Celtics

NBA players reject owners deal

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NBA players reject owners deal

NEW YORK The NBA Players Union has notified the NBA that they will be filing a disclaimer of interest, the kind of legal move that throws yet another monkey-wrench into the hopes of having an NBA season.

"The Collective Bargaining process has completely broken down," said Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBAPA which will become defunct as soon as the court filings for the disclaimer of interest are completed, possibly as early as today.

"As a result, we served a notice of disclaimer on Commissioner (David) Stern and the NBA. "We plan to disseminate that to the 30 team owners, so they will know the action that was taken today."

Dozens of players were in attendance, including Celtics forward Jeff Green and C's guard Rajon Rondo who is the alternate player representative for the C's.

"This was not something we rushed into," Rondo said. "And guys felt strong about our opinion and the decision we made."

He added, "it's a lot at stake, it's a lot of risks. But at the end of the day, we have to try and make the right decision for us as a whole."

The move to file a disclaimer of interest as opposed to decertifying the union was done to expedite the court process, which the players believe could potentially salvage a significant portion of the 2011-2012 NBA season.

It allows the players to immediately file anti-trust lawsuits against the NBA, and not have to wait for the 45-60 window that would be in place if they were to decertify.

The players will be represented by union counsel Jeffrey Kessler, as well as David Boies who was part of the NFL's legal team in the anti-trust suit filed against them by the players, one that included Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the list of plaintiffs. Kessler and Boies declined to comment on which players would be named as plaintiffs in the anti-trust suit. Typically the plaintiffs in such suits are among the more high-profile players, so the most likely Celtics to be named are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

While there's still a chance that the NBA and the attorneys now representing the players can work out a deal, there isn't expected to be much talk in the coming weeks about a new deal. Instead, the focus will be on the court proceedings.

NBA commissioner David Stern held no punches back in discussing his disappointment with the NBAPA's decision.

"We were very close, and the players decided to blow it up," Stern told ESPN.

Stern added, "Billy Hunter has decided to put the season in jeopardy and deprive his union members of an enormous payday."

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

BOSTON – With all the changes the Celtics went through over the summer, seeing more rookies on the floor this season was a given.
 
But six?
 
Yes, only three games into the season and the Celtics have played more rookies than any team under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

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And in the 102-92 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night, the Celtics (1-2) played almost as many first-year players (five) as veterans (six).
 
The youth movement here in Boston has been sped up a bit by the season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward, compounded by a left ankle sprain to Marcus Smart that Smart said won’t keep him out any more than Friday night in Philly.

Even if Smart is back in the Celtics lineup Tuesday night against New York, that doesn’t change the fact that Boston will continue to need rookies to step up and contribute going forward as they did on Friday.
 
And while there’s an old adage about experience being the greatest teacher, Boston’s youngsters are going to have to fast-forward past some of those on-the-floor growing pains for the Celtics to stay among the top teams in the East.
 
“Everybody talks about young players having to learn by going through experience,” said Stevens. “Why don’t we just watch film and learn? Learn from things we can control and in the interim, let’s beat the age thing. Let’s not talk about the age thing. Let’s talk about how we can be better at what we can control and how we can learn and grow every day and expedite the learning curve.
 
Stevens added, “because they are going to get opportunities all the way down the line, let’s not focus on trying to learn from experience; let’s focus on learning from every day and see if we can get a little bit better every day.”
 
The one rookie who has had no problem adjusting to the NBA game early on has been Jayson Tatum.
 
Selected with the third overall pick last June, Tatum has been among the NBA's most productive rookies in this first week of the season.
 
Tatum’s 35.3 minutes played per game is tops among all rookies. His 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds rank seventh and fourth among his first-year brethren.
 
Stevens loves what he has seen thus far from Tatum, but believes he’s capable of making an even greater impact sooner rather than later.
 
“I like him to shoot it on the catch more,” Stevens said. “Because he has tremendous touch. When he shoots it in rhythm with confidence, the ball finds the net. He’s one of those guys; he’s a natural scorer. But his ability to read the game … he’s very intelligent. It’s been more evident on the defensive end. He’s gonna pick his spots offensively now. But we want him to be aggressive and first and foremost, be a threat to shoot it every time he catches it.
 
Stevens added, “I guess it should feel pretty good when you’re 19 years old and your coach is begging you to shoot it.”
 
How quickly Tatum and the rest of Boston’s youngsters grow into the roles they will be asked to play this season can do nothing but help the Celtics adapt to what has already been a season with major changes needing to be made.
 
“You saw [against Philadelphia], we had Shane [Larkin], we had Guerschon [Yabusele], we had guys coming in that played the game at a high level and we need them to contribute,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving. “For me to see that and witness that, it makes me nothing but proud and happy to have teammates that are ready to play. It’s not always going to look perfect because we’re still gaining knowledge about one another. But as long as we’re out there competing, having each other’s backs, that’s all that matters.”
 

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

BOSTON – As expected, the NBA has fined Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” toward a fan at the Friday night game in Philadelphia.
 
The incident occurred at halftime as Irving and his teammates were heading to the locker room, trailing by four. Boston went on to win 102-92 for their first victory of the season.
 
A fan yelled, “Hey, where’s LeBron?” to which Irving replied with a lewd suggestion to the yeller.
 
The Celtics practiced on Saturday with Irving addressing the incident.

When asked if he had any regrets about the incident, Irving replied, “Hell no. Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s social media platform we live on.
 
Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”
 
When asked about the incident on Saturday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not seen the video but was aware of it.
 
“People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on,” Stevens said. “There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”

It was the second such fine levied by the league in as many days. 

New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" toward a fan when the Pelicans lost 103-91 at Memphis on Wednesday.