McHale can relate to talk of current aging Big Three


McHale can relate to talk of current aging Big Three

BOSTON Not a game goes by it seems without a question or two centered around whether Danny Ainge should start to break off some - or all - of the Celtics' Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen.

Few can speak on the subject matter better than Kevin McHale, who was literally in the shoes of Boston's current Big Three near the end of his Hall of Fame career with the Celtics.

"They're playing better than we did," said McHale, referring to himself, Larry Bird and Robert Parish. "At this point in our careers, we were all beaten down, had injuries and all that other stuff which is hard to deal with. It happens to everybody. It's just part of the game."

So is getting old, something McHale admits isn't easy to deal with for some players.

"Getting old in the NBA is not for the meek or the mild," said McHale, who now coaches the Houston Rockets. "Your mind is sharp as it's ever been. Sometimes athletically-wise, you can't do some of the things that you could (do earlier)."

And when that happens, production falls off.

When production falls off, players have to acknowledge their decline which for many, is a tough pill to swallow.

"If you're honest with yourself, you wake up in the middle of the night and go, 'You suck!'" McHale said. "Some people can't do that."

McHale, who spent his entire 14-year career with the Celtics (1980-1993), battled a series of injuries near the end of his career.

"I never appreciated enough guys who just grind themselves to a numb and got little accomplished (near the end of their careers)," McHale said. "I became one of those guys."

Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers


Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers

FOXBORO -- Though Dion Lewis is expected to practice this week, he was not on the field with teammates Wednesday.

Lewis was eligible to begin practicing last week but remained sidelined. On Wednesday morning, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that the Patriots running back would be on the field this week. Once Lewis does begin practicing, the team will have three weeks to determine whether or not he is activated. 

Newly acquired Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy was present for his first practice in New England about 24 hours after being dealt by the Lions. The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder was working out with Patriots off-the-ball linebackers (Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts) to begin the session. 

The Patriots have parted ways with practice-squad offensive lineman Chase Farris, it appears. His spot on the 10-man practice-squad unit has been taken by defensive lineman Anthony Johnson.