Friday FT's: Scalabrine bolts Italy; KG's new campaign

570318.jpg

Friday FT's: Scalabrine bolts Italy; KG's new campaign

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.

Brian Scalabrine is known as one of the ultimate team players in the NBA, so when he recently left Benetton Treviso to pursue a contract in the NBA, his coachs response was surprising.

EuroBasket.com reported Alexander Djordjevic said :

A disappointment on the human side, I didn't expect that. This is my personal opinion. He was the first NBA player in Europe to go back to the USA without a contract, without playing the latest games and help the team and greet the fans, all at 33 years ago only for going on his knees to his wife that wanted him back. He hasn't a team and an NBA contract yet. I was counting on his professionalism, respect for the club and especially for his young teammates. He could help us at least until tomorrow, the team needed it, but Scalabrine had a very negative attitude, as already shown in recent weeks, which gave us not so much on the field and beyond, indeed he has also negatively influenced other Americans. We're thrown off by this, thinking of a serious professional, but caused problems with teammates and club.

(ht Yahoos Ball Dont Lie)

Scalabrine played seven games for Benetton Treviso, averaging 11.6 points per game, and quickly became a fan favorite.

He was a favorite among his teammates, too. Celtics rookie ETwaun Moore, who played in Italy with Scalabrine, recently told the Boston Herald, I ask (Scalabrine) a lot of questions. He has given me a lot of insight things to look for. Hes told me that everyone on the Celtics is a close family, and gets along real well. Hes told me how well (coach) Doc (Rivers) does at getting everyone into the right situations to play to their strengths.

KGs New Campaign

Want to learn more about Kevin Garnett? ANTA's new marketing campaign, "Basketball is My Life," will include stories on their endorsed players, according to the company's press release. As part of the campaign, ANTA will also debut a new series of basketball sneakers showcasing "the Four Mythical Creatures" -- White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, Black Tortoise and Azure Dragon. No word yet on which shoe Garnett will wear this season.

Will Arroyo Play in the Big Apple?

Carlos Arroyo is one of those veteran players who doesnt make a lot of noise, but once the postseason rolls around, you usually see him on the court for a playoff contender. After previously playing for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Miami Heat, Arroyo joined the Celtics in March for their title push last season. Now it seems he has his eye on another championship hopeful the New York Knicks.

"I love New York," Arroyo told ESPNNewYork.com. "It would be a great situation for me -- aside from being the largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S. (laughs). I have a great relationship with Chauncey, Melo and Amare, especially with Chauncey since we played together in Detroit.

Arroyo averaged 2.4 points and 1.7 assists in 15 games for the Cs.

I Wanna Be Like Perk

When younger players compare their games to NBA veterans, names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett are frequently used. You know, star players who are idolized and emulated by millions. So when Knicks rookie Josh Harrellson compared himself to former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, the reference stood out.

Im a lot like Kendrick Perkins, Dennis Rodman type player, Harrellson said, according to the New York Post. Im tough and Im going to do the little things, offensive rebounds, going to play good defense, take charges. The little things that those two did to make their teams successful: Kendrick at Boston, Rodman for the Bulls. The little things those guys did to make championships teams better.

Harrellson also has another link to the Celtics the University of Kentucky alum worked out this summer with Rajon Rondo and other former Wildcats.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@CharleeRedz13: "Thx 4 all the support from my fans.......I will continue 2 become a better player and person every day..... Let's hope 4 the best dis week."

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Larry Bird turned 55 on December 7. Bird played all 13 years of his career with the Celtics, winning three NBA championships during the 1980s. His accolades include three MVP awards, two NBA Finals MVP awards, Rookie of the Year honors, and 12 All-Star selections. Over the course of his career, he averaged 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists during the regular season and 23.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists during the playoffs. Four-time All-Star Otis Birdsong, who played in the 1988-89 team with Bird, turned 56 on December 9.

This Week in Celtics History

On December 4, 1992, the Celtics traded Jon Barry and a 1995 second round pick to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Alaa Abdelnaby. On the same day, the Cs waived Kenny Battle. On December 6, 2000, the Celtics signed Milt Palacio as a free agent. On December 8, 1977 the Cs waived Steve Kuberski, who was in his second stint with the team.

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?

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

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

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

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.