With just one week to go until training camp starts, the Celtics appear to be all set and ready to go. The one weak spot the Celtics had was plugged with the signing of Darko Milicic. The Celtics seem to be deep at every position. The only question mark may be at back up point guard with the departure of Keyon Dooling. But with Jason Terry, Avery Bradley and Dionte Christmas all very capable of running the offense, it doesn't seem to be a pressing need.
The starting five to being the preseason will more than likely be Rondo, Lee, Pierce, Bass and Garnett. Once Avery comes back from his shoulder rehab, there will be stiff competition for the starting 2 spot. Competition for that spot can only make both players better. Avery is the better defender but Lee is taller and is the better shooter. Both will be able to run with Rondo and finish the break. It should be an interesting battle.
Of course, Jason Terry will be the sixth man and could very well be in the mix for sixth man of the year. He will probably run the offense on the second unit unless Dionte Christmas shows he has what it takes to make the rotation as the point guard on the second unit. Of course, this will be fluid to begin the year until Avery returns and roles are defined.
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The Orlando Sentinel had this little tidbit tucked away inside an article on the upcoming Magic season:
Former Magic GKeyon Doolingannounced he was retiring — at least for a few minutes. Word is he'd be interested in joining the Heat. Who isn't? ...
This raises some questions. First, is this legit or just a figment of the writer's imagination? If Keyon is not really retiring, did the Celtics force him out for some reason? That seems rather odd since they just signed him. And, it wasn't a spur of the moment signing because Danny knew at draft time they'd be bringing him back because he wouldn't give Fab #51. The Celtics really seemed to be happy he was coming back. Did they waive him because they changed their minds and then he decided to retire because he was tired of going to a different team every other year?
On the other hand, if the Celtics didn't force him out, and if he did tell the Celtics he wanted to retire so they would waive him, was it because someone (like Ray Allen) contacted him to tell him he was wanted in Miami? Wouldn't that be player tampering? And Keyon has always been a professional and very classy. I just don't see it. Of course, there is the fact that just about every player on every team has at one time been rumored to be interested in joining the Heat. So there's that. This is very curious and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Ok, Chris Forsberg comes through again on this. He just tweeted that there's no truth to this rumor, so my first thought that it was a figment of the writer's imagination was right.
He also reports that it was Dooling's decision to walk away and he is at peace with his decision. So, there you have it.
Keyon Dooling's agent Kenge Stevenson says there's no truth to suggestion that his client is interested in playing for Miami Heat.
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 22, 2012
Earlier today, Loy posted about Rondo's fantastic Asian trip. Looking at that, I started to thinking about the off-season and how different some players are. Most people who know me know that I love Celtics history and am always reading something from the past. We can learn some very important lessons from the Celtics legends.
For instance, Larry Bird was one of the greatest players to ever step on the court. He didn't have the physical tools that a lot of players have. He wasn't athletic and he couldn't jump and he wasn't fast. But yet, he was one of the most dominant players of any era. It didn't just happen, either. Larry Bird was also one of the hardest working players in league history.
When a season ended, Larry was right back out on the court working on his game, especially if the team missed out on the championship. He worked tirelessly on his conditioning, on his shooting, and on every facet of his game. He also tried to add a new wrinkle to his game every off-season to keep his opponents off guard. He didn't want to be too easy for them to guard. Larry didn't go on trips. He didn't do fun things. He worked and got better.
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I've been told by bballee that Lex and I have been way too negative about Darko. I haven't meant to be very negative but I guess I just have had my doubts about him and maybe that was what was coming out. Truth is, as a back up to the back up center, he's a good signing, even if he doesn't improve any over his previous play.. His numbers last year, 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per game aren't terrible. There are a lot of positives to this signing.
Darko is listed at 7'1" tall and 250 lbs so he is big and solid. He is 27 years old so he is still young. He's fairly athletic. He has great timing and instincts when it comes to shot-blocking. He hasn't been known for his work ethic but maybe that was immaturity. He passed up a 3 year $6 million contract in Europe to play with the Celtics at the vet minimum so this is something he really wants and that may be motivation for him to work harder. The opportunity to play with, and learn from, KG, it may just turn his career around. If he
I guess much of the knock on him has come from the fact that he was the #2
pick and has never lived up to that lofty standard. Maybe if he had
been taken 29th in the draft we'd be singing his praises. He's shown flashes of talent but has never been consistent. The Celtics are hoping he will finally be the player Detroit thought he was when they made him the 2nd pick in the draft. Waiting until the last week of the offseason to get a minimum offer may
be the wake up call that he needed. This may be his last chance as
salvaging his career in the NBA and the Celtics are hoping he takes advantage of it.
KG is ranked #21 on ESPN player rankings. It's pretty amazing that a 36 year old would move up in the rankings, but that's KG. He rose up one spot from last season. Then again, KG is a pretty amazing player.
Got this one in an email today from Paul at RedBull...
Hope you like this one. Here's a recap video of Rajon's visits to Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong. He hosted multiple youth clinics, a court refurbishment, and qualifiers for Red Bull King of the Rock. He also was able to spend some down time on the water while in Hong Kong, "becoming one with the banana boat" and doing some wakeboarding.
Rajon will be on Alcatraz Island Saturday, September 22, to host the finale of Red Bull King of the Rock, the premiere one-on-one basketball tournament in the world. When this global competition was first played in 2010, it marked the first time basketball had been played on "The Rock" since the inmates left the island over 50 years ago. Now in its third year, the event is bigger and better than ever, having expanded to qualifiers in 27 countries, including 33 in the United States. From these qualifiers, 64 finalists head to the island. Catch more highlights at www.redbullusa.com/kingoftherock.
One of the things that the Celtics will miss the most with Dooling's
retirement is his leadership in the locker room. He was a veteran who
had the respect of the young players and the veterans in the locker room
as well. He kept the reserves ready to play when they were sitting on
the end of the bench. He kept the veterans in line.
"With the same approach we took tonight, with
defensive intensity," Bass said of the key to Game 6 Wednesday. "At the
half, we were struggling defensively. Doc didn't think we were playing
for each other and Reverend Dooling stepped up and gave us a little
sermon and let us know that we have to play for each other. In the
second half, that's what we decided to do."
The Celtics will be missing that kind of quiet veteran leadership. They are also missing a veteran back up point guard. Now, here's the radical idea. Derek Fisher is still a free agent. I'm sure he'd sign for the vet minimum. Yes, he's 38 years old, but he is still capable of playing and is still clutch when he needs to be. With 16 years in the league, he is the kind of veteran leader that would command respect from vets and young players alike, and that's the biggest void left by Dooling's retirement. Rondo needs another binkie and Fisher would be a great mentor for him. He would fill both the role of locker room and bench leader along with filling the back up point guard role. Just a thought. A radical one, maybe, but a thought nonetheless.
It was a busy day for the Celtics. First they signed Darko Milicic and then they reported that Keyon Dooling has decided to retire. The Darko signing came up quickly, but it wasn't really a surprise because there were rumors that Danny had called him when the Wolves first waived him. The Dooling retirement came out of nowhere though.
My first thought was whether Fab Melo will be able to get #51 now. He had asked for it when he was first signed and Danny told him it wasn't available, even though Dooling hadn't yet been signed. Now, it is available and my guess is that Fab will get his old number back. Darko won't be quite as lucky. He's worn #31 for his whole career but that's kind of busy in the Celtics' rafters. Maybe if Fab gives up #13 for #51, Darko will take that number since it's just 31 backwards. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
I leave the computer for a couple hours for dinner and come back to this. I can honestly say I never saw this coming. Keyon was such a great leader and was a great influence on Rajon. It was just a few days ago we posted Keyon's profile on Celtics Green. Here is what Celtics.com press release has to say:
"Keyon has decided that he has given the NBA 12 good years and that it's
time to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family,"
said Dooling's representative Kenge Stevenson. "He will never forget his
time in Boston with the Celtics."
"We'll miss Keyon's spirit and energy, both on and off the court," said
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. "The whole
Celtics family wishes him well as he enters the next phase of his life."
I can honestly say that even if Keyon wasn't going to play a minute this season, his presence will be greatly missed. I know every Celtics fan wishes him the best in whatever he does. I can't help but wonder if he'd consider sticking around the team just to be a mentor and keep everyone in line. Even more important, maybe he can hang around to just lead the bench in Flexin'.
Former Gonzaga and Kansas swingman Micah Downs will be in #celtics camp. He played in Russia last season
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) September 20, 2012
With the addition of Rob Kurz, Darko Milicic, and now Micah Downs, the Celtics will have 19 players in training camp. They are limited to 20 training camp players so there is room for one more player if they decide to bring another in. I hear Robert Swift is still available. The camp attendees who don't make the roster would be eligible to sign with the Celtics owned and run D-League Maine Red Claws. The Celtics will be also able to assign three "affiliated" players to Maine out of camp and I expect them to do so, especially with the partially guaranteed players who miss out on that 15th roster spot.
Downs is a 6'7" SG/SF who is 26 years old. He has participated in Summer League for 3 years after going undrafted in the 2009 draft. He played for Phoenix in 2009, Milwaukee in 2010 and for Dallas this season. He has played in Europe the past 2 seasons. After his first season at Liga ACB, Downs won the ACB Rising Star Award.
2012 have been Red Auerbach's 95th Birthday and is a good time for the
Celtics Nation to pause and remember the patriarch of the Celtics franchise.
Red once said:
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."
was a member of the National Basketball Association since its formation
in 1946 and was with the Celtics since 1950. For him, the Celtics truly
were a way of life. When the Celtics won the 2008 NBA championship, it
marked the first of the Celtics' 17 championships that Red wasn't there
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Red attended Eastern
District High School in that city, attended Seth Low Junior College in
New York, and George Washington University in the District of Columbia.
He played three years of college basketball at GWU, and was the team's
leading scorer and a defensive specialist. He received a Bachelor of
Science in Education in 1940 and a Master of Arts in Education from George Washington
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They have gotten to Paul Pierce on ESPN's top 500 players ranking. He's down this year from #21 last year to #29 this year. It's possible that his age or possibly his sub par performance in last year's playoffs due to the knee injury added to the drop. When he's healthy though, even at the age of 34, Paul Pierce is still a player to be reckoned with.
Sportando is reporting that Darko Milicic is heading back to the US with rumors that he will sign with the Celtics. There have also been rumors that the Celtics have been in the mix for Kenyon Martin's services but KMart is looking for more than the vet minimum and the Celtics weren't offering more. The Sportando rumor and the above tweet all stem from a report on this Croatian site.
Darko already turned down a 3 year six million dollar offer from Real Madrid because he wants to play in the NBA. I imagine that he will sign for the vet minimum. His upside is that he is 27 years old and 7 feet tall. His downside is that he has been pretty bad as a player so far averaging 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds over his 9 year career. He averaged just 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds last season for the Timberwolves.
Of course, this may just be a rumor, but it's one that has surfaced several times this off-season already. The Celtics need another big man at a bargain price. Darko is a big man who could come cheap. Seems logical to me. He's been a big disappointment in his career so far, but there is that KG factor with the Celtics.
Jason Terry grew up in Seattle, Washington and was the second of 10 children. His mother, Andrea Cheatham, was a Metro bus driver. His father, Curtis Terry, was a high school hoops legend. For most of his young life, Jason had to be the man of the house. He changed diapers, got his younger siblings to bed on time, and filled in when his single mom just didn't have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything.
Jason enrolled at Franklin High School and by that time, he was the hardest working player in Seattle. Other city players, such as Jimmy Rainwater and Lovell Brown, made the headlines, but Jason made continual progress with his game. Jason had unusually long arms and a terrific all-around game. He absorbed all the basketball he could while in high school. .Jason led Franklin to the state championship in 1993 and 1994. Though never a scorer in high school, Jason was not afraid to take the final shot for his team. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
As some of you have noticed, I've been updating most of the graphics for the blog and forum in preparation for the upcoming season (so exciting isn't it!?). So while I was trapped in photoshopland, I got to thinking about all the old and new logos of our beloved team and decided to post a history. So here goes...
When Walter Brown founded the Celtics, they used pretty primitive logos compared to today (*example below). Still, this particular logo was pretty close to the one we see used today as an alternate logo (+see below also). NOTE: I have no knowledge who created the 1946 logo and cannot find information on its origins. My guess is it was probably Walter Brown with the help of a graphic artist.
*1946/47 - 1949/50>>>+1998/99 - Pres
Soon, however, the logo was changed. Walter Brown brought in Red Auerbach before the 1950 season. Red had 4 siblings, specifically a brother named Zang Auerbach who was a Cartoonist/Artist...ZANG!!!...he created the jumping Leprechaun (**see pic below) wearing a crown(WTF!?). For me, and those of us not lucky enough to have lived or have seen these early logos before, a slightly more familiar look to today, but still also, very crude. ZANG!!!
One of Ray Allen's reasons for considering leaving Boston was the fact that Danny had tried to trade him in the previous season. To counter that, Danny offered to include a full no trade clause in Ray's contract. But, that was just an excuse because Ray was ready to leave because of other factors including the fact that he felt disrespected by his move to the bench and the fact that he couldn't get along with Rondo. Ray didn't get a no trade clause in Miami so if his ankles are hurt again and he doesn't produce, there's nothing to stop them from offering him in a trade. If it was security he was after, his chance to get it was in Boston.
Today the news came out that Kevin Garnett has one of only 4 full no trade clauses in his contract. The other three players to have one are Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitski. That's some pretty rare company. I don't see the Celtics wanting to trade KG anyway given his value to the team that goes way beyond his play on the court.
KG is the heart of this team, even more so than Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Or maybe I should say he is the conscience of the team. It is KG who keeps everyone on track and he does it by example. Beyond his play, he is the perfect mentor for young players such as Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. One year with KG did wonders for Greg Stiemsma and it will more than likely do the same for Sully and Fab. I don't think he needed the no trade clause but I'm glad he has it.
Ten days from today, the Celtics training camp will open. The young guys and the new guys have been in town for awhile now, some all summer, working on their game and their chemistry. The veterans will be coming in this week in preparation for camp. Things are heating up and it's going to be an exciting season for Celtics fans.
The Celtics have the deepest bench they have had since 2008 when they won the championship. I'd even say that this bench may even be better than that one. They are younger and more athletic and the team is a great mix of wily veterans and eager youth. As with every season, the key will be health. It doesn't matter how deep a team is if half of them are on the bench in suits. But, the odds are in favor of the Celtics staying healthy this season. They were bit by the injury bug so badly the last two seasons that karma owes them a healthy one. I mean, among other things, after having 2 players undergo heart surgery in the same year (what are the odds???) they deserve some luck this season.
Speaking of last season, let's catch up with a couple of players from that team that won't be back with the Celtics. Marquis Daniels was a good Celtic for 2 seasons, always being ready and never complaining about playing time. And, he and Keyon brought us "Flexing" which counts for something. He's still looking to catch on with a team. The latest rumors have him in Milwaukee working out with the Bucks. Speaking of injuries, I'm really happy that Quisy was able to come back from that horrendous accident two seasons ago. Like I said, after all they have gone through the past two seasons, we are due for a healthy season. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
This weekend, my timeline on Twitter was blowing up with complaints about the replacement refs in the NFL. With the NBA preseason just a couple weeks away, I thought this was a good time for my first (and definitely not my last) referee rant of the season. In 2007, the NBA was rocked by a scandal when NBA referee Tim Donaghy confessed to betting on games. David Stern set himself up for that one. He has set up the officials as absolute authority in the league and anyone who dares to question them is fined heavily or suspended, or both. No one can question how a game is officiated or call out a ref for consistently making bad calls because Stern has made the refs above questioning and there is no one to oversee them except David Stern.
In the aftermath of the scandal, he appointed Army Major General Ronald L. Johnson as the head of the referee program. This was supposed to turn the system around and make everything right. His appointment was suppsed to separate the league's referee and basketball operations functions. Instead of making the officiating better, it seemed like it was just as bad or even worse than it was before the scandal
The refs can very easily influence the outcome of a game. I have seen refs very obviously calling games for one team or another. I have also seen star players get calls amd role players never get calls even when the situations are identical. But if anyone dares question the refs or call them on their bias or bad calls, they get fined for it. What would stop refs from betting on games and then subtly affecting the outcome of the game by the calls they make?
Keyon Dooling is from Ft Lauderdale, Florida. He transferred to Dillard High School as a senior to team with longtime friend Clarence Gilbert. Dillard High School is a historic public school located in Fort Lauderdale. Dillard was established in 1907 and is a magnet school for African American students for Computer Technology and Performing Arts. Dooling helped lead Panthers to a 27-7 record and the Class 6A final four. He averaged 22 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals a game as a senior and was named a third-team Parade All-American. As a junior, playing at Cardinal-Gibbons, he earned Class 4A all-state honors after averaging 14.6 points and 4.8 assists per game. HE led his team to the 4A final four that season, and also made trip to final four as a freshman.
Dooling played two seasons at the University of Missouri before becoming an early entry candidate for the 2000 NBA Draft. He appeared in 58 career games for the Tigers, averaging 12.1 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds. As a sophomore, he led Missouri in scoring, assists and blocked shots, and was named Second Team All-Big 12. He averaged 15.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds while leading Missouri to the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Jamar Smith earned 4 varsity letters at Richwoods High School in Peoria, Illinois. He led the Mid-State 6 Conference in scoring as both a junior and a senior. He shot nearly 46 percent from 3-point range his senior year and averaged 23.1 points per game. He was first-team All-State He was Associated Press second-team All-State. He led Richwoods to a 21-8 record and the IHSA sectional final during his senior season. He finished his Richwoods career with 1,525 points.
After high school, Jamar went on to the University of Illinois. In his freshman season, he was the Illini's first guard off the bench and saw action in 32 of 33 games. Despite playing 19.2 minutes per game, he was just fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.0 points per game but still led the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 48.2 percent. In his sophomore campaign, he appeared in 21 games, starting 6 of them. He was fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.1 points per game. He missed six games early in the season due to an ankle injury and had a major upheaval in his life midway through the season. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
There have been a lot of articles all over blogs lately about Doc's comments in the interview with Bob Ryan recently. If you missed the videos, you can find them here. They really are worth listening to. There's a lot of great stuff in the interview but this comment by Doc stood out to me:
Honestly, I don't care about the Lakers...I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year-they're in the facility now-I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That's gotta be our focus.
Doc is fomenting some real old school hate and rivalry between the Celtics and the Heat. That's how it used to be. The Celtics and Lakers hated each other. The Celtics and Pistons hated each other. The Celtics and Sixers hated each other. The Celtics and Hawks hated each other. I mean really hated each other. There was no love lost between these teams. You didn't see Larry go up and hug Bill Laimbeer after a game. Even though at the end of their careers, they became friends, you didn't see Bird and Magic hugging after a game. Those were old school rivalries and that's what Doc wants to bring back. He wants the Celtics to hate the Heat. Literally. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
On the Celtics Green forums, Derren posted the question "Who will have a breakout season?" After some discussion and a few different opinions, I started thinking that this team has several players who could break out this season, not just one. We have Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph, and Dionte Christmas, all of whom are rookies, trying to make their very first mark on the league. We have Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and Jason Collins who are veterans in the league but new to the Celtics. And there are the young guys coming back including Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, and Brandon Bass along with the veteran Celtics which includes Rondo, Pierce, and KG.
Let's start with the rookies who have the potential, but are pretty much long shots to break out due to playing time restrictions their first season. All of these guys have talent, potential and something to prove. Jared Sullinger is a lottery talent who dropped to the Celtics due to a red flag in the draft. He has a chip on his shoulder to show every team that passed on him they made a mistake. He has great fundamentals and has proved he can play the game. The question about Sully will be conditioning. If he comes into camp in great shape, my money's on him to have a great season. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Along with the rookies and young players looking to make it in the NBA, Danny also brought in Jason Collins, who is an 11 year veteran of the league. Collins has established himself as a defensive player. Collins has never been much of an offensive player, but moves well on both ends of the court. Collins' best attributes are his size and his ability to provide 6 fouls. His is a consistent interior defensive player against opposing centers and has been known to play big centers such as Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum very well. Against these centers who play back to the basket, he uses his wide body and low base to keep from being backed down in the post. He isn't much of a rebounder, which may limit his time on the court.
Collins attended Stanford University along with his twin brother Jarron Both were All-American while in College. Jason finished his college career ranked #1 in school history in field goal percentage at 60.8% and fifth in blocked shots with 89 for his career. Jarron finished his Stanford career in the top ten all time in four career categories: rebounds, blocked shots, field-goal percentage and games played. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet