Friday FT's: Your Rondo Fix; KG earns lockout praise


Friday FT's: Your Rondo Fix; KG earns lockout praise

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 have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there are still plenty of hoops to talk about.

With the NBA season is a state of uncertainty, how about some Rajon Rondo news to get you through this week:

Rondo has been keeping in shape at the University of Kentucky in workouts organized by Oklahoma City Thunder centerUK alum Nazr Mohammed. According to Mohammeds tweets, Rondo has been joined by Cs rookie JaJuan Johnson, former Celtic Lester Hudson, among other players.

Growing up, Rondo developed a love for football before he began playing basketball. He showed off his skills in this video and then did some friendly boasting to Tennessee Titans quarterback (and Massachusetts native) Matt Hasselbeck on Twitter:

@RajonRondo: "Hey @Hasselbeck, I'm ready... http:taps.lapVVETT"

@Hasselbeck: "@RajonRondo Good hands but can you run routes too? RedZoneFadeRoute 3HourDriveToNashville"

@RajonRondo: "@Hasselbeck of course aint much I can't do"

Last week we told you Rondo was going to team up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh for charity. For those who cringe at the image of Rondo running the court with the Heats trio, dont worry -- hell only be teammates with two of them. (Does that help at all?)

The rosters were announced on Thursday for the South Florida All-Star Classic, taking place on October 8 at Florida International University. Rondo is slated to play alongside James and Bosh, as well as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gay, Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, Jonny Flynn, and Damon Jones.

On the opposite side, Wade will headline a team including Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, John Wall, Caron Butler, Dorell Wright, Wesley Matthews, and Eddy Curry. (Rosters are subject to change.)

Tickets for the South Florida All-Star Classic sold out in less than two hours. The game will be streamlined online at CBSMiami.com beginning at 7:30pm on Saturday night.

And last but not least, Rondo shared which crowd he considers to be the most obnoxious in the NBA (and its not the Lakers).

KG Draws Praise During Lockout
Kevin Garnett was in the news this week for his presence during NBA lockout negotiations. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports praised Garnett for his involvement in the Players Association:For Garnett to privately fight for the union in meetings, to implore the players to make no more undue concessions even if it means they sit out the season, has to be one of the most unselfish acts in these labor talks. Theyll call him greedy, ungrateful, a pig, and theyll be wrong. Theres no winning for Garnett in this labor fight, unless hes left something for the next generation of players, the way his predecessors did for him.What hes doing now, to me, it says a lot about K.G., says a younger NBA player who made about 5 million last season. Hes willing to sit out the year, and give up 21 million at the end of his last big contract, and probably his last really good chance to win another ring. For him, this is about the principle.I dont want to hear this stuff from our guys saying, Oh, he can afford to sit out. Hes made a lot of money. I respect the expletive out of those guys standing up for us right now, him, Kobe, all of them.

Wojnarowskis assessment of Garnett during this time is in line with the sentiments shared by so many players when they join the Celtics -- if you are on the same side as Garnett, he is one of the most committed teammates you could have.

Doc Dresses the Part

"Doc" may only be a nickname, but this week Celtics head coach Doc Rivers dressed the part when he visited patients at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. Rivers also posed for photos and signed autographs during the visit, which commemorated the Celtics 25-year partnership with the hospital.

It was a lot of fun walking around and visiting with patients and their families, Rivers said. To be a part of this event, celebrating the 25th year partnership between the Celtics and New England Baptist, was a great experience.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@nate_robinson: "@PeteCarroll wish u would let me play football coach I could be good help, next time uBetter give me a tryout TeamUbetter lol"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Alton Lister, who played for the Celtics during the 1996 and 1997 seasons, turned 53 on October 1 . . . Tom Boswell, who played for the Celtics in the late 1970's, turned 58 on October 2. Boswell won a title with the Celtics during the 1975-76 season . . . Willie Naulls, a member of the 1964, '65, and '66 Celtics, turned 77 on October 7. He won a championship in all three seasons with the C's.

This Week in Celtics History

On October 5, 1950, the Celtics selected Bob Cousy from the Chicago Stags in the dispersal draft. Cousy went on to become a 13-time NBA All-Star and won six championships with the Celtics . . . On that date in 1989, the Celtics acquired John Bagley from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for two future second-round picks . . . On October 6, 2010, the Celtics signed Mario West as a free agent. He was waived by the C's that month and played 42 games for the Maine Red Claws before signing with the New Jersey Nets late in the season.

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

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the Celtics, the preseason went about as well as expected.
No serious, long-term injuries.


They won every preseason game, even one in which the team’s second unit played the role of starters.
And the chemistry concerns with so many new players, while very real, didn’t seem to be that big an issue.
Still, as good as the Celtics may feel about where they stand, they know it means absolutely nothing unless they get it done against elite, NBA-caliber competition.
The Cleveland Cavaliers.
Opening night.
It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
And for the Celtics, win or lose, this is going to be a game for them to build upon going forward this season.
“I’m just ready to get going,” said Gordon Hayward. “A lot of things have happened this summer, a lot of buildup. I’m ready to get to the game. It’s going to be a fun matchup, for sure.”
Among the summer happenings was Boston and Cleveland pulling off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of the offseason with the Cavs trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic while also conveying Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal.
Having spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers, there’s a certain amount of corporate knowledge that the 25-year-old Irving brings to tonight’s matchup.
“I know a lot about them, they know a lot about me,” Irving said. “There’s plenty of film on all of us, but specifically going back and understanding the way we played last year when I played with them and now how they’re playing with the new guys, understanding how to implement themselves into their new system plus me implementing myself into this system...There’s definitely some benefits on our end, there are some benefits on their end. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Part of the challenge for the Celtics will be developing the kind of on-court cohesion to be successful, which is easier said than done when you’re talking about getting nearly a dozen players on the same page in just a few weeks.
“We have good chemistry as a group,” said Al Horford. “We still have a ways to go as far as keep getting comfortable with each other and keep figuring out our spots. But we feel good with what we have. Our young guys, it’s been remarkable how quickly they’ve been able to come along and be up to date with everything. And our new guys as well. They’re up to date, they know what we need to do. They understand the game plan. It’s been good.”
Players aren’t the only ones eager to get to tonight’s game.
“To have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc. is great,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s great to experience that in game one, a tremendous learning experience for our group, so we’re preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they’re really, really good. But this is..I’m looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments


'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

Isaiah Thomas told Sports Illustrated last week that he "might never talk to Danny [Ainge] again." And he sounded pretty bitter about his trade from the Celtics to the Cavs.

Now, on the "Road Trippin" podcast with new teammate Channing Frye and ex-Cav Richard Jefferson, Thomas, who is out until at least January with a hip injury, said those comments were misunderstood.


“People took it the wrong way,” Thomas said. “I understand the business, I understand that we’re in position to get traded and sent to other teams and things like that. It’s just how it went down that I didn’t respect. As a man, I feel like if you respected me as much as you say you did, you would have at least informed me about what was going on before it happened. And that’s all I was talking about.

“I’m not tripping off the trade like I got traded to the Cavs and we’re going to win a championship. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be fine with that,” Thomas said. “[Ainge] sent me to an even better situation with a bigger platform. I’m blessed to be in the position, I’m grateful and I’m excited.”

The Cavs host the Celtics tonight in the season opener. 

Jae Crowder, who came to Cleveland from Boston, was also on the podcast and when Frye talked with him about players deserving communication from the front office, Thomas could be heard in the background, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

“I already said what I’m doing," Thomas told Crowder about what he'll do should he run into Ainge. "I’m going to keep it pushing like he kept pushing when he traded me, I’m not going to disrespect him. He’s a man and I’m a man, too. Like, I’m going to go my way. I play for the Cavaliers and that’s what it is.”