Friday FT's: Pierce the next YouTube sensation?


Friday FT's: Pierce the next YouTube sensation?

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Shaquille O'Neal starred in Kazaam. Ray Allen stole the show in He Got Game. Rajon Rondo made a cameo appearance in Just Wright. Glen Davis was a top candidate for the lead role in The Blind Side.

Now Paul Pierce is showing off his theatrical skills.

Pierce tweeted a YouTube video promoting the Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year contest. While there may not be an Emmy Award in his future, Pierce was a good sport as he committed to each and every one of his characters. A sneak preview of his many roles:

Football player: "Touchdown! Wooooo!"

Top student: "Ooh ooh ooh me! The Louisiana Purchase . . . X equals 34 . . . Photosynthesiiiiiis!"

Crossing guard: "Attention little old ladies: I'm here to help you cross the street."

As mentioned a few weeks back, Pierce will also appear on an episode of HGTV's "Home by Novogratz" this month.

State of Nate

3,000 miles away in Boston, there was never any question the city of Seattle always stayed near to Nate Robinson's heart. (The city skyline on his neck was a prime example.) Prior to being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, I even had a discussion with him about the sting he felt every time he played in OKC , where the SuperSonics had relocated to -- "When we play in Oklahoma City, I kind of get pissed. It kind of eats me alive, knowing were in Oklahoma and we could be in Seattle." This summer Robinson is bringing the spotlight back to his hometown in "State of Nate," an online documentary about his life during the lockout. Among his goals of the videos: "show the people that life's not all about basketball" and "put Seattle on the map." And to make his dedication to the city known from the start, he introduces himself as "Nate Robinson, playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, aka: Seattle SuperSonics." Check out the first episode on www.stateofnate.com.

Scholarships from the Shamrock Foundation

This week the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation provided full scholarships to 13 sixth grade students from Boston area schools during a week-long summer program at the Museum of Science. During this program, students learn about being a medical student at the Mini Med School and explore forensic science at the Crime Lab Boston. Lucky was on hand to celebrate with the students.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@iambigbaby11: "Look at me when I was a baby!!! Ayo baby http:lockerz.coms127918017"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Former Celtics draft pick Lester Hudson turned 27 on August 7. Hudson, selected with the 58th overall pick in 2009, played 11 games for the Washington Wizards last season . . . Togo Palazzi, drafted by the Celtics with the 5th overall pick in the 1954 NBA Draft, turned 79 on August 8. He played for the C's during the 1955-57 seasons . . . Hall of Famer Bob Cousy turned 83 on August 9. Among Cousy's accolades include multiple NBA Championships, 13 All-Star Game appearances, an MVP Award, two All-Star Game MVP Awards, and a career average of 18.4 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game . . . Antoine Walker turned 35 on August 12. Walker, a three-time All-Star, was drafted by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in 1996 and played the first seven seasons of his career in Boston. He returned to the C's during the 2005 season and played in 24 games.

The Week in Celtics History

On August 6, 2004, the Celtics traded Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, and Chris Mihm to the Los Angeles Lakers for Rick Fox, Gary Payton, and a 2006 first-round draft pick. The Celtics went on to trade the pick to the Atlanta Hawks, who dealt it to the Phoenix Suns. In 2006, the Suns used that pick to select Rajon Rondo 21st overall in the NBA Draft and traded him to the Celtics.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

BOSTON – When Brad Stevens took the Boston Celtics job in 2013, he knew what he was getting into.
Yes, the Celtics at that time were rebuilding which usually means years and years of slow but steady progress – if you’re lucky.
And then after maybe a few years of struggling to win games, a breakout season occurs and just like that – you’re back in the playoffs.


 But here’s the thing with the Celtics.
While most rebuilding teams spend years working their way towards being competitive, Stevens hit the ground running and in just four years, he led the Celtics from being a 25-win team to one that was just three wins away from getting to the NBA Finals.
He has the kind of basketball resume that’s impressive on many levels.
But Stevens knows good isn’t good enough in this town.
“We’re here in Boston,” he said. “Winning is good, but hanging one of those (banners) up is what it’s all about. That’s what makes this such a special franchise.”
And for Stevens, a franchise where the expectations for success under his watch have never been greater than they are now.
Boston only returns one starter (Al Horford) from last year’s squad which advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after having won an East-best 53 games.
However, they added a pair of All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to join Horford. In addition, they drafted Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft.
Boston also has a slimmed-down Marcus Smart (he lost 20 pounds from a year ago) as well Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier who will both benefit from having another NBA season under their belts.
And while it’s a small sample size and consists of just two teams (Philadelphia and Charlotte), the Celtics breezed their way through the preseason with a flawless 4-0 record which included at least one game in which they did not play their usual starters which shows how impactful their depth may be this season.
That success can only help, especially with a challenging schedule that includes seven of their first 11 games being on the road. 
Still, the potential of this Celtics team has never been greater than it is right now since Stevens took over in 2013.
And just like the increased expectations of the team, the same can be said for Stevens who is considered one of the better coaches in the NBA.
Marcus Morris will begin his first season with the Celtics, but had a lot of respect for Stevens well before he was traded to Boston from Detroit this summer.
“You hear a lot of good things about him from other players,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “And once you get in here and start working with him and seeing what he does every day, you see what they’re talking about. He’s a good coach, man.”
This team’s success will hinge on how the players perform, but there’s an added element of pressure on Stevens to find the right combinations that will position the Celtics for success.
“We have a lot more guys who can do a lot more things on the court, so it will be a little more challenging for us to figure out how to best play with each other, and for Brad to figure out which combinations are the best ones,” Boston’s Al Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “But we’ll figure it out. Brad’s a really good coach, a really smart coach. And on our team, we have a lot of players who are smart, high basketball I.Q. guys. We’ll be OK.”
Basketball smarts aside, the Celtics’ success will hinge heavily on how quickly they can bring a roster with 10 new players up to speed quickly.
It’s still early, but players like what they’ve seen from the collective body in terms of team chemistry.
“I think that’s the beauty of a lot of guys on the team,” said Gordon Hayward. “It’ll be different each night with some of the different roles we play.”
Which is why the Celtics, while lacking experience as a team because of so many new faces, are still seen as capable of winning because they have a number of players who can impact the game in many ways.
But as good as they are, it still comes back to Stevens doing a good job of putting them in the best positions to find success individually as well as for the Celtics team.
When you look at how time with Stevens jumpstarted Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder’s careers, or how it helped revitalize the career of Evan Turner, it’s obvious that he has the Midas touch when it comes to getting the most out of players.
For Boston to have the kind of success they believe they are due for, it’s going to take the contributions of many.
And even that might not be enough.
But having the path being bumpier than expected is something Stevens embraces.
“Here in this league,” he said. “You have to love challenges.”


Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the third year in a row, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics is unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

That means Marcus Smart will become a restricted free agent this summer. Last year it was Kelly Olynyk (now with the Miami Heat) and in 2015 it was Jared Sullinger (now with Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association).

Both the Celtics and Smart's camp intensified their discussions in recent days as the October 16th 6 p.m. EST deadline drew near.


While there was progress made, there wasn’t enough to get a deal done.

Smart has repeatedly indicated that he wants to re-sign a long-term deal to stay in Boston.

And the market for the 6-foot-4 guard became clearer based on the contracts that some of his fellow rookie class of 2014, were receiving.

Denver’s Gary Harris agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract after establishing himself as one of the better young two-way talents in the NBA last season. And at the other end of the financial spectrum, you would have to look at Phoenix’s T.J. Warren who signed a four-year, $50 million contract.

More than likely, Smart’s deal next summer will fall somewhere between the deals those two players received.

As much as Smart would have preferred to get a deal done heading into the season, it’s not something that he’s going to cause him to lose any sleep.

“Get it done now, or get it done in six months, I’m OK either way,” he told NBC Sports Boston. “I’m not worried about it.”