The Official Boston Celtics Thread

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Props Slaps
 10-18-2006, 09:16 PM         #1
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Hurricane Ra 
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The Official Boston Celtics Thread
 

 
Who saw the game 2n? Powe 15 boards, Rondo,Bassy,Powe,Allen and Gomes for the 4th.. Great game great come back..

Also this will be in game sh*t and il update on celtics news.

369 comments for "The Official Boston Celtics Thread"

 10-18-2006, 09:19 PM         #2
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Return to New York tests Telfair

By Shira Springer, Globe Staff | October 18, 2006

NEW YORK -- Playing at Madison Square Garden never gets old for the Celtics' Coney Island raised Sebastian Telfair. Starting at point guard, Telfair outplayed his cousin, Stephon Marbury, in the first two quarters last night against the New York Knicks.
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Telfair became sick with a stomach ailment during halftime of the exhibition game and did not return, finishing with 14 points in 17 minutes. It was easily the best stretch of basketball in a Boston uniform for Telfair. He's probable for tonight's game against New Jersey at TD BankNorth Garden.

While Marbury (6 points, 3 a.ssists) could boast about the Knicks' 116-108 win this time, the teams meet again Saturday night at Mohegan Sun. Despite rumors of family friction, Marbury said everything between the two point guards is ``fine."

``I always look forward to playing against him because I see myself when I play him," said Marbury. ``I see something that I created. When he was young, I was in the NBA. Now, he's starting to understand he's in a situation where he can be the person who carries on the legacy of being from Coney Island. Knowing his cousin did it first, it puts things into perspective of how things are."

Marbury added: ``As far as everyone wants to put us up against each other, it's not about who's better. Everybody gets his turn. We both have an understanding of who we are as basketball players and who we are as people."

Marbury believes ``it's all about the mind-set" for Telfair this season, that his cousin will succeed with the Celtics if he prepares for games mentally as well as physically. Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas agrees. ``Having Doc [Rivers] and Danny [Ainge] around him definitely will teach him a little bit about playing the position and how to prepare yourself for a game," said Thomas. ``That's the most difficult thing that young players have to adjust to, is how do you get prepared for a game and what's your game-day routine and how do you attack the opponent. "

For Telfair, the right mental preparation may entail not thinking too much or too hard. Rivers would like Telfair to rely more on his natural basketball instincts when running the uptempo offense. With each exhibition game, Telfair looks a little more natural on the court and, more importantly, his play is more effective. ``[Rivers] thinks I'm better going out there and just playing," said Telfair. ``When I play without thinking too much, I think I make less mistakes out there. The more I get to play with guys, the more I know where they're going to be at to get my a.ssists. I know how to pick when I shoot and when not to shoot."

Making his New York debut with the Celtics in front of friends and family last night, Telfair faced more mental challenges than usual. Telfair enjoyed some of the biggest moments of his storied career at Madison Square Garden, winning an unprecedented three straight New York City Public School Athletic League titles there with Abraham Lincoln High School.

Telfair accounted for the Celtics first 9 points in the first quarter. But with Boston missing two-thirds of its projected starting lineup in the second half, with Telfair, Paul Pierce and Theo Ratliff out, New York earned its third straight preseason win. Wally Szczerbiak and Tony Allen led the Celtics in scoring with 18 points each, while Kendrick Perkins led the visitors in rebounding with 10 boards. Rajon Rondo came on strong in the fourth quarter to finish with 14 points and seven a.ssists.

Rivers takes a look
Rivers started Ryan Gomes, Szczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, Allan Ray, and Telfair. Missing Delonte West (infected right toe), Ratliff (sore back), and Brian Scalabrine (left shoulder) in addition to Pierce gave Rivers and Ainge an opportunity to look at Leon Powe, Akin Akingbala, and Kevin Pittsnogle. Rivers said Pierce was ``fine" and still expects him back tonight . . . Allen was back on the court after going to Chicago Monday for a status hearing in his aggravated battery case. Although he is awaiting a trial date, Allen said, ``It'll be over soon." When asked why he traveled to Chicago, Allen added, ``The judge wanted to see me." . . . Ainge said there would not be any cuts today.

Shira Springer can be reached at . THE COURT REPORTER For the latest news from the Celtics' training camp, go to boston.com/sports/celtics_blog.
 11 years ago '05        #3
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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you already know Rakim
 10-19-2006, 02:53 PM         #4
Hurricane Ra  OP
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No doubt man, cant wait for the season! All the young guys are BALLLIN
 10-19-2006, 02:55 PM         #5
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Accounting course at bank
Pierce, Powe lead rally against Nets

By Shira Springer, Globe Staff | October 19, 2006

Paul Pierce played last night for the first time since suffering a left hip strain last Saturday against Cleveland. His presence helped the Celtics against the Nets, the early favorites to win the Atlantic Division. Boston fell behind but rallied and defeated New Jersey, 94-90.
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Leon Powe impressed the crowd at TD Banknorth Garden with 15 rebounds and 11 points in 29 minutes, and Sebastian Telfair added 10 points and three steals in 38 minutes . Wally Szczerbiak (did not dress, coach's decision), Theo Ratliff (sore lower back), Delonte West (sore right toe), and Brian Scalabrine (separated left shoulder) watched from the sideline.

``[Wally] is feeling fine," said coach Doc Rivers. ``But we just felt with his knee we've got to be very careful. We had already made the decision not to play him [against New Jersey] before the game [Tuesday night at New York]."

Rivers doesn't anticipate a pattern where Szczerbiak plays the first of back-to-back games, but not the second, though he also missed the second of a back-to-back last week in Toronto. Szczerbiak told Rivers he felt ``great" yesterday morning, and the team wants to make sure his surgically repaired left knee improves steadily.

Medical journal
Updating the status of the other injured players, Rivers said, ``Theo is done for this week. He's had the back flare up and we're just going to sit him. I'm not concerned about Theo because he's been in the league long enough and he knows how to play basketball. I'm more concerned about Delonte now because I just want him to play." Scalabrine joked that Gerald Green was to blame for the separated shoulder he suffered in practice Sunday. After two days in a sling, Scalabrine is moving his arm and expects to be back early next week. ``Gerald Green, those weights that he's been lifting all summer had a drastic effect on my shoulder," said Scalabrine. As far as a return date, Scalabrine added, ``We're shooting for next Tuesday or Wednesday." . . . Rivers said cuts would be made ``probably Friday."
 10-19-2006, 02:55 PM         #6
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Good time for Powe’s big game
By Steve Bulpett
Boston Herald Sports Reporter
Thursday, October 19, 2006 - Updated: 07:36 AM EST

Prior to last night, one of the bigger things going for Leon Powe in his quest to make the Celtics was the fact he has some guaranteed money coming his way. But by the time last night’s 94-90 preseason win over the New Jersey Nets ended, the rookie had added 15 rebounds and a pile of grit to his resume.
After playing just four minutes in the preseason opener and sitting on the pine for the next three games, Powe turned 29 minutes against the Nets into 11 points and the 15 boards.
Whereas Celtics coach Doc Rivers had been questioning Powe’s grasp of the game plan, the forward came up with the right answers.


“He was phenomenal,” Rivers said. “More importantly he was running the stuff. That’s where he’s really struggled, just getting the system down. And he did a great job. He executed out of timeouts. I was really happy for him because he plays hard. We needed a guy in the first half to just come in and play hard and play physical and be a man, and he did that (eight boards in 9:38). Then in the second half he was still doing that, and running the stuff. And that’s a hell of a bonus for us.”
Just taking off his warmups was a bonus for Powe after a week of splinters.
“At first it was tough, and I talked to my family and my coach - my high school coach, my college coach,” Powe said. “It’s all about timing and just keeping your head into the game. You’ve just got to stay focused and be ready.
“In college I was more like the go-to guy, the scorer, and I rebounded, too. But I know my role. I’ve just got to bring something to the table to help this team win.”
On a team in which interior toughness isn’t exactly in abundant supply, Powe made his case with muscular eloquence. Though not as tall as some of his adversaries, he lacks nothing in strength - or the willingness to use it.
“You know what I love about it is it’s a message to the other bigs,” Rivers said. “There’s a guy who’s willing to get his nose dirty, and you better do it or he’ll be getting your minutes.”
To make good on that threat, Rivers will have to keep Powe around. That looked to be in growing doubt before Powe reminded everyone he can play a little.
 10-19-2006, 02:56 PM         #7
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Home > Sports Coverage > Celtics & NBA > Boston Celtics

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Telfair sparks rally: Youngsters pass test
By Mark Murphy/ Celtics Notebook
Thursday, October 19, 2006 - Updated: 07:42 AM EST

On Tuesday night in New York, Doc Rivers was impressed by the way Sebastian Telfair excelled despite shouldering a load of off-court pressure, after a gold chain was ripped from around his neck a night earlier.
Last night, after watching the plucky guard bury an up-faking 20-footer with 7.6 seconds left in the Celtics’ 94-90 exhibition win over New Jersey, the Celtics coach was convinced of Telfair’s resolve.
“There was probably even more on him tonight, because (Tuesday night) he knew and no one else did, and this time he knew that everyone else knew,” said Rivers. “He’s just so darned competitive. He got going once the game was a real competition. Some guys are just that competitive.”

Click to learn more...

But they still call these exhibition games for a reason. As such, a hobbling Paul Pierce took a seat early in the second half to rest a hip bruise after scoring 18 points in 30 minutes. Wally Szczerbiak (knee), Theo Ratliff (back) and Delonte West (ingrown toenail) never made it in.
But considering that Jason Kidd and Vince Carter logged only limited time for the Nets, and Richard Jefferson was given a rest for the night, the Celtics continued to give their youth a long look.
Leon Powe (11 points, 15 rebounds) excelled in his first extended time of the exhibition season, and the Telfair-Rajon Rondo-Ryan Gomes troika once again provided the highlights, this time turning an 83-77 deficit with 7:04 left into the second win of the preseason.
Gomes scored eight of his 15 points in succession during that stretch, most of his hoops coming off transition layups courtesy of the two young point guards.
“I would love to play that way more, because that’s the way we have to play to win,” Rivers said of the up-tempo, pressure-triggered pace. “I’m still looking for our (center and power forward) combination that can do this, and maybe we found it tonight. Ryan was great.”
Doc rues West woes
Training camp is turning into a horrible tease for West.
The Celtics guard, who has only played in one exhibition game, missed another one last night.
West had missed the first two games due to a sore back, returned to play almost 26 minutes against Cleveland in Manchester, N.H., last Saturday, and has now missed the last two games.
Rivers, far from being worried about the condition of West’s toe, is more concerned about the guard losing time in his transition from the point to shooting guard.
Although Szczerbiak and Ratliff also missed last night’s game, Rivers was clearly preoccupied with West’s dilemma.
“I just want him to play,” said Rivers. “That’s a minor concern of mine right now. I just want him to get into the rhythm and flow of the game again. We have to get him on the floor.”
Body of knowledge
Rivers wasn’t nearly as concerned about Szczerbiak, who received the time off after scoring 18 points in 27 minutes the night before against the New York Knicks.
“The first thing I asked Wally today is, ‘How do you feel?’ And he said, ‘I feel great,’ ” said Rivers. “Wally feels fine, but with him we will be careful.
“And nobody knows his body like Wally Szczerbiak,” he said. “So that was just great to hear.” . . .
Brian Scalabrine was told yesterday that he has a “minor” shoulder separation.
 11 years ago '05        #8
lakersboy03 6 heat pts
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PDub is the TRUTH!!!!!!!!! Most underrated Top ten player.......
 11 years ago '05        #9
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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^^^^^^^^^^^
 11 years ago '05        #10
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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......................
 10-22-2006, 02:34 AM         #11
KillaCam2939  OP
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Powes impressing me early on, I knew he was good at Cal but he's showing so far he can score at will in the paint.Not to mention the potential sleeper Rondo will be, can't wait till the season begins.
 10-22-2006, 05:20 PM         #12
Rip The Jacker  OP
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Sports Illustraded Boston Celtics Preview...

Eastern Conference Ranking: 14

"Their star can do it all--except lead the team into the playoffs by himself"

Let's get one thing straight: The Celtics' failure to make the playoffs for the first time in five years had nothing to do with Paul Pierce. In 2005-06 Pierce had career highs in scoring (26.8 points per game) and field goal percentage (47.1%), and tied Larry Bird for the most 2,000 point seasons (four) in team history. For all his effort, Boston's 6'6'' franchise player got 33 wins, a bum left elbow (he had surgery in August) and his name tossed around in trade rumors. Still, he accepted a three year, $59.4 million extension to remain a Celtic through '10-11. "By making this commitment to me," says Pierce, "I think they're making a commitment to be a contending team in these next five years."

More than the millions, Pierce needs a little help; he accounted for 26.3% of his team's offense last season, sixth in the league. "You always want more veteran presence," says Pierce. "It helps you do your job better." So in the deal for point guard Sebastian Telfiar, Boston also picked up center Theo Ratliff in the hopes that the 33-year-old, still a feared shot blocker, can stabilize one of the league's youngest rosters.

The Celtics also hope Pierce gets support from returning players. Third-year power forward Al Jefferson reported to the camp injury-free and 30 pounds lighter, while sharpshooter Wally Szczerbiak is healthy after off-season left knee surgery. "I'm excited," says Pierce. "We have a couple of good additions and a lot of young talent and depth. I like our potential."

That's Paul Pierce: just trying to get by with a little help from his friends. - C.M.

Projected Starting 5 -
C: Theo Ratliff
PF: Al Jefferson
SF: Wally Szczerbiak
SG: Paul Pierce
PG: Sebastian Telfair

Bench -
G: Delonte West
C: Kendrick Perkins
F: Ryan Gomes
F: Gerald Green
G: Rajon Rondo

Enemy Lines: An opposing team's scout sizes up on the Celtics - (basically the negative points)

As an offensive coach, Doc Rivers is very, very good. But if the Celtics think they're going to win by outscoring and outrunning teams, then that will be the death of them....Sebastian Telfair and Rajon Rondo are small point guards who can't shoot a lick, which means defenses will ignore them in the half-court. Paul Pierce is going to be frusterated with Telfair because he isn't a pass-first point guard--he gets to the lane, and then if he can't score, he dishes it out. He still hasn't proved that he's capable of finishing, so it's not like he's going to force the defense to collapse and create open shots for Pierce....They're putting too much faith in young guys like Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Kendrick perkins and Delonte West. The latter two are career backups on a good team. Green may turn out to be a starter, but I don't see him as a future All-Star. Jefferson needs to overcome inability to play with some pain, which is a huge detriment for a big man....Their failed attempts to trade for Allen Iverson showed me that they are panicking.

Fast Fact: Paul Pierce and Allen Ivertson were the only players to score 15 or more points in every game last year. The last time Pierce failed to score 15 in the regular season was on April 19, 2005.

I got this right out of the new Sports Illustrated magazine and typed it out..
 11 years ago '05        #13
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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Celtics Waive Jackson, Grant; Pick Up Allen’s Option

By Peter F. Stringer
Celtics.com
October 26, 2006

WALTHAM - The Celtics announced their final roster moves at 6pm today, waiving swingman Luke Jackson and power forward Brian Grant, setting their regular season roster at the league maximum of 15 players.

By league rule, players must be avaialble on waivers for two business days before the October 30 6 pm deadline.

Jackson was acquired from Cleveland on October 13, 2006 in exchange for forward Dwayne Jones, and he appeared in four games for the Celtics in the exhibition season, scoring 11 points in 21 minutes of action.

Grant was acquired in the draft night deal for the draft rights to Rajon Rondo in exchanged for a future first round pick. Grant was not expected to play for the Celtics when the deal was made and did not attend training camp for the Celtics, although he remained under contract until today.

The team also announced that it has picked up the team option on Tony Allen's contract.

The Celtics open their regular season on Wednesday night at the TD Banknorth Garden against the New Orleans Hornets.
 11 years ago '05        #14
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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Chat Transcript: Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce

Statistically speaking, Paul Pierce had his best season in 2005-2006, shooting 47% from the field, leading the Celtics in scoring, rebounding and a.ssists. He seemed to get better as the season wore on, as he put together one of the most memorable scoring stretches in Celtics history during the month of March, stringing together several impressive 30-point plus performances and a few buzzer beating game-winners as well.

Pierce re-signed with the Celtics over the offseason, agreeing to a five-year contract extension on July 18 that will keep him in Green and White until 2010-2011. And he re-upped with the Celtics with one goal in mind: to hang championship banner #17.

"Before I signed the contract, I thought about what's going to be my place in Celtics history, and that's why I put all my eggs in the basket with Danny and Doc," said Pierce when he re-signed.

Pierce has had a rough off-season. He had successful surgery on his left elbow, and banged up his hip in an exhibition game in Manchester, NH against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and missed the last two exhibition games with an infected finger on his left hand. But he plans to be ready to go when the Celtics tip-off the regular season Wednesday, November 1 at home against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

Pierce stopped by Celtics.com on Thursday to chat live with fans. Check out what Paul had to say about the yound squad, his days at Kansas and much more.

Dan (Brighton): Paul, what's up with the hand? You going to be 100 percent?

Paul Pierce: The hand is doing great, I'm 100% and in fact, if Opening Night was tonight, I'd be ready to go.

Sebastian (Miami, FL): Hey Paul, you are the best player in the league!!! How was your offseason? What areas of your game did you work on?

Paul Pierce: I've been doing the same thing I always do...I do a lot of conditioning work on the beach in California. I also worked a lot on my right hand. But I really worked on my all-around game. I want to really focus on improving as a defensive player this season, too.

charles (Medford, MA): Hey Paul, out of all the players on this year's celtics team, who do you think has improved the most and why? Good luck this season, Charles...

Paul Pierce: Hmm. That's a good question. I'd have to say Gerald Green. He's gotten stronger, and he is learning what it takes to succeed in the NBA game and I think if he keeps improving, he can be an NBA All-Star some day.

GoBB (Philly: What's good Paul Pierce? What made you pick Kansas over staying close to home and going to either USC or UCLA?

Paul Pierce: I fell in love with the crowd at Kansas when I went on my visit. There is really nothing else like it. On my first visit, I knew it was the place for me. Plus, I did want to get away from home, so I could just concentrate on school and basketball.

Dave (Lawrence): Do you still talk to your old Kansas teammates much? What do you think about this years Jayhawk squad? I think they're probably the most stacked team since you left.

Paul Pierce: I think they have a chance to win the National Championship this year. I still talk to some guys, Raef [LaFrentz], Nick Bradford, I keep in contact with Coach Williams too. I think this current group has the chance to go all the way, and I'm gonna pick them to go all the way in my pool this year, just like every year!

Nancy (Malden, MA): Hi Paul, if you were to play Danny Ainge one-on-one in his prime (say '86), would you allow him to score a point, or would it be 21-0?

Paul Pierce: Ha-ha (Laughing) He'd probably get a couple of points, but I think I'd get the win. He was a good shooter, so he would probably knock down a few outside shots. I'd say about 21-7, I'd win.

Andy (Natick, MA) Hi Paul! Congrats on the extension and thank you for being a Celtic. What's your take on the running game and our new dynamic point guards?

Paul Pierce: I think we're gonna be one of the highest scoring teams in the league, with those two new point guards. I think our additions, a nice mix of veterans and youth, will turn around our problems in close game last year. I love the way Rondo and Sebastian push the ball.

Paul Fitzgerald (Medford, MA): Paul, what's your take on the new dance team?

Paul Pierce: I haven't seen them yet, I'm waiting for Game One, but I'm excited about it and I can't wait to see it.

Paul Pierce: So, make sure to come out to Game One and watch!

Fresno, CA: I am your biggest fan and I met you at the All Star game in Houston. I have to ask you. What do you feel as your single best accomplishment in the NBA?

Paul Pierce: Probably being able to play in five straight All-Star Games, that is an accomplishment and a great honor to be recognized with the best in the league.

nick(groveland,mass): Hey Paul, how is it playing with Wally by your side?

Paul Pierce: Wally is a great teammate. He's the consummate pro. He gets along with everyone and he helps our squad alot.

Andrew (Cullowhee): Hey Paul, I'd like to say you have been my favorite player on the C's since you were drafted and I love how you play the game. Which one of the younger guys has the best chance to become a special player in the next year or so?

Paul Pierce: Probably have to say, between Sebastian, Rondo and Gerald Greene. Take a coin and flip it and one of those guys....if not, all three will be a great player in this league.

Azeem (Los Angeles): The dunk you did on Chris Mihm last season was sick! Is there any extra motivation for yourselves and teammates when you're facing the Lakers? Can we say the rivalry is back?

Paul Pierce: There is definitely motivation for me, because that's where I grew up. When I play at the Lakers or Clippers, I can't look bad in front of my family and friends, so I have to perform.

John (Needham): Hi Paul, based on the players in uniform right now, how far do you think you can get to winning the NBA Championship? Good luck to you and the team this year.

Paul Pierce: I think right, now, our main goal is to get back into the playoffs. We're young and we're building, but I can honestly say in the next two or three years or so, we can compete for a championship.

Paul Pierce: Thanks to my fans, for continuing to support me and the Boston Celtics. Go to celtics.com for season tickets and check out paulpierce.net too!
 11 years ago '05        #15
katalist 229 heat pts229
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I like The Celtics mang.. nice and young team... Perkins is tight, Peirce is da man, Telfair is dope as fu*k... if they can get rid of Wally and have a few more good drafts they will be a team to look out for in teh future
 10-27-2006, 10:02 PM         #16
502forLife  OP
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Just check the avy. Rajon rondo is the next kevin johnson.
 11 years ago '05        #17
lakersboy03 6 heat pts
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For some reason I see the Celtics rallying this year on Auerbach's death......R.I.P........making a deep playoff run.....
 10-29-2006, 11:44 PM         #18
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Yeah sad sh*t man.. Thats tough for everyone out here.. Greatest coach ever...
 10-30-2006, 12:36 PM         #19
Hurricane Ra  OP
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David Aldridge | Daring decisions were true legacy of this Celtic lord
By David Aldridge
Inquirer Columnist

His license plate read, simply, CELTIC.

That's about right.

He was Celtic.

That's grammatically questionable, I know. But only if you think of the word solely as a noun.

As an adjective, Celtic can mean a great many things other than describing a language and a people that lived in Europe: It can mean controversial, traditional, arrogant. And wildly successful.

All of these correctly describe Red Auerbach, who built and maintained a dynasty for 35 years with his brains, his heart, and other important body parts.

There would be no Boston Celtics without Auerbach, who died Saturday at 89 after suffering a heart attack. Which means there would be no NBA - at least not as we know it today.

The Celtics, with their 16 world championships, are the NBA's gold standard, proudly standing beside the Yankees and Canadiens as the greatest winning professional teams in American sports history. And Auerbach made them, securing the talents of Bill Russell and John Havlicek and Dave Cowens and Larry Bird and Kevin McHale and more.

"Beyond his incomparable achievements," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement yesterday, "Red had come to be our basketball soul and our basketball conscience."

Indeed, Auerbach's legacy, to me, doesn't involve the championships, or the controversies, or the cigar that so annoyed his competitors. His most important actions involved simple decisions he made with significant consequences.

Auerbach and Celtics owner Walter Brown selected forward Chuck Cooper out of Duquesne in the second round of the 1950 draft - and, in doing so, made Cooper the first African American taken in an NBA draft. That choice wasn't just a gamble because of Cooper's race, but because it flew in the face of Harlem Globetrotters owner Abe Saperstein, whose team, at that time, was the most important in organized basketball.

The Globetrotters were the team that sold out arenas around the country, so Saperstein almost always got what he wanted. And what he wanted was all of the premier basketball black talent. He threatened boycotts of any city that took black players in the draft.

Remember, the NBA was only four years old at that time, a fledgling league that needed the Globetrotters to sell out its buildings as part of doubleheaders with its NBA tenants. But Auerbach, in his rookie season as head coach in Boston, agreed to defy both Saperstein and the racism of his day.

Auerbach, though not pleased, understood that he had to acquiesce to his players' humanity in 1961, when his black players learned they couldn't stay at the same Lexington, Ky., hotel as their white teammates for an exhibition game. When the black players, including Russell, K.C. and Sam Jones, and Satch Sanders, refused to play the game and decided to leave town in protest, Auerbach drove them to the airport.

It was Auerbach who started five black players in 1964, at a time when there was an accepted (and unspoken) quota on the number of blacks on a team. The old axiom - which no one has taken credit for - was: Play two at home, three on the road, and four when you were behind.

But it was Auerbach's relationship with Russell that revealed the most about him - and Russell, for that matter. To be sure, Auerbach knew Russell was his ticket to winning big. But theirs was a relationship of near-equals, or as close to one that a player and coach could have. Auerbach listened to his player as much as he ordered him about.

And when Auerbach decided to step down as head coach after the 1966 season, he made Russell head coach-player, the first time an African American had been given the top coaching job in the modern era of pro sports.

It's easy to draft black players now. It's easy to say now (not to mention, a fact of law) that blacks and whites should be able to stay at the same hotels. No one will bat an eye if an African American is hired now as a head coach. But Auerbach made those calls then, when it wasn't so easy.

You wonder why black folks aren't so crazy about nostalgia and the "good old days"? That's why. Those days weren't so good for us.

"I don't go around taking bows for my feelings on these matters," Auerbach wrote in one of his many books. "It's enough that my friends and a.ssociates know where I stand."

More than his friends and a.ssociates knew. And that's what we'll remember about him, above all else.
 10-30-2006, 12:36 PM         #20
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What Jackson didn't say about Auerbach tells us a lot
October 30, 2006

The surest sign of the respect Phil Jackson had for Red Auerbach is the way he refrained from making derogatory comments about him. He didn't fire the shots, even though you knew he had them loaded.

Snarky comments come naturally to Jackson. It's almost as if they're an essential part of his being, like swimming to a shark. He has made dismissive remarks about opposing coaches, entire cities, even religions. But not Auerbach.

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He let Auerbach get away with blast after blast, all the while biting his tongue so hard it's surprising it didn't bleed.

Sunday, the day after Auerbach died, Jackson wouldn't even concede that Auerbach didn't value Jackson's accomplishments.

"That's not true at all," Jackson said. "Red and I had a conflict, always, because I was a New York Knick [player]. It was just a rivalry. That's the way Red was. It was an honor that he had that kind of attitude, actually. It was an honor to be named in the same breath [when] people talk about championships."

They're linked because Jackson is the only NBA coach to equal the nine championships Auerbach won while coaching the Boston Celtics. What moves Auerbach into his own special tier of NBA Hall of Famers is that he a.ssembled the talent for those teams — and seven other Celtics championship squads.

And Auerbach made sure people knew the difference.

"How [Jackson] did it is a lot easier than how I did it, to be brutally frank," Auerbach said in a 2004 interview with The Times. "He has nothing to do with the organization of his ballclub. I had to do all my own scouting. I didn't have videotapes and four or five a.ssistant coaches. And we didn't have the money to compete."

Auerbach used to say Jackson "picked his spots" because he took over the Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were in their prime, and won championships his first three years with the Lakers, just as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant ripened.

But when Jackson returned last year to coach a Shaq-less Lakers team that had missed the playoffs the previous season, Auerbach told USA Today, "It's done for one reason — the money."

It was obvious that Auerbach would find any way to criticize Jackson. Maybe that's why Jackson treated Auerbach's comments like talk-show babbling. He knew Auerbach would invent a way to belittle him, if necessary, because to Auerbach anything not achieved by a Celtic wasn't truly an accomplishment.

So Jackson showed restraint. About the closest he came to what the political campaigners call "going negative" was in response to an Auerbach complaint that Jackson didn't send him flowers when he was hospitalized last year. Jackson responded that he tried, but there was a delivery mix-up.

Then he added with a smile, "It's probably a good deal I didn't send it, you know. [The flowers] probably would have died right away when they walked in his room."

Sunday, Jackson did recall what his mentor, Knicks coach Red Holzman, said to him when New York beat Boston in the 1973 Eastern Conference finals: "Sometimes you think good overcomes evil. And this is one of those times."

Auerbach didn't mind being hated. I'm sure he lighted those victory cigars as much to irritate his opponents as he did to satisfy a nicotine craving. And really, in hindsight, you have to appreciate it. Besides, the Lakers' breakthrough victory over the Celtics in the 1985 NBA Finals wouldn't have been half as enjoyable without Auerbach's involvement.

"That was good for the game," said Lakers a.ssistant coach Brian Shaw, who was drafted by Auerbach and the Celtics. "It made that rivalry what it was. He was going to do whatever it took to give his team the edge."

Sure, Auerbach might conveniently forget to heat the visiting locker rooms in Boston Garden during the winter. But mostly he gave his team the edge through shrewd moves, including fleecing Golden State for Robert Parish and a first-round pick used on Kevin McHale.

"In a lot of ways [he was] part of the arrogance with which they played," said Lakers a.ssistant Kurt Rambis, a veteran of the Lakers-Celtics wars in the 1980s. "It was what brought that competitiveness out in that ballclub. He was an integral part in a.ssembling those teams. You look back at the talent they had on those teams, it was amazing."

Lakers owner Jerry Buss said: "Auerbach was the deciding factor. You've really got to hand it to this guy."

And Auerbach did manage to find some good things to say about Jackson.

"In spite of all that, Phil's a good coach," Auerbach said in the 2004 Times interview. "He's in control, his players do what he tells them to do and his substitutions are good. But that doesn't mean I'll invite him to dinner."

I asked Jackson what, if anything, he incorporated from Auerbach.

"The fact that he played an up-tempo game, kept the pressure on the guard, was a believer in defense, those things are part of what I'll cling to all the time as part of what you have to do to win championships," Jackson said. "More than anything else, he set a standard that people want to achieve in this league and fought to try to duplicate."

And not to denigrate, which for Jackson is the ultimate compliment.

*

J.A. Adande can be reached at . To read more by Adande, go to latimes.com/adandeblog.
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