Friday FT's: Shaq wouldn't trade Rondo; Marbury update

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Friday FT's: Shaq wouldn't trade Rondo; Marbury update

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.

With Rajon Rondo - Chris Paul trade rumors buzzing this week, Shaquille O'Neal weighed in on the topic during a recent interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

O'Neal recently revealed in his book, Shaq Uncut, he believes playful insult from President Obama messed with Rondo's head. Nonetheless, he wouldnt trade his former teammates if he was in the front office.

Everyone is tradeable, you could probably get a lot for Rajon Rondo but he is the heart and soul of the team, he said. I dont think that would be a good idea. If I was the general manager, I wouldnt do it.

Shaq followed that up by giving Rondo an edge over Paul on the court.

Chris Paul is not better than Rajon Rondo, he said. Rajon Rondo is the true definition of a point guard, period. He gets everybody involved and he scores when he has to. Chris Paul scores a lot of points, but when was the last time they made it to the playoffs? Thank you very much.

Bias Remembered 25 Years Later

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the Washington Post Magazine took a look at 25 moments that changed Washington. The first moment -- June 17, 1986, the day the Boston Celtics drafted Len Bias with the second overall pick. The photo caption includes, "When he completed his extraordinary basketball career at the University of Maryland, the only question surrounding Len Bias was whether he would dominate the NBA in the same fashion he ruled the Atlantic Coast Conference. Twenty years later, many still wonder."

Johnsons Jersey Already Retired

JaJuan Johnsons college number has been retired before he even suited up for the Celtics. On Tuesday, Johnson was honored by Purdue University with a dedication ceremony in which his jersey was hung in the rafters. It still hasnt sunk in, all of the stuff that Ive done at Purdue, Johnson told the Purdue Exponent. Its kind of weird and I just left last year so I can still enjoy it while Im young. Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter praised the Celtics rookie, noting the 6-10, 221-pound forward is stronger than he may look. Its just special to see somebody develop like that as a player and as a person and achieve some of their dreams, he said.

Marbury Wants a Championship in China

Former Celtics guard Stephon Marbury is hoping to achieve a goal that eluded him in the NBA winning a championship. Marbury, who is playing for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), is focused on one objective this season We have to think of the championships, whether you are able to achieve it or not, he said, according to ChinaDaily.com. The report also noted Marbury is learning Chinese and would like to play the rest of his career in the league. "I will retire as a professional player in CBA and that is my aim, he said.

Whats Gabe Pruitt Up To?

As the Celtics look to add depth to their bench this season, lets take a look back at a former bench player. Celtics 2007 second round draft pick Gabe Pruitt (remember him?) is playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA Development League this season. The guard is off to a quick start this season, averaging 22.5 points and 4.5 assists in his first two games.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@Aabradley11: Best bday gift ever.. It's time to hoop

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Celtics guard Avery Bradley turned 21 on November 26 High-flying Dee Brown turned 43 on November 29. He is currently an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons. Jerry Sichting, a member of the 1986 championship team, turned 55 the same day. Five-time All-Star and 1974 championship-winning Paul Westphal turned 61 on November 30. He shares a birthday with Mark Blount (36) and Darren Daye (51).

This Week in Celtics History

On November 27, 2007 the newly revamped Celtics lost, 109-104, in overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road. LeBron James scored a game-high 38 points and dished 13 assists. Days later, the Celtics fought back at home, beating the Cavs 80-70 on December 2, 2007 at TD Garden. James did not play in that game, and Ray Allen led all scorers with 20 points. On November 26, 1995, the Celtics traded Sherman Douglas to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Todd Day and Alton Lister.

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM.