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Kenyon Martin on Celtics not signing him: It’s their fault, they lost

Kenyon-Martin-KnicksThe Boston Celtics could use another big body right about now. Kevin Garnett is expected to miss as much as another two weeks with an ankle injury. KG has missed four of the past six games for the Celtics, and the team is currently in the middle of a five-game losing streak. Coincidence? I think not.

Boston could have signed Kenyon Martin to bolster their front court earlier this season, but Danny Ainge and company dragged their heels and lost him to the New York Knicks. After the Knicks beat the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday night, Martin was quick to say “I told you so.”

“It’s their fault,” he said according to Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com. “They lost. There was talks, there was negotiations, they chose not to do it. It was out of my control. I’m a Knick now, so they lost.”

The Knicks have been struggled with injuries to their front court, most notably Amar’e Stoudemire, so they decided to bring Martin in on two separate 10–day contracts before finally signing him to a deal for the veteran’s minimum. The acquisition has panned out nicely, as the 35-year-old is averaging 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds during New York’s current five-game win streak.

When asked why the Celtics passed on Martin, Doc Rivers didn’t really have an answer.

“I don’t know,” Rivers said, via WEEI.com. “We looked at all the guys, we were still looking at guards at the time. So we were in no hurry at the time for a big. We were looking for more a big of size, if you know what I mean. And by the time we got around to it, he was gone.”

Perhaps Martin was not as much of a priority as he should have been when Garnett was relatively healthy, but the Celtics should have seen this coming given KG’s age and recent injury history. If Garnett cannot get healthy before the end of the season, the Celtics could be in danger of being bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

Boston Celtics reportedly ban Honey Nut Cheerios signs, boxes

Kevin Garnett Honey Nut Cheerios

The Boston Celtics reportedly instructed security guards not to allow Honey Nut Cheerios boxes or signs into the TD Bank Garden for the team’s game against the New York Knicks on Thursday.

The last time the teams played, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett got into a fight that resulted in double-technical fouls. Melo was so upset with KG he confronted him twice after the game.

It was reported that Garnett got in Melo’s head by telling him that his wife, La La, tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. The odd yet humorous line was apparently an inference that Garnett had been with La La while she and Melo were separated.

Even though Celtics coach Doc Rivers denied anything was said about Honey Nut Cheerios, the potentially false story first reported by Black Sports Online has been accepted as fact. In light of the story’s widespread acceptance, the Celtics were expecting fans to break out the Honey Nut Cheerios taunts on Thursday.

ESPN New York’s Ian Begley reported Thursday that security guards told him they were instructed to confiscate any signs with Honey Nut Cheerios references. Gethin Coolbaugh says he was told the same about Honey Nut Cheerios boxes. In case you’re wondering whether the Celtics had any reason to worry, the New York Daily News has photos of signs that were confiscated.

That was probably a good decision by the Celtics. Remember what happened the last time at a Celtics game when fans used an urban legend to taunt an opposing player? It wasn’t pretty.

Image via With Leather

Rajon Rondo wishes the Celtics had more ‘sore losers’ on their roster

The Boston Celtics came away with a much-needed victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. Boston improved its record to 15-17, but has still lost eight out of its last 11 games. The return of Avery Bradley should help the Celtics get back on track — particularly on defense — but they need to improve on both sides of the ball. According to Rajon Rondo, they also need to start caring more about losing.

“The frustrating part is just losing,” Rondo told the Boston Globe on Thursday. “I’m a sore loser. It’s tough to lose. Everybody isn’t. You’ll learn that everybody isn’t a sore loser. Some teams are OK with losing. Some guys are OK with just getting a check. But everything I do, I compete. So, this four-game losing streak is frustrating.”

The Celtics went through similar bad stretches during the regular season last year, but they wound up one win way from reaching the NBA Finals. One of the problems that can arise with a veteran team like Boston’s is that the regular season becomes boring. Guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett just want to win another championship, and reaching the postseason in the NBA is not all that challenging.

Doc Rivers has a tendency to rest players and let his guys coast through the regular season, but the Celtics need to be careful this year. They hardly look like the defensive powerhouse they were a couple of years ago, and if they don’t establish an identity at any point during the season it will be tough to win when the playoffs begin. Giving old guys rest is one thing. Sleepwalking is another.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Doc Rivers: Celtics are a soft team right now

Unless the Boston Celtics’ only goals heading into their game against the Brooklyn Nets were to get into a fight, have a star player get ejected and leave some nasty scratches on Kris Humphries, Wednesday night wound up being a night to forget for the guys in green. Doc Rivers was understandably unhappy after the 95-83 loss, and he certainly wasn’t impressed with his players for mixing it up with the opposition.

“I don’t think anybody should get thrown out of a game,” Rivers said when asked about Rajon Rondo’s first-half ejection, via WEEI.com. “We all have to keep our emotions. Hell, we didn’t come to play, as a team. That was awful, basketball-wise. If I’m Brooklyn and (other teams) in the league, you have to think we’re pretty soft, the way we’re playing. We’re a soft team right now. We have no toughness. That stuff is not toughness, all that stuff is not toughness.”

Jason Terry ripped Humphries after the game and called him a fake tough guy, but it sounds like Doc thinks his team should take a look in the mirror if they want to see a lack of toughness. In fact, Rivers said he believes that some of the newer Celtics players feel a sense of entitlement just because they wear a Boston uniform.

“You know, Kevin (Garnett), Paul (Pierce) and Rondo and a couple other guys – it’s almost like they understand the jersey they’re wearing and the pride,” Rivers explained. “And everyone else – and not everyone – it’s almost like they think because they put the jersey on that they are something. You’ve got to earn it here.

Fortunately for the Celtics, Wednesday night was only game 15 of a very long season. That being said, it will take more than just a Celtics championship tattoo for newcomers like Terry to prove they are what Boston needs to capture banner number 18. And Rondo? In hindsight, the swing he threw at Humphries was probably a bad idea.

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

Rajon Rondo, Kris Humphries ejected after fight (Video)

Rajon Rondo’s assist streak came to an end on Wednesday night in Boston after he was ejected for his role in a fight with Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries.

Rondo was upset with Humphries for fouling Kevin Garnett on a shot attempt, and the point guard began shoving Humphries. Jason Terry soon joined in, and the fight spilled into the stands.

Rondo and Humphries were both ejected. Gerald Wallace received a technical foul and ejection, while Kevin Garnett received a technical foul.

Rondo’s streak of 37 straight regular-season games of at least 10 assists in a game comes to an end thanks to the ejection. He ends up tied with John Stockton for second all time with that streak, nine games away from tying Magic Johnson for the record.

Rondo had 6 points and 3 assists in nearly 18 minutes at the time of his ejection.

This is just the latest episode for Rondo, who has a history of being a hot head.

In the screenshot below, you can see Rondo’s fist in Humphries’ face after he appeared to throw a punch:

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Kevin Garnett insults Comcast in hilarious rant about team chemistry (Video)

The Boston Celtics escaped with a win over the Washington Winners in yet another lackluster performance on Wednesday night, which has many wondering how long it will take this year’s edition of the Green Team to finally start firing on all cylinders. After bringing in a number of new faces like Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger and losing a key veteran like Ray Allen, it’s no surprise it seems to be taking a bit of time.

Kevin Garnett was asked if chemistry was an issue for the Celtics following last night’s win, and he used an interesting analogy that wound up sounding like an insult toward Comcast — one of the Celtics’ biggest partners.

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Rajon Rondo the quiet leader of the Celtics?

Rajon Rondo has long been considered a supremely talented player who has an attitude problem. He was supposed to be the leader of the Celtics for the past few years, but there were reports saying Boston was considering trading him because he had become so difficult. He’s had several run-ins with referees, blowups at the media, and he notably struggled to get along Ray Allen last season. But an excellent column by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston provides more insight into Rondo as a Celtics leader, and it suggests he finally is assuming the role for which he was pegged a few years ago.

MacMullan does some excellent reporting and is able to portray Rondo differently than almost anyone else previously has.

MacMullan, and the players whom she quotes on the record, say Rondo has been the glue for the Celtics’ younger players for years. He apparently was the leader of a clique of players on the team who became extremely close: Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox, Keyon Dooling (who retired), Marquis Daniels (now with Milwaukee), and Rondo. He also is said to be an excellent role model for Avery Bradley.

The column indicates that Rondo was more of a Celtics insider and Ray Allen more of an outsider last season than the other way around.

Keyon Dooling, who is obviously biased toward Rondon, says the reason Allen was portrayed positively and Rondo negatively is because of their respective relationships with the media.

“Ray had such a good relationship with all the reporters and Rondo was so quiet. So who gets all the good press?” he asked rhetorically.

“Sometimes it felt like Ray spent more time talking to the media than he did to his teammates,” Dooling told MacMullan.

Allen has moved on to Miami where he is much more welcomed by the Heat. Rondo appears to be developing into the true leader of the Celtics.

I wouldn’t say Rondo has been misrepresented in the past, but it sounds like he is finally maturing into a true team leader. You just wouldn’t ever hear him tell you that. Thankfully some excellent reporting is showing us that.