Posts Tagged With: Boston Celtics

NBA Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the day set aside to honor one of America’s most iconic leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one of the many civil rights leaders fighting for the rights of not just African Americans, but minorities in general, as he also worked with other leaders like Caesar Chavez. Though King is long gone, his legacy lives on and the NBA continues honor and remember that legacy.

On Friday, the association posted a video titled, “NBA/MLK: Barrier Breakers.” The video details many NBA players who have made history in the NBA, beginning with Chuck Cooper, the first African American man drafted by an NBA team (Boston Celtics) in 1950. Because of him and Walter Brown, the Celtics owner at that time, others were able to follow suit. In 2013, over 60 years later, 76.3 percent of the players were African American and 81 percent were people of color.

Today, NBA teams and players have taken to social media to express their admiration and respect for King, consisting of various tweets and tribute videos. On top of this, the association has a full lineup of games throughout the day in lieu of the holiday. Charlotte Hornets players wore warm-up shirts in an effort to celebrate King’s life.

Here’s the MLK Day schedule (times are EST):

  • Minnesota Timberwolves at Charlotte Hornets currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards also currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks at 2:30 p.m. to be aired on ESPN.
  • Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers at 3:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors 4 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies at 5 p.m. on NBATV.
  • Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. to be aired on TNT.
  • Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks at 8 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns at 10 p.m. to be aired on TNT.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone! May we not only honor him in word and holiday, but strive to continue the work he started by treating everyone equally and seek to tear down barriers.

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Nate Robinson is a Celtic again

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Just when my head had finally stopped spinning from all the recent trades, another one happens.

Denver Nuggets Nate Robinson has been traded to one of his old teams, the Boston Celtics where a buyout is expected.

In exchange, Denver will get Jameer Nelson. Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears first reported the trade this afternoon. Robinson’s return to Boston comes on the heels of the Celtics trading Jeff Green for Tayshaun Prince and a future first-round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Robinson had a couple stints with the Celtics during the 2009-2010 NBA season when the team lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. He also spent some time as a Celtic during the 2010-2011 season. The Celtics, at this point, can use any help that they can get. So far this season, Robinson has averaged 5.8 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Though recorded as only being 5’9, Robinson can offer the team quickness offensively and will be good for a steal or two on defense for some fast break points.

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Rajon Rondo’s Return to Boston

Boston is familiar to Rajon Rondo, but playing there Friday night won’t quite be the same. He won’t be rocking the same green and white uniform he’s worn since he was traded to the Celtics in 2006 shortly after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. This time, he’ll be the opponent from Dallas wearing blue and white. Rondo admitted that the return will be somewhat emotional, but sought advice from former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce, who told him to “keep blinking when I look up so I don’t cry.”

Rondo was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 18 after rumors of him being traded have been swirling around for years. This time, the trade was official and completed with Rondo playing in his first game as a Mav just a few days later. Now, with six games under his belt on his new team and not even a month away from Boston, he’s back. Rondo will be greeted by former teammates, some of which he calls his friends. Jeff Green, for one, considers the point guard a good friend and said it will be “weird to see him in a different colored uniform.” He can also look forward to a video tribute and a warm welcome from fans, which will make it a little more difficult for him to keep his composure.

Though it wasn’t his choice, leaving Boston for Dallas is a better move for Rondo’s career and certainly increases his chances of adding to the lone championship he won as a Celtic in 2008. The Mavs have a more complete team to which he adds, as opposed to a young and rebuilding Celtic team, which includes a young Brad Stevens coach in his second year of coaching in the NBA.

As far as the game this evening, I see the Mavericks getting the road win, which will probably be bittersweet for Rondo. The win will be good for him and his new team, but in the back of his mind, Rondo can’t help but to forget about the Celtics team that made him the player he is today.

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Return of Rondo

If you didn’t believe the reports last week about Rajon Rondo coming back, the Celtics guard hinted about it via a tweet Monday night. The tweet simply said, “29,233,380 secs.” According to NBC Sports, this equates to the amount of time between his last game (Feb. 13, 2013) and when he is projected to return (Friday, January 17, 2014). Despite my lack of skills with math, I’d say that sounds about right.

Rondo’s first game will be against the Los Angeles Lakers at home Friday and I’m sure the Bostonians will give him a warm welcome back. Additionally, his return is huge for the Celtics team, which currently is ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 13-26 record.

 

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NBA releases 2013-2014 season schedule

On Tuesday, the NBA released the schedule for the 2013 regular season.

On opening night, the Miami Heat will play the Chicago Bulls at home, but the Bulls may be adding another person to their starting five.

There is a chance that Derrick Rose may return for this game, making this the first game he will play in since tearing his ACL in the 2012 playoffs. In March, Rose was cleared by doctors for full contact play, but he said he would not play until he was able to dunk off his left foot.

If Rose does, indeed, play for this game, ticket sales are sure to increase and this will be one of the biggest games of the season to watch.

Opening night will also consist of three games, including a battle of the two-team city, as the Lakers take on the Clippers and the Indiana Pacers facing the Orlando Magic.

After all of the trades and free agent signings that have occurred in the off-season, there will be a lot of interesting games and boo-ing during those games. The first one will be when Dwight Howard comes to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Nov. 7 as a Rocket.

However, nothing will compare to the response of Boston Celtics fans when Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce show up on Jan. 26 for the first time in Boston as members of the Brooklyn Nets. I am personally interested in how Rajon Rondo will respond to each of the above mentioned men, especially after what Garnett did to Ray Allen after signing with the Miami Heat last season.

There has been several changes to each team (not to mention the addition of the rookies) that will make this season very interesting to watch. For a list of each team’s schedule, click here.

 

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Al Jefferson heads to Charlotte and more free agent updates

Yesterday, Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson decided to leave Utah for the Charlotte Bobcats in a three-year, $41 million deal. This deal also includes a player option in the third year. In order to make room for Jefferson, the Bobcats amnestied forward Tyrus Thomas.

Another free agent, J.R. Smith, will stay with the New York Knicks. Both parties agreed to a four-year deal worth $24.7 million.

Smith was the Sixth Man of the Year this past season and helped the Knicks to get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000. He also averaged a career-high 16.1 points.

Other free agent signings include:

  • Kyle Korver re-signing with the Atlanta Hawks, a deal reportedly worth $24 million over four years.
  • Pablo Prigioni, like Smith, will continue with the Knicks for the next three years. The deal is worth about $6 million with a partial guarantee on the last year.
  • Donald Sloan will join George Hill and company to become part of the Indiana Pacers team. The Pacers signed the point guard to a multi-year deal while the financial terms are not noted.
  • Earl Clark has signed on with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The deal is worth $9 million over two years. Clark was formerly with the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Marco Belinelli has decided to stay with the San Antonio Spurs, a deal worth $6 million over two years.

In coaching news, Butler head coach Brad Stevens will take the job to become the head coach of the Boston Celtics in an effort to rebuild the team.

Stevens was formerly with the Butler Bulldogs for six years and led them to the NCAA Championship twice. He also holds on to the top two  single season records, won four regular season conference championships, three league tournament titles and made it to postseason tournament play all six years that he was at Butler.

 

 

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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett headed to Brooklyn: Fair trade?

Last night was a very exciting night for the NBA. The draft was much different than what many had thought. However, there was a disturbance in the draft and it had nothing to do with the newest additions to the league.

During the draft, it was announced that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would be traded to the Brooklyn Nets after rumors of them planning to leave.

The Nets would then give up three first-round draft picks (one each in 2014, 2016 and 2018), Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks.

With two future Hall of Famers headed to Brooklyn, it seems that the Nets are getting a good deal, but who really has the upper hand?

When it comes to the numbers, the Nets have the upper hand. Garnett and Pierce outscore the three 33-19 and are better at rebounding, according to their numbers from the past season.

Another thing to consider is how both Garnett and Pierce will respond to former player Jason Kidd as their coach. Humphries, Wallace and Brooks are younger guys that would have learned a lot from Kidd.

Garnett and Pierce, however, are closer to Kidd’s age and played extensively against him.

Will they be able to see him as a coach and give him the proper respect? Pierce may not have a problem with this because he is somewhat mild mannered. Garnett, on the other hand, may be more vocal about any objections that may come up, which could cause problems.

As of now, the Bostons Celtics do not have a head coach. The bright side is that they have all of their players. As a result, they can evaluate each players’ talents, see who will fit their system and be the best coach for the team during their rebuild.

Additionally, there have been problems in the past between Kris Humphries and Rajon Rondo that resulted in both getting ejected. Will this have an effect on how they act as teammates?

Rudy Gay and Quincy Acy also had tensions during a game that resulted in both getting technical fouls. After they became teammates, however, they put aside their differences and are cordial as players on the Toronto Raptors. Perhaps Rondo and Humphries can do the same? Advantage: Boston.

Both teams must also consider the longevity of their newest team members. Brooks is the youngest at 24 and Garnett is the oldest at 38. In a few years, Garnett and Pierce will be retiring. They have been playing for a long time and are set in their ways.

Humphries, Brooks and Wallace, on the other hand, are younger and are not as set in their ways. There is still time to cultivate their talent and could, ideally, win a championship. With Garnett and Pierce, there’s less time. Advantage: Boston.

Next year’s draft is projected to be better than this year’s. The biggest sensation is Kansas’ newest guard, Andrew Wiggins. He is drawing comparisons to LeBron James because many professional teams expressed interest in him, but Wiggins is required to play at least one year in college before declaring for the draft.

Other top players projected to be in the 2014 draft include Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, James Young and Andrew Harrison.

Part of the trade included that Boston would get one of the Nets’ draft picks next year. Depending on where Brooklyn places, this could be huge for next generation of Boston. Advantage: Celtics.

Even though both teams and the NBA have agreed to the terms of the trades, it will not be finalized until July 10.

At first, it seemed crazy for the Celtics to give up two of their franchise players. Both will be hall of famers and put up good numbers for the team. However, it is Brooklyn that seems to have received the short end of the stick.

Despite Boston not having a coach, they are slowly but surely organizing their pieces to make a better team. Looks to me like they’re headed in the right direction in doing so.

Categories: basketball, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, National Basketball Association, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NBA approves, Doc Rivers to coach Clippers

According to many sources, Doc Rivers is headed back to the Los Angeles Clippers, but this time as a head coach (he played in LA for a year before going to the Knicks).

It was said that the deal was originally off last week and the Clippers were looking more at Brian Shaw and Byron Scott.

The Clippers even went to dinner with Shaw and worked out his salary, granted that he got the job.

However, this past weekend, talks began to resurface about Rivers coming to Los Angeles. This time, the Clippers were waiting for the NBA to approve the deal.

As of 10:01 a.m. ET, the deal has been approved.

Rivers will be given a $21 million three-year deal, which is the amount left on his contract with the Boston Celtics. As part of the trade, the Clippers have agreed to give the Celtics one of their first-round picks in the 2015 NBA Draft.

This Clippers-Celtics deal originally also included Kevin Garnett waiving his no-trade clause in his contract to join Rivers in Los Angeles. However, this trade was halted because players cannot be included in a deal to acquire a coach. As a result, the Clippers focused on getting Rivers to be their new head coach.

Despite their goal to wait and get Garnett at a later time, that deal will most likely be blocked because the NBA will still associate their acquisition of Garnett with the same deal. If it would have or ever gets approved, the Clippers would be willing to trade Deandre Jordan in exchange for Garnett.

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The Flaming Heat

LeBron James going to work

LeBron James dunks on Jason Terry in last night’s win against the Celtics

This weekend has been buzzing with basketball. Normally, I talk about college basketball, but I love pro ball. And how can I talk about the NBA without discussing LeBron James and the Miami Heat? Their streak now goes to 23. This has not come easily, however. In last night’s win over the Celtics, the Heat were down by double digits several times.

But that did not stop the LeBron and his team. They won the game 105-103, but not before James utterly disrespected Jason Terry with a monster dunk. Although James got the tech and a charging foul after, that hasn’t stopped Twitter and the free sports world from discussing it. James ended the game with 42 points.

Although they lost, Jeff Green came through for the C’s in a major way last night. He scored a career-high 43 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. The Celtics were up by 14 in the second quarter, but not enough to keep the Heat out. By the end of the half, the Heat were down by six. After a tough cat-and-mouse kind of game, the Heat pulled it out in the end. This “W” increases the Heat’s winning streak to 23, passing the Houston Rockets for having the second longest winning streak in NBA history.

This streak is impressive, but what does it really say about the Heat?

After winning the national championship, the Heat have a lot to prove. Some believe that them winning the championship last season was a fluke due to the short season. However, Miami has proved themselves in my book this season as they are the #1 team of the Eastern Conference. James is a dynamic player, but he doesn’t do it alone. The whole team bands together and plays well to form a powerhouse. With the addition of Ray Allen (a major hit for the Celtics), the Heat have added to their outside shooting game.

After their comeback performance last night and their current streak, there’s a good chance that they can be champions for two consecutive years. There are very few teams that can play at the same level as the Heat. They are still on fire from last season and are coming strong.

As the season gets closer to playoff time, Miami has secured their place as the #1 team in the East. The #2 team, the Indiana Pacers, are 12 games behind and seem to be the only team who are believed to have a chance at beating the flaming Heat. So far this season, the Heat are 1-2 against Paul George and the Pacers.

 

A small NCAA blurb: I missed Selection Sunday, but after looking at the match-ups, I’m still unsure about a tourney winner. I haven’t even done my bracket yet. When I do (after careful thought and consideration), I will post it and talk about match-ups that I’d like to see.

I’m also excited for NCAAW tournament after the Baylor Lady Bears are a #1 seed for the second year. Unless something serious happens, I plan on attending the first round game as it will be in Waco at the Ferrell Center on Sunday. The next month is going to be an exciting time for college basketball lovers everywhere.

 

*Out*

 

 

 

Categories: Miami Heat, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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