Friday Free Throws: Ranking Rondo, the Jet has landed

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Friday Free Throws: Ranking Rondo, the Jet has landed

Welcome to the return of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information about the Boston Celtics that have not made the headlines but are still worth a read.

The debate over Rajon Rondos ranking among top NBA point guards has been going on for years. He can pass, but can he shoot? He is a dangerous defender, but does he have a jumpshot? Does he play well because of his teammates around him?
This summer Rondo reportedly attested in a French interview that he is the best point guard in the NBA. (Would you expect him to say anything less?) Bleacher Report recently asked Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers about Rondos opinion and Chalmers shared his own ... but not without entering his own name into the mix:Peter Emerick: "Rajon Rondo recently said that he's the NBA's top point guard. What are your thoughts on that, and where do you think you rank among all the point guards in the NBA?"Mario Chalmers: "He's not the best, but he's in the top five. There are a lot of great point guards in the league, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Steve Nash. There are a lot of great guards in the NBA so for him to say he's the best is a pretty bold statement. I'd say that I Mario Chalmers am in the front end of the top 10."Last season Rondo led the league with 11.7 assists per regular season game and 11.9 in the playoffs. During the regular season Nash ranked second with 10.7 assists per game, Paul ranked third with 9.1, and Williams ranked fifth with 8.7. Chalmers rounded out the top 40 among all players with 3.5 dimes per game.
Lee, Daniels on Their Grind
Cs guard Courtney Lee and former Celtics-current free agent Marquis Daniels were getting ready for the upcoming season together during a workout at the OHoops training facility in Oviedo, Florida. Lee, who was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2008, and Florida-native Daniels paused for a photo with Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, tweeted by OHoops: big time workout with @Marquis_Daniels @ChandlerParsons @CourtneyLee2211.

The Jet is on the Runway
With training camp starting next month, Jason Terry is packing up and settling down in Boston. On Wednesday the veteran guard, who signed with the Celtics this summer, posted a photo of a moving track captioned, "The Jet is on the runway I'm a miss you Dallas you'll always b Home! THANK YOU 4 your Support." The following day, Terry posted a picture of a Celtics logo that read, "Welcome to Boston Terry Family." He titled the post, "Home sweet Home." Terry played eight seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and won a championship with the team in 2011. This month he tattooed Lucky the Leprechaun on his arm to express his commitment to winning a title with the Celtics.

Garnett Inspires the Brow
During an interview with the New York Times, New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis was asked which NBA player he compares himself to. Who did the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft choose? One of the best in the league, of course. Kevin Garnett, Davis replied. And I like how hard he goes, and he plays good defense along with his offense. The 6-10, 220 pound big man averaged 14.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game during his freshman (and only) season at the University of Kentucky. He will face off against Garnett for the first time on January 16 in Boston.
Celtics Tweet of the Week
@paulpierce34: U kno I gotta have a couple girls with me while at the beach it's the only way pic.twitter.com1I2hhmEI

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Celtics Hall of Famer Tom Heinsohn turned 78 on August 26. Heinsohn played his entire nine-year career in Boston, winning eight championships and earning five NBA all-star selections. He averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Heinsohn also coached the C's for another nine seasons and won two titles in that role. He is currently a Celtics television broadcaster....Current Celtic Jeff Green celebrated his 26th birthday on August 28. Green, who missed last season with cardiac surgery, signed a four-year contract with the C's this month. The Celtics originally selected Green with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and traded him to the Seattle SuperSonics as part of the Ray Allen deal....The late Skippy Whitaker, who wore number five more than 50 years before Kevin Garnett, was born on August 29, 1930. He played three games for the Celtics during the 1954-55 season....Like Heinsohn, another Hall of Famer celebrated a birthday this week. Robert Parish turned 59 on August 30. He won three championships during his 14 seasons with the Celtics. Parish leads all NBA players (past and current) in most career games played (1,611)....Former Celtic and Connecticut native Ryan Gomes will turn 30 on September 1. Gomes was drafted by the Celtics with the 50th overall pick in 2005. He played two seasons in Boston before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the blockbuster Garnett deal. Last season he averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game for the Los Angeles Clippers.

This Week in Celtics History
On August 26, 2005, the Celtics signed free agent Dwayne Jones. 17 years earlier, they signed Ramon Rivas on the same date. Both played one season for the Celtics. ... James Posey joined the Celtics on August 27, 2007. That season he played an integral role off the bench in the Celtics championship run. Posey signed a multi-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets the following summer.

Glen Robinson wins NBA All-Sar Slam Dunk Contest

Glen Robinson wins NBA All-Sar Slam Dunk Contest

Glenn Robinson III is the NBA's new dunk king, with an assist to Indiana teammate Paul George, the Pacers' mascot and a Pacers cheerleader.

Robinson leaped over all three, snagging the ball from George along the way before finishing with an emphatic, two-hand, reverse jam, giving him a perfect score - and the title - on his final dunk.

"I know I'm a jumper. Like I said, I'm a guy that stays out of the way, but when it's time to shine, that's my thing," Robinson said. "I knew all along I had some things planned and I just wanted to show the world."

Robinson edged out Phoenix's Derrick Jones Jr., who was done in by his failure to complete his difficult first dunk of two in the final round.

Jones still managed a perfect score on his second dunk, when he received a bounce-pass in the paint, put it between his legs and threw down a left-handed jam. But Robinson made sure it wasn't enough.

In the 3-point contest, Houston's Eric Gordon dethroned Golden State splash brother Klay Thompson. Kristaps Porzingisof the New York Knicks won the Skills Challenge.

Both dunk finalists delighted the crowd with soaring slams over teammates and others that showcased the explosive spring in their vertical leaps.

"I thought I would go up against Derrick in the finals," Robinson said. "I've seen the things that he can do. That guy can jump."

Robinson's first dunk was one of his best. He leap-frogged one man sitting on another's shoulders, grabbed the ball from the elevated man's hands and slammed it home. He said 2000 dunk champ Vince Carter was one of his primary influences, along with Michael Jordan, of course.

"Vince Carter did one of his best dunks first, and it kind of intimidated people. That's what I wanted to go out and do," Robinson said. "Who knows if it worked, but they missed some of their dunks and it gave me a little more room."

Afterward, he couldn't take his hands off of the trophy - a gold basketball - and made it sound as if that would remain the case through the weekend.

"I know I'm not letting go of her right there," he said. "She's following me everywhere I go. It's Mardi Gras. We're going to have a good time."

Jones jumped over four teammates including Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss in the first round. He also drew roars from the crowd when he took a pass off the side of the backboard from Booker with his right hand, put the ball between his legs to his left for a round-house jam.

The dunk that cost him was a bold one. He tried to leap a friend and the Suns' gorilla mascot, grab the ball on the way over, put it between his legs and then finish with a windmill. But he couldn't get the dunk to go down in his allotted three attempts.

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Aaron Gordon of Orlando were unable to emerge from the first round. Jordan dunked over DJ turn tables and Gordon dunked after receiving a bounce pass from a drone that had flown over the court with the "Star Wars" theme music playing.

Eric Gordon got his win in New Orleans, where he played the previous five seasons before leaving last summer in free agency.

Gordon's score of 21 in a final-round tiebreaker defeated Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, the 2013 winner, who had 18. The pair had each finished with a score of 20 in the final round, meaning they each had to shoot 25 more balls to decide it.

"I wasn't really concentrating on how many I made," Gordon said. "It's all about just knocking down the shot. I never counted in my head or anything. I just go out there and just shoot the ball."

Thompson was stunningly eliminated in the first round, missing a final shot from the corner that could have put him through ahead of Kemba Walker.

Big men reigned supreme for a second straight year in the skills competition, with the 7-foot-3 Porzingis beating Utah's Gordon Hayward in the final round.

Those vanquished in earlier rounds included guards John Wall of Washington and Isaiah Thomas of Boston, both because they couldn't make their initial 3-pointers required to close out the course before Hayward did, even though Hayward had trailed each of them dribbling down the court by a considerable margin before hitting his clinching shots.

Porzingis emerged from the big-men's division that included the Pelicans' Anthony Davis and Denver's Nikola Jokic.

"It's a good feeling that I'm able to showcase my skill with my size and show to the kids that you're capable of doing that even if you're tall and lanky like me," Porzingis said.

Porzingis and Hayward were neck-and-neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his 3 first to end it.

The three-round, head-to-head obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

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AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report

Webber, Massimino among the Hall of Fame finalists

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Webber, Massimino among the Hall of Fame finalists

NEW ORLEANS - Chris Webber and Rollie Massimino are one step from the Hall of Fame.

The career 20-point-per-game NBA scorer and the coach who led Villanova to a stunning upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game were among the 14 finalists unveiled Saturday for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises, plus was part of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" group that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm most proud of," said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. "I'm proud to be in the room with all these great individuals."

Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut women's star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self, and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

"I still can't believe I'm here," McGrady said. "This is not even a dream come true."

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include star point guard and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway, winningest all-time boys high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach and four-time Division III national champion Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU women's national champion team Wayland Baptist University.

"We are grateful to the 14 finalists in the Class of 2017 for the impact they have had on the game we cherish," Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "To be named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment."

Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a finalist for the first time. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months - including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA title.

"Some days, we do take him for granted," Keiser guard Andrija Sarenac said. "But then you see him on TV so much, you see all these videos made about him, the movies about Villanova and everything, and it just hits you. You realize that he's a legend. I mean, your coach is a walking legend. With the energy and everything he comes in with, it's inspiring."

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year's candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton.

Former New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year's Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

"A tremendous honor," said Sager's wife Stacy.

This year's lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald "Dee" Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

"He bridged the gap between ownership and coaches," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who spoke about Goldberg on Saturday while wearing a bow tie - one of the signature wardrobe accessories that Goldberg donned for years. "He was just such a great guy."