Friday FT's: Bronze statues and police applications


Friday FT's: Bronze statues and police applications

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.
How do you make a larger-than-life sports star, well, even larger than life?

A 900-pound bronze statue sounds like a good idea.

On Thursday, Louisiana State University unveiled the enormous tribute to Shaquille ONeal in front of the LSU Tigers practice facility in Baton Rouge. Following the ceremony, O'Neal addressed the media, at which time he gave a shout out to Glen Davis and other LSU alum in the league, recalled being a 13-year-old eager to play ball, and shared that he is nearing the completion of his doctorate (he noted his dissertation is on the duality of humor and aggression in leadership styles.). Check out for interview highlights and photos.

Another side of ONeal was also revealed this week in the form of a job application. After being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat in 2004, O'Neal applied to work for the Miami Beach Police Department. (He was sworn in as a reserve police officer in 2005.) The Miami New Times posted information from the application -- "Like any cop in Florida, O'Neal had a personnel file that is subject to a public records request, Gus Garcia-Roberts noted -- including:

- Asked about "special skills" or "equipment", Shaq simply wrote: "Laptop computer, binnochulars sic, master of surveillance"

- Shaq's character references are three neighbors from Star Island, including Gloria Estefan. The queen of Latin pop gave him a spotless reference, although indicated that she only knew him "somewhat".

- His weakest quality? sic "Don't express myself when he feels he should. His father was a drill sgt. who taught him to keep everything in."

- His police training appeared to have been penciled in around his existing schedule on a calendar, including games, his mother Lucille's birthday, and shooting an ad for Starter.

On the topic of LSU alumni . . . This summer NBA players have headlined basketball tournaments and leagues around the country. This weekend, Glen Davis will take part in the 2011 Baton Rouge Pro-Am Classic in his home state of Louisiana. Others slated to participate include Zach Randolph, Stephen Jackson, OJ Mayo, and Marcus Thornton. Also on the list Anfernee Penny Hardaway (Davis was seven years old when Hardaway made his NBA debut in 1993).

"For many of these players, this is an opportunity to give back to the community, but make no mistake: there's a lot of personal pride involved, particularly since they're all forming their own teams. Add in the fact that these players are seasoned professionals, and you have all the ingredients for a pretty spectacular show, BRCC Men's Basketball Head Coach James Rix told WAFB Channel 9.

The format of the tournament is double elimination, with 20 teams conisisting of current and former pro basketball players. The championship game will take place on Sunday, September 11. Proceeds will benefit the BRCC Men's and Women's Basketball programs.

Carlos Arroyo may have been a backup point guard on the Celtics this season, but he has played a leading role for Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas Olympics qualifiers. Arroyo, who was a member of the Toronto Raptors during his rookie year, scored 26 points against Canada in a win on Tuesday. As Doug Smith of the pointed out, Arroyos play did more than just help win the game for Puerto Rico:

Carlos Arroyo has long been a bane of Canadas existence on the international basketball stage, but never more than the former Raptors point guard is right now. With one of his typically explosive offensive games, Arroyo may have single-handedly dealt Canada a death blow in its quest to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics . . . Hes been a major international player for a long time, Canadian head coach Leo Rautins said in a conference call. Down the stretch they spread the court and he made some tough shots.

Although his offense has not been as strong since that game, he will look to lead Puerto Rico (5-2) against Argentina (6-1) on Saturday in the semifinals. Arroyo tweeted his thanks to his fans earlier this week.

Shoutout to for finding a Paul Pierce reference in a promotion for the upcoming television show, "The X-Factor." At the 52nd second mark, music mogul and competition judge L.A. Reid tells a contestant, "You are the truth."

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@JaJuanJohnson: Can it get any better? lifeisgood
Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Stan Noszka, who played for the Celtics in the late 1940s, was born on September 9, 1920 (he passed away in 1991).

This Week in Celtics History
On September 6, 1985, the Celtics traded Cedric Maxwell and a 1986 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Bill Walton. The draft pick would be used to select Arvydas Sabonis. Walton and Sabonis would go on to be inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame . . . On September 9, 1982, the Celtics traded Dave Cowens to the Milwaukee Bucks for Quinn Buckner. Three years later on September 3, 1985, they traded Buckner to the Indiana Pacers for a 1989 second-round pick.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at!JCamerato

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”