Celtics

Marcus and Markieff Morris found not guilty in assault trial

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Marcus and Markieff Morris found not guilty in assault trial

BOSTON – Marcus and Markieff Morris were both found not guilty on Tuesday in their assault trial that stemmed from an incident in January of 2015. 

A third person charged in the incident, Gerald Bowman who is friends with the Morris twins, was also found not guilty. 

All three, along with two other men who pleaded guilty in a separate trial, were accused of beating 36-year-old Erik Hood after a high school basketball game in Phoenix in January of 2015.

Both Marcus and Markieff, who play for Boston and Washington respectively, are expected to join their respective teams sometime this week. 

Had either player been found guilty of the charges, they could have faced jail time or probation, with both triggering a multi-game suspension. 

The prosecution argued that the Morris twins held a grudge against Hood which was the reason for beating. 

However, Tim Eckstein who delivered the closing argument for the defendants, said the Morris twins were falsely accused because Hood was planning to file a lawsuit against the brothers.

The prosecution acknowledged the pending lawsuit Hood has filed against the Morris twins, but added that it was irrelevant to the current court proceedings. 

Eckstein pointed out that Hood had been attacked, but the perpetrators had already plead guilty to the crime. 

Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated assault before the trial, with their sentencing being on Oct. 16.

The judgement brings closure to an assault case that seemed as though it would never come to an end. 

For the Morris brothers, they can now focus their attention on their respective teams who will be counting on each of them to be major contributors this season. 

Marcus, acquired by Boston from Detroit during the offseason, could potentially wind up as a starter for Boston or at the very least, a key contributor off the bench in the frontcourt. With the Pistons last season, he averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds with 79 starts.

Markieff started 76 games last season for Washington while averaging 14.0 points and a career-high 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 36.2 percent which was also a career high.

Anything is Podable Episode Four: Building the Roster

Anything is Podable Episode Four: Building the Roster

Even with three All-Stars in Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, Danny Ainge and the Celtics knew that, in order to win a championship, the team needed a strong supporting cast of role players.

Episode Four of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” takes a look at how Ainge constructed the rest of the roster and how one word, “ubuntu,” set the tone for a memorable season.

Giving the team a shooter off the bench, as well as another veteran presence in the locker room, Eddie House was perfect for the 2008 Celtics.

“I remember going to a practice when he was a young player,” said Ainge regarding House. “Just watching him shoot, and shoot, and just amazed at what a great shooter this kid was.”

“I saw him have his 56 and 60 back-to-back point games in the Pac-10 and it was amazing.”

Long a fan of House, Ainge went out and got his guy, but he wasn’t finished yet.

James Posey, a veteran wing who had experience both starting and coming off the bench, was nearing a deal with the Nets, but one call changed everything.

“I actually told my agent, I’ll just go to New Jersey,” said Posey. “Then Eddie House called me.”

House convinced Posey to spurn the Nets in favor of the Celtics, giving Boston another veteran off the pine.

With the roster taking shape, what the team needed now was an identity.

Ubuntu.

Mentioned to Doc Rivers at a trustee meeting at Marquette University, the word that means “I am who I am because of you,” became the team’s mantra.

“I looked this word up and I spent, no exaggeration, hours and days on this word,” said Rivers. “Everything about the word epitomized what we had to be.”

Ubuntu was the rallying cry of the 2008 Celtics and it all started with a Board of Trustees meeting at Marquette.

Anything is Podable is a ten-part series diving into the story of the 2008 Celtics and their championship season, with exclusive, never-before-heard interviews with team executives, former players, and media members.

Narrated by Kyle Draper, it’s the perfect way for Celtics fans to pass time this offseason and get excited for 2018-19, a season in which the Celtics have as good a chance at raising their 18th championship banner as they’ve had since that magical 2008 season.

Fans can subscribe to the podcast through the link below and check out the other nine episodes for a look at this exclusive series.

Report: Knicks given slight edge over Celtics as Kyrie's free-agent destination

Report: Knicks given slight edge over Celtics as Kyrie's free-agent destination

Those pesky Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors have been around even before Yahoo's Chris Mannix mentioned the Celtics were "scared" of Kyrie Irving heading there next summer. They picked up steam this week with another report of The Big Apple as a destination for Irving and Jimmy Butler to join forces.

Now, ESPN's NBA Forecast Panel gives the Knicks a slight edge over the Celtics to land Irving, 46.9 percent to  43.8 percent.

Here's part of the panel's explanation on ESPN's "The Jump": 

It would take some salary-cap machinations for New York to lure Irving to play close to where he grew up in West Orange, N.J. They would likely have to risk losing Kristaps Porzingis in free agency next summer by not giving him a big-money extension this season. 

There's also a potential pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency next summer as the Knicks - playoff-less since 2013 and title-less for 45 years - make another attempt to spend their way back to relevance. 

Irving has made it clear he's not going to cost himself millions by signing an extension with the C's this season ("Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense”) and is headed to free agency, so, with training camp more than a month away, get used to a season full of questions about his future. And expect the Knicks speculation to heat up before the four C's-Knicks games (Oct. 20 and Feb. 6 in New York and Nov. 21 and Dec. 6 in Boston). 

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