Boston Celtics

Friday FT's: Call Pierce the Big Three Four

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Friday FT's: Call Pierce the Big Three Four

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 are still plenty of hoops to talk about.

Paul Pierce is picking up where Shaquille ONeal left off.

If you thought the Big Shamrock, Big Leprechaun nicknames left Boston when Shaq retired, think again.

Pierce turned 34 on Thursday and took to Twitter on his special day.

New Nik name for me this year The BiG Three Four, he tweeted.

Pierce also wrote, 34 is my number special thing r gonna happen for me this year . Let's get this lockout ova so I can show ya.

The Celtics captain shares the same birthday as Jermaine ONeal and Doc Rivers (he tweeted a birthday shoutout to them). ONeal turned 33 on October 13 while Rivers turned 50.

Pierce was one of 12 players born in 1977 playing in the NBA last season (James Posey, Jeff Foster, Vince Carter, Brian Cardinal, Peja Stojakovic, Manu Ginobili, Ime Udoka, Morris Peterson, Nazr Mohammed, Jason Terry, Kenyon Martin).

Rondo a Big Man on Campus

Rajon Rondo is one of several NBA players who has been spending time working out at the University of Kentucky during the NBA lockout. On Media Day, Wildcats head coach John Calipari gushed about the former UK guard. His praise included:

Rondo, by the way, is outstanding. I mean this guy, he is working, and he's, I told him, and I told Nazr (Mohammed) the same thing. When they are done if they want to come back and join this staff and finish up their degrees, they are welcome. They are great young people who want other people around them to get better and they are not afraid to share their knowledge and their experiences.Right now I can't tell you how hard Rondo is working, it's incredible. As this thing comes back, Rondo will have a knock out year, no question in my mind. They are going to look at who the heck is this guy in Boston because of when I'm seeing, how hard he's working.

This month Rondo is featured on the cover of Red Bulls Red Bulletin Magazine. The November issue includes the article, Style Point, and a full-page headshot of Rondo with the caption, "He pulls off his look because the only person he's out to impress is himself." Click here for more on the article.

You Dont Hang Hype in the Rafters

San Francisco Giants pitcher (and New England native) Brian Wilson showed his Celtics Pride for a recent NBA 2K12 promotion, and now hes going head-to-head with music superstar Drake in the latest round of videos. The two debated the greatest NBA team of all time, with Drake arguing in favor of the Miami Heat and Wilson, still in his green garb, defending the Cs. Some of Wilsons talking points? You dont hang hype in the rafters and Bird didn't need to dunk. He laid it up ... like a real man.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambaby11: "Let us play!!!!!!"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Kenny Anderson, who played over four seasons with the Celtics, turned 41 on October 9. Former Celtic Bill Walker also turned 24 the 9th. He averged 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds for the New York Knicks last season. Hall of Famer Arnie Risen was born on the same date in 1924. He played the last three seasons of his career with the C's. ... Kenny Battle, who played for the Celtics in the early 1990's, turned 47 on October 10. ... Paul Pierce, Jermaine ONeal, and head coach Doc Rivers shared a birthday on October 13 (see above) 2008 championship team member P.J. Brown, who played the final season of his 15-year career on the Celtics, turned 42 on October 14. Dwayne Schintzius, who played 16 games for the Celtics in the final season of his career, turned 43 on the same date. Ray Williams also celebrated his 57th birthday on the 14th. He played 23 games for the Celtics during the 1984-85 season.

This Week in Celtics History

On October 8, 1996, the Celtics signed Brett Szabo as a free agent. The 6-11 center averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in his only season with the Celtics - and in the NBA. On October 13, 2006, the Celtics acquired Luke Jackson in exchange for Dwyane Jones. Jackson was waived less than two weeks later.

Brown ready to embrace role with new-look Celtics

Brown ready to embrace role with new-look Celtics

BOSTON – Like most of us, Jaylen Brown watched intently as the Boston Celtics overhauled their roster in a way in which no one on the payroll could untouchable.

Armed with the number one overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, the Boston Celtics traded down two spots to pick up a wing player (Jayson Tatum) who plays the same position as Brown.

Later on, the Celtics traded away Avery Bradley to Detroit.

Soon after, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas were Cleveland-bound in a deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston.

Things have changed, quickly.

MORE: Celtics storylines: Who fills out the starting lineup?

But being a high-profile high school player who spent one year in college before entering the NBA, Brown is well-versed on how to adapt quickly to new surroundings.

Brown might find himself getting used to yet another new role as an NBA starter this season.

When training camp opens next week for the Celtics, there will be at least two positions in the starting five up for grabs courtesy of Bradley and Crowder being in Detroit and Cleveland, respectively.

Thomas’ starting job will be handled by Irving who will be joined in the starting lineup by Al Horford and another new face to the Celtics roster, Gordon Hayward who signed a four-year, $127.8 million contract with Boston this summer after having spent his first seven NBA seasons in Utah.

Brown said he hadn’t put too much thought into all the changes that Boston was making this offseason.

“I knew a lot of stuff was going on and it was a lot of changes but it was above my pay grade,” Brown said. “Right now my job is to come in and play basketball and leave the politics up to the front office and you guys. It had nothing to do with me. I just try to come out and play hard, and try and be the best person and basketball player. . .  I can be. I try not to think too much of it.”

But it’s hard to ignore the possibility that he could be in the starting lineup on opening night, an opportunity he will have to earn with his play in training camp.

“(Head coach Brad Stevens) is going to do whatever he feels is best for the team and I support that,” Brown said. “Whatever it is that he decides, is what he decides. But I’m here, I’m available and I’m ready to work. It’s going to be a good year.”

The possibility that Brown could be in the regular starting lineup in his second season isn’t all that unusual for a player taken with the third overall pick in the draft.

But unlike most rookies, Brown wasn’t selected by a team where playing time was a given.

He joined an experienced squad that had its sights on a deep playoff run, something that runs counter-intuitive to what most high draft picks experience their first year.

But the Celtics advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference finals before falling to Cleveland in five games.

And as Boston went deeper into its season, Brown steadily worked his way into regular minutes which has helped put him here, potentially on the cusp of being a regular starter.

“My mindset is the same in a lot of ways, and is different in a lot of ways,” Brown said. “It’s the same in the sense where I’m just working, trying to get better each and every day just like last year; just constantly push myself for greatness. Where it’s different now, my mindset is I know a little bit more, I have my feet under me. A little bit more is expected of me.”

Throughout the summer, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has been pleased with the growth he has seen in Brown’s game.

But for him to help the Celtics this season, Stevens believes it’ll have to come on the defensive end of the floor.

“Jaylen has to become a lockdown defender for us," Stevens said on the Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, earlier this summer. "That's where, as you go into an offseason and you are an individual player, there's a ton of things that you want to get better at, and there's a ton of things you want to add to your game. But ultimately, when you get back to your team, it's what do you do that's different to make your team unique to give yourself the best chance of adding value to winning. We need him to become that."

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