Friday FT's: Rondo Makes a Call; Shaq Ranks Himself


Friday FT's: Rondo Makes a Call; Shaq Ranks Himself

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there's still plenty of hoops to talk about.

Rajon Rondo is used to making calls for the Boston Celtics. During the lockout, he is making calls of a different kind.

Rondo has been spending time at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, and watching the mens basketball team closely. He recently called head coach John Calipari and asked if he could offer his input, WDRB.com reported:

I got an interesting call from Rondo after the game, who says, 'Do you mind if I call the kids? I took some notes about the game.' I'm like absolutely. Call them and tell them what you think. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson were at the game, and then they want to be there and be a part of it. It shows we're a family. This is what we're trying to build here."

On the topic of Rondo, let's revisit his series of videos for Foot Lockers Educators campaign. Monday's lesson was on the "Drama of Quickness." Rondo, er, "Mr. Rondo," explained, "To be in a Rondo production, you've got to stick to the script or be quick. If you can't do that, play golf, or chess, or taking a computer programming class or something." Point taken.

Shaq Doesnt Think THAT Highly of Himself

Shaquille O'Neal recently ranked his top five NBA centers on SportsCenter, and who he slated fifth was far more surprising than who he put first. Bleacher Report has the rundown, where Shaq ranked himself number five, followed by Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell.

In spite of ranking Abdul-Jabbar second, O'Neal expressed displeasure with him in his book, Shaq Uncut: My Story. The Los Angeles Times posted the excerpt: Kareem was never around. And, whenever I did see him, he usually ignored me. The disappointing thing to me was, being in LA all those years and trying to fill those shoes, I would have liked to have a conversation with him."

Like Father, Like Son

Before we get to former Celtic Sam Cassell in birthdays of the week below, lets start with a few notes on him and his son who is following in his fathers footsteps.

Cassell was recently inducted into the Maryland state Athletic Hall of Fame. "To go into any Hall of Fame is great," he said, wrote PressBoxOnline.com. Cassell said. "To go in with the men and women here tonight is beyond belief. Vince Bagli, I grew up watching Vince Bagli, and Sean Landeta. I grew up watching Sean win Super Bowls for the Giants."

While Cassell reflected on his career, his son is looking to start his own. Sam Cassell, Jr. The 6-foot-4 guard is ranked as one of Baltimore's top guards, according to the Baltimore Sun -- "The Nike Baltimore Elite prospect will likely end up at a high-major or mid-major-plus program."

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@CharleeRedz13: I ain't got no health insurance at the moment....nor do my ....13depemdents....kids get sick around this time of year....

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Kevin Gamble turned 46 on November 13. Gamble played six seasons for the Celtics during the late 1980searly 1990s . . . David Wesley turned 41 the following day. He played three seasons for the Cs, including 1996-97 in which he averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 assists per game . . . Sasha Pavlovic celebrated his 28th birthday on November 15. Pavlovic played 17 games for the Celtics last season after signing as a free agent in March 2011 . . . Two-time NBA champion and seven-time All-Star Jo Jo White turned 65 on November 16. White is still involved with the Celtics organization as the Director of Special Projects . . . Sam Cassell turned 42 on November 18. Cassell signed with the Celtics during the 2007-08 season and lent his veteran experience to their championship run.

This Week in Celtics History

On November 18, 1969, the Celtics traded Bob Cousy to the Cincinnati Royals in exchange for Bill Dinwiddie. Cousy played 13 seasons for the Cs and won six world championships in Boston. Dinwiddie played one season for the Celtics before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971.

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Celtics can't get it done without Kyrie


BEST OF BST PODCAST: Celtics can't get it done without Kyrie

0:41 - With Kyrie Irving out with shoulder soreness the Celtics looked like a shell of themselves, losing to the 76ers, 89-80. A. Sherrod Blakely joins Michael Holley and D.J. Bean from the TD Garden to break down the loss.

7:43 - Tom Brady is injured! This is not a drill! Brady missed practice on Thursday and remains a question mark for the AFC Championship Game. Tom Giles, Jeff Howe, D.J. Bean and Tom Curran discuss the severity of the injury.

15:09 - Dave Dombrowski’s plan for the upcoming season - or lack of one - has continued to confuse everyone, though he made it clear that he’s not waiting for next year’s huge free agent class. Michael Holley, Tom Giles and Tom Curran react to Dealin’ Dave’s comments on the situation.


Kyrie Irving: Sitting out with shoulder injury 'just precautionary'

Kyrie Irving: Sitting out with shoulder injury 'just precautionary'

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving has long since understood the balancing act he must walk between embracing the moment while being mindful of the big picture. 

That’s why the decision to sit out Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia was one that, while certainly didn’t do Boston any favors against the Sixers on Thursday, it does provide him some much-needed downtime to rest his sore left shoulder.

MORE - Blakely's stars, studs, and duds from C's-Sixers

The good news is that tests taken on the shoulder show no structural damage. And with the way the schedule is shaping up now, Irving will have plenty of time to rest and be ready to play when the Celtics return to the floor on Sunday to host the Orlando Magic. 

“Just precautionary stuff, making sure everything's alright from a strength perspective,” was how Irving described the injury. “Obviously a few days will put me where I need to be. And we'll just see what goes on for Sunday's game, but you know it's nothing too crazy, just giving me a little discomfort over the last few weeks and I've just been playing through it doing what's best in terms of preparing best for every single game. I thought it was best just to get a few tests and make sure everything's alright so, everything's cool.”

Irving said the tests came back negative which is a huge positive for the Celtics and Irving who was selected as an NBA all-star starter for next month’s game. 

As far as how it happened, Irving said there was no specific event or play in which he suffered a blow to the shoulder or anything like that. 

“Gradual soreness” is how Irving described the injury.  “You know, kinda going into my shot, driving left, just not feeling as confident as I would like to be and just thought it would be best just to take a day or two to get it evaluated, meet with our medical staff, meet with our strength conditioning coach and strengthen it up and then hopefully go on Sunday.”

The Celtics (34-12) have now lost two of the three games they played this season without Irving. It is a small sample size, but there’s no denying the impact that a healthy Irving has on this roster when it comes to impacting winning. 

“First off, I just had to make sure some of the major parts of my shoulder just weren't damaged,” said Irving who added, “And then at this point it's just a strength program and doing what's best with that.”