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

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

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com 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 http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
 
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
 
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”

Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
 
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
 
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
 
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
 
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
 
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
 
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
 
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . .  he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
 
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
 
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
 
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”