Friday FT's: Shaq vs. Canseco; Barkley on Big Baby

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Friday FT's: Shaq vs. Canseco; Barkley on Big Baby

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.

Would you want to go toe-to-toe with Shaquille O'Neal? Jose Canseco does.

On November 12, Shaq tweeted, "What up Dana white I wanna fight Jose conseco hook it up.

11 days later later, Canseco responded on his own Twitter account. I accept shaqs challenge to fight him let's get it on ., he wrote. He added, Shaq tell ur girlfriend Dana white to make Thu fight happen.

ONeal has yet to respond, but thats not to say this is the end of their twitter chatter.

Barkley Curious About Big Baby

During a recent interview with ESPN Radio Chicago, Charles Barkley was asked which NBA player he thinks will be the most overweight and out of shape when the lockout is over. He predicted it would be a big man, and then expressed curiosity in a certain player who has donned green and white for the past four seasons:

Thats a great question. I will promise you this its probably going to be a big guy, because big guyslike guards like to go shoot around and play, guards love that. But big guys, theyll go lift some weights and do stuff like that, but theyre not going to go run up and down the court. So its going to be a big guy. Thats a great question.

I tell you what I want to see Big Baby Davis when he comes back. I want to see Big Baby Davis. I love that kid, he works his behind off, but playing basketball everyday, thats going to be interesting.

Read more about how Glen Davis is adjusting to life during the lockout here.

What Does Metta World Peace Miss about Hoops?

Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) took to Twitter this week to list his thoughts on the NBA. Among them, I miss Shannon dunking on ray Allen like the rim was 8 ft. He also challenged Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one to end the lockout (which he says he would win under some challenging circumstances, Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban to an arm wrestling match, and Jay-Z to a rap battle.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@Aabradley11: Haven't had a thanksgiving with my family since 3rd grade... I'm so thankful... Happy thanksgiving everybody !!

This Week in Celtics History

On November 19, 1992 the Celtics waived Joe Wolf. ... The C's waived Larry Sykes and signed Thomas Hamilton as a free agent on November 24, 1995. ... On November 25, 1996 the Celtics waived Nate Driggers. They also waived Kevin Pritchard on the same day in 1991.

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Former Celtic Marcus Banks turned 30 on November 19. Banks was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies and traded to the Celtics with Kendrick Perkins in exchange for Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones in 2003. ... The late Reggie Lewis was born on November 21, 1965. He would have been 46 years old. Two-time champion Cedric Maxwell turned 56 on the 21st. He won titles with the Celtics in 1981 and 1984. ... Former Celtic Vin Baker turned 40 on November 23. Baker was traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to Celtics in July of 2002 and was released in February of 2004. ... Hall of Famer Dave Bing turned 68 on November 24. He played the final season of his career with the Celtics in 1977-78, averaging 13.6 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. ... Erick Strickland turned 38 on November 25. He played 79 games for the Celtics during the 2001-02 season.

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.