Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

191544.jpg

Celtics cut Stephane Lasme, Mario West

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The Celtics trimmed their roster Wednesday by waiving training camp invitees Stephane Lasme and Mario West.

Lasme, a University of Massachusetts alum, emerged as a fan favorite during the preseason. The Gabon native had been en route to Russia this summer but returned to the United States in order to maintain his residency and be with his wife and family. After giving up a contract overseas, he earned a spot on the Celtics' preseason roster. Lasme wasted no time, scoring 12 points in his first outing.

Now the forward is focused on staying in the game.

"I'm just going to sit around with the family and see what happens. I'm sure my agent is going to call me with something, and go from there," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics' game against the New Jersey Nets.

"I feel pretty confident about myself. I talked to a couple of the vets. They reassured me that I deserve to be in the league, that I'm an NBA player. I talked to Doc Rivers. He likes me a lot. We had a long talk in his office. After what he said, I'm pretty confident I'll be somewhere."

Lasme is open to the option of playing for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' NBA Development League affiliate. And if he does, there is the chance he could be joined by West.

The Red Claws still have the rights to West, a guard who played the last three years in the Atlanta Hawks organization. In the meantime, West will return home to Georgia and work on improving his offensive game. He sees himself developing into a player like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, one who focuses on defense first and then finds his niche offensively.

"I have things I need to work on but I think they were, overall, pleased with the effort I gave," West told CSNNE.com. "I was just grateful for the opportunity, to be honest. Any time you get an opportunity to come in with a championship-caliber team, I took a lot of pride in putting on that jersey and practicing with those guys. I feel like I made life-long brothers in this locker room."

The Celtics roster stands at 16, including the recent addition of Tiny Gallon.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup