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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.

Antoine Walker wants to be the next coach of the Boston Celtics

antoine-walkerThe Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly agreed to a deal that will release Doc Rivers from his contract and allow him to head west. Boston is likely going to have to rebuild its entire roster heading into next season, starting with the head coach. So who should fill that vacancy?

One brave candidate has stepped forward and thrown his name into the ring. Remember Antoine Walker? Of course you do. He was a fan favorite for a while in Boston thanks in part to the infamous “Walker Wiggle,” and now the former sixth overall pick wants to rejoin his old team as a coach.

And he’s not kidding.

Last we heard from Antoine, he was living with a roommate and had no car after making over $100 million during his NBA career. He could certainly provide a lot of advice for young players on what not to do with money, but there’s no way this is happening.

As for the actual candidates, Vinny Del Negro is one name that has been tossed around already — albeit an incredibly unpopular one. Brian Shaw has been courted by almost every team with a coaching vacancy, and the Celtics are sure to make their pitch as well. Time will tell who will replace Rivers, but we’re confident it won’t be ‘Toine.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

NBA will reportedly not allow trade between Celtics and Clippers

David-Stern-regrets-Jim-Rome-interviewJust when it appeared the the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers may have been once again working toward a deal, David Stern swooped in to extinguish the flames. Trade talks had reportedly heated up as of Thursday morning, thanks in part to Chris Paul’s desire to play for Doc Rivers. However, it appears the potential deal would violate the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement.

Basically, the issue is that the public knows the two teams are trying to swap Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and draft picks. Per current NBA rules, coaches cannot be “traded” for players. The only way the Clippers could land Rivers is if the Celtics released him from his current contract, which has three years and $21 million remaining on it, and LA signed him. That transaction cannot be part of a bigger trade, nor can any aspect of the trade include any contingencies having to do with it.

From a legal standpoint, the Celtics could have traded Garnett to the Clippers for Jordan and draft picks. Then, they could have released Rivers and allowed him to sign with LA. That would have in theory made everyone happy, except for Stern. Now that the media has exposed the deal and everyone knows it is contingent upon Rivers going west, the commissioner said the league is unlikely to allow it.

“I would say that if we know that what the parties really wanted to do is one [trade] and they’re going to break it into two for the purposes of trying to avoid the restrictions that the collective bargaining agreement places on it, we know how to deal with that as well,” Stern told ESPN’s Colin Cowherd on Thursday.

In a separate interview, Stephen A. Smith asked Stern why the league could not just view the trade and Rivers’ release as two separate deals.

“If you think those [deals], at this point having been all over the media for the last week, are separate transactions, when you get back from Miami, Stephen A., I have a bridge that I would very much enjoy selling to you,” Stern replied.

From the sound of it, there is nothing that can be done at this point. The Celtics and Clippers can’t go back in time and convince the NBA that allowing Rivers to sign with the Clippers has nothing to do with the Garnett-Jordan trade, because we all know that’s not the case. Now we see why players are inclined to make comments like this about Stern and the NBA.