Dooling now teammates with opposition


Dooling now teammates with opposition

WALTHAM Keyon Dooling loves the game of basketball. But he, more than any other Boston Celtic, understands it as a business due to his other role as a Vice President on the NBA Players Association's executive board.

Part of doing business was dealing with fellow NBA players who didn't necessarily like the way the executive board handled the negations of a new Collective Bargiaining Agreement.

Now, some of those opposed to him, are now teammates.

Paul Pierce was among the more vocal players who pushed for the union to de-certify - a move they eventually made, well after Pierce and several players pushed for it.

Dooling, acquired via trade from Milwaukee, doesn't expect there will be any issues with Pierce or other players who might have disagreed with some of the decisions made by the board.

"That's life," Dooling said. "Some people are Republicans. Some are Democrats. You may have a different view on things. But at the end of the day, when you have a common goal, you have to come together."

Dooling, who had his first practice with the team on Saturday, said he had a "great" conversation with Ray Allen (he too had some issues with some of the executive board's decisions).

"Our positions are a little different," Dooling said. "You just have to respect that. It is what it is. It won't be a problem or anything like that."

While labor issues dominated Dooling's life for most of the summer and fall, he's not a Celtic because of his beliefs.

He's with the C's because they believe he can help them in their quest at another NBA title.

Dooling's strength in the NBA has always been his ability to pressure ball-handlers.

On Friday, Rajon Rondo discussed how he likes his new teammates, but, "I especially love Keyon Dooling," he said. "You guys are gonna see him pick up the ball (defensively). And you'll start to see me pick up the ball more as well."

Rivers has tried to acquire Dooling on multiple occasions, only to come up short until now.

"I got some length for my position, so I really try and get after it," Dooling said. "Defense starts with heart and effort. I got both of those."

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”