Saturday, April 2, 2011

ESPN is mad at Jalen Rose

The other day when news of the Jalen Rose DUI situation broke I was wondering why I hadn't heard about it before. The story made headlines on March 30, but it all went down on March 11, so the delay seemed a little curious to me. Apparently I wasn't the only one curious about the delay- ESPN has taken Jalen Rose off of the air until this whole little situation is laid to rest. It seems that he did not inform them of the incident, and as a result, they are none too pleased with his lack of disclosure. Oops.

Nenad Kristic has a bone bruise

And this is good news, believe it or not! When he left the game in San Antonio hurt, I feared for the worst, thinking he may have torn something. Instead, the MRI came back negative and it's "just" a bone bruise. According to the Globe,  the injury will shelve him for a few games, but it is not season ending. Phew!

In other news, the spirit of Ubuntu lives on. Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Avery Bradley and Tyronn Lue all visited Marquis Daniels in the hospital in Atlanta:

So nice! There's that brotherhood that I love. Again, I'm a huge Marquis Daniels fan, and I wish him nothing but the best. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

What do persistent rumors about a Ciara and Amare romance have in common with the health of Jermaine O'Neal?

They're both going strong right now.

It seems Amare celebrated the Knicks win over the Nets with Ciara by his side:

Amar'e Stoudemire, celebrated the team's win over the New Jersey Nets with R&B singer Ciara at Meatpacking District hot spot SL. While their reps claimed the pair are just friends, the duo "looked extremely close Wednesday night," said one onlooker, who added, "She was sitting on his lap and whispering into his ear all night." While Amar'e and Ciara huddled in a banquette in the corner, they were surrounded by club security and other Knicks, including Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries, Roger Mason Jr. and Andy Rautins. Ciara met Stoudemire through LaLa Vazquez, who is one of her closest friends and married to teammate Carmelo Anthony.

I dunno guys, seems like you might be shacking up and trying to be sneaky about it. Who knows? But if they were together, that's nice. They'd be a really tall and ridiculously good looking couple. 

And as for Jermaine, he played 11 minutes and had 5 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound (but it was an offensive one!)... He's feelin' pretty good about his return and so am I: 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers say the opposite thing about Shaq on the same day.

Honestly, this team should hire me. I think I'd make a great publicist. I have no formal training, but I'm sure I could concoct a unified front, quite unlike the current situation:

Doc Rivers said this:
The Boston Celtics are starting to get worried that Shaquille O'Neal's sabbatical from the game to deal with an assortment of right foot/leg/Achilles tendon continues to take longer than expected.

While the goal is to have him suit up before the playoffs, Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledged on Thursday that the team has no definitive idea as to when the 7-foot-1 center will be back.

"I really hope we can get him before the playoffs," said Rivers, who added that the injury is starting to "get close to bleeding" into the team's postseason plans.

And Danny Ainge said this: 
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined The Big Show for his weekly interview on Thursday afternoon. Ainge was first asked about the status of Shaquille O’NealDoc Rivers indicated earlier on Thursday that O’Neal’s achilles injury could be a problem in the postseason.

“I was just with Shaq, we were just working out down in Waltham,” said Ainge. “Shaq is either going to play Sunday or Tuesday. … I think that Doc probably — “bleed into the playoffs” — I think is something different than he’s not going to play until the playoffs. But it looks like he’s ready to go Sunday or Tuesday.”
Come on now. Even if nobody has any idea when Shaq will come back, or IF he even will, I'd contest that unity is key. Everyone should be saying the same thing, to minimize speculation. 

Marquis Daniels' surgery was successful

Great to hear that Marquis had a safe and successful surgery. I wish him a safe and speedy recovery and hope that nothing but the very best comes his way in the future.

Dominique Wilkins is 51 and he will eff you up.

Apparently Mr. Wilkins owed Mr. Rashan S Michel (pictured on the left) money for several suits purchased a couple of years ago. So reports the AJC:

"Wilkins was on the court doing a live broadcast after the game when Michel approached him from the stands and “very loudly and aggressively started to address him regarding a matter.” Wilkins and Hawks security began to “step back further onto the court in an attempt to avoid the situation,” Campos said.

Michel made his way onto the court after the Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic and “at some point physically assaulted both Mr. Wilkins and the security guard for the Hawks,” Campos said. An off-duty APD officer took Michel into custody, he said.

Wilkins was not injured. The security guard had cuts on his face, Campos said.

Campos did not have details on what Michel was yelling at Wilkins or what the disagreement was about.

“The basic understanding we have was that this was a disagreement over a civil matter involving clothing,” Campos said.

Michel tweeted about the incident, however, saying Wilkins owed him money."

Umm... Hot mess in the streets. You're a grown man, with apparently some kind of legit business, since he was selling Dominique Wilkins suits. I'm gonna need him to step his game up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jermaine O'Neal: "I’m going to play tomorrow."

Jermaine O'Neal participated in a full practice tomorrow and, according to Julian Benbow, he is optimistic about his return: "I told them the plan is to play back-to-back games, the plan is to play as many minutes as I can without limitation.”

Doc Rivers also expressed a measured amount of enthusiasm about Jermaine's return:
"I thought his quickness and his activity [were surprising]," Rivers said. "He didn't surprise me where he didn't pick up some stuff. I don't blame him for that, but I was happy. I was very happy with it."

I, for one, (as has been previously discussed on this blog) have not given up on Jermaine. Obviously it will take some time for him to get back in to the swing of things, but I still maintain that for the limited role the Celtics need from him, he will be able to deliver. So consider me on #TeamJO. Also, irregardless of if he will be able to fully meld with the team (but who is fully melding on this team right now anyway?), he will still be a 7 footer who can come in and provide physicality in the middle that is desperately needed.

P.S.: Also participating fully in practice for the first time in a long time was Von Wafer. No word on if he's playing tomorrow or not, but it's a good sign that he's participating in full contact activities. I never thought I'd say this, but it'll be good to have him back.

The blogs don't know which way is up: Ciara reportedly dating Amare and Lebron.

On Lebron:

My people and I were at a lounge, feeling good and drinking. Sitting next to us was someone who was there with a friend. We all started chit chatting and I bought them each a shot. One of them told me that they worked at Mastro's. Later on, we were talking about NBA players and their significant others. Somewhere along the line we started talking about Beyonce and Jay Z. We were kind of tipsy and all over the place. Anyways, when we were talking about Camel and Bey, the employee told me that Ciara and Lebron had been at Mastro's like 3 months ago, alone, and Lebron's people had called up beforehand requesting that they eat in the private dining room. The employee also said that the only people who knew they were there were the employees because Ciara and Lebron came and left separately.

On Amare:

Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has set his sights on Grammy-winning singer and model Ciara. New York’s hottest sports hero has been spotted dining out with the stunning songbird in recent weeks, and on Monday night, the pair shared dinner at STK with a group of 15, including fellow Knick Carmelo Anthony and his wife, LaLa Vazquez. But sources tell us Amar’e and Ciara have also been seen together alone at the restaurant and at other Meatpacking hot spots. One said, “Ciara is best friends with LaLa and has been attending Knicks games with her, including Monday’s game. Through Melo and LaLa, her friendship with Amar’e has developed. They have been seen out together on numerous occasions.”

One spy said Ciara and Amar’e had dinner at STK alone together two weeks ago, when Amar’e was overheard asking for a private table as they arrived. They’ve also been spotted at The Collective.

A rep for Stoudemire told us, “I know that they are friends,” but declined to comment further. But a source close to the team added, “Ciara is extremely close to LaLa and always sits with her in Carmelo’s seats at the games. Ciara has become friends with Amar’e because they are all spending time together.” Reps for Ciara didn’t get back to us.

Obviously it's all speculation and nobody really knows what's going on. It's my personal opinion that people should stop speculating about who she's dating and start paying more attention to her music. I love CiCi!

Jalen Rose arrested for DUI in Michigan earlier this month!

So reports TMZ:

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the 38-year-old former NBA star was driving along an icy roadway on March 11 when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Cops were called to the scene and Rose agreed to undergo several voluntary roadside sobriety tests. He was later transported to a nearby facility for chemical testing ... those results have not yet been returned. Rose was eventually arrested for driving under the influence.

We're told Rose was in his hometown of Detroit in preparation for the opening of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy ... a charter school designed to provide under-privileged youth with college prep experience.

TMZ spoke with Rose's L.A.-based attorney Keith Davidson, who told us, "We look forward to working with the authorities in Michigan and addressing these matters in court, not in the press. We have no comment at this time."

Tisk, tisk Jalen! It's too bad that something so negative had to happen at a time that he was doing something positive for a city so riddled with hardship.  Get a driver! Or take a cab.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another clunker: the Celtics lose a winnable one against the Pacers.

C/O Chris Forseberg's twitter.

So here we are, on March 29, still on the dark side of the moon. The playoffs are just around the corner and the Celtics seem to be spiraling downwards. They are currently 51-22 and tied for the 2 seed come postseason. What makes this worse is that they're losing games to teams they have no business losing to: New Jersey, Charlotte and Indiana, for example. I don't know if they'll be able to catch Chicago for the 1 spot. The Bulls have won 8 of their last 10 and their remaining schedule is a cakewalk. Last night they got their bums handed to them by the Sixers. If the Celtics could have pulled off a win against the Pacers, they would have been 1 game behind Chicago, instead of 2, and they would have been .5 games ahead of Miami, instead of being tied... But they didn't get the win, so it is what it is.

Just for the heck of it, I decided to check out what their record was at this time last season. On March 29, 2010, the Celtics were 47-26. That is a full 4 games behind in the win column from where they are today, and that was a season in which Kendrick Perkins played 101 games in a Celtics uniform (playoffs included). I will not chalk this recent Celtic slump up to the fact that Perk is gone. It's just not that simple. Did it shake things up and have an effect on chemistry? Yes. Are the Celtics kinda standing around scratching their heads and wondering what's going on? Yes. But the Celtics are 27-9 with Shaq in the starting lineup and arguably played their best basketball of the season with him starting. I love Kendrick Perkins and it's sad that he's gone- but I don't think he is the end all, be all. This is a team that's fully capable of getting their legs back under them. You'll recall that they lost a whole bunch of easily winnable games last year, too: New Jersey, Washington, Milwaukee, for example, and those all came at the end of the season, like they are now.

Yesterday I read that Chris Mannix from Sports Illustrated went on WEEI and went on and on about how the Celtics have a "horrible attitude,":

“Imagine before the season if we thought getting into late March, early April, ‘If only Shaq and Jermaine can come back, we’ll be OK for the postseason.’ To me, that’s a horrible attitude to have, if that’s what this team is thinking, that one of those guys can come back and be a difference-maker. Once Shaq comes back, he’ll only play for about two months, and who knows what kind of physical shape he’s in at this stage. And Jermaine has given you nothing all season long, so there’s no reason to believe he’s going to add anything to the equation.”

Wasn't being ready for the end of the season and the playoffs the exact reason they were brought here? It wasn't about what goes on in January and February. It was about May and June. There was always the possibility that Perk wasn't going to be around- except at the time that they made the deals for the O'Neals they were probably thinking because of an injury, and not a trade- but the end result is the same. He's not here. The Celtics were out-sized by LA in the finals. It was and still is about having more bodies come postseason time. 

News on Jermaines return after the jump

Monday, March 28, 2011

A visual depiction of Rondo's offensive woes

Eeeek! No commentary needed.... Just eeeeek! Well actually, yes commentary: I fully expect that these numbers will be on the rise again. He is a silent but fierce competitor, and it is unfathomable to me that his level of play would remain so low when it's all on the line. I truly believe that he will come through when it is most important.

Delonte West: A case study in what it means to be tough.

Last night Delonte West played a season high 30 minutes. In that time, he logged 8 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. But it's not about the numbers. It's about the fact that he made it on to the court at all. Doc Rivers sat him out at the end of Fridays game against Charlotte because his sprained right ankle flared up again, and he sat out of practice yesterday because of the injury. But with Rondo sidelined by a sprained right pinky, Doc Rivers turned to Delonte to fill in as the starting point guard. Mr. West came through with intense focus, and provided a stabilizing presence so desperately needed by the recently waning men in green. Chris Forseberg eloquently summarizes one of Delonte's notable plays last night:

"...maybe nowhere was that more evident than with 28.9 seconds remaining. With Boston clinging to a three-point lead -- this after the Timberwolves rallied from a 25-point deficit and actually pulled ahead in the fourth quarter -- Kevin Garnett misfired on a 13-foot turnaround. West sneaked into a circle of white jerseys and snared an offensive rebound that prevented Minnesota from having a chance to tie. The Timberwolves ultimately fouled and Paul Pierce sank two freebies to ensure the Boston victory."

The player of the night was probably Paul Pierce (he scored 12 of Boston's 21 4th quarter points), but Delonte deserves immense praise for being so effing tough and playing a heck of a game despite all of the odds stacked against him... Come to think of it, playing and impressing the nay sayers is kind of the story of his whole career. We should add resiliance to the ever growing list of positive things about Delonte West. As many times as he gets knocked down (both literally and figuratively), he always gets back up.  I hope that Doc Rivers is right, and that Delonte will be able to continue playing through all of the injuries plaguing him. I think he's a really important factor for this team, especially come playoff time. 

P.S.- Did you ever hear the one about Delonte West and Vivica Fox? Me either. But when I was looking for a picture of him for this post, I stumbled on the story. Check it out here if you want. If they ever were together it obviously didn't last. If you were curious, she's engaged to someone that is not Delonte West... And Delonte West is married (and now divorced? I'm not sure) to someone that is definitely not Vivica Fox.