Rivers expresses concern over latest Delonte West suspension

637616.jpg

Rivers expresses concern over latest Delonte West suspension

WALTHAM, Ma. - Once again, trouble has found its way into the life of former Boston Celtic Delonte West.

For the second time in less than a week, West has been suspended indefinitely by the Dallas Mavericks for conduct "detrimental to the team."

"The suspension is effective immediately," said Dallas GM Don Nelson in a statement released by the Mavs on Thursday.

Following the announcement, West took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the decision.

"And it just ain't right ... imma leave it at that," West wrote on his verified Twitter account, @Charleeredz13. "no ill will towards no one ... I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes."

Doc Rivers has always had a soft spot for his former players. But it was always to a greater extent with West who among other things, battled a bipolar disorder.

"I love Delonte," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "I'm always worried about him."

Added Jason Terry, who played with West in Dallas last season. "I just remember he was the guy you wanted on your team. He's a competitor. He was a hell of a teammate and I loved playing with him."

 West has had a slew of problems at just about every stop along his NBA journey, although the drama was relatively low during two separate stints with Boston.

"Everybody here loved Delonte," said Paul Pierce. "I loved his competitiveness. Obviously, everybody has their own issues, some more documented than others. But I love what he brings to the table. He can be a character at times; he's very free spirited. But a lot of people love to be around him."

Although a third return to Boston seems highly unlikely - rookie Kris Joseph has the 15th and final roster spot for the Celtics - that doesn't mean the C's stopped caring about him.

It was clear in Doc Rivers' words and his facial expressions that West's latest troubles have him worried more so about the person than the player.

"I focus on all the guys I've coached," said Rivers, who added that he plans to try and contact West very soon. "I call Perk (Kendrick Perkins), I call Al (Jefferson) ... You may stop coaching them, but you never stop worrying. It's like your own kid that grows up and goes out of your house. I don't know if the worrying ever changes, but I am definitely concerned about this one."

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

bruins_austin_czarnik_082916.jpg

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

kg-at-clippers-practice-092916.png

A Pierce-Doc-Garnett reunion with Clippers - if only for a day

Less than a week after announcing his retirement on Instagram, Kevin Garnett was back in the gym with old friends Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers.

Cue the comeback rumors? "Anything is possible!"

The tweet from the Clippers called Garnett a “special guest” at the team’s practice on Thursday. 

Rivers, the current Clippers and ex-Celtics coach, told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan last week he was willing to bring Garnett, who has a home in Malibu, to Los Angeles for one last season but KG, 40, chose to retire. So, apparently, the reunion Thursday with Doc, Pierce and Garnett was only temporary.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, a former Celtics assistant under Rivers, wants Garnett to join his staff.