Friday Free Throws: KG sightings; poker for Pierce


Friday Free Throws: KG sightings; poker for Pierce

By JessicaCamerato Follow@JCameratoNBA
Welcome to the first edition of Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Lets kick off the debut with a few notes on one player you dont see much about during the offseason Kevin Garnett.

Garnett was spotted last weekend in Canada, and it wasnt for the Stanley Cup Finals. Garnett was seen dining and relaxing during Montreals Grand Prix Weekend, a three-day celebration centered around the Grand Prix race.

Years after Garnett moved from South Carolina, he is still inspiring others there to hoop. Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker held his first Tru-Ballers 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament last week in Mauldin, Garnetts hometown. Mauldin Mayor Don Godbey told the Greenville News, It was a renewal of what Kevin Garnett had started when he helped build the basketball court at Springfield Park. Trevor decided to bring it back and it was great. It was well-organized and good for the community and the citizens.

And in case you missed it during the season, Garnett is one of several athletes endorsing ZICO Coconut Water. He is currently featured on ZICOs homepage (he is the letter I) and in a promotion on their Facebook page for a free beverage. "I dont mind being the face of the coconut water boom," Garnett told CNBCs Darren Rovell in March. Theres so many people who care more and more about what is going into their body and I can help grow that awareness.

Pierce takes a gamble
Its no secret Paul Pierce thrives in high-pressure situation, but one source of preparation may surprise you. Pierce recently competed in his first World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. I think poker has really helped me develop patience and that helps me in everything I do in life, he told It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there. View photos of Pierce working on his other game here.

Celtics? Lakers? Bulls? Who is the top team in the NBA?
As part of their 125th anniversary, Sporting News named their 10 Greatest NBA Teams of All Time. The Celtics made two appearances on the list at the fourth (1985-86) and fifth spots (1964-65). Top honor went to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers were named ranked second (1971-72) and third (1986-87).

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@paulpierce34: "My 13yrs in Boston 2world series 1 NBA championship 3 super bowls know 1 Stanley cup what a place to b a sports fan"

Birthdays of the Week
Former Celtics first-round pick (11th overall) Jerome Moiso turned 33 on June 15. Moiso was drafted in 2000 and scored 35 points in 24 games during his first (and only) season in Boston . . . Allan Ray turned 27 on June 17. Ray, who played for the Celtics just prior to Ray Allens arrival, averaged 6.2 points during the 2006-07 season.

This Week in NBA History
The Celtics won their 17th World Championship on June 17, 2008 by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 131-92, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden. Pierce was named Finals MVP, Garnett proved anything is possible, and Brian Scalabrine delivered one of the most entertaining impromptu postgame press conferences ever.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at!JCamerato

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”