team doesn't take serious strides this year it's time for someone in the front office to grow a sack and get this done already.
Lots of photos of the Celtics posted on NBA.com and Yahoo Sports. I guess they are trying to make up for stiffing them on the live show yesterday. They had to work very hard not to catch any of the 3 Celtics during that 1 hour show. Pretty funny that they gave Pittsnogle a generic shirt... no number. I guess they didn't want to waste the thread to give him one if they are just going to cut him. I wonder where Leon Powe was... hopefully not having "minor surgery" on some part of his body.