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

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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).

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

There’s no such thing as a good time to have an injury. 

But in terms of Isaiah Thomas being sidelined with a right groin injury and the schedule awaiting the Boston Celtics … this is about as bad a time as you can imagine to be without their scoring leader.

Thomas returned to Boston ahead of tonight’s game at Orlando, marking his first game missed since the 2014-2015 season. 

He suffered a right groin injury in the second quarter of Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday. 

At the time, Thomas was optimistic that he would be able to play tonight. But with a day off from practice, the soreness proved to be too much for Thomas to suit up and play tonight. 

While it’s unclear just how severe his groin injury is, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious (like they are with most injuries) about his return which may result in him missing more games than Wednesday night’s matchup against Orlando. 

“Those things (groin injuries) are a little unpredictable,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier today. “Especially in this sport, you have to be able to stop and change direction on a dime, especially him. It’s important that he’s 100 percent.”

Stevens is spot-on when he talks about how uncertain a return for Thomas is currently. 

New York’s Kristaps Porzingis suffered a groin injury against the Celtics in a preseason game back in October that didn’t result in anything more than him missing a day of practice. 

It was a different story when Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic suffered a right groin injury last spring (March 7-29) that sidelined him for 13 games. 

The timetable for Thomas’ return to the floor is likely to fall somewhere within those two timetables which would make an already daunting stretch of games even more difficult. 

Following tonight’s game, Boston has 12 games remaining in the month of December with nine being against teams with a winning record. And of the three games against teams below-.500 (Miami twice, Indiana), two of them are on the road.