Celtics searching for goldMORE: Bobby V. vs. Youk -- does it matter?

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Celtics searching for goldMORE: Bobby V. vs. Youk -- does it matter?

Back in 1992, Larry Bird represented the Celtics in the Olympics.

Maybe youve heard about this.

And if so, you probably also know that its now been 20 years and counting since the C's have had another Olympic participant.

Of course, at one point or another, theyve employed a ton of former Olympians: Future Celtics Gary Payton and Shaquille O'Neal won gold in 1996. Payton, KG, Ray Allen and the one-and-only Vin Baker won the 2000 Gold Medal in Athens. Stephon Marbury helped Team USA bring home the bronze in 2004. But Larry Bird is still the only active Celtic to play in the Olympics, and he retired less than 24 hours after winning the gold.

So what gives?

In the time since Bird, I guess there's really only been two legit opportunities. I'm not counting Antoine Walker because he was never really Team USA material. Instead I'm talking about two current C's: Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

Pierce was still coming into his own when Team USA went to Sydney in 2000. In 2002, he played for the US in the World Games, but it didn't go well. For one, because the team went 6-3 and finished sixth. For two, because Pierce not the most mature 24-year-old the league has ever seen butted heads with George Karl and Gregg Poppovich. As a result, he was left off the 2004 squad. In 2006, he was named to the National team again, but dropped out of training camp because of elbow surgery. In 2007, he missed out because of shoulder surgery. By 2008, Pierce's Olympic ship had sailed. Call it a combination of bad luck, bad timing and a bad attitude, but it's fair to say that Pierce will leave the game before grabbing the gold.
As for Rondo, we're still unsure of exactly what happened last summer. Did he not make the team because of his bad attitude? Did he have a bad attitude because he wasn't going to make the team? Did he simply not care about representing his country, instead preferring to kick back at home and relax with his family? Whatever the reason, Rondo's not on USA's radar, and with guys like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and John Wall not going anywhere soon you wonder if he ever will be.

And that's too bad. As great as it is to watch these guys every season, just once it would be fun to have a Celtic go for the gold. It sucks that Boston has to miss out every fourth summer. But everyone once in a while, we're reminded that it's not so bad. That there are a few advantages to being left out of the Olympics.
Los Angeles Clippers @LAClippers PRESS RELEASE: @blakegriffin surgery scheduled >> nba.comclippersnews 16 Jul 12 Reply Retweet Favorite Yeah, so it's not much, but it's a small consolation knowing that Rondo, Pierce and company will spend the summer resting up and getting healthy instead busting their asses on the other side of the world. Still, just one of these year's it would be nice to have an Olympian.

Maybe Avery Bradley for Brazil in 2016?

Yes, Avery Bradley for Brazil! I'll start the petition.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”