Celtics

It's Lonzo Ball who stinks, not LaVar

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It's Lonzo Ball who stinks, not LaVar

This is going to be very dramatic, so buckle up. 

Remember when Jesse is in the hospital after Hank beats his ass and Walter offers him a 50-50 split of the Fring money to be partners and he turns it down? He says “I am not turning down the money. I am turning down you!”

Well, imagine me beaten to a pulp sitting in a hospital bed as I say this next part all Pinkman-like. Makes it more dramatic. 

I don’t dislike LaVar Ball. I dislike Lonzo Ball. 

As the Celtics prepare to play the other projected top pick on whom they passed, the Ball family finds itself in the news yet again. This time it’s over LiAngelo Ball’s arrest in China for shoplifting. What an idiot. 

And “idiot” is a term that’s been thrown around a lot regarding basketball’s brashest family. Usually, it’s slapped on father LaVar, the guy who, in addition to selling overpriced trash shoes and talking ragtime in front of just about any camera that’s been stuck in front of him, may or may not have gotten third son LaMelo’s high school coach fired. 

Yet if LaVar’s an idiot, I don’t care. He’s background noise we’ve chosen to put in the foreground. As far as I’m concerned, he’s no worse than Cheryl Hines’ character in “A Bad Moms Christmas.” He’s a parent who loves his family so much that it’s literally the only way he spends his time. He’s out of control, sure. But he’s not hurting anybody. 

My issue is with Lonzo, who’s also not hurting anybody, but is the actual main event here. He’s the reason any of us have even heard of LaVar. And if we’re going to care about anyone doing dumb stuff, it’s the actual player. And I’ve got my eye on Lonzo. 

Here’s what Lonzo has done so far: 

- Sucked at basketball (more on that below). 
- Actually fixed his mouth to say Future was better music than Nas and that Nas wasn't "real hip-hop." 
- Was part of this iconic photo. 

I take more offense to Lonzo disrespecting Nas than I do LaVar and his winning smile acting like Lonzo played well in the first game of the season. I take more joy in watching Patrick Beverley stand over a defeated Lonzo than I do watching LaVar be proven wrong for the billionth time. So if we’re going to trash anyone, let’s go with the guy who matters here.

As for the actual basketball part (boring), I’m invested in seeing whether all of this is too big for Lonzo: The hype, playing for his hometown Lakers, knowing that opponents are gunning for him. So far, the Lakers are good in spite of Lonzo’s struggles (he is shooting under 30 percent lmaooooooooooo), as 22nd overall pick Kyle Kuzma has been the Lakers’ best rookie. 

If Lonzo does amount to anything as a player, that will be a good thing. The Celtics-Lakers rivalry will have its next duo, as Ainge chose to go with Tatum over Ball. You can focus your efforts on rolling your eyes at the dad, but you’ll be missing the point. 

[Also, that Foot Locker commercial with Lonzo wasn’t funny and I lost all respect for anyone who pretended it was.] 

Celtics finish Summer League with loss to Trail Blazers in quarterfinals

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File Photo

Celtics finish Summer League with loss to Trail Blazers in quarterfinals

The Boston Celtics close out their NBA Summer League campaign with a 4-2 record, after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers 95-80 in the Las Vegas quarterfinals, at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

The Celtics trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half, only to crawl all the way back to tie it up twice in the third quarter before giving way in the fourth.

It was a strong night for the Celtics' bench. Former UMass star Trey Davis, childhood friend of Marcus Smart, led all Boston scorers with 19 points. Meanwhile, University of Rhode Island star Hassan Martin had another solid showing, leading the Celtics with 16 points off the bench to go with nine rebounds. Guerschon Yabusele was the other Celtic -- and only starter -- in double-figures, the sturdy big man showing range from deep with a 4-for-7 effort on three-pointers that anchored a 16-point total.

John Jenkins, a 2012 first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks, led the way for Portland with 25 points.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

Boston Celtics waive Kadeem Allen

Boston Celtics waive Kadeem Allen

The Boston Celtics announced they have waived guard Kadeem Allen Sunday ahead of their Summer League quarterfinal against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Allen's two-way contract he signed last season would have become fully guaranteed for the 2018-19 season had the Celtics not waived him Sunday. 

The Boston Globe reported that it was likely Allen played his last game with the Celtics Saturday against Miami in the Summer League, and today Boston made it official. 

Selected with the 53rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen spent most of last season with the Maine Red Claws, where he played very well. He only spent 18 games with the Celtics. 

This year's summer league was an opportunity for Allen to earn a second year on his two-way contract. He struggled to score and create for others, leading to Pierria Henry taking the starting point guard role. 

Allen's release opens up a two-way contract slot for the Celtics, who could look at their own summer league roster or another player who doesn't get an offer from their current team. 

Henry has reportedly gained significant interest from pro teams in Europe, while Hassan Martin is likely to have two-way contract offers in front of him soon. 

Roster spots are hard to come by given the strength of the current Celtics roster, but a temporary slot is there for Danny Ainge to fill. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE