Friday FT's: Do you recognize Perk?

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Friday FT's: Do you recognize Perk?

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's still plenty of hoops to talk about.

The next time Kendrick Perkins returns to TD Garden, you may have to do a double-take. Before he was traded from the Celtics to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, Perkins said he wanted to continue losing weight after rehabbing from a knee injury (last season he was listed at 610, 280 pounds). Watch just a few seconds of this video (music NSWF) and you can see a very noticeable difference in the big man.

Perkins also recently talked to Crave Online about the NBA lockout and getting back on the court. I just look to play as much ball as I can with other NBA players and at colleges, he said. But I know theres in shape and in NBA shape, so well have to get to it hard once were back in camp.

See Where Pierce Hones His Game
Paul Pierce has been holding his The Truth Strikes Again Celebrity Bowling Tournament for years, and now has he offered a glimpse into how he hones his skills. Pierce tweeted two videos of himself bowling . . . in his house. Pierce has a two-lane bowling alley complete with flat screen televisions and a 2008 championship banner for extra dcor.

On the same topic, Jermaine ONeal is reportedly selling his 7,500-square-foot Nevada home.

Early Hall of Fame Taste for KG
There is little question Kevin Garnett will be heading to the NBA Hall of Fame after his career as a basketball player is over, but this weekend he is getting an early taste of being an inductee. On Saturday, Garnett and Celtics coach Doc Rivers will be honored as members of the inaugural class of athletes in the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Garnett, who attended Farragut Career Academy, and Rivers, who went to Proviso East High School, will be honored as part of Boys Post-1960s class. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 5 at Memorial Stadium located on the University of Illinois campus. If you are in the Chicago area, visit IlliniHQ.com for ticket information.

Arroyo to Join Howard, Former Teammates in Exhibition Game
Carlos Arroyo has been representing Puerto Rican National Team in competition during the lockout. This month, he will take the court back in the States. Arroyo, who previously played over two seasons with the Orlando Magic, is one of 18 players who have reportedly committed to play in Dwight Howard's charity exhibition game on November 13 at the UCF Arena. According to the Orlando Sentinel, other participants include current and former Magic players who have made several trips to the TD Garden during the regular season and playoffs against the Celtics, including Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Trevor Ariza, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Mike Miller. Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway is also on the list.

Former Celtic Pruitt Drafted by Skyforce
Former Celtic Gabe Pruitt was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft on Thursday night. Pruitt was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 32nd pick in 2007. He appeared in 62 games over two seasons in Boston, averaging 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 7.4 minutes per contest. He has also played in 56 D-League games. Pruitt retweeted a photo of his name being written on the Skyforce draft board.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@iambigbaby11: "Take the 51 man and let's play."

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Blue Edwards, who played 31 games for the Celtics during the 1994-95 season, turned 46 on Halloween . . . Marcus Landry turned 26 the following day. He appeared in one game for the Cs in the 2009-10 season . . . Tom Thacker, who won a championship with the Celtics in 1968, turned 72 on November 2 . . . Mikki Moore celebrated his 36h birthday on November 4. Moore had two stints with the Celtics 3 games in 2002-03 and 24 appearances in 2008-09. Matt Wenstrom (1.6 ppg in 1993-94 season) turned 41 the same day.

This Week in Celtics History (The Debuts)
On November 1, 1996, Ray Allen made his NBA debut as a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 13 points (3-10 FG, 2-3 3PG) in the Bucks 111-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. On the same date 10 years later, Rajon Rondo made his NBA debut with the Celtics against Chris Paul and the New OrleansOklahoma City Hornets. Rondo played nearly 23 minutes off the bench, recording six points, four rebounds, and three assists . . . On November 2, 2007, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Allen played their first regular-season game together on the Celtics. The C's beat the Washington Wizards on Opening Night, 103-83. The "New Big Three" combined for 67 points, 29 rebounds, and 11 assists . . . Garnett made his NBA debut at 19 years old on November 3, 1995. He scored eight points (4-4 FG) in 16 minutes off the bench during the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-86 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”

Yup.

Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).

Enjoy.

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

As rumors swirl in this post-draft, pre-free agency week for the NBA, Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported Friday that the Celtics could land long-rumored target Gordon Hayward AND trade for Paul George. And Kaufman says George would be more than just a one-year rental.

Kaufman elaborated on a possible George deal on his "Celtics @ 7" show Saturday. He said the trade with the Indiana Pacers wouldn't cost Boston next year's Brooklyn pick, rather it would be the first-round pick (Lakers 2018 or Kings 2010) acquired this week from the Philadelphia 76ers when Boston traded down the No. 1 for No. 3, along with Jae Crowder and another salary filler. 

MORE CELTICS: 

Before you run out and buy that No. 13 Celtics Paul George jersey, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com explains how financially disadvantageous it would be for George - long thought to want to head to the Lakers - to do this.