Blakely: Celtics' voices loom large in lockout

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Blakely: Celtics' voices loom large in lockout

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn The Boston Celtics got in a little bit of pre-lockout business by picking up the second-year option on Avery Bradley along with making a qualifying offer to Jeff Green, which makes him a restricted free agent.

By making the 5.9 million qualifying offer, the Celtics can match any offer made to Green who came to Boston via Oklahoma City on Feb. 24 via trade.

Normally such news would create thoughts about next season and how Bradley and Green fit into the C's mix moving forward.

But no one around NBA gave much thought to individual moves made on Thursday.

Instead, the focus remained squarely on the league's immediate future, which remains murky at best.

The NBA's owners and player's union made one last-ditch effort on Thursday to avoid the league's first lockout since the lockout-shortened 1998-1999 season.

Both sides remain far apart on several issues such as instituting a harder salary cap, shortening contracts and scaling back salaries.

"I'm not scared, but resigned to potential damage this could cause to our league," NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters in New York after both sides met for three hours in what both described as being "cordial" talks.

With so much at stake, two of the more dominant voices behind-the-scenes for the player's union have been Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Garnett gave an "inspired sermon" to the union last week in which he made it clear he was more than willing to sit out the entire season and thus forfeit all of his 18.8 million salary.

Pierce, who is the C's union representative, came into the league on the cusp of the league's last lockout in 1998.

"I've seen a lot of guys end their career during the lockout," Pierce said. "They couldn't get back to the level of play. It's always about staying ready. Even at my age, I think a lot of guys, they go through the lockout in October. November comes, guys my age get lazy, probably don't work out. And then it bites them when they lift the lockout."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Isaiah Thomas diligently studying film at midnight on Friday

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Isaiah Thomas diligently studying film at midnight on Friday

Isaiah Thomas appears to be channeling the New England Patriots' "No days off" slogan.

The Boston Celtics guard spent Friday night, in the middle of the NBA offseason, studying film. He was up past midnight to take a look at Boston Celtics' game tape, according to ESPN.com's Chris Foresberg, who posted a picture on Twitter of Thomas hard at work.

Thomas finished the 2016-17 season with 28.9 points per game, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 33.8 minutes. He helped the Celtics earn the NBA Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed, and contributed a handful of clutch performances as Boston charged to the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the series, 4-1.

Jaylen Brown tweets his Drive-By Dunk Challenge

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Jaylen Brown tweets his Drive-By Dunk Challenge

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown joined in the Drive-By Dunk Challenge and tweeted a video that captured his thunderous slam.

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We're thinking that's not a regulation height rim.

And the All-Star dunk contest next year might have to be sanctioned by NASCAR.