Garnett still major influence on former teammates Perkins, Davis

949403.jpg

Garnett still major influence on former teammates Perkins, Davis

ORLANDO, Fla. Throughout Kevin Garnett's career, he has made himself an available fountain of wisdom for any young big thirsting for knowledge on how to play the game the right way.

This week brought him face-to-face with a couple of his "young (Luke) Skywalkers" who are no longer with the Celtics - Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins and Orlando's Glen Davis.

Both are with teams that look to them for leadership, the kind of leadership that each has often said was taught to them in part by Garnett via his word and his actions.

After Boston's 116-110 win over the Magic on Sunday, Garnett acknowledged that he speaks with both players every week to week and a half.

"They are still my young guys," Garnett said. "I always consider them my young Skywalkers, my young Jedi's so to speak. They are in new places and may have new identities but have the same work ethic, new personnel, new responsibilities. I always preach to them this is growth."

That growth has Davis, whose maturity was at times an issue in Boston, now in a position of leadership as one of the Orlando Magic's co-captains.

"When you're in a young environment and a new organization where they are expecting things out of a winner, you have to bring that and that's the consistency and discipline of being a professional," Garnett said. "You don't get to pick and choose when you want to be. It's a way of life. I like to always promote that, preach that to them. It's important for them to understand that."

Following Orlando's loss to Boston on Sunday, few took it harder than Davis who had 15 points and seven rebounds but missed nine of his 12 shots from the field.

Davis was particularly critical of his play down the stretch in which the Celtics scored eight of the final 10 points in overtime. During that stretch, the Magic missed seven of their eight shot attempts which included a pair of misses by Davis.

"At that time the leader is supposed to step up," Davis said. "Jameer (Nelson) and everybody else did a good job. I was nowhere to be found tonight. You're not going to make every shot; at crunch time you've got to do something. I didn't do anything."

Davis added, "I let my team down. They played extremely hard. This is on me I think. I don't care what anybody says. It could be played here but if I come to play we'd beat them."

The disappointment that Davis speaks of is what most leaders have to deal with on a regular basis.

"He's in sort of a new situation, and I know it's going to be frustrating moments (for Davis)," Garnett said. "But I tell him, 'you don't get a day off. You have to be the example, and it's not by what you say but what you do.' And in days you don't want to do it, you have to come in here and do it anyway. Days when you having a trashy day from family and every other type of distraction off the court, gotta put it to the side, come in here and focus in and do your job."

Which is exactly what Garnett has done throughout his career, which includes solid performances in wins over Perkins' Oklahoma City team on Friday and Davis' Orlando club Sunday night.

"Those are my young brothers," Garnett added. "Although we have to play one another, I root for them. That's just the relationship we'll probably always have.

Said Perkins: "At the end of the day, it's a lot of love and respect on both ends."

Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas

raiders-gallery.jpg

Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas

Robert Kraft doesn't seem all that concerned about the potential pitfalls of having an NFL franchise in Las Vegas.

The temptations found in that city, he says, can now be found around any dark corner of the Internet. That's part of the reason why he would be supportive of the Raiders if owner Mark Davis chose to move the team to Vegas from Oakland. 

He explained his reasoning to NFL Media's Judy Battista at the league's annual spring meetings on Tuesday. 

"I think we can put the discipline and controls in [for] whatever anyone might be worried about," Kraft said. "With the Internet and the age of the Internet and what's going on in today's world, it's so much different than when I came in 20 odd years ago. If you'd like to move there and they're supportive and Oakland doesn't do what they should do, I'm behind them."

The comments echoed what Kraft told USA Today earlier this week.

"I came into the league in ’94," Kraft said. "Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology-wise. The [sports gambling] risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas. Whatever the risks, they are no greater [in Las Vegas] than playing a game in New Jersey."

Davis' hope to move the Raiders stems from an inability to get a deal done for a new stadium in Oakland.

"I have given my commitment to Las Vegas," Davis said this week, "and if they can get done what they're talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas."

Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers

roger-goodell-052416.jpg

Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers

Roger Goodell is doing that damn thing again down in North Carolina this afternoon.

The NFL commissioner -- who once could carry off a press conference with a breezy, in-command air -- came off like a carrot-topped armadillo talking to reporters at the end of the May owner’s meetings in Charlotte.

Defensive, clipped and disingenuous, a monotone-speaking Goodell was asked about Deflategate and Monday’s Congressional report that alleged the NFL had lobbyists trying to pressure concussion researchers into using NFL-approved doctors.

Asked about the appeal for a rehearing of Tom Brady’s case on Monday, Goodell said, “I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that . . . I’m not really focused on that at all.”

Goodell did not answer the second part of the question, whether or not he’d keep Tom Brady off the field if the court case was unresolved.

The answer, one can only presume would be, “Abso-friggin-lutely.”

As for the Congressional report, Goodell had the gall to answer that he “didn’t see the report.”

He then went on to disagree with what was in the report -- meaning his initial response was less than candid.

A few more minutes of short answers and the show was over with nobody much the wiser than when he began.