Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read. In spite of the NBA lockout, there's still plenty of hoops to talk about.
The next time Kendrick Perkins returns to TD Garden, you may have to do a double-take. Before he was traded from the Celtics to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, Perkins said he wanted to continue losing weight after rehabbing from a knee injury (last season he was listed at 610, 280 pounds). Watch just a few seconds of this video (music NSWF) and you can see a very noticeable difference in the big man.
Perkins also recently talked to Crave Online about the NBA lockout and getting back on the court. I just look to play as much ball as I can with other NBA players and at colleges, he said. But I know theres in shape and in NBA shape, so well have to get to it hard once were back in camp.
See Where Pierce Hones His Game
Paul Pierce has been holding his The Truth Strikes Again Celebrity Bowling Tournament for years, and now has he offered a glimpse into how he hones his skills. Pierce tweeted two videos of himself bowling . . . in his house. Pierce has a two-lane bowling alley complete with flat screen televisions and a 2008 championship banner for extra dcor.
On the same topic, Jermaine ONeal is reportedly selling his 7,500-square-foot Nevada home.
Early Hall of Fame Taste for KG
There is little question Kevin Garnett will be heading to the NBA Hall of Fame after his career as a basketball player is over, but this weekend he is getting an early taste of being an inductee. On Saturday, Garnett and Celtics coach Doc Rivers will be honored as members of the inaugural class of athletes in the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Garnett, who attended Farragut Career Academy, and Rivers, who went to Proviso East High School, will be honored as part of Boys Post-1960s class. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 5 at Memorial Stadium located on the University of Illinois campus. If you are in the Chicago area, visit IlliniHQ.com for ticket information.
Arroyo to Join Howard, Former Teammates in Exhibition Game
Carlos Arroyo has been representing Puerto Rican National Team in competition during the lockout. This month, he will take the court back in the States. Arroyo, who previously played over two seasons with the Orlando Magic, is one of 18 players who have reportedly committed to play in Dwight Howard's charity exhibition game on November 13 at the UCF Arena. According to the Orlando Sentinel, other participants include current and former Magic players who have made several trips to the TD Garden during the regular season and playoffs against the Celtics, including Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Mike Miller. Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway is also on the list.
Former Celtic Pruitt Drafted by Skyforce
Former Celtic Gabe Pruitt was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft on Thursday night. Pruitt was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 32nd pick in 2007. He appeared in 62 games over two seasons in Boston, averaging 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 7.4 minutes per contest. He has also played in 56 D-League games. Pruitt retweeted a photo of his name being written on the Skyforce draft board.
Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambigbaby11: "Take the 51 man and let's play."
Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Blue Edwards, who played 31 games for the Celtics during the 1994-95 season, turned 46 on Halloween . . . Marcus Landry turned 26 the following day. He appeared in one game for the Cs in the 2009-10 season . . . Tom Thacker, who won a championship with the Celtics in 1968, turned 72 on November 2 . . . Mikki Moore celebrated his 36h birthday on November 4. Moore had two stints with the Celtics 3 games in 2002-03 and 24 appearances in 2008-09. Matt Wenstrom (1.6 ppg in 1993-94 season) turned 41 the same day.
This Week in Celtics History (The Debuts)
On November 1, 1996, Ray Allen made his NBA debut as a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 13 points (3-10 FG, 2-3 3PG) in the Bucks 111-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. On the same date 10 years later, Rajon Rondo made his NBA debut with the Celtics against Chris Paul and the New OrleansOklahoma City Hornets. Rondo played nearly 23 minutes off the bench, recording six points, four rebounds, and three assists . . . On November 2, 2007, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Allen played their first regular-season game together on the Celtics. The C's beat the Washington Wizards on Opening Night, 103-83. The "New Big Three" combined for 67 points, 29 rebounds, and 11 assists . . . Garnett made his NBA debut at 19 years old on November 3, 1995. He scored eight points (4-4 FG) in 16 minutes off the bench during the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-86 loss to the Sacramento Kings.