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I know I am going to sound like a broken record, but the biggest event to happen this off-season in the NBA was the announcement from LeBron James that he would be returning home to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers once again. James wrote a letter explaining and describing why he made the decision to come back to Cleveland and acknowledging that that is where his home is. Brian Scalabrine took notes from James and decided to announce that he too was returning home to the Boston Celtics….well sort of. Scalabrine who played for the Celtics from 2005-2010, was a big fan favorite, and was part of the 2008 championship team. Mind you, Scalabrine was not necessarily one of the main pieces to the puzzle for that Celtics team, but he served a purpose. Scalabrine though is not returning home to Boston as a player like Lebron is with Cleveland, but as an announcer in which he explains in a written letter, much like James had done, but in a parody like manner.

Scalabrine, who was actually poking fun at himself as well, detailed about where he grew up from, acknowledging how he was like the fans with the exception that he always had a court side seat. And if he was lucky, he got to actually go in and play a few minutes of garbage time when the Celtics had a huge lead. Scalabrine continues throughout the letter in a jokingly manner detailing the entire course of his NBA career, telling about the high’s and the low’s. I think if I want to do the letter that Scalabrine wrote true justice, I will simply just leave the link here so you can read it for yourself!  http://www.csnne.com/page/exclusive-im-coming-home-brian-scalabrine-0 Oh and one last thing, welcome home Brian!

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Just a few months ago Shaquille O’Neal and other celebrities came under severe scrutiny when they mocked a Michigan man, Jahmel Binion who took a “selfie” and posted it to Instagram. The interesting thing about this situation is that it happened shortly after the controversy that stemmed from a recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in which he allegedly made racial remarks. Shaq even weighed in on the Sterling situation and questioned if he should still be an owner, “When your opinion and thoughts become public knowledge the question is, now what?” (I wrote a piece when this story first became public knowledge which you can read here http://kcsportsninja.com/amdist-donald-sterling-ordeal-shaquille-oneal-mocks-man-with-physical-condition/ ).

Ironically Shaq’s own actions would become public knowledge, but received no punishment from the NBA like Donald Sterling, even though he is a part owner of the Sacramento Kings. After constantly receiving heavy criticism for his actions, Shaq reached out to Binion and apologized to him. Shaq even tweeted about it and admitted to his mistake and used the hashtag “#alwayslearning”.

I applauded Shaq for acknowledging his mistake, (Which you can read here http://kcsportsninja.com/shaq-owns-up-to-his-mistake-apologizes-to-jahmel-binion-for-mocking-physical-condition/ ) though one could argue he merely did it to avoid further backlash.

I am not for being “politically correct”, and while I think what Shaq and others did was wrong, I do not know if I agree with this lawsuit. But to quote Shaq once again after Donald Sterling for his actions ““When your opinion and thoughts become public knowledge the question is, now what?” There was also two big differences between O’Neal’s and Sterling’s situations. One is that Sterling was being recorded (and very well unknowingly) in the privacy of his own home, while Shaq posted his picture mocking Binion publicly for millions to see. The other is that what Sterling said was ignorant, he did not throw any racial slurs during the recording, while Shaq mocked someone with a physical condition that they have no control over.

Rapper Wacka Flocka Flame and Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke are also being sought out in the lawsuit for defamation. For more go to http://ht.ly/2L1mnd

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Sounds like Avery Bradley will be returning to the Celtics. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reported the details of the contract.

In 60 games last season, Bradley averaged 14.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.4 APG.  His shooting really improved last season as he went from shooting 31.7% 3PT FG in the ’12-’13 season to 39.5% 3PT FG last season. His rebounding numbers also improved and his defense was still solid. Bradley is still just 23 years old and is going to continue to develop.

Filed under: Atlantic Division, Boston Celtics, NBA Free Agency 2014, News Tagged: Avery Bradley, Celtics

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Sounds like Avery Bradley will be returning to the Celtics. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reported the details of the contract.

In 60 games last season, Bradley averaged 14.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.4 APG.  His shooting really improved last season as he went from shooting 31.7% 3PT FG in the ’12-’13 season to 39.5% 3PT FG last season. His rebounding numbers also improved and his defense was still solid. Bradley is still just 23 years old and is going to continue to develop.

Filed under: Atlantic Division, Boston Celtics, NBA Free Agency 2014, News Tagged: Avery Bradley, Celtics

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Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

Most of the NBA Free Agency talk as of late has dealt in regards to the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” (LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh) all opting out of their contracts, and where New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony may end up in free agency. Another big name that had been going around was Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love has been pretty clear regarding his feelings about Minnesota and thinks a change of scenery would be the best thing for him. Early reports had connected him with perhaps playing in Boston with the Celtics next year. Since then those reports have somewhat dwindled down, and it for the time being, is not exactly clear where the big man will end up. That does not mean teams have not been calling and have no interest.

The Houston Rockets are said to have interest, where he would team up with James Harden and Dwight Howard. The Rockets would have a tough decision to make though, because in order to acquire Love they would most likely have to part ways with Chandler Parsons. If Houston were to get free agent Carmelo Anthony, they would have more flexibility and retain Parsons services as well.

Chicago has also been linked to Kevin Love. Like the Rockets though,  in the event that they are not able to land Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls would also need to make some roster changes in order to create the cap space to obtain Love. Should the Bulls get Love, they would perhaps have arguably one of the best big man duos in the league, by teaming him up with Joakim Noah. Like Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love would also acquire additional scoring (averaging 29.6 points per game in his career), something Chicago has been looking for to compensate with star player Derrick Rose.

Other teams such as the Golden State Warriors are said to have interest in Love. Some reports even suggest that if the Cleveland Cavaliers were to welcome back LeBron James, Love would entertain himself to play alongside him, Kyrie Irving, and the number 1 overall pick of this year’s draft, Andrew Wiggins. What a lineup that would be!

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In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, when P.K. Subban scored in double overtime as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 4 to 3.   He got booed from the Bruins fans, but on social media he got something worse than that.     He got a lot racist tweets from Bruins fans all of them were in poor taste.  Subban’s brother,  Malcolm who is a goalie for the the Bruins AHL team in Providence, Rhode Island.    Boston sports fans at time have been racist toward athletes including their own.   NBA Hall of Fame and Celtic legend Bill Russell had to deal with racist remarks and his house being vandalized.   With Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling suspended and forced to sell the team due to his racist remarks, but Bruins President Cam Neely denounced the racist tweets saying they are “classless” and they come from a few ignorant people. Hopefully, when game 2 comes on Saturday afternoon The Bruins fans can show class by not resorting to old behavior of the past.

 

Shaquille O’Neal recently came under attack after mocking a young Michigan man’s “selfie” on Instagram. Jahmel Binion, who suffers from “Ectodermal Dysplasias” heard about O’Neal’s mocking, and was hurt by the actions. This motivated Binion to start a movement “Hug Don’t Judge”. Shaq removed the photo mocking Binion and reached out to Jahmel to call and apologize to him and said on Twitter he ”made a new friend today”.

 

I wrote a piece calling out Shaq (which can be viewed here http://kcsportsninja.com/amdist-donald-sterling-ordeal-shaquille-oneal-mocks-man-with-physical-condition/) for his actions and even wondered why the NBA and Adam Silver were not addressing this situation of bullying like they were with Donald Sterling and his alleged racism. Either way, I am glad Shaq owned up and apologized. Hopefully he can use this mistake as a learning experience to realize that making fun of someone with an ailment or like in Sterling’s case, allegedly having something against people of a different race or ethnicity is not acceptable.

I am sure O’Neal will still have his critics for mocking Binion, but hopefully he can understand the public’s perception of why they are upset and use it as a reminder to be a role model and not a bully. Having said all of that, despite Shaq’s low blow, he became a bigger man figuratively for acknowledging the errors of his ways with a big “slam dunk” of accountability!

 

 

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The NBA is currently up in arms over a leaked private conversation from alleged remarks made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling regarding blacks. Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal weighed in on the matter questioning if he (Sterling) should even continue to be an owner. Interestingly, Shaq then added “When your opinion and thoughts become public knowledge the question is, now what?

O’Neal has done big things on the court, but reached a real low off it

 

As I noted, Sterling’s remarks, whether right, wrong, or indifferent, were in a private setting. Shaq however, turned around and did a despicable act in his own right, and unlike Sterling, his were actually public!

Shaq (as well as other stars) mocked a Michigan man who suffers from “Ectodermal Dysplasia” (a condition that reduces ability to sweat, cause missing teeth, and abnormal hair growth). Jahmel Binion, who took a “selfie”, was mocked and ridiculed by Shaq and other stars such as rapper Waka Flocka by impersonating and making fun of the man’s condition by impersonating Binion facial expressions. Binion who even said he was a fan of Shaq’s was obviously hurt by his actions.

Going back to a statement O’Neal made regrading the Donald Sterling situation “When your opinions and thoughts become public knowledge, the question is, now what?” Well for starters an apology is in order. Second, I think Shaq and others should donate money to help fight the disease and aid in treatments for it. Thirdly, I would say Shaq should send him an autographed jersey, but then who would want something from someone who arrogantly mocked a condition that you never even asked for in the first place?

 

Articles: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140426/donald-sterling-shaquille-o-neal/

http://www.yourblackworld.net/2014/04/black-news/shaquille-oneal-waka-flocka-make-fun-of-disabled-man-on-instagram/

http://realitywives.net/blogs/shaquille-o-neal-waka-flocka-mock-disabled-man-social-media/

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Every sport always has some of its all time greats with many accolades and achievements, but could never capture a championship. The NBA is no stranger to that category as well as we take a look at some of the greatest players ever in its history to never win a title.

 

Allen Iverson

He may have been “The Answer” but Allen Iverson never found the right one when it came to capturing an NBA ring. Despite his 2001 MVP Season, Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers would lose to Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Iverson spent 10 seasons in Philadelphia before moving around from Denver, Detroit, and Memphis. Iverson returned to the Sixers in the 2009-10 season, but was plagued with an injury that cut his season short. In what would be his final NBA season that year, Iverson played one season in the Turkish Basketball League in 2010-11. On October 30, 2013, after a couple years of not playing the sport, Iverson officially announced his retirement from the game of basketball.

4 time NBA Scoring Title winner (1998-99, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2004-05)

11 time NBA All-Star (Won All Star Game MVP twice, 2001-02 & 2004-05)

3 time All NBA First Team

3 time All NBA Second Team

1 time All NBA Third Team

2001 NBA MVP

1997 NBA Rookie of the Year

NBA All Rookie Team (1997)

NBA Rookie Challenge MVP (1997) Now known as “Rising Stars Challenge”

3 time NBA Steals Leader (2001-2003)

Jersey Number (3) retired by Philadelphia 76ers

1 NBA Finals Appearance

Karl Malone

Despite being the all-time leading scorer in Utah Jazz history, “The Mailman” Karl Malone could not deliver an NBA Championship. Utah made back to back NBA Final appearances in 1997 and 1998, but fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls both times in six games. Malone would get another chance however, this time with the Lakers in 2004. On paper, the Lakers looked like a superior team than that of the Utah Jazz team’s Malone was on which featured Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, Derek Fisher, and former teammate Bryon Russell. L.A. faced off against the Eastern Conference Champions, Detroit Pistons. After losing Game 1, the Lakers bounced back to tie the series at 1-1, but from that point on it was all Detroit. The Pistons used their defense to slow down the high scoring Lakers offense and defeated them in five games. The 2004 season would end up being Malone’s last and in the end the “Mailman” could never find the right address.

2 time NBA MVP (1997, 1999)

14 time NBA All-Star

2 time NBA All-Star MVP

11 Time All NBA First Team

2 Time All NBA Second Team

1 Time All NBA Third Team

3 Time All-Defensive First Team

1 Time All Defensive Second Team

NBA All Rookie Team (1986)

NBA’S 50th Anniversary All Time Team

Jersey Number  (32) retired by Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz all time leading scorer (36,594 points as a Jazz)

One of only five players in NBA history who have compiled at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett)

3 NBA Final appearances

John Stockton

John Stockton and Karl Malone created an effective one-two punch during their days in Utah. The story is pretty much the same for Stockton as it was for Malone (with the exception of Malone making it to the Finals in 2004) where they each came up short in the NBA Finals, falling to the Chicago Bulls both times. Stockton owns two prestigious all time NBA records, all time assists leader and all time steals leader. Stockton could not deliver the biggest assist and steal a NBA title in either of his appearances in the Finals.

10 time NBA All-Star (1993 NBA All Star Game MVP)

9 time NBA Assist Leader (1988-1996)

2 time NBA Steals Leader (1989, 1992)

2 time All NBA First Team

6 time All NBA Second Team

3 time All NBA Third Team

5 time NBA All Defensive Second Team

NBA’s 50th Anniversary All Time Team

Jersey number (12) retired by Utah Jazz

NBA All Time Assists Leader (15,806)

NBA All Time Steals Leader (3,265)

2 NBA Final appearances

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley was drafted in 1984 by the Philadelphia 76ers which featured star players Moses Malone, “Dr. J” Julius Erving, and Maurice Cheeks. By 1989 the three players were no longer with the organization (Malone traded in the 1986-87 season with Erving retiring at the conclusion of that year as well, and Cheeks left Philadelphia) and Barkley presumably became the team’s star. Despite individual success, Barkley was not happy and wanted out of Philadelphia. A trade in the 1992 off-season sent him to the Phoenix Suns. Barkley instantly found both individual and team success as he was named league MVP and Phoenix posting a 62-20 record, the leagues best in the 1992-93 season. Though it was not easy, the Suns went through the Western Conference and appeared in the Finals that year against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Even with home court advantage, Barkley and the Suns still came up short and lost in six games. Barkley spent three more seasons in Phoenix, none in which they made it past the Western Conference Semi-Finals. In what was a last ditch attempt to obtain a NBA title, Barkley was traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 1996-97 season to form a trio with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. In his first season with Houston, Barkley and the Rockets made it to the Western Conference Finals before being eliminated in six games by the Utah Jazz. In the following two seasons the Rockets failed to make it past the first round. The 1999-00 season would end up being Barkley’s last due to a severe injury that was career ending when he ruptured his left quadriceps tendon.

1993 NBA MVP

10 time NBA All-Star (1991 All Star Game MVP)

5 time All NBA First Team

5 time All NBA Second Team

1 time All NBA Third Team

NBA All Rookie First Team (1985)

NBA Rebound Leader (1986-1987)

Jersey number (34) retired by both Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns

NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team

One of only five players in NBA history who have compiled at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett)

1 NBA Final appearance

Patrick Ewing

Drafted 1st overall in 1985 by the New York Knicks, Patrick Ewing continued his dominance from his college career and won the 1986 Rookie of the Year. Ewing helped the Knicks become title contenders, but like others on the list he ran into Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls! The Knicks faced the Bulls six times in the playoffs during Ewing’s career in New York and went 1-5. The series that New York did win was after the season that Michael Jordan announced his 1st retirement. After defeating Chicago in the 2nd round, Ewing would lead the Knicks into the 1994 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets in which they held a 3-2 series lead. The Knicks however, would fail to clinch and lost the next two games by just a combined 8 points. Between 1995-98, the New York Knicks failed to make it past the 2nd round. In 1999, Ewing and the Knicks made a surprising run to the NBA Finals as the #8 seed in the East, defeating Miami, Atlanta, and Indiana respectively along the way. Unfortunately an Achilles injury that Ewing had been plagued with forced him to sit out the remainder of the Finals against the San Antonion Spurs who would go on to defeat the Knicks in five games to capture the franchises first title. The following season, which would be Ewing’s last in New York, the Knicks met the Indiana Pacers in an Eastern Conference Championship rematch from last year, but with Indiana coming out on top this time. Ewing played one season in Seattle before playing his last season in Orlando and retiring there after.

11 time NBA All-Star

1986 Rookie of the Year

1 time All NBA First Team

6 time All NBA Second Team

3 time NBA All Defensive Second Team

NBA All Rookie Team (1986)

NBA Rookie of the Year (1986)

New York Knicks All Time Leading Scorer (23, 665 points as a Knick)

Jersey number (33) retired by New York Knicks

NBA’s 50th Anniversary All Time Team

2 NBA Final appearances

Reggie Miller

Arguably one of the best clutch players in NBA history, Reggie Miller was always fun to watch and when faced with adversity it would be “Miller Time”. One of Miller’s most memorable moments was when he scored 8 points in 8.9 seconds during a playoff game against the New York Knicks. New York had a six point lead over the Indiana Pacers when Miller hit a three, stole the inbound pass, stepped back for another three and tied the game! Miller hit two free throws to complete the remarkable comeback. Another memorable “Miller Time” moment came in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls. Guarded by Michael Jordan, Miller hit a game winning three point shot to tie the series at two games a piece. The Bulls however would ultimately go on to win the series in seven games. Miller finally guided the Pacers to an NBA Finals appearance in 2000, but would lose in six against the L.A. Lakers who were led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The closest Miller ever got to returning to the Finals was in 2004 before ultimately being eliminated by eventual champions Detroit Pistons. The following season would be Miller’s last and would again be eliminated by the Pistons in six games, this time in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

5 time NBA All Star

3 time All NBA Third Team

NBA All Rookie Second Team (1988)

2004 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

50-40-90 Club (1994)

Indiana Pacers all-time leading scorer (25,279 points)

Jersey number (31) retired by Indiana Pacers

1 NBA Final appearance

Dominique Wilkins

Known as “The Human Highlight Reel” Dominique Wilkins is known for being one of the best dunkers in NBA history. Wilkins who was a recipient of the NBA’s Slam Dunk Champion twice, spent 11 1/2 seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and is the franchise’s all time leading scorer. During his time in Atlanta, Wilkins and the Hawks never made it past the second round. In 1994, Wilkins was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, who would go on to be eliminated in the first round of that year’s playoffs. Wilkins signed with the Boston Celtics in the off-season prior to the 1994-95 season. After a year in Boston, Wilkins split his last four year in the NBA and foreign leagues before calling it a career in 1999.

9 time NBA All Star

1 time All NBA First Team

4 time All NBA Second Team

2 time All NBA Third Team

NBA All Rookie Team (1983)

1 time NBA Scoring Champion (1986)

2 time NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion (1985, 1990)

Atlanta Hawks all-time leading scorer (23,292 points)

Jersey number (21) retired by Atlanta Hawks

0 NBA Final appearances

George Gervin

George Gervin first started his professional career out with the Virginia Squires of the ABA. Gervin, who was also known as “The Iceman” was shipped to the San Antonio Spurs, who were also part of the ABA upon his arrival, joined the NBA in 1976. Gervin won the NBA Scoring Title 4 times (only Wilt Chamberlin and Michael Jordan have more). Gervin and the Spurs made it to the Conference Finals three times during his tenure with San Antonio, with 1979 being the closest where they ultimately fell in seven games to the Washington Bullets (Now known as the Washington Wizards). Gervin finished his NBA career in the 1985-86 season with a Chicago Bulls team that was led by a young Michael Jordan. The Bulls were eliminated in the first round and Gervin would finish his basketball career in 1990 before making stops in an Italian League, a year with the CBA’s Quad City Thunder, and a year in Spain.

9 time NBA All Star (MVP of 1980 All-Star Game)

5 time All NBA First Team

2 time All NBA Second Team

4 time NBA Scoring Champion

3 time ABA All Star

2 time All ABA Second Team

ABA All Rookie First Team (1973)

Jersey number (44) retired by San Antonio Spurs

NBA’s 50th Anniversary All Time Team

ABA All Time Team

Pete Maravich

Even though his career was short, Pete Maravich was one of the greatest ball handlers the sports of basketball has ever seen! Maravich earned the name “Pistol Pete” due to his delivery of shooting the ball near his hips. Maravich would wow spectators with his amazing and effective passing and dribbling abilities. Unfortunately injuries over the years began to take its toll on Maravich, forcing him to cut his career short and retire after only 10 seasons in the NBA. Maravich would tragically die at the young age of 40 during a pick up game of basketball in 1988.

5 time NBA All Star

2 time All NBA First Team

2 time All NBA Second Team

NBA All Rookie Team (1971)

1 time NBA Scoring Champion

Jersey number (7) retired both by Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans

NBA’s 50th Anniversary All Time Team

0 NBA Final appearances

Dikembe Mutombo

One of the best shot blockers ever in the NBA, Dikembe Mutombo presence’s was felt quickly. Drafted by the Nuggets in 1991, Mutombo and Denver made history during his third season with the team when they became the first number 8 seed to beat a 1 seed in NBA Playoff history. After five seasons with Denver, Mutombo signed a contract in the 1996 off-season with the Atlanta Hawks. During his four seasons there, the Hawks failed to make it past the 2nd round. Midway through the 2000-01 season, Mutombo was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers to counter the Western Conference’s big men’s Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal. Mutombo and the 76ers would meet O’Neal and the Lakers in the NBA Finals and jumped out to a 1-0 series lead after upsetting Los Angeles in Game 1. The Lakers would bounce right back though, and take the next four games to win the series and 2001 championship. Mutombo spent one more season in Philadelphia before signing with the New Jersey Nets (now known as the Brooklyn Nets) in 2002-03, where he was used in more of a reserve role. The Nets made it all the way to the Finals that year where they met Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. The Nets split the first four games with the Spurs before San Antonio won the next two too clinch the series. Mutombo would spend a season in New York and finish out the remainder of his career with the Houston Rockets, where again he was used in a backup role. Mutombo’s final game came in Game 2 of the 1st round of the 2009 Playoffs, during which he suffered a ruptured tendon in quadriceps on his left knee.

8 time NBA All Star

1 time All NBA Second Team

2 time All NBA Third Team

4 time NBA Defensive Player of the Year

3 time NBA All Defensive First Team

3 time NBA All Defensive Second Team

NBA All Rookie Team (1992)

2 time NBA Rebounding Champion

3 time NBA Blocking Champion

2 NBA Final appearances

Certainly these players all have decorated careers, but would have loved to added a championship ring to their collection. There are definitely many others who could make this list, and many more will join it in the future. Who do you think are some of the all time greats not listed here to have never won an NBA Championship? Feel free to leave your opinion and share it and this article with others!

Sources:

 

http://espn.go.com/nba/players

http://www.nba.com/history/players/

http://www.basketball-reference.com/

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/

http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/sports-nicknames/25/

 

 

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After a 94-80 loss last night to the Chicago Bulls the Celtics “tank” season is evident and they are in one last final push for as many losses as possible. The Celtics are now 23-51 and rank 5th in the “tank” standings. In other words they have the 5th worst record in the league. This has every Celtic’s fan across the country asking themselves, who should the Celtics take with their early draft pick in a very deep draft? Experts have the Celtics drafting Julius Randle out of Kentucky. But does move really make sense with the Celtics current roster?

The Celitcs already have Jared Sullinger who has been nothing short of magnificent this year. Not only has he been a beast on the boards with 8.2 rebounds per game, he has also contributed on the offensive end with nearly 13 points a game. Sullinger is nearly averaging a double-double per game, which is very impressive for a second year player on a struggling team. The Celtics also have rookie 7-0 center Kelly Olynyk on their roster. In many eyes Olynyk is in the running for Rookie of the Year. He averages nearly 8 points per game and 5 rebounds. Now do I believe Olynyk is the best rookie in the NBA this year? Of course not. Michael Carter-Williams is the best rookie in the NBA this year.

I am not saying Randle is not a great player in college, but I do not believe he has a high of ceiling as Jared Sullinger and I do not think he will be the offensive weapon Olynyk has the chance of being.

Now this leaves the question, who should the Celtics take with their draft pick? I have it narrowed down to three players, Dante Exum who plays in Australia, Doug McDermot from Creighton, and TJ Warren from NC State.

Exum is a 6’6 shooting guard out of Australia. He is a versatile player who can get to the rim according to NBA scouts.

Most basketball fans know about Doug McDermott, the pure scorer out of Creighton. Many knock McDermott for his lack of athleticism and the level of competition he played against during his college basketball career (excluding his senior year). I just don’t buy it. McDermott finished fifth all time in scoring in college with 3,150 points. He is first team all American for the third time in his career. He averaged 21 points per game throughout his career and shot over 50 percent from the field. People say he cannot match up with the physicality of the NBA and it will be hard for him to adjust? Well that runs true with every player coming out of college. The NBA is a whole different monster than the NCAA. But McDermott has size, he is 6’8 and 225 pounds.

TJ Warren may be the opposite of Doug McDermott. He can score, but only by getting to the rim as he struggles with his outside shot. He is a very athletic small forward who is a high energy defender. But with the Celtics wanting to stick with Rondo (who is not a score first point guard) it may be tough for them to put points on the board with another player whose main talent is not scoring the basketball. TJ Warren reminds me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrest of the Charlotte Bobcats.

If I had to choose one player to draft in the upcoming NBA draft I am going with Doug McDermott. Sure he will not be the most athletic of physically gifted player on the court but he can score. And with Rondo setting him up for open shots there is no telling how effective McDermott could be at putting the ball in the basket.

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If you have been reading my Celtic’s blogs over the past season you will know I am one of the biggest Rondo supporters out there, but this really irritates me. Now I know Rondo was most likely not going to play as he does not usually play in back to back games. But Rondo was just named captain of this team and has expressed how he wants to be the face of this franchise. Well Rajon, captains of teams who want to be faces of the franchise do not skip games for parties. I can not even imagine Pierce pulling a move like this.

I do not care if you were not going to play, you make millions upon millions per year to play a game. And now you are getting paid millions upon millions to play half of those games and sit in street clothes for the other half and you skip a game for a party? Absolutely atrocious. People literally kill other people for the type of money Rondo is making and he skips a NBA game to go to a party. You have to wonder what was going through Rondo’s head when he makes a move like this. This is one of those moves that makes other teams so hesitant to make a move for him. And if you don’t think Stevens will come down on him hard for this than you do not know Brad Stevens.

Rondo is going to have to change his attitude towards the game if he ever wants to be taken seriously in this league. Rondo will need to learn from this and be a leader in the future which is something I still think he can do. Even though he has given the people every reason to doubt him.

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With the trade deadline only two days away, Celtics fans have to be wondering what this team is going to look like after Thursday, the 20th. The Celtics are in clear full blown rebuilding mode this season and are going to be sellers at the trade deadline. Who is staying, who is going? Lets get into it.

Rajon Rondo- Stays

There is no doubt in my mind Rajon Rondo is staying in Boston. Ainge has already came out and said he wants to build around Rondo, Sully, and Green. Ainge understands the importance of having a premier point guard in this league and he will throw as much money as possible at Rondo to keep him in the green.

Brandon Bass- Goes

With the Celtics being in full blown rebuilding mode, it does not make sense for the Celtics to hold onto Brandon Bass and his 6 million dollars he is owed by the end of the year? Rumors have it Bass and a pick may go to the Bobcats, where the name Michael Kidd-Gilchrest has been thrown around as a player we could receive. Bass could also end up in San Antonio and the Celtics would receive Matt Bonner. Bass may also end up on the Suns or Warriors. Bass will be moved by the trade deadline.

Jeff Green-Stays

There has been a lot of rumors swirling around Uncle Jeff and his trade value, but at the end of the day I see Jeff still bleeding green after this Thursday. Why? Because he has so much upside. Jeff drives Celtics fan crazy with his inconsistent play but Ainge and Stevens know he has the potential to be a very solid player in the NBA.

Gerald Wallace-Goes

Wallace has a 2 year 20 million dollar contract which is something the Celtics can just not afford at this point in time. Wallace has expressed frustration with the Celtics over the first half of the season. There is just no scenario where Wallace stays a Celtic. Teams who are making a playoff push would love to have his veteran leadership coming off their bench. A rumor has surfaced is the Celtics trade Wallace and Humphries to the Knicks for Amare Stoudemire. We could be sending off two massive contracts for one. I like this deal because I still feel like Amare can be a successful player in the NBA, he just needs to find the right role. Coming off the bench as a role player may be the right role for him.

Kris Humphries- Goes

Hump has played well this year, well enough to draw interest throughout the league. I have actually enjoyed watching him play this season after hating him for the first part of his career. He is a high volume rebounder who plays with a ton of energy. I will be sad to see Hump go but his 12 million dollar contract is just too much for the Celtics to eat. Like I said previously with Wallace Hump could end up as a New York Knick by Thursday. Another rumor is he could end up as a Bobcat as the Cats are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Bobcats sit in the 8 seed at this moment.

Avery Bradley-Stays, For Now.

The main reason I believe Bradley will stay a Celtic is his trade value has gone down due to his new reputation as being “injury prone”. I am happy that the Celtics will be keeping him on board though. I do believe Bradley can stay healthy over a course of a season. He has just had bad luck in the past. The Rondo-Bradley guard duo will continue to grow throughout this season. What the Celtics will eventually do is let Bradley’s trade value grow and then eventually trade him in the offseason to make room for the new rookies the Celtics just drafted.

Keith Bogans- Goes

Bogans will most likely be thrown into one of the deals I discussed earlier as a contract dump as he has no real role on the Celtics at this time or in the future.

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Rajon Rondo has improved his 3 point shot, and other things. Courtesy: www.hoops-nation.com

Rajon Rondo has improved his 3 point shot, and other things.
Courtesy: http://www.hoops-nation.com

Going into All-Star Weekend, Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo has played 10 games since coming back from the ACL injury he sustained last year. In those 10 games, he has averaged some unique, maybe even odd, numbers. Rondo is averaging 9.8 points per game, 7.1 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. Those stats may not look impressive initially, but if you break that 10 game span down, it starts to make more sense. In his first game back, he was named a captain while being introduced to the court, which is a very high honor for the Boston franchise. In the 107-104 loss to the Lakers, Rondo went 4-9 from the field to go for eight points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Pretty solid numbers for only playing 19 minutes in his first game back. The next five games, however, were not as promising. Rondo failed to shoot 50% from the field in any of his first six games back from his injury, averaging a mere 6.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds while playing only 24.1 minutes per game. This was to be expected though. The last four games was the surprising part. In his seventh game back, a game at home against Orlando, Rondo gave us a taste of what he is capable of. He finished with 19 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals on an incredibly impressive 9-11 shooting. This was the first time we had seen Rondo return to his former self. And what a relief it was. Over the last four games before the All-Star break, the star point guard had averaged 14.5 points, 9.3 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. The most improved part though? His 50% shooting from the 3 point line. Rondo has never been a 3 point threat and defenses acknowledge this. In his most recent game, against San Antonio, Rondo set a career high for most 3′s made in a game going 4-5 from deep. At one point in the game, Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich even encouraged defenders to go above screens to guard Rondo, which has probably never happened before. His improved 3 point shooting and his impressive averages over the last four games have given hope for the rest of the season, despite the Celtics hanging onto a horrid 19-35 record going into the All-Star break. Can Rondo return to his fantastic play of years past? Four games is a very small, and almost unfair, sample to base it on, but we can be optimistic.

Filed under: Atlantic Division, Boston Celtics Tagged: Celtics, Return, Rondo

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Rajon Rondo has improved his 3 point shot, and other things. Courtesy: www.hoops-nation.com

Rajon Rondo has improved his 3 point shot, and other things.
Courtesy: http://www.hoops-nation.com

Going into All-Star Weekend, Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo has played 10 games since coming back from the ACL injury he sustained last year. In those 10 games, he has averaged some unique, maybe even odd, numbers. Rondo is averaging 9.8 points per game, 7.1 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. Those stats may not look impressive initially, but if you break that 10 game span down, it starts to make more sense. In his first game back, he was named a captain while being introduced to the court, which is a very high honor for the Boston franchise. In the 107-104 loss to the Lakers, Rondo went 4-9 from the field to go for eight points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Pretty solid numbers for only playing 19 minutes in his first game back. The next five games, however, were not as promising. Rondo failed to shoot 50% from the field in any of his first six games back from his injury, averaging a mere 6.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds while playing only 24.1 minutes per game. This was to be expected though. The last four games was the surprising part. In his seventh game back, a game at home against Orlando, Rondo gave us a taste of what he is capable of. He finished with 19 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals on an incredibly impressive 9-11 shooting. This was the first time we had seen Rondo return to his former self. And what a relief it was. Over the last four games before the All-Star break, the star point guard had averaged 14.5 points, 9.3 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. The most improved part though? His 50% shooting from the 3 point line. Rondo has never been a 3 point threat and defenses acknowledge this. In his most recent game, against San Antonio, Rondo set a career high for most 3′s made in a game going 4-5 from deep. At one point in the game, Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich even encouraged defenders to go above screens to guard Rondo, which has probably never happened before. His improved 3 point shooting and his impressive averages over the last four games have given hope for the rest of the season, despite the Celtics hanging onto a horrid 19-35 record going into the All-Star break. Can Rondo return to his fantastic play of years past? Four games is a very small, and almost unfair, sample to base it on, but we can be optimistic.

Filed under: Atlantic Division, Boston Celtics Tagged: Celtics, Return, Rondo

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The trade deadline is next Thursday and the Celtics have some pieces that could be valuable. Kris Humphries has an expiring $12M contract and despite playing surprisingly well this season, Danny Ainge might be looking to move the 6’9 power forward.  One scenario comes from fellow Atlantic team, the Philadelphia 76ers. Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner could be offered up for Mr. Humphries. This trade works for a couple reasons. The 76ers are a young team that are tanking for a hopeful lottery pick. Getting rid of promising talent Evan Turner and 7’1 center Spencer Hawes would certainly help their tanking efforts. In turn, Boston gets a young guard to put with Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green (who they plan to rebuild around) and an experienced big man to help teach some of the young talent they have down low with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk.

Another possibility takes us to the Central Division with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dion Waiters has made it clear that he does not enjoy playing with point guard Kyrie Irving and the front office has already recently fired former GM Chris Grant. A possible trade could include Celtics guard Avery Bradley. Bradley would be a fresh face into the Cavs locker room and would be a nice complimentary piece to Irving. Throw in Keith Bogans and rookie Sergey Karasev and it could give Cleveland some room to work with, should they pursue to resign Bradley or recently acquired Luol Deng in the off-season. This trade would give both teams nice assets towards their rebuilding efforts.

One more possible trade is one that actually almost happened in December. The Rockets are a contender in the West and could definitely benefit from acquiring versatile small forward Jeff Green.  Asik for Green has been an option since December and is always an option if Ainge would like to pull the trigger. That scenario is doubtful, however, since Danny Ainge has said he plans to build around Green, Rondo and Sullinger. He is a smart GM though, and if he sees a deal that benefits Boston in the long run, he will definitely take it. With the deadline coming up, it will be interesting to see what Ainge has in store.

Filed under: Boston Celtics, Trade Scenarios Tagged: 76ers, Cavaliers, Celtics, Featured, Rockets

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Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are returning to the Garden for the first time during the regular season. This will no doubt be an emotional event for Boston Sports Fans everywhere. Will people cry? They shouldn’t. “Crying is only acceptable at funerals and at the Grand Canyon”-Ron Swanson. But it will no doubt be a spectacular regular season NBA game (something that is very rare) as I expect both teams to leave it all out on the court. The city of Boston and true Celtics fans have nothing but respect for Pierce and KG and I expect a very warm welcome tonight. The game tips off at 6:30.


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Today the Boston Celtics traded away guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors, who in turn dealt guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat, with the Heat sending Joel Anthony and Philadelphia’s future 1st, and 2nd round pick to the Celtics. Now that the confusing stuff is over, here’s what the trade means for each team, and how it will affect the rest of the NBA season.

Let’s start out with the Warriors, who made out like thieves in this deal. They acquired Crawford, and Brooks, two scoring guards, something that they felt like they had been really missing since Jarrett Jack bolted for Cleveland this past summer. Crawford has been really, really good for the Celtics this season, averaging 14 points, and almost six assists. What he brings is unpredictability. The ability to go off in a game, and get hot out of seemingly nowhere, sparking the rest of the team. Brooks is just kind of a throw in, a player who many thought would become a very good scorer before he was buried away at the end of the bench in Brooklyn and Boston. This was fantastic for the Warriors considering all they gave up was Toney Douglas.

Let’s look at the Heat now. The Heat acquired Douglas, and dealt away a 1st and 2nd round pick along with Joel Anthony. This also worked out quite well for the Heat, considering they saved quite a bit of money with Joel Anthony, 10 million total, giving them some flexibility for later this season. Toney Douglas makes a player like Roger Mason Jr. and his non-guaranteed contract very expendable, and this would also give them a free roster spot to work with. I see this as a precursor to Andrew Bynum signing with the Heat, or that Greg Oden is nearly ready. If it’s for Bynum, it gives the Heat extra money to throw at him, while staying under the luxury tax, and if it’s just for Oden, it makes the front court a little less crowded. Losing a 1st round pick is never fun, but the Heat really don’t care about a pick two years from now. They need to win now, and that’s what this deal will help them accomplish.

Finally, let’s look at how the Celtics made out. They dealt away two young, cost controlled guards in Crawford and Brooks, and brought in Anthony and those two 76ers picks. It’s not as clear, but the Celtics didn’t do too bad here either. Anthony is a cap problem, but he has only one more year on his deal after this year, so it’s not too bad, and those picks could be valuable as well. They get the 1st rounder only if the 76ers make the playoffs in the next two year, if they don’t it becomes two second rounders. In the Eastern Conference, anything can happen, so next year it’s somewhat realistic to say the 76ers could make the playoffs. This is all about tearing the Celtics down, getting picks, and rebuilding through the draft.

In the end, the Warriors look like the winners of this trade now, but we will have to see how it affects each team for the rest of the season.

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Just as quick as the Celtics assigned Rajon Rondo to the D League Maine they recalled him.  Danny Ainge called assigning him to D League “the next step”,  well that stepped lasted all of 2 hours.  Hopefully this will lead to Rondo’s return against the Lakers this Friday.

Now before you laugh at me and call me ignorant, hear me out. Carmelo wants out of New York, and the Knicks know that. They know no matter what Carmelo is going to walk after this season. And this season may already be lost for the Knicks. So the Knicks know they need to get something for him now or they will walk away empty handed. This may make them desperate, and may make them sell for less than he is worth.

Carmelo has expressed interest in the past that he wants to play with Rajon Rondo. Bringing in Carmelo will not only bring in one of the best scorers in the NBA and make the Celtics a legitimate threat in the East for years to come, but it will also keep Rajon Rondo on board. It will show Rondo this team wants to compete and win championships. A duel threat like Rondo and Carmelo could be lethal.

The East may get a lot weaker after this year. LeBron is a free agent and he may walk away from the Heat, ending their reign of dominance. Sure he may stay in the Conference (Chicago) but he may head out west. Either way this is good news for all Eastern Conference teams. And even if LeBron stays with Miami, if the Celtics have Carmelo, Rondo, and whoever they draft this year with what will most likely be a top 13 pick.

The only downside to this is the Celtics will most likely have to ship away Jeff Green and a few future draft picks (most likely some of the picks they acquired from the Nets). But to add one of the best scorers in the NBA, I say do it. I know Carmelo has not had the best attitude in the past, but with a new team, that has a historic background, and a young coach, I think that will change. If I was Danny Ainge, I would at least consider this deal.

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Now I know how this sounds, every team who has tried to give Bynum a chance the past few seasons has walked away empty handed. Whether it be a season ending injury in Philadelphia, or Bynum just being a horrible teammate in Cleveland, every team that has given him a chance has been screwed by him.

That being said, I still believe Bynum can be a good player in this league. He is 7 feet tall and is well built. He can rebound and he can score in the post. Bynum has proved he can be a productive scorer, rebounder and defender in his 2011-2012 season with the Lakers before he went down with the knee injury that cost him his 2012-2013 season with the 76ers. Should the Celtics give him a big multiyear deal? Absolutely not. If he wants a big contract we forget about him. But if he is willing to take a Veteran Minimum contract or something among those lines can it really hurt for the Celtics to give him a chance in their rebuilding process. If his contract is small, there is so much upside and such little downside. I say give the guy a shot. What about you?

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PS: The Heat are considered one of the front runners for Bynum at this point. If he goes to the Heat and becomes the star player people thought he could be, the rest of the NBA should just all start rebuilding because nobody will compete with them for at least 5 years.

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