Posts Tagged ‘boston celtics’

Paul Pierce was enshrined into Boston Celtics folklore after the team retired his No. 34 on Sunday, but he’s apparently not the only member of the team’s 2008 championship-winning side who will receive the honor.

Kevin Garnett, a key figure in their last conquest who averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over six seasons in Boston is supposedly next in line to have his jersey retired, Pierce told ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. Although Garnett first emerged as one of the greatest power forwards in the league during his first 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Pierce says he would prefer to be eternally honored by the Celtics.

“(Garnett would) rather have his jersey retired in Boston than in Minnesota,” Pierce said. “He’ll eventually have his number retired with the Timberwolves, too, but he’ll have to wait until management sells the team.”

Garnett was a powerhouse during his opening stint with the Timberwolves. He averaged a double-double of 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds and was a 10-time All-Star before being traded to Boston on July 31, 2007. With him in the fold, the Celtics developed their Big Three of Pierce, Garnett, and Ray Allen.

Despite waiving a no-trade clause to return to Minnesota in the twilight of his career, Garnett has long been critical of the Timberwolves’ front office, specifically owner Glen Taylor. In December, Garnett admitted he one day hopes to buy the Timberwolves in order to remove Taylor from his post.

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Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge was forced to pick between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce, and it was an easy choice.

Pierce wanted Feb. 11 all to himself, and didn’t want to split any of the spotlight with Thomas, who was to have his video tribute shown before the Celtics played host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ainge tried to sell Pierce on a compromise, but The Truth declined on the basis of Thomas passing up the first tribute they planned in his January homecoming. Thomas was just coming off injury at the time, and he didn’t want to make a hobbled return, especially without his family present.

Pierce says Thomas missed his chance and that’s that.

“He had a shot to be honored,” Pierce told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan and Chris Forsberg. “You came to Boston. Whether you are playing or not, you should have had your tribute then. I just don’t see how, if someone is having a jersey retirement, they’re going to be running other tributes for other players.

“Danny tried to sell me on it, but I told him, ‘He had a shot, Danny, and he punked you on it. He pretty much dictated everything.’ They let it happen because they felt sorry how (the trade to Cleveland) went down. It’s guilt. That’s what it is.”

In the end, Ainge had to side with Pierce, who won a title while playing 15 seasons in Boston, which easily trumps anything Thomas did. It was Pierce’s day so it was his call.

“We owe Paul a lot,” Ainge said. “I feel indebted to him. The whole organization feels that way. We will have a great night for him. Argument over.”

Paul Pierce doesn’t want the Boston Celtics to show Isaiah Thomas‘ tribute video on the same day the team planned retire his jersey.

Rajon Rondo is taking it a step further, and he’s making it clear he doesn’t want the Celtics to give tribute to Thomas whatsoever.

Rondo, fresh off a win over his former club, asked difficult questions of his former franchise by wondering aloud why exactly Thomas was being honored.

“What has he done?” Rondo asked Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. When told that Thomas led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals, Rondo answered, “Oh, that’s what we celebrate around here?”

“This is the Boston Celtics,” Rondo added. “This isn’t the Phoenix Suns, no disrespect to any other organization, but you don’t hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?”

Thomas played three seasons in Boston and helped revive the franchise following the dissolution of the Big Three era. He finished fourth in scoring last season and played through both great injury and grief in order to push the Celtics to the third round of the playoffs.

But Rondo does have a point, however crass it may be. The Celtics have championship standards, and Thomas, for everything he achieved, did not deliver.

Paul Pierce doesn’t want to share the spotlight on his special night.

The former NBA star will have his No. 34 retired by the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11, and hopes the team doesn’t divert attention away from him by also honoring Isaiah Thomas, whose Cleveland Cavaliers will be in town the same night.

“I just feel like this: You only get your jersey retired once. It’s a crowning achievement for me,” he said Friday, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

“You play this game, 19 years I was able to play, and I just feel like this is a day where I’m going to have my family, I’m going to have all the people that helped me get to the point where I needed to be throughout my 19-year career to be successful, and I just feel like that’s just a special day for me.

“Now, if you look at other retired players, I don’t remember … other tributes going on on the same day. Isaiah will be back in Boston again – next year, the year after, he’s going to have a long career there. But this one day should belong to Paul Pierce.”

Boston originally planned to present a video montage when Thomas visited TD Garden on Wednesday for the first time as a member of the Cavaliers. But the All-Star point guard, whom the Celtics traded this past offseason in the Kyrie Irving blockbuster, asked his former team to hold off since he wasn’t going to play, having just returned from a hip injury.

Thomas preferred to wait until the next time he comes back, which happens to fall on Pierce’s jersey retirement night. Celtics GM Danny Ainge said the organization will honor Thomas’ request, though perhaps he could be persuaded by the longtime Celtic.

Pierce, now 40, starred with the C’s for 15 seasons, earning 10 All-Star nods and leading Boston to a championship in 2008.

The road to recovery for Gordon Hayward is far from just physical.

The Boston Celtics small forward revealed he’s been experiencing depression during rehab from his horrific leg injury. Moreover, he said the mental toll has “definitely” been more difficult to cope with than the pain from his dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia.

“It’s been painful, but it’s nothing like sitting around watching the team you were supposed to be playing with this year,” said Wednesday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

“I signed to play for the Boston Celtics this year now to only sit and watch the Boston Celtics this year. That part has been difficult and much more difficult to deal with than the pain.”

The 27-year-old All-Star said he won’t be able to play again until he can run that backdoor alley-oop set play – which he’s connected on so many times before with the Utah Jazz – without thinking about it twice.

“That’s another hurdle at the end there where I may be physically 100 percent, but I have to be mentally there as well.”

Hayward meets with a sports psychologist once a week to help him stay positive. He wouldn’t provide a timeline on when he’ll be back, only saying he’s focused on getting better every day so he can return as soon as possible – whether that’s later this season or sometime the next.

“I work out every day to try to increase my range of motion and increase my strength in my legs so that I can be back as fast as I can,” he said. “Whether that’s this year or this summer or next year, I will just let that happen. But for sure, as a competitor, I’m just trying to come back faster than anyone has ever done it.”

The 6-foot-8 forward signed with Boston over the offseason and suffered his gruesome injury just five minutes into his debut. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal last season.

Throw “The Garden” into the mix for 2022.

Boston Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck recently revealed to the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn the organization is mulling over applying to become the host city for an All-Star weekend at some point in the near future, potentially in 2022, the next available opening for the league’s prestige event.

“We’re looking at an application package,” Grousbeck said. “But we have to work it out with the Convention Center.

“We are going to ask for an application package and we’ll see what happens.”

The NBA’s first two All-Star Games were held at the now-demolished Boston Garden in 1951 and 1952, but the city hasn’t hosted the festivities since 1964.

Pro athletes going vegetarian is not a new phenomenon, although it’s hardly widespread. Kyrie Irving is the latest big name to adapt a plant-based diet, and he says he feels great – physically and mentally.

“I feel absolutely amazing,” Irving said, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “My energy, my sleeping patterns, just my intellect and everything that I’m awake to now, I’m very much aware. My awareness is a lot better now that I’m not eating all the GMOs and pesticides and all that they put in our food.”

The Celtics point guard credits watching the Netflix documentary, “What the Health,” for changing the way he views meat consumption.

Irving looks trimmer this season, and the results have been strong. While he’s not hitting career highs offensively, his defense has improved immensely, and he’s been the on-court catalyst for Boston’s league-best 13-2 record.