Celtics

Thomas appreciates 'unwavering support' from team

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Thomas appreciates 'unwavering support' from team

OTTAWA Tim Thomas appreciated his captain and teammate Zdeno Chara selecting him with his second pick in the NHL All-Star Player Draft on Friday night at the Hilton Lac Leamy hotel.

Chara tapped Pavel Datsyuk with his first choice because of his great respect and admiration for the Red Wings superstar, and then wasted no time bringing the Bs goalie out to the stage.

The embattled Thomas under scrutiny for skipping out on a White House ceremony with his Stanley Cup winning teammates due to political reasons further appreciated the support hes received from both his Bs teammates and his NHL All-Star brethren.

He was asked if any of his All-Star peers tossed any ribbing his way over the decision to boycott the White House, and it seemed Thomas answered on behalf of both his Bruins and All-Star teammates.

They have given their full and unwavering support, and I really appreciate that, said Thomas. I did address it. Everything I said in my Facebook statement is what I believe to be absolute truth. I dont believe I need to revisit something that I stated so clearly.

The 37-year-old goalie has been unerringly clear about his desire to close discussions on his individual choice to skip the President Obama visit. Thomas reiterated that several times on Thursday night, and said that he instead hopes the NHL All-Star weekend focus will be on hockey in Ottawa.

This weekend is a celebration of hockey. This game of hockey is a great and its obviously given so much to me, said Thomas. I played all kinds of sports growing up, but this is the one that I love. To be part of an All-Star weekend and celebrate so many aspects of it is awesome.

Theres a fair chance that will happen now that hes addressed the issue head on in front of the national hockey media at one of the leagues showpiece events, and it certainly helped that his Bruins teammates stood behind him. Chara used his actions of selecting Thomas to make his support statement, and Seguin filled in the blanks with his words afterward.

Timmy is the best goaltender in the world and any chance to give him recognition is beyond well-deserved, said Seguin. In the end hes got his opinions. My opinion on his situation doesnt matter in the end. I had a good time at the White House and its something Ill always remember.

I dont really want him to have to be angry or get put on the spot. Either way whether its a good or a bad choice hes still my teammate and Ill have his back on it.

The one question Thomas refused to answer: His reaction to a report Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick called his Monday actions intimated his actions showed a lack of "respect" or "grace."Thomas response was an emphatic no comment and there may be many more of those in the goalies future when the inevitable questions are posed for the rest of this weekend.

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.

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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

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'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.

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“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.”