Friday FT's: Shaq on Kobe; Krstic finds his groove


Friday FT's: Shaq on Kobe; Krstic finds his groove

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.

How many times have you heard this before? Think Shaq vs. Kobe is over? Think again.

Rewind: Last month Bryant was asked about ONeal during a radio interview in Italy. Bryant said, I like players who work out. I used to do that 67 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them."

But cmon, did you really think this would be the end of it?

This week in an interview with the New York Times, ONeal addressed Bryants comments by choosing not to address them.

No, he said when asked if he had any response. I dont need to work out. My numbers speak for itself. My three finals M.V.P.s speaks for itself.

And so the saga lives on . . .

Krstic Finds His Groove

Need a laugh during the lockout? Nenad Krstic was one of the first NBA players to sign overseas this summer when he joined CSKA Moscow. So what has he been up to in Russia? Aside from playing basketball, of course, Krstic has been working on his moves off the court. Well, I guess you could sort of call it that. Check it out for yourself here.

Green, Perkins to Hoop it Up with Durant, James

Jeff Green and Kendrick Perkins are slated to participate in a high-profile exhibition game on Sunday night in Oklahoma City. Hosted by Greens former and Perkins current teammate Kevin Durant, the US Fleet Tracking Basketball Invitational will also feature LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Jamal Crawford, Johnny Flynn, Rudy Gay, James Harden, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Amar'e Stoudemire, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and Damien Wilkins, according to the event website.

Johnsons Celebrity Status

JaJuan Johnsons NBA debut is still on hold during the lockout, but this weekend he is going back to campus with celebrity status. On Saturday the rookie will be the guest celebrity at Purdue Universitys 12th Boiler Tailgate, an initiative against high-risk drinking. The Purdue Exponent writes, The tailgate, which begins at 9 a.m. outside of Lambert Field house, will be a host to a variety of entertainment for those in attendance. Aside from a veritable buffet of classic, not to mention free, tailgating foods, games and prizes, there will be Purdue themed music played by local band Woodstove Flapjacks, as well as celebrity appearances. Dallas Mavericks forward and former Boilermaker Brian Cardinal has been a guest at previous tailgates.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@Marquis_Daniels: Back to AU in the morning continue to better myself if u want it you gotta go n get it ain't no way around it beleedat

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Mel Counts, who won two championships with the Celtics in the 1960s, turned 70 on October 16 . . . Jay Humphries, who played the final six games of his career with the Celtics during the 1994-95 season, turned 49 on October 17 . . . Kevinn Pinkney turned 28 on October 20. He played six games for the Celtics during the 2006-07 season . . . Shelden Williams, who played for the Celtics during the 2009-10 season, turned 28 on October 21.

This Week in Celtics History

October 16 was the day for a trio of trades over the years: In 1984, the Celtics traded Gerald Henderson to the Seattle SuperSonics for the 1986 first-round draft pick that would later be used to select Len Bias. In 1987, the Cs traded Sam Vincent and Scott Wedman to the SuperSonics in exchange for a second-round pick in the 1988 draft (Sylvester Gray). In 2000, Celtics traded Calbert Cheaney and Robert Pack to the Denver Nuggets in a deal for Chris Herren and Bryant Stith . . . On October 19, 1994, the Celtics signed Greg Minor. He played his entire five-year career in Boston . . . On October 20, 2003, the Celtics traded Tony Delk and Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills, Jiri Welsch and a 2004 first-round draft pick (used to select Delonte West). The Celtics waived Darius Miles on that date in 2008 and Mario West on the same date in 2010 . . . The C's signed Marty Conlon as a free agent in October 21, 1999 (the same day former Celtic Sherman Douglas signed with the New Jersey Nets).

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.”