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Danny Ainge: Celtics likely to retire KG’s jersey, not sure on Ray Allen

Kevin-Garnett-Ray-Allen-CelticsDanny Ainge said on Thursday that he thinks the Boston Celtics will likely retire Kevin Garnett’s jersey, but he’s not sure if they will do the same with Ray Allen.

Allen and KG joined the Boston Celtics prior to the 2007-2008 season. The two combined with Paul Pierce to give the Celtics a formidable Big Three. They posted the best record in the league in their first season together and won the NBA championship. But is that enough for Garnett and Allen to have their jerseys retired?

Ainge, who has been a front office exec for the Celtics since 2003, told Toucher and Rich of The Sports Hub in Boston that he believes Paul Pierce (obviously) and Garnett are likely to have their jerseys retired, but he’s not sure about Allen.

“I’m not sure yet.” Ainge said about Allen’s number when asked. “I don’t know the answer to that. It will be something the ownership of the team will decide. Who knows what happens when those guys careers are over and time settles in. I honestly don’t know.”

The Celtics’ ownership group will make the determination on whose jerseys are retired, so Ainge is just offering his opinion.

If Allen came to the Celtics the same year as Garnett, why would KG be honored instead of him? Ainge mentioned (with prompting from the hosts) that Ray leaving the team for the Miami Heat would have something to do with it.

“I think that’s obviously somewhat of a factor. But I think time heals those hurts, and logic will take over,” said Ainge. “The question is did he play long enough and that kind of thing? There are a lot of great Celtics in history, and Ray Allen is certainly one of them. I know there will be consideration and discussion about that happening. We’ll see.”

Pierce is a franchise icon and no-brainer to have his jersey retired. But what I’m wondering is what makes Garnett any more deserving of the honor than Allen? Because he played six seasons with the team instead of five? That’s not a huge difference.

I asked Boston sports fan Steve DelVecchio for his opinion, and he said he would only retire Pierce’s number. I probably would do the same. But I can’t imagine you retire KG’s jersey and not Allen’s just because he left for Miami a year early.

Chest bump to Celtics Hub

Doc Rivers admits he walked out on the Celtics

Doc RiversDoc Rivers left the Boston Celtics when it became obvious that their championship window had closed. Ray Allen had already signed with the Miami Heat, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are clearly nearing the end of their careers. Rajon Rondo is still recovering from a torn ACL. Rather than rebuilding with Boston, Rivers has chosen to coach the more championship-ready Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite the obvious facts, Rivers has been reluctant to openly admit that he walked out on the Celtics. During an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Mazz Show” in Boston on Monday, Doc was asked if he walked out on his former team.

“I did at the end of the day,” Rivers admitted. “You make choices in your life, it happens … It was a very difficult decision for me to make; whether to walk away and sit a couple of years, which was another way I was leaning, or if the right job presented itself to walk away and do that.

“I was afforded a great opportunity here with the Clippers. This is the first time I’ve been able to coach a team and run a team. This may work, it may not work. It’s a far bigger gamble for me than anyone else. So I thought it was the right time to take it.”

By that, Rivers means he has more control with the Clippers than he did with the Celtics. Danny Ainge is ultimately in charge of all roster and personnel decisions in Boston, and he did a fairly good job of bringing in the right pieces during Doc’s career with the C’s. Even though Rivers admitted to bailing on Boston, he said he would be disappointed if Celtics fans booed him in his return to TD Garden on Wednesday.

“I’m sure some will, but I was booed at times as a coach,” he said. “That’s fine, but I don’t anticipate that. I’d be surprised by that, and if it happens it happens. I’d be disappointed by it, of course, but I’m a human being.”

Over the summer, Rivers got into a fairly animated war of words with Bill Simmons when Simmons called him out for walking out on a rebuilding project. He still may not like Simmons, but it sounds like Doc has changed his tune a bit.

Gerald Wallace rips Celtics teammates after blowing huge lead against Bucks

Gerald-Wallace-CelticsVery few people expect the Boston Celtics to be good this season, but that does not mean Gerald Wallace is willing to accept losing. Wallace, who came to Boston in a trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets, has tried to become a vocal leader for his new team since the preseason. He was furious when the Celtics blew a 22-point lead against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

Boston dominated the Bucks at home and took a 63-47 lead into halftime. They lead by as much as 22 with around 7:00 remaining in the third quarter, but it was all downhill from there.

“We got selfish,” Wallace said, according to NESN.com. “Instead of worrying about winning the ball game, we were more worried about our stats and getting points. It showed. We went from a team that was together and moving and playing together in the first half to a team that was five individuals out on the court, everyone playing for themselves, and it showed on the defensive end.”

Rajon Rondo is still recovering from knee surgery, so the Celtics are lacking veteran leadership. Even when Pierce, Garnett and Allen were with the team, Rondo was always the head of the snake — at least on offense. Wallace said he had no explanation for the blown lead.

“I really don’t understand it,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out what’s more important, winning or padding your stats. This was a game we were supposed to win easily, without even the starters playing the fourth quarter. Instead, we got selfish as a team. We didn’t move the ball, we let the ball stick instead of pushing the ball and their second unit came in and they handled us. We didn’t really know what to do.”

The Celtics have 80 games remaining in the regular season. General manager Danny Ainge has already had to deny rumors that he was the anonymous GM who recently admitted he is setting his team up to lose so they can secure a lottery pick. Wallace ripped his teammates for a lack of effort after a preseason game earlier this month. It could be a very, very long year for one of the best franchises in sports.

Paul Pierce says ‘Thank You’ to Boston with cool Instagram photos

Paul Pierce thank you boston

Paul Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in June, ending his 15-season career with the Boston Celtics. After nine teams passed on Pierce in the 1998 NBA Draft, the Celtics decided enough was enough and took the former Kansas star. Their faith in Pierce paid off; he developed into a franchise player, franchise icon, 10-time All-Star, and NBA Finals MVP in 2008. But with the 35-year-old aging and the Celtics rebuilding, the team decided it was time to move on.

Though Pierce will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets, that does not mean his heart does not still lie in Boston. It clearly does. Pierce posted a number of photos to his Instagram account on Tuesday along with the hashtag “#ThankYouBoston”

Thanks to help from The Awesome Boston, we posted a compilation of a number of the photos below. They capture many of Pierce’s best moments with the C’s.

[Read more...]

Boston Celtics take out full-page ad thanking Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett

Celtics-thank-Paul-Pierce-Kevin-Garnett

When Paul Pierce retires from the NBA, his No. 34 Boston Celtics jersey will be hanging in the rafters at TD Garden. Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 could very well be right next to it. Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his NBA career in Boston and is one of the most beloved players in team history. Garnett helped the Celtics win their 17th championship the first season he began bleeding green.

The Celtics have begun their inevitable rebuilding project, which started with Pierce and Garnett being shipped to the Brooklyn Nets. On Friday, the team took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe thanking its future Hall of Famers.

Expect a deafening ovation for Pierce and Garnett when they return to Boston as visitors next season. They deserve every second of it.

Photo via Twitter/Dave Cutler

Boston Celtics hire Brad Stevens as new head coach

Brad StevensThe Boston Celtics announced on Wednesday that they have hired Brad Stevens as their new head coach, replacing Doc Rivers.

The Celtics operated in completely stealth manner; there were no reports about them pursuing any candidates much less nearing a hire.

“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge in a press release issued by the team. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

Stevens, 36, will be the 17th coach in the franchise’s storied history. He spent the last six season as the coach of Butler University, leading the program to two national championship games. His 166 wins were the most of any coach in his first six years with a program.

Stevens was frequently mentioned as a top coaching candidate for numerous collegiate vacancies, including the UCLA job that went to Steve Alford, but he turned them all down to stay at Butler. This was too good of an opportunity to turn down.

“The Celtics team has offered Brad and his family a unique opportunity with which no university can compete,” the school’s president said.

“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a press release issued by the university.

Stevens is entering a tricky situation. The Celtics recently traded aging stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. Point guard Rajon Rondo is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee. The franchise is clearly rebuilding, and their only All-Star is Rondo, who is known for being a head case.

The Celtics are a storied franchise, but they’re likely headed for a few sub-par seasons in a row.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce traded to Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, others

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettThe Boston Celtics have officially blown things up. Earlier this week, they released head coach Doc Rivers from his contract and allowed him to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick. On Thursday, Boston agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, Boston is officially rebuilding. The Big Three Danny Ainge assembled in 2007 of Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen is all gone. The team was assembled to win a title, and it did just that. The Celtics will reportedly receive three first-round picks from the Nets in addition to Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans.

In making a deal with Brooklyn, the Celtics were thinking very long term. None of the players they received will make any type of significant impact, but the NBA requires salaries to be equal in any trade. The trade was more about the draft picks, with Boston receiving a first-rounder in 2014, 2016 and 2018. By possibly 2016 or certainly 2018, Pierce, Garnett and Terry will have all retired. The hope for Boston is that it gets an early draft pick out of the deal at some point in the future — even if it’s the very distant future.

While many Celtics fans are outraged that Pierce will not be retiring in a green uniform, Ainge had little choice. Paying Pierce and Garnett the type of money they deserve was simply out of the question. Now, you have to wonder if Rajon Rondo will be the next superstar leaving town. We’ll get into that a bit more later.