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Saturday , Apr , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kevin Garnett to Nets this summer?

What the Nets are thinking— reportedly — is that they need to upgrade the roster and power forward is one place they feel they can do better. The team reportedly plans to chase after Boston’s Kevin Garnett as they try to add star power for when they move into the Barclays Center.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No way. No how. Not possible.

Kevin Garnett will not sign with the New Jersey Nets as a free agent this summer because he likes to, you know, win.

Sure, playing in Brooklyn, New York would be nice. Sure, playing in the new $1 billion Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York would be really nice. And sure, getting an amount well over market value from Mikhail Prokhorov - also known as Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Putin’s opponent in a corrupt election, and the Nets’ majority owner - would be really, really nice.

None of that translates to a second championship, though. And Garnett likes to win. Joining a rebuilding Nets team without Deron Williams, who’ll likely sign with the Dallas Mavericks this summer, makes no sense.

Garnett may or may not re-up with the Celtics. One thing is clear: he’ll go where he has a chance at a championship.

The 36-year old and future member of the Hall of Fame doesn’t have the time or temperament for anything else.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 31 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett on returning to Minnesota: ‘No way’

During the second quarter, Garnett was taking the ball out of bounds and a fan hollered: "Hey Kevin, please come back next year!" Garnett simply muttered: "No way."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Garnett may have considered returning to Minnesota -if Glen Taylor didn’t kick him on his way out the door so many years ago.

Taylor, the Timberwolves' owner, publicly bad-mouthed Garnett months after wrapping the Hall of Fame post in a bow and giving him to the Boston Celtics as part of the most one-sided swap in franchise history.

Garnett, for better or worse, has pride. Lots of it. He has a long memory and won't consider signing with the Timberwolves as a free agent this summer.

It doesn’t matter that he still loves the city. And it doesn’t matter that the team are returning to prominence behind the fine play of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

Taylor still owns the team, which means the Timberwolves have no shot at Garnett.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Sunday , Mar , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ray Allen to Clippers?

Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This seems more logical.

Rumors have been swirling that the Boston Celtics are looking to trade Rajon Rondo, even though the young table-setter is an All-Star.

It would make sense to rebuild around Rondo and move The Big Three to contenders for a package of draft picks, expiring contracts, and young talent.

Ray Allen, even at 36 years of age, would be the first to go. After all, he’s still in demand because he can spread the floor with his outstanding range.

While GM Danny Ainge can’t trade Celtic-fixture Paul Pierce and probably wants to let Kevin Garnett’s $20 million per season contract come off the books.

So Allen would appear the most likely candidate to change teams come trade deadline, with the veteran being linked to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Of course, appearances can deceive.

Rondo, for all his gifts, is reportedly a handful. He’s been called stubborn, emotional, and difficult by teammates, coaches, and media.

Perhaps logic won’t matter and the Celtics will move Rondo.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Feb , 09 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rondo for Gasol?

“Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we’d love to do it," said Kupchak to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. "But that’s not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it’s better than what you have. That’s all.” Rajon Rondo is the player that fits that description, possibly the only one in the NBA.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The NBA's two glamour franchises, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, are open for business

The Celtics are looking at trades that can give their 'Big Three' a boost, and also help their rebuilding program when Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce finally retire.

The Lakers are 14-11, which doesn't cut it with Kobe Bryant and the celebs' at Staples Center expecting a championship every year.

But Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol seems unlikely.

Adding Rondo helps the Lakers, but there's no reason the Celtics would swap him for the older Gasol. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak would have to sweeten the pot because a straight Rondo for Gasol deal isn't happening.

Here's what's interesting about this scenario: Rondo's name is again in the rumor mill.

Two months ago, Rondo was supposedly heading south to the New Orleans Hornets for point guard Chris Paul. That rumor upset Rondo, which forced the Celtics into denial mode.

Now Rondo may head west to the purple-and-gold. And he'll be upset with the latest reports.

So, will the Celtics deny, deny, deny or admit to taking offers for their lightning quick guard?

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ainge ready to trade Allen, Garnett, and Pierce?

But with Paul Pierce dealing with heel issues, Kevin Garnett fading, Ray Allen still effective shooting threes but headed for his 37th birthday and the Celtics 5-8 entering the weekend, the team’s owners gave GM Danny Ainge the official go-ahead to move any member of the troika. "We’ve got to move on,” said one Celtics official. “Let’s face reality.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not if but when.

Eventually Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge will have to trade his ‘Big Three’ of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, so the green-and-white can rebuild.

But when?

Should Ainge hold off on a major trade, acquire reinforcements, and let Allen, Garnett, and Pierce take a final run at an NBA Title? Or, should the executive start again by dealing some/all of his veterans for draft picks, expiring contracts, and young talent?  

There’s no easy answer, however, Ainge can only stick with Allen, Garnett, and Pierce if he believes they can still contend.

Right now, they’re not capable of playing in June. Or May. Or, maybe past game 66 in this short regular season. The Celtics defend yet lack the talent, especially down-low, to score easy points.

In a short season, there isn't time to fix things. So, Ainge has a tough decision.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves blowing opportunity with Kevin Love extension?

"From a coaching standpoint, it's really important," he said. "He's crucial to us. I'm hoping that something is going to happen for his sake. He came out with a great start this season and, hopefully, they're going to come to some resolution. I don't know what would happen if it didn't come to fruition. That's something that we'd have to deal with at that time." If Wednesday's deadline passes and Love isn't signed to a four- or five-year deal expected to be worth $15 million a year or more, the issue will hang over the franchise until next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent able to negotiate with any NBA team. The Wolves would have the right to match any offer, however.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love’s extension is an opportunity for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

For years, the Timberwolves were a joke, the league’s northern laughingstock where no decent talent would ply his trade.

The players saw how owner Glen Taylor treated former franchise face Kevin Garnett. Taylor couldn’t get Garnett a decent supporting cast, and insulted the Big Ticket after trading him to the Boston Celtics.

The losses piled up. And those losses became draft picks, which became young talent.

Like Love.

The power forward has been a major force in the franchise’s drive to respectability on-court. Currently, Love’s averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds for an improving 7-8 Wolves side.

Sure, they’re not perfect, but the Timberwolves are making major strides in the Western Conference.

Are they making strides off-court, though? Will Taylor open his wallet, pay Love the maximum contract he deserves, and show the league the Timberwolves' days in the league basement are over?

Well, it depends on Taylor. If he views Love’s extension as an opportunity, he agrees to terms as soon as possible with the young superstar’s people.

If not, he stalls and maybe saves money by matching an offer from another team this summer when Love becomes a free agent.

However, the rest of the league are watching, and they'll realize nothing, or very little, has changed with the Timberwolves' ownership. 

And Taylor and the Wolves will have blown another opportunity.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics open to trading Paul Pierce?

With the Celtics struggling to begin the 11-12 season, several teams have inquired about the availability of Paul Pierce. One Eastern Conference official said, there are “lots of calls asking if [Boston] will blow it up.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll listen.
 
The Boston Celtics might be open to moving Paul Pierce -if they get an appropriate offer and, most importantly, decide to tear down their Big Three and rebuild.
 
The once-mighty green-and-white are struggling and dealing Pierce's big-ticket for a combination of young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks might be wise.
 
There's another route, though.
 
GM Danny Ainge may instead stick with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Pierce, and rebuild the supporting cast. After all, the Celtics are Rajon Rondo's team.

However, Ainge, in order to stand pat with his 'Big Three', has to believe his old heads have a final playoff run left in the tank.

And that is very much in doubt.

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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rasheed Wallace ‘real interested’ in Bulls?

Former #Celtics F Rasheed Wallace is "real interested" in the #Bulls, source close to Wallace tells #CSNNE.com. Chi has some reservations.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rasheed Wallace has interest in the Chicago Bulls, however, the feeling may not be mutual.

Wallace, once a premier power forward in the NBA, is looking to come out of retirement and join a contender for a title run.

On paper, the Bulls could use Wallace. He defends, has championship experience, and would provide another option on the block and perimeter.

The reality would be more complicated. The Bulls are a young, impressionable bunch, and Wallace's temperament and affinity for collecting technical fouls (see video) might not be the best influence.

For instance, Wallace excelled on experienced teams like Boston and Detroit, where Celtic and Piston veterans like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace kept him in line.

The younger Bulls, even though they recently signed Hamilton, lack veterans. So expect them to pass on ‘Sheed.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics get David West in sign-and-trade?

David West is close to a three-year sign-and-trade deal just under $30 million with the Celtics.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics have quickly rebuilt their front-court.

Earlier today Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis was sent to the Orlando Magic for Brandon Bass as part of a sign-and-trade, and now they’ve shipped Jermaine O’Neal to the New Orleans Hornets for David West in another sign-and-trade.

Bass, West, and three-man Jeff Green give coach Doc Rivers plenty of options to complement and eventually fill in for the aging Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 
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Friday , Dec , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics shopping Rondo?

Donny Marshall — the former NBA player who covers the Celtics and does some color commentary for the team’s broadcasts — was on NBC’s SportsTalk today talking Rajon Rondo and saying the Celtics were open to moving Rajon Rondo more because of his personality than his game. “My sources tell me he’s started to wear his welcome out a little bit,” Marshall said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire.

That thing called the ‘World Wide Web’ has been reporting that the Boston Celtics were very willing to send Rajon Rondo to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul.

This wasn’t just about the Celtics acquiring Paul. This was also about cutting ties with Rondo.

After all, Rondo’s temper has, at times, alienated coaches, teammates, and fans. There’s also a theory his lack of offensive polish will be exposed once The Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce retire.

Unfortunately, Paul wasn’t interested in joining Boston. His heart is set on joining New York.

So the Celtics will have to deal with a jilted Rondo when training camp opens. Of course, GM Danny Ainge will blame the 24 hour news cycle, bloggers, and talk radio.

There may be some truth to Rondo getting moved. Maybe not. Either way, this is a storyline worth watching.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Nov , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins on Boston trading him: ‘It still hurts’

“Hurt, surprised, I think it really still hasn’t hit me yet — not really,” he said later. “I think everything happened so fast, last year coming back from my ACL injury and getting traded to Oklahoma City where I had to be a leader. “It still hurts that I got traded, but then the city of Oklahoma has been great to me. They’ve embraced me with open arms, and I have no complaints about the city of Oklahoma and the whole organization.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins reminds me of John Starks.

There are differences: Perkins is a center, Starks was a guard; Perkins is a defensive anchor, while Starks played both ends of the floor; Perkins won a championship with the Boston Celtics and Starks’ New York Knicks fell short in the NBA Finals.

However, Perkins and Starks are both fiery and have massive hearts.

Consider that the veteran-laden Celtics fell apart after Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last February. Part of this had to with the hole Perkins left down-low, but this was more about the hole he left in the locker room.

Rajon Rondo missed Perkins, his best friend. Kevin Garnett cried when told of the trade. And the green-and-white never recovered.

Yesterday Perkins received a massive ovation while at an exhibition game near Boston.

Starks, a real life Rocky, had a similar impact in New York. He played at several colleges, semi-pro leagues, and bagged groceries before sticking with the Knicks.

Fans could relate to Starks` blue-collar work ethic. Eventually, he became an All-Star and a key part of some rugged Knick teams.

He was immortalized with his dunk on THE GOAT and when the Beastie Boys declared 'I got heart like John Starks'.

The lockout has shown what’s wrong with the NBA. The league needs more players like Perkins and Starks.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

The NBA lockout is over….
Friday , Oct , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The NBA lockout is over….

If you want it to be. As you may have heard, the owners dropped the 50/50 Basketball Related Income precondition to keep the talks going. People are running their mouths over Twitter claiming that the NBA lockout is supposedly nearing its’ end. We will see. Are you sure? I have accepted that the 2011-2012 season is canceled a long time ago. After what Dwyane Wade said about teams not needing to be competitive and Kevin Garnett’s negotiation room antics, the diehard fans revolted against the players. Fans are calling players stupid, but they need to calm down. We want our NBA game back as much as President Barack Obama, but the inside sources got us blue balled. The NBA lockout is ending, eh?

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Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe, Garnett, Pierce to blame for failed CBA negotiations?

When they convened, instead of the union’s head, Hunter, or their negotiating committee of Maurice Evans, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas and Chris Paul, representing the players were Fisher, Kessler, and three superstars who had been to very few of the meetings at all: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.

A bad sign: Pierce was still wearing his backpack. The players had two pieces of news that shocked the league: 50/50 was not good enough. And there was nothing further to discuss.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are they up for it?

Are Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce up for being scapegoats if players and owners don’t solve the lockout and eventually cancel the season.

After all, there’s plenty to suggest a deal was within reach last week at or near the 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Then Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce walked into Commissioner Stern’s office and said no way. The even split of BRI was off. The players wanted 53%. Or no deal.

The players and owners who thought a new collective bargaining agreement was within reach and were prepared to negotiate around the clock to preserve the 82 game season were dumbfounded.

Here’s why I think they were shocked:

1) How can three guys who have earned hundreds of millions of dollars and can live off endorsements tell (yes, tell) a fringe player to stand united with their cause?

At some point, their interests diverge. At some point, there will be a split in the union.

2) Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce are intelligent, confident guys. They will be informed and up-to-date on facts and information, however, Pierce was the only one actively involved in negotiations.

Bryant and Garnett did not attend the majority of negotiations, and had no business hijacking these high stakes meetings or claiming to represent the union.

Billy Hunter should have been there. Heck, somebody with an MBA or law background should have been there.

3) I would want Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce leading on-court. I would not want Bryant and/or Garnett leading off-court.

Their emotional, competitive temperament that is ideal for playoff runs and championships makes them ill matched for negotiations.

This group, especially Bryant and Garnett, are prone to outbursts that result in ill-fated decisions like the storming of Stern’s office. Moreover, their situation does not reflect the needs of most in their union.

The consequence could well be a backlash from fans whenever the season does start.

--O.Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics looking for bargains to complement ‘Big Four’

If the NBA institutes a hard salary cap and eliminates the mid-level exception, the Celtics would likely to be forced to build around their Big Four with minimum-salaried players.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The new NBA will be different.

With the luxury tax likely replaced by a hard cap financial structure, have-franchises like the Boston Celtics will have a top heavy payroll.

Translation: the green and white will pay big-ticket salaries to Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo, and everyone else will earn the league minimum.

So GM Danny Ainge and the club’s front office are searching far and wide for bargains that can plug holes and fill roles next to their Big Four.

The green-and-white’s front office are scouting colleges, Europe, Asia, and anywhere else there's basketball.

This, of course, could be the new reality of the NBA, where a hard cap and revenue sharing creates some semblance of parity between big and small markets and have and have-not franchises.

In theory, an NFL style system sounds good, however, the NBA has always been a star driven league with high profile franchises. Think of the following for LeBron James and 'The Heatles' last season.

The NBA’s new and different financial system may kill the golden goose of showcasing players and teams.

--O. Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett: ‘I want to finish my career as a Celtic’

"I want to finish my career as a Celtic,” said Garnett, who joined Boston in a trade with Minnesota before the 2007-08 season. “This is it. I don’t plan on bouncing from team-to-team, that’s not really the plan. Hopefully God willing, I can finish my career out in the classy, elegant with a class-full organization as Boston. I don’t want to downgrade. I want to continue to be where I’m at. This is the first option and hopefully the only option.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why would he leave?

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics seem a match made in heaven, and the future member of the Hall of Fame wants to finish his career with the storied green-and-white.

Garnett, who has a year left on his contract at $21 million, claims to have little interest in demeaning his legacy by bouncing from team-to-team, especially since he already won a championship.

Leaving is easier said than done. Garnett’s passion for basketball may keep him in an NBA uniform into his late thirties.

If so, it’s unlikely Garnett retires with the Celtics as GM Danny Ainge won't prolong rebuilding around Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was ‘Tough’

“They’ve been together for a number of years,” Green said of the Celtics. “They’ve already won a championship, they’ve already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. “It was tough to go into that situation.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Three future members of the Hall of Fame. One All-Star point guard. One championship. One NBA Finals appearance. And a heap of pressure on a young forward to replace the team's heart-and-soul.

Welcome to Jeff Green's world last February.

The Boston Celtics acquired Green from the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline. The green-and-white gave up Kendrick Perkins, their burly center, in the deal. 

It didn't matter that Perkins was coming off knee surgery or that his contract demands were impossible to meet.

Trading Perk' didn't go over well. Kevin Garnett cried, Rajon Rondo went into a funk, and the team lost their tough, blue-collar identity.

Worst of all, fans and players felt GM Danny Ainge had given up on 2011 to prepare for the future.

All of this impacted Green, who came into an impossible situation. The expectations were sky-high, while fans and teammates were slow to embrace him.

The Celtics, however, will make every effort to re-sign Green, a restricted free agent. In time, this trade could work out.

After all, Green has talent. He can guard multiple positions, score, and stuffs the stat-sheet with the all-important little things.

For now, things are tough, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ray Allen: Boston’s Big Three will be ready when lockout ends

But Allen doesn’t believe a lost season would end the Big Three era, even if he and Kevin Garnett have only one year left on their respective contracts. “I don’t think so,” Allen said yesterday before teeing off in his charity golf tournament at the TPC River Highlands.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ray Allen doesn’t know when the lockout will end. He does know the lockout won’t be the end of the Boston Celtics’ 'Big Three', though.

It’s hard to disagree. Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ trio of veteran stars, can use the time off to rest, recuperate, and heal from many long NBA seasons.

The green-and-white had gone far in the last four playoffs, which, of course, added significant mileage to Allen, Garnett, and Pierce’s odometer.

So time off is good. Allen, Garnett, and Pierce will heal and return. There's precedence for this.

Years ago, Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne used the NHL lockout to rest his wonky knee and returned to score a pile of goals and win a Stanley Cup.

Allen, Garnett, and Pierce could do the same. They’ll have Rajon Rondo and a rejuvenated Jeff Green. When the lockout ends, Executive Danny Ainge will find a post or two to protect the paint.

So a prolonged break won’t be the end of the Celtics’ Big Three. It could be the best thing to happen to them since winning the 2008 NBA championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Dirk Nowitzki’s Current Rank – Better than Malone, Garnett, and Barkley?
Thursday , Aug , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Dirk Nowitzki’s Current Rank – Better than Malone, Garnett, and Barkley?

The German Bomber has a great career. He is showing no signs of slowing down either. Did you ever think the guy would be here? Yep, I didn’t. This question now has to be posed if it had not already – Has he surpassed Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, and Charles Barkley? This is a serious question. Before having a grand historic 2010-2011 season, no one should dare think about it. Today, things changed dramatically. What’s scarier? Nowitzki remains efficient.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo: Celtics ‘affected’ by Kendrick Perkins trade

“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For all intensive purposes, it ended the Boston Celtics’ season.

Last February, Celtics executive Danny Ainge sent center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green.

In theory, it made sense. Perkins was coming off a nasty knee injury. He wanted a multi-year, big-ticket contract. And Green, a talented player, would be around long after The Big Three retired.
 
The reality was different, though. Perkins, even when injured, formed a large part of the Celtics’ identity as a tough, defensive-minded club.

And Perk’ did the little things: he banged, he glared, he rebounded, he blocked shots, he sometimes delivered cheap-shots, and he intimidated. In short, he did what an aging Kevin Garnett is no longer capable of.

So it didn’t matter who Ainge was getting back. And it didn’t matter that the O’Neals, Jermaine and Shaquille, never got healthy.

Boston had lost their identity, their way. It was plying the middle for an upstart Oklahoma City club.

Ainge can do his part by acquiring a body to plug-the-hole down-low. The current crop of Celtics need to forget Perk' -if they want one final run at a championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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