Friday FT's: Delonte's new job; Pierce wants to win


Friday FT's: Delonte's new job; Pierce wants to win

By Jessica Camerato Follow @JCameratoNBA
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 is still plenty of hoops to talk about.

Delonte West made headlines this summer when he tweeted he had applied for a job at Home Depot. No word on the status of his application, but he will be working for a good cause next week in Washington, D.C.

The inaugural Delonte West Charity Weekend will run September 21-25 to benefit several organizations, ranging from helping children to senior citizens.

Next Wednesday, West will co-host the First Annual UrbanPromise Ambassadors of Hope Casino Royale Scholarship Benefit at the Shadow Room in Washington, DC. Tickets are still available for the event (view the invitation here).

Other scheduled events include a free basketball clinic with the National Association of Mental Illnesses for 40 bi-polar children, another free basketball clinic for 113 underprivileged children with Monique Currie of the Washington Mystics, a tour of Safe Shores - The DC Childrens Advocacy Center, and bingo at the Magnolia Garden Nursing Home.

The Delonte West Charity Weekend is about renewing dreams, serving the underserved and making a difference for a community that made the dreams of so many athletes and celebrities possible, West said in the official press release. We have several celebrities coming to town for this week to connect with the next generation of athletes and leaders, while also spending time with senior citizens and our fans.

The Truth Is, Pierce Wants to Win
Paul Pierce is a true competitor. That means no one, not even Massachusetts native and Celtics fanatic Maria Menounos gets a free pass on the basketball court. To kick off her new job as co-host of Extra, Menounos challenged Pierce to some hoops. While Menounos kept it close, Pierce came through with the W. Check out the video here.

Like Father, Like Son
As Celtics coach Doc Rivers waits to see when the NBA season will begin, his son is looking forward to his first year of college ball. Sporting News spoke to Austin Rivers about his freshman season at Duke University, where his first official college game has been highly anticipated since he was in school. Austin showed shades of his father when he talking about humbling himself in a prestigious program.

Im being coached by the greatest coach ever Mike Krzyzewski, he told Sporting News of playing at Duke. What I accomplished in high school, I cant say anything to these guys. These guys have won a national championship here. Theyve done things, been places, met more people. What Ive done, to me, is belittled. I have no right to be arrogant or cocky. Ive come in here to learn. With that, though, Im going to bring my talent and try to help as much as possible.

And, like his father, Rivers stressed the dedication to his team -- not personal goals for the future.

Of course you dream about playing in the NBA. Every kid does, he said. And theyre lying if they say they dont. But right now I have Duke on my chest. Not the Lakers, not the Celtics, whatever. The only thing Im worried about now is getting better as a player and person and doing everything I can to help Duke win. I know if I do that, the NBA will be there. And after this year, if were allowed, thats something Coach K and everybody will talk to me about. Thats something Im not even worried about right now.

Celtics Lineage to Continue on Campus
This summer Ray Allens daughter, Tierra, enrolled at Quinnipiac University to play for the womens volleyball team. Next year, there will be another relative with ties to the Boston Celtics on campus in Hamden, Connecticut. Kendrick Ray, the brother of former Celtic Allan Ray, has verbally committed to play basketball at Quinnipiac next year, according to the Times-Herald Record. Kendrick will join Allan (Villanova University) and sister, Brittany (Rutgers University), as the third member of the family to play basketball at the Division I level. Allan Ray, who was undrafted, averaged 6.2 points for the Celtics as a rookie during the 2006-07 season. Last season he signed with Sutor Montegranaro in Italy.

Banks Hall of Fame Moment
After his lackluster career in with the Celtics, the words "Marcus Banks" and "Hall of Fame" don't exactly seem to go together. This week they did, though, as Banks was inducted into the The Dixie State College of Utah Athletics Hall of Fame. Banks helped lead the mens basketball team (36-2) to a third place finish in the Junior College National Tournament during his sophomore year. He graduated from Dixie State College in 2001 before transferring to UNLV, where he played so well that he was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 13th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. The Celtics acquired Banks in a trade that included Kendrick Perkins in exchange for Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones. He played over two seasons in Boston, averaging 5.3 points and 1.9 assists.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@aa000G9 (Tony Allen): Together we stand!! I believe!!

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Former Celtic Travis Knight turned 37 on September 13. Knight averaged 6.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists during the 1997-98 season with the C's. He played the remainder of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks . . . Sherman Douglas, who played for the Celtics during the 1990s, turned 45 on September 15. Douglas wore both numbers 4 and 20 with the C's . . . Speaking of players who donned number 20, Dan Dickau turned 33 on September 16. Dickau played 19 games for the Celtics during the 2005-06 season, averaging 3.3 points.

This Week in Celtics History
On September 15, 1993, the Celtics signed free agent Chris Corchiani. He played his final NBA season in Boston, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 assists in 51 games . . . On September 16, 1992, the Celtics signed Kenny Battle as a free agent. Battle also played the final three games of his career with the Celtics before being waived on December 4.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at!JCameratoNBA.

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”