Friday FT's: Rondo to Philipines; Melo takes down folding chair

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Friday FT's: Rondo to Philipines; Melo takes down folding chair

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.

Before the Celtics head to Italy and Turkey for training camp, Rajon Rondo is traveling to the Philippines. The trip is for a Red Bull campaign wherein three fans will have the opportunity to meet the point guard next week.

From the Red Bull Philippines Twitter:

Whats up MANILA?! Who's ready to meet Red Bull Athlete RAJON RONDO?! We're looking for Rondo's three biggest fans to join us for an exclusive meet & greet with Mr TripleDouble himself on TUESDAY 28TH AUGUST!!!! Get yourself a can of Blue&Silver;and show us how much you love Red Bull Product of Europe. Three most epic photos will be chosen as our winners! Entries close 6pm Sunday 26th August.. redbullgivesyouwings!!!!

To enter, tweet photos to @RedBullPh.

Epic Showdown: Fab Melo vs. the Folding Chair

Fab Melo was voted the funniest rookie in a survey of his first year counterparts. Maybe its because he has such a good sense of humor when he does things like break a folding chair. Check out this video of the 7-0, 255-pound center drawing a laugh and taking it all in stride during the Rookie Transition Program. I think the chair was too weak and an accident happened, he told NBA TV with a chuckle.

ONeal a New Man with a New Team

As Boston Celtics fans anxiously awaited the signing of Jeff Green, former Celtic Jermaine ONeal quietly inked a deal with the Phoenix Suns this month. ONeal, who appeared in 49 games for the Celtics over two seasons, was waived in April after undergoing season-ending wrist surgery. He also traveled to Germany this summer for Regenokine treatment on both knees. ONeal, 33, credited the Celtics medical team for his wrist surgery and is looking to enter his 17th NBA season in better shape than he has been in years, according to the Arizona Republic.

Paul Coro reported:

O'Neal said Regenokine, which centrifuges a patient's blood to make an anti-inflammatory serum for the knee, has allowed him to do lower-body training that he had not done for about five years. He also said he trimmed his body with a 14-day detox and a strict diet.
"I have a different type of lift right now," said O'Neal, who had new Suns teammate Jared Dudley attest to that after a shared Las Vegas workout. "I have a different type of quickness right now. A lot of people may say it's the procedure, but I say it's the work I put in."

ONeal averaged 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25 games for the Celtics last season.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

Been waiting to say this for a while... iamaceltic jeff (@unclejeffgreen) August 23, 2012

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Roy Rogers Jr., who played nine games for the Celtics during the 1997-98 season, turned 39 on August 19. He is the only player to wear the number 99 for the C's and only the fourth player in the NBA to do so. Quinn Buckner turned 58 on August 20. He played three seasons in Boston and was part of the 1984 championship team. The late Si Green (1965-66 Celtics) was also born on August 20 in 1933. The late Harold Kottman, who played all 53 games of his NBA career with the Celtics during the 1946-47 season, was born on August 22, 1922. Tony Dawson appeared in two games for the Celtics in the 1994-95 season. He will turn 44 on August 25.

This Week in Celtics History

On August 19, 2005, the Celtics signed free agent guard Will Bynum. He was waived months later on October 25. The Celtics inked Chris Carr as a free agent on August 21, 2000. He played his final NBA season as a member of the C's. On the same date in 2001, the Celtics traded Eric Williams to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a 1999 and 2001 second round pick. On August 22, 2008, the C's signed free agent Darius Miles. The former third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft was waived on October 20, 2008. 11 years earlier, the Chris Mills and Tyus Edney signed as free agents on August 22, 1997. The Celtics traded Mills to the New York Knicks in a prior to the start of the season while Edney appeared in 52 games.

Tatum easing into new challenge with Celtics

Tatum easing into new challenge with Celtics

BOSTON -- While the newest Boston Celtics were scattered about while at a community service event, 19-year-old Jayson Tatum was sitting in a really comfortable-looking chair, resting. 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind unlike any he had ever experienced, beginning with the pre-draft process, to workouts, to the draft itself and all the appearances and media engagements that have followed. 

“It’s a lot,” Tatum, grinning, told CSNNE.com. “But I’m taking it one day at a time.”

That steady-as-she-goes approach served him well during his lone season at Duke. 

Keeping an even-keeled approach will bode well for him as he gears up for his first taste of NBA basketball beginning with summer league practice this week in preparation for next week’s summer league action which begins in Salt Lake City. 

Boston’s summer league opener will be July 3 against Philadelphia and the top overall pick Markelle Fultz, at the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Tatum, who has not played in a five-on-five game since Duke’s loss to South Carolina in the NCAA tournament, is admittedly excited to get back on the floor this week. 

“I can’t wait,” he said. 

Celtics Nation feels the same way about Tatum, selected with the third overall pick in last week’s NBA draft. 

Although it’s only a preseason game, there will be expectations and with that, possibly some added pressure for Tatum to show he was such a coveted player by the Celtics. 

“That’s why Duke helped me a lot,” he told CSNNE.com. “Duke, the best program in college basketball, we were always on the national spotlight good or bad, whether we were winning or losing. That will help me a lot preparing for the Boston Celtics.”

And like Duke, Tatum will have to fight his way on to the court although he readily admits the challenge is much greater in the NBA. 

“Isaiah Thomas, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder . . . we didn’t have those guys at Duke,” Tatum said. “It’s gonna be tough; just try my best and get in where I fit in.”

Tatum said he will at times lean on his more experienced teammates, one of which was a former teammate of his – sort of – in Jaylen Brown. 

“I’ve known Jaylen for a while,” Tatum said. “We played with and against each other in high school at AAU camps. 

Tatum added, “at the AAU camps, sometimes we were on the same team and sometimes we were not.”

While much has been made about how the two are similar, Tatum sees both having strengths that complement, rather than compete, with each other. 

“He’s further along than Jaylen was skill-wise and he’s not as far along as Jaylen physically,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “Again, he’s 19 years old. I don’t want to put any expectations … I want to give him time to grow. We’ll see. He’ll definitely have a role, get a chance to play. And how well he performs is up to him.”

Tatum’s assessment of his game and Brown’s goes as follows:

“He’s a lot stronger, bigger than me,” Tatum, who is 6-foot-8, 204 pounds, acknowledged. “He’s much more athletic. Offensively, I think that’s what I excel in, being smooth and my ability to score. I can just learn from him, the things that he went through last year.”

One of the things he has already picked up on, is that Brown is a pretty smart – and at times clever – dude. 

Not long after Tatum picked jersey number 11, Brown, who wears number 7, took to social media and came up with a 7-11 theme that has already lead to some pretty snazzy t-shirt designs. 

“I thought it was funny,” Tatum said. “It’s catchy; I like it.”

And the Celtics really like Tatum’s game which has been compared at times to former Celtic great Paul Pierce. 

“I hate to make those comparisons when kids are 19 and let his game evolve into whatever it is,” Ainge said. “The similarity is they have good footwork. They both have really good ways to create space for shots. But the similarity … they’re both very good defensive rebounders. Those are two things that stand out to me with Jayson that are Paul characteristics.”

Tatum knows he’s a long way from being in the same company as Celtic royalty such as Pierce. 

Before then he must first earn minutes on the floor which will not be an easy task. 

But Tatum’s demeanor, much like his game, has seemingly always been a bit more mature than most of his fellow basketball brethren. 

Tatum credits his parents, Justin Tatum and Brandy Cole.

“They raised me to be different, be more mature and stand out above the crowd and be my own person and be comfortable in my skin,” Tatum said. “That’s how I’ve always been.”

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: How does the Chris Paul trade affect the Celtics?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: How does the Chris Paul trade affect the Celtics?

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0:41 - Tom Curran, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss the Rockets acquiring Chris Paul and how that trade can actually have an affect on the Celtics plans.

5:06 - Ian Thomsen joins BST to talk about if the Celtics are the front runners for Paul George, what would be too much to give up to the Pacers, and why it’s important to sign Hayward before trading for George.

11:21 - Evan Drellich joins from Fenway Park to discuss Rick Porcello getting his 10th loss of the season and if the struggling offense might be a season-long problem. 

14:58 - Tom Curran and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Nate Burleson saying that Julian Edelman is the most under-appreciated receiver in the last 10 years.