Don Nelson, who wanted TWolves job a year ago, says he is permanently retired from coaching. Insists no interest even if someone calls.
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) August 15, 2012
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com is reporting that former Celtic Don Nelson is finished with coaching, even though he had put his name in for the Timberwolves coaching job last year. Don Nelson was a great coach but he was a great Celtic before his coaching career began.
Don Nelson is a 5 time champion with the Celtics. He came to the Celtics after playing 2 years with the Lakers. He was waived by the Celtics hated rivals and Red was smart enough to grab him off the waiver wires. Although Nelson contributed to each of the 5 championship series he played in with Boston, he is most remembered for one single shot.
The shot came in Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals against the Lakers. We all know the story of that series. The star studded Lakers were the favorites over the old and worn out Celtics. But Bill Russell and company gave it a Herculean effort and pulled the series out to send Bill Russell to retirement with one last ring. In that series, Nelson converted one of the most famous shots in playoff history. It was a foul-line jumper which hit the back rim and bounced several feet straight up before dropping through the net. The shot came with just over a minute to go in the game and the Celtics were clinging to a 103-102 lead. It was the shot that helped the Celtics seal their 11th title in 13 seasons. The Celtics retired his #19 jersey in 1978.
After his playing career, Nellie put together one of the greatest coaching careers in NBA history. As a coach, he was an innovator. Nellie was the first to use the concept of the point forward. Today many teams at every level use this concept. His very different brand of basketball has often been referred to as Nellie Ball. There's a lot of running and not a lot of defense played in Nellie Ball. A great example of Nellie ball was seen in the 2007 playoffs when his 8th seed Warriors knocked off the #1 seed Mavericks.
He was named one of the Top 10 coaches in NBA history. In 2010, he passed Lenny Wilkens for first place on the all-time NBA wins list with 1,333 wins. His all-time win-loss record is 1,335 wins to 1,063 losses for a .557 win percentage. Nellie was one of a kind as a coach and it will be a bit sad that we won't be seeing Nellie Ball out there any more. On March 29, 2012 it was announced Nellie he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, a very fitting honor for a great career.
I have been thinking a lot about Pistol Pete Maravich lately. I blame Lex for getting me thinking about the good old days. And they were good as far as basketball goes. I did a post remembering Pete back in July after Lex posted an article about Pete's retirement. I was so sad when Pete retired. I always wanted him to get his ring and really felt that if he stayed another year he would have had a chance to get one. And I was right because the Celtics won the championship that season.
Pete's always been one of my favorite all time players and I recently re-read the book Pistol which is a fascinating look at how he and his dad helped to make the game of basketball what it is today. Whether they know it or not, every player and fan today owes a lot to Press and Pete Maravich. The game is what it is because of their innovation and foresight. I've also been watching some of the videos of Pistol Pete and you just have to be amazed at how very good he was. After watching Pete play, you realize that he was truly one of a kind.
I always kind of liked Jason Terry when he was on the Mavericks. I liked his energy and his enthusiasm. Of course, when the Celtics played them, that kind of got a bit irritating, but I still liked him. He was always a classy player. Now that he's on the Celtics and I'm learning more about him, I'm even more impressed.
First there was the press conference where he sounded so genuinely happy to be a Celtic. And the fact that he held off signing while Danny tried to work a sign and trade to be able to also sign Courtney Lee. Then there was the twitter profile photo of Jet in a Celtics shirt, pointing to the Celtics logo, when they announced his contract signing. He was so enthusiastic and willing to do whatever it would take to help the Celtics win. He talked of going out to work out with KG and start building chemistry. The guy knows what it takes to win.
Then, there was the tattoo. In the offseason before the Mavs won the title, Jason
Terry got a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien trophy to show his confidence in his team and his Mavericks teammates repaid that confidence with a title. Now, Jason Terry has shown even more confidence in this Celtics team by getting not just the trophy, but Lucky the Leprechaun holding the trophy tattooed on his arm. Confidence is a funny thing. As a teacher I was aware of the benefits of confidence in a student. I remember reading an article about how students who were told they were given a performance enhancer did much better than students who were not given it, in spite of the fact that it was just a placebo. The difference in their performance was simply confidence. By getting that tattoo, Jason Terry has given his teammates a performance enhancer in the form of a boost of confidence.
Gary Washburn of the Globe tweeted the above just after midnight last night (or would it be this morning?). When you click on the link it takes you to Sulia and this tidbit.
For those who missed it earlier, David Falk, the agent for Jeff Green, told Boston Globe that his client's deal with #celtics is close and should be official next week.
Gary Washburn had tweeted this information earlier in the evening but then the tweet was removed and we were left to wonder what was going on once again. Then, the above tweet appeared. So, apparently, finally Jeff Green will be signed, sealed and delivered soon. But then again, we've been told that the signing was imminent for going on 2 months now, so we shall see. But at least there is some news on the signing... maybe.
I came across this photo and thought it was quite interesting. Believe it or not, both Josh Smith and Dwight Howard, along with Randolph Morris, were Celtics at one time. Unfortunately it wasn't the Boston Celtics, but the Atlanta Celtics when they played AAU basketball together. Howard is more than likely staying in LA, but there's still a chance that Josh Smith may end up in Boston. Just thought I'd share this in case anyone else found it interesting.
Mike Zarren speaking on "Analytic Approaches to Basketball"
The Sixers are making moves. They traded long time face of the franchise Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Now, Sixers GM Rod Thorn is expected to move upstairs to a consultant's position and the team is looking for a new GM. One of the 3 leading candidates for the position is Celtics Assistant GM Mike Zarren. According to Sam Amick on SI.com
Zarren is an intriguing addition to the field of prospects; a widely-respected purveyor of advanced player statistics in the NBA who is one of the least-known yet most-influential members of the Celtics' front office group. A lifelong Celtics fan and season-ticket holder who began as an unpaid intern in 2003, Zarren -- a Harvard Law graduate who has also served as Celtics' team counsel -- has become known as the right-hand man of general manager Danny Ainge. He is a regular speaker at the annual MIT Sloan Conference where so many NBA executives explore new ways to analyze players and teams in a more accurate, efficient and in-depth manner.
Just as the Celtics assistant coaches have been picked off by other teams for their head coaching positions (Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank), it appears that the Celtics stat guys are in demand by other teams to fill their GM slots. The Celtics previous stats analyst and Senior Vice President of Operations and Information, Daryl Morey, was hired by Houston to be their GM in 2007.
The NBA is kind of like a chess game. One team makes a move and another has to make a move to counter it. The Celtics brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and Miami countered with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The Celtics took the Heat to 7 games in the ECF with LeBron and Co playing mostly small ball. The Celtics countered by bringing in Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green to stock up on athletic wings who can shoot and defend.
But, the Heat aren't the only ones that the Celics need to worry about next season. Just as the Celtics took the Heat to 7 games, the Sixers took the Celtics to 7 games in the Semi-Finals. After looking like they were going to have to take a step back to become contenders again, Philly made a big trade that could make them contenders for years to come. They received Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson in trade in exchange for Andre Iguodala. They signed Kwame Brown as a free agent and brought back some young talented players from last season's team. Bynum now replaces Dwight Howard as the best center in the East. They have the capability of putting out a very, very big lineup.
Celtics are up for the next move. They shored up their defense and their wings to counter the Heat. Now, the Celtics need to make a move to counter the one made by the Sixers when they brought in Bynum, who is talking about signing a long term contract with them. They, unlike the Heat will be playing big, rather than small, and the path to the Finals will likely go through the Sixers before it goes through the Heat.
I think the Celtics should bring in another big to match up with the Sixers. The Celtics have Kevin Garnett (7'), Chris Wilcox (6'10"), Jason Collins (7') and Fab Melo (7') at center. Jared Sullinger at 6'9" could play some center when going small, as could Brandon Bass. Kevin Garnett will probably see a lot of time at the 5 again this season, but against a bruiser like Bynum, I just don't see KG wanting to bang with him inside. Wilcox may be able to bang with him but he's not known as a defensive stopper, especially for bigger low post scorers like Bynum. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Larry Bird retired on August 18,1992 and as Magic Johnson said when Larry's number was retired, there will never, ever be another Larry Bird. I wrote my tribute to Larry on August 2. Lex had several great articles written by the great Bob Ryan about Larry here, here, here, here, here, and here. Grampa Celtic sure does love Larry.
I know there will be many more tributes and articles about Larry this week to commemorate the anniversary of his retirement. Larry was the greatest forward this league has ever seen and watching him was like watching a master work his craft. He was simply amazing. Here's a tidbit from one of Bob Ryan's articles:
Did you know that Larry Bird was the first player since Elgin Baylor who made it a practice to throw the ball off the backboard in order to get it back so he could lay it in? After Bird had done so in a 1982 game against the Bullets (getting himself a 3-point play), one of his teammates was aghast. "You should have heard McHale," laughed Bird. "He said, 'Damn, Larry. It's a close game!' "
And, to the question "Did Larry Bird ever goaltend?" the answer is "Yup." On Feb. 9, 1988, he goaltended an Akeem Olajuwon shot in the course of a 44-point (17-for-27) effort against the Rockets. This is the same Olajuwon he beat in a jump ball in the first quarter of Game 6 during the 1986 Finals. It defied the laws of physics, but Bird did it.
After the Jump are a couple of videos to watch and remember just how good he was.
Are NBA stars out of touch with reality? Garnett, for one would appear to be. In a 2002 GQ interview, the Timberwolves forward, who signed a six year, $126 million contract in 1997, remarked: "The things I have been through since I came into the NBA, you would not believe how hard it has been." Asked to cite an example, Garnett replied, "Buying my first house. That was a hardship.
Richest long term contract
$126 million: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota, 1997
In 1997 the Wolves flashed a six year $103 million contract in front of Garnett, which at the time was the largest contract every offered to a pro athlete. Calling it an insult, the 21 year old forward turned it down. A few months later, the team rewarded Garnett's stubbornness by upping the offer to $126 million over six years. This time he signed. The deal so horrified other NBA owners that it is credited with sparking the 1998 lockout. In October 2003 Garnett agreed to a five year $100 million extension with Minnesota, bringing his total haul to $226 million over 11 years.
It's the slow time between Summer League and free agent signing and training camp. Not much going on with the Celtics as they pretty much have their roster set for now. Tattoos are the hot topic with both KG and Jet getting new ones. I posted Jet's new tattoo but since KG made his tattoo photos X-rated, I'll pass on posting those. You can go on over to Green Street and see them if you want. I've seen posts with All NBA Team, All Defensive Team, All Rookie Team, and now we have the All Hair Team. Yes, I am getting bored. I wish the season would get here already!
A quote from the book, Red Auerbach's Winning Ways, we read that
"Red Auerbach chose his players for character as much as talent, and taught them to play for the team instead of individual glory."
The result of that approach was 11 championships in 13 seasons. As GM, Danny Ainge has gone about things much like Red did and has brought in guys that have high character.
Brandon Bass has been spending his summer giving back to the community as has Avery Bradley. We read how Chris Wilcox delivered a truckload of food to a food bank on Grand Strand. We also read about how Jeff Green finished his classes and got his degree from Georgetown while recuperating from heart surgery. We know that the veteran players that Danny brought in this summer - Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Jason Collins - all have been praised for their character by their former teams. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Jeff Green still hasn't signed his contract with the #Celtics. "Contractual language" is still be ironed out in the deal.
— Mike Gambardella (@BIG3Sports) August 15, 2012
I'm leaning toward the "contractual language" being ironed out as the reason Jeff Green isn't signed, in spite of a few message board posters who feel that it might be health related. It's been long enough now, it's time to do some serious ironing and get this thing done.
It had been a while since he felt that same teen love for basketball -- or a team's desire to have him -- but he captured it this summer in choosing the Suns last week for a one-year, $1.35 million contract, which he signed Tuesday.
More important, his body feels young and good. For a man who has missed 39 percent of his teams' games over the past eight seasons, any presumption of improved health is taken with great caution, but O'Neal said he feels five years younger.
It's been a while since he felt a team's desire to have him???? The Celtics went out of their way to make him feel wanted. They gave him the full MLE and didn't push him back from ALL his many injuries. He complained about his role on the Celtics and felt he should have been given more of an offensive role but, you have to be in the game to fill a role. We also heard how great he felt going into last season and how he felt the best he had felt in years. He still only played in 49 games over 2 seasons. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
“The funny thing about KG is that there’s really no story, because there’s a 24/7 continuous loop. You couldn’t even break it up into stories. You’ll be on the team plane at three or four in the morning, you’ll hear this noise nonstop — it’s someone talking at the top of his voice — and it’s KG. From the moment you take off to the moment you land, whatever hour of the day, he’s talking to rookies, he’s telling stories. He’s just nonstop. there’s some sort of nuclear reactor inside him that never quits.”
So, now we finally know what makes KG tick. Let's just hope that there is isn't a nuclear meltdown. And about Rondo, Danny had his point guard targeted when he was still in high school.
“We’re lucky to have Danny Ainge here. Ryan McDonough was an early scout who saw Rondo. Danny and Ryan saw him at Oak Hill Academy in high school. Basically, Danny said at that point he was going to be the starting point guard of the Celtics three or four years later, and that’s what happened. Danny had his eye on him very, very early. That’s a competitive advantage we have — having Danny Ainge as president of basketball.”
All the talk during the Olympics was about Team USA, the men's Olympic basketball team. But there was another Team USA at the Olympics that deserves our congratulations and thanks as well. The USA Women's basketball team won their fifth straight Gold Medal, winning 41 straight Olympic games along the way. They beat France 86-50 to win the Gold Medal. They have dominated at all levels of international competition and so I salute them and say thank you for representing our country in such a classy way.
Back on August 5, I posted John Hollinger's offseason grades from Insider. Hollinger ranked the Celtics in the good column with the only negative mark, in his opinion being Jeff Green's contract. Now, we get Chad Ford's offseason grades. Unlike Hollinger's Good, Bad and Ugly classifications, Ford gives a traditional A,B,C,D grade.
The majority of the teams, nineteen in all, got B+, B or B-. Five teams got some variation of a C grade. One team, the Bulls got a D+. One team, Orlando, got an F. And 4 teams got some variation of an A. The Lakers and Hornets were given an A+, the Celtics an A, and Denver received an A-. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Bob Ryan started his career as the Celtics beat writer in the fall of 1968. It so happens that it was in 1969 that I discovered the Celtics and fell in love with them. Ryan not only covered the Celtics, but he developed a close relationship with the team and the front office as well. Bob was also well known to the refs and he often worked them from his position at the press table. Ryan was always a big fan of Larry Bird's and co-authored a book with him.
Bob Ryan covered the Celtics and Boston sports for an incredible 44 years. From his first column to his last, Bob Ryan was the consummate professional. His colleagues referred to him as the "Commissioner" but I prefer to call him by the nickname that Lex has given him, and that is "Grandpa Celtic."
Grandpa Celtic covered the Celtics from his start at the Globe in 1969 until 1986, with 2 years off in 1982 and 1983 when Dan Shaughnessy and Jackie MacMullan covered the Celtics. Bob tried a couple of years with Channel 5 in Boston but wasn't happy there and was right back on the Celtics beat 2 years later. He was the beat writer for each the six Celtics championships that I followed as a fan. I developed a sort of bond with his writing. I lived out of the area, but there was a news stand where I lived that carried the Boston Globe, albeit a day or so after the fact, but I gobbled every word that Grandpa Celtic wrote about my beloved Celtics. His columns were my link to the Celtics. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Just as she interviews Paul Pierce a couple of weeks ago, Molly McGrath caught up with Jason Terry to get his thoughts on playing with the Celtics and the upcoming season. Here is a link to watch on Celtics.com. I'll pass on a few highlights of the interview. He showed off his new tattoo and said he expects the luck of the leprechaun to win the championship this year. He then said that he believed that the Celtics were right there last year. They were championship team but all they were missing was a little Jet fuel. Great line! He also called Rondo the best point guard in the league once again and gave kudos to Doc.
When asked about how the Dwight Howard trade affects the Celtics he said that it doesn't affect them at all. He said that they don't concern themselves with what everyone else is doing. They're just concerned with the Green and Black. I hope someone briefs him on the fact that Celtics colors are green and white rather than green and black.
He feels that the Celtics are the team to beat in the East. When Molly said that Paul Pierce told her that he was excited to play with Jason Terry this year and asked what he was excited about, Jason said he is just excited to play in Celtic green, the mystique and championship pedigree and heritage. He mentioned the solid core of vets and said that the young guys they drafted were incredible. I really like this guy. He's going to be a great addition to the team, not only for his play but for his enthusiasm and excitement about being a Celtic.
The Olympics are over. Now we face a month and a half until we get to watch basketball again. Most of the moves have been made and so there won't be any excitement of big signings. The players who have just been signed (which is the majority of the Celtics) can't be traded yet and so we won't see any blockbuster trades. I kind of like most of the signings anyway and want to see how things play out with this group before trying to move them. But, we are facing at least a month with no basketball and virtually no basketball news other than minor signings here and there. Going to be rough for us basketball junkies.
Doc was quoted as saying that he'd love to have Carlos Delfino but didn't think it was possible. SI is reporting today that he will be signing a one year contract with the Rockets. So, that option is out of the picture. In spite of Delfino being a very good player, I think we are covered on the wings. If we lust after any player it should be another big. At least that's what I'm thinking.
Speaking of bigs, former Nugget Chris Andersen is in the news. His agent is drumming up some interest by tweeting that his client has several offers and that he has a favorite team to sign with but isn't saying what team that is. Andersen is a good player and would be a bargain at the minimum if said favorite team could land him for that. He has said he would be open to taking the vet minimum if the right team offered.
Danny took his share of abuse for the Celtics fortunes over his first 3 years on the job. When he became the Celtics GM he said that he had a 5 year plan to rebuild the Celtics and get them back to contention. His plan was to gather "chips" and then trade them for established stars. Many fans were disillusioned with the "youth movement" and felt that the Celtics were years away from contending, if ever. But what most of us forgot was Danny's initial vision of gathering trading chips. Some of his moves were lateral but others were trading one chip for another just slightly more valuable financially or on the court or that would give us a draft pick he could parlay into a player or use as a chip. Here is a look at Danny's road to building the team that won Banner 17.
Danny traded Darius Songaila to Sacramento and received 2 second round pics in return. These picks were used to draft Brandon Hunter in 2003 and Orien Greene in 2005. This move didn't really amount to much as Hunter was taken in the expansion draft and Greene was placed on waivers so it was more or less a dead end move.
Recently, I posted A Few Random Jeff Green Thoughts. Those thoughts were mostly around the possible reasons for his signing being imminent for well over a month. We still don't have the answer to what is holding up his signing, but he's been working out and playing pick up games and so I'm thinking it has more to do with the language and conditions in the contract than it does the condition of the player.
When asked on the Heels to Hoops interview what his summer consisted of and how he was feeling, he answered:
"Working out, 8 am basketball, 10:30 weights. On certain days I do a boxing workout."
"I feel awesome. I actually feel a lot better than I did prior to the surgery. It was a blessing, and I’m doing better now."
Congratulations to Team USA on winning the Gold Medal. It was great to see them all jumping around and dancing as they celebrated the win. The competition is getting better and better with all teams sporting NBA players and many having played together for years. I may not like LeBron, Melo, or Kobe in the NBA as rivals of the Celtics, but I give both of them major props for representing the USA on the Olympic Team. The months they take preparing and playing in the Olympics has to take a lot out of them but they do it willingly and the reward of a Gold Medal is well deserved. Thank you for a job well done. You make us all proud.
Brandon Bass has been doing some good things in China this summer. He was teaching basketball at the 2012 Lenovo Basketball Camp at the Beijing Sport University in Beijing. The camp included 81 young basketball players from ages 7 to 23 and lasted four days.
On the first day of camp Bass spoke to the kids and young adults and lead them through some basketball workouts. Bass talked about his journey to the NBA and encouraged the campers to set a goal, to pay attention in school and get good grades, and to work hard to make their basketball skills better.
Bass traveled around to other parts of China, working with youngsters in other places before returning for the final day of the Lenovo camp. But, it wasn't just fun and games there for Bass. Brandon took his shooting coach with him on the trip to China and on his breaks from working with the campers, he did some drills with his shooting coach to work on his jumper. I love that he is such a hard worker and I expect him to come back an even better player this season than he was last.
Along with the trip to China, Bass conducted three free reachback basketball camps for underprivileged kids in his native Louisiana. He also sponsored a free backpack give away for underprivileged kids.
“With these camps, my goal is to reach back to underprivileged kids and give them a way to grow and develop their basketball skills. I only wanted 50 kids so I could keep in touch with them and stay close, but when more kids showed up it was hard for me to turn them down, so we ended up with about 75.”
The camps are only part of Bass’s giving back and helping kids. He also formed an elite-level AAU program last summer in order to give as many players as possible the chance to be seen by college coaches.
His generosity and caring didn't stop with basketball, however. To attend Bass’ camp in Fort Worth, campers were required to write an essay. One girl's essay gave a heart wrenching description of living homeless with her mother and three younger siblings. Brandon was touched by her story and with Adam Jones or the Dallas Cowboys, he worked to find the girl’s family an affordable apartment. And Brandon and Adam presented the little girl's mother with a $3,000 trip to a local furniture store. More than ever, I'm glad that Brandon Bass will be a part of the Celtics for years to come. He is definitely a Celtic!