Boston Celtics

Friday Free Throws: KG sightings; poker for Pierce

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Friday Free Throws: KG sightings; poker for Pierce

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com Follow@JCameratoNBA
Welcome to the first edition of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Lets kick off the debut with a few notes on one player you dont see much about during the offseason Kevin Garnett.

Garnett was spotted last weekend in Canada, and it wasnt for the Stanley Cup Finals. Garnett was seen dining and relaxing during Montreals Grand Prix Weekend, a three-day celebration centered around the Grand Prix race.

Years after Garnett moved from South Carolina, he is still inspiring others there to hoop. Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker held his first Tru-Ballers 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament last week in Mauldin, Garnetts hometown. Mauldin Mayor Don Godbey told the Greenville News, It was a renewal of what Kevin Garnett had started when he helped build the basketball court at Springfield Park. Trevor decided to bring it back and it was great. It was well-organized and good for the community and the citizens.

And in case you missed it during the season, Garnett is one of several athletes endorsing ZICO Coconut Water. He is currently featured on ZICOs homepage (he is the letter I) and in a promotion on their Facebook page for a free beverage. "I dont mind being the face of the coconut water boom," Garnett told CNBCs Darren Rovell in March. Theres so many people who care more and more about what is going into their body and I can help grow that awareness.

Pierce takes a gamble
Its no secret Paul Pierce thrives in high-pressure situation, but one source of preparation may surprise you. Pierce recently competed in his first World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. I think poker has really helped me develop patience and that helps me in everything I do in life, he told PokerListings.com. It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there. View photos of Pierce working on his other game here.

Celtics? Lakers? Bulls? Who is the top team in the NBA?
As part of their 125th anniversary, Sporting News named their 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time. The Celtics made two appearances on the list at the fourth (1985-86) and fifth spots (1964-65). Top honor went to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers were named ranked second (1971-72) and third (1986-87).

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@paulpierce34: "My 13yrs in Boston 2world series 1 NBA championship 3 super bowls know 1 Stanley cup what a place to b a sports fan"

Birthdays of the Week
Former Celtics first-round pick (11th overall) Jerome Moiso turned 33 on June 15. Moiso was drafted in 2000 and scored 35 points in 24 games during his first (and only) season in Boston . . . Allan Ray turned 27 on June 17. Ray, who played for the Celtics just prior to Ray Allens arrival, averaged 6.2 points during the 2006-07 season.

This Week in NBA History
The Celtics won their 17th World Championship on June 17, 2008 by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 131-92, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden. Pierce was named Finals MVP, Garnett proved anything is possible, and Brian Scalabrine delivered one of the most entertaining impromptu postgame press conferences ever.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

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Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Boston to play with Isaiah Thomas.

Of course, that's not going to happen. The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package for Kyrie Irving. Hayward explained what it was like for him to learn he and Thomas would not get the chance to hit the court together in Celtics' green.

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"My first reaction was to text I.T., and wish him the best," Hayward wrote in a blog post which he published Thursday. "That was a really strange moment because I’d really been looking forward to playing with him. He didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.

"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him.

"But that is just how the business works. I have spent enough years in the NBA to realize that things can change like that, in an instant. Still, even though we didn’t necessarily get to be teammates, I’m definitely going to be watching him as a fan. In this league, I think we are all rooting for each other in some way or another—just to try to stay healthy, to try to be the best we can be."

Hayward may be genuine about rooting for Thomas -- except perhaps when he faces off against the Cavaliers in the season-opener on Oct. 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. Thomas is uncertain to play due to a hip injury. But the two teams are expected to see each other in the Eastern Conference Finals again after the 2017-18 season. This preview will be an opportunity for Thomas and Irving to get their first shot at revenge against their previous team.

The trade wasn't all bad for Hayward, he explained. He was pleased at the prospect of playing with Irving. Hayward cited Irving's abilities in 1-on-1 situations and clutch moments. He appreciated Irving's scoring ability, because Hayward knows the point guard will open up space for Hayward to knock down open shots. Above all, Hayward seemed to value Irving's unique experience.

"And then getting a chance to play with LeBron James, and going to the Finals three straight years—those are experiences that are invaluable and that you really can’t teach," Hayward wrote. "Having that experience of playing in those big moments, dealing with the circus of the media, dealing with expectations, those are all things that I think he can help us with. Because most of us, myself especially, have never been through that."

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