Friday FT's: Doc vs. Austin; Pierces big entrance


Friday FT's: Doc vs. Austin; Pierces big entrance

By Jessica Camerato Follow @JCameratoNBA
Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news, notes, and information that may not have made the headlines but are still worth a read.

Even though Austin Rivers is just entering his freshman year at Duke University, his father already has a few thoughts about his future in the NBA.

Doc Rivers joined Austin on the Duke mens basketball teams trip to China as part of the Friendship Games tour. On Thursday, the Blue Devils made a stop in Dubai to play against the United Arab Emirates National Team.

There, Doc told the Gulf News, I hope that one day he plays in the NBA that would be great but I need to play against him. I mean coach a team against him. That would be fun because I know all his strengths and weaknesses.

"That's his dream too to play against one of my teams someday. I wouldn't mind him in my team but you know that would be tough because I have to go home to his mum every night."

While Austin is turning heads on the court (he scored 16 points against UAE), Doc turned heads in the stands during a game in China. The Duke Chronicle recounted, During the game, a number of famous personalities in the stands attracted the crowds attention. At halftime, a rapidly-growing group of somewhat-forceful fans surrounded Boston Celtics head coachand father of Austin RiversDoc Rivers, hoping to get autographs. Security personnel ultimately cleared the area, but not before a number of fans climbed up into the seating area in which Rivers sat.

Last week we told you about Kevin Garnetts tour of China, and Paul Pierce is there as well. Check out this video of his big reception upon arriving overseas.

An Ode to Red
Red Auerbach is best known for his ties to the Boston Celtics, so what does he have to do with a Cape Cod hotel? Back in the 1960s, Auerbach became an owner of what is now the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth. The spot of the playhouse-turned-speakeasy went unclaimed for years during World War II until Red Auerbach, along with partners Kenneth Battles and Steve Hill, purchased Sea Crest in 1963 and converted it into a year-round resort in 1971, according to The hotel, now under new ownership, was recently enhanced with a 15 million renovation which includes the restaurant and lounge, Reds, named in honor of Auerbach. The restaurants logo is appropriately a green shamrock with the word Reds scrawled across it in red.

Night Out with Waltah
Looking for something to do this weekend? If you live in Evansville, Indiana or Lexington, Kentucky, how about spending some time with "Waltah?" Former Celtic-turned R&B crooner Walter McCarty will be performing songs from his recent album, Faithfully, during the show A Night Out with Walter McCarty and Rob White.

McCarty, who released his first album while playing for the Cs, told the Evansville Courier & Press, "I've been fortunate and blessed to be able to do other things. I always saw basketball as something I did for fun. I was good at it, and I enjoyed playing all those years, but I always had passions for other things. So I was never concerned about life after basketball. Now, everybody says, 'What are you going to do next?' I'm just going to go ahead and enjoy myself."

Celtics Legends Give Back
Last week Celtics legends Dave Cowens and Tom "Satch" Sanders joined volunteers from Old Mutual Asset Management and others to organize donated childrens items for Cradles for Crayons, making custom C2C KidsPacks with items for disadvantaged children in Massachusetts. It was a great day helping Cradles to Crayons equip homeless and in-need children with basic essentials to prepare them for going back to school, Sanders said. Donating our time and these important supplies can only positively impact the lives and education of these children.

Celtics Birthdays of the Week
Quinn Buckner, who played three seasons for the Celtics in the 1980s, turned 57 on August 20. ... Damon Jones turned 35 on August 25. He played 13 games with the Celtics as a rookie during the 1998-99 season.... Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn turned 77 on August 26. He averaged 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game during his career. Heinsohn won eight NBA Championships as a player on the Celtics and two as the teams coach.

Celtics Tweet of the Week
@paulpierce34: 415am here in Shaungyashan sun completely out yfrog.comh4puturmj

This Week in History
On August 25, 1997, former Celtics center Robert Parish announced his retirement from the NBA. Parish played 14 seasons in Boston, winning three championships with the Celtics. His number 00 jersey was retired by the organization.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at!JCameratoNBA.

Young understands work isn't done after claiming Celtics final roster spot

Young understands work isn't done after claiming Celtics final roster spot

WALTHAM, Mass. – For so many years the game of basketball came easy – almost too easy – for James Young.

He stood out on a young Kentucky team that played at the highest levels, delivering the kind of performances as an 18-year-old college freshman that catapulted him into the first round of the NBA draft.

To be so young and already having achieved a childhood dream, to be in the NBA, Young was too young to realize how quickly the dream could become a nightmare if he didn't put in the necessary work.

The past couple of weeks have not been easy for Young, aware that the Celtics were torn as to whether they should keep him around this season or waive him.

They choose the former and instead waived his now-ex teammate R.J. Hunter, on Hunter’s 23rd birthday no less.

One of the first acts Young said he planned to do following Monday's practice was to reach out to Hunter, offer words of encouragement to a player he looked upon as a brother, a brother who is in a state of basketball limbo right now which could have easily been the latest chapter in James Young’s basketball narrative.

And that’s why as happy as Young is to still be donning the Green and White, his work towards proving himself to this team, to this franchise is far from done.

You listen to veterans like Jae Crowder, a second-round pick who has come up the hard way in the NBA, they speak of how Young now takes the game more serious.

Even Young acknowledged that he didn’t take the NBA game and the need to work at staying in the league as serious as he should have initially.

“I wasn’t playing as hard (early on),” Young admitted. “I just was satisfied being where I was, being too comfortable. My confidence was down. I have to change that around.”

Crowder, a straight-no-chaser kind of fellow, said as much when I asked him about the changes he has seen in Young.

“He’s taking stuff a little more serious,” Crowder said. “It’s growing up. He came in as a first-round draft pick and was on the borderline of getting cut. I don’t know what else is going to wake you up.”

That’s part of what made this decision so difficult and on some levels, left players with mixed emotions about the decision.

For those of us who followed this team through training camp, there was no question that Young had the better camp.

But the one thing that was never questioned with Hunter, was his work ethic. He made his share of mistakes and missed more shots than a player with a sharpshooter's reputation should, but you never got a sense it had anything to do with him not working as hard as he needed to.

That was among the more notable issues with Young who came into the league as an 18-year-old. That youth probably worked for him as opposed to Hunter who played three years of college basketball and was expected to be seemingly more NBA-ready.

Even though Hunter’s NBA future is on uncertain ground now, he’s too young and too talented to not get at least one more crack with an NBA team.

And by Boston waiving him, he really does become a low-risk, high-reward prospect that an NBA team might want to take a closer look at with their club. 

And Young remains a Celtic, doing all that he can to climb up the pecking order which now has him as the clear-cut 15th man on the roster.

He might see more minutes than rookie Demetrius Jackson and possibly second-year forward Jordan Mickey, but Young’s future with the Boston Celtics is still on relatively thin ice.

“I told him this morning, this might be the first time he’s earned anything in his life,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations.  “He earned this by his play, day-in and day-out. He was given a lot as a young kid with a lot of promise, a lot of potential. We talked about earlier this summer, he had to come out and win a spot with some good competition and he did. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing.”

More than anything else, Young has been consistent in his effort, overall energy and attention to detail. But it remains to be seen if Young has done all that to just secure a roster spot, or has he truly grown up and figured out what has to be done in order to be an NBA player.

Celtics break ground on new practice facility


Celtics break ground on new practice facility

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- When it comes to finding ways to attract the best talent, colleges and universities often seek to upgrade their training facilities as an enticement to prospective players.
So why should it be any different at the pro level?
The Boston Celtics had a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning for The Auerbach Center at New Balance Headquarters.
“When you think he was hired in 1966 and they’re still honoring him, it’s very humbling,” said Randy Auerbach, Red’s daughter.
New Balance officials echoed similar sentiments about the legendary Red Auerbach, the architect of arguably the greatest dynasty in professional basketball.
“Red Auerbach was a true entrepreneur whose passion for winning and dedication to the sport of basketball and the Boston Celtics was equally matched with his commitment to people and his local community,” said Jim Davis, Chairman and Owner at New Balance.  “New Balance is extremely proud to join with the Boston Celtics in honoring his professional achievements and personal values through ‘Red’s House’ at our Boston world headquarters.”
Celtics president Rich Gotham cited several benefits to moving the team to a state-of-the-art practice facility closer to Boston.
Among the reasons given was the potential for the practice facility to be a potential enticement for free agents.
“Players spend more time in the practice facility than they do in the arena they play in certainly, and maybe more than they do at home,” Gotham said. “So having a place where they feel comfortable, a place where they want to spend time to improve themselves across the board … it’s all coming together in a pretty big way. The best players know it’s integral to their success that make sure that support is there, that infrastructure is there. So when we’re out talking to a player, we’re going to be talking about this practice facility we’re building. Because we do think it’s an important part of our story.”
Some of the features of the new practice facility will include:
·  Two state-of-the-art parquet floor basketball courts where the team will practice
·  Leading edge audio-visual technology throughout the facility
·  Expanded strength and conditioning, training, and recovery facilities
·  Best-in-class locker rooms and players’ lounge
·  Physical therapy areas including hydrotherapy pools
·  Sports science and nutrition facilities
·  Expanded media work room, press conference and broadcast facilities
·  A flexible hospitality area designed for community relations activities, partner gatherings and other guest events
·  Work space for the team’s coaching and basketball front office staffs
While the facility will have all the bells and whistles you would come to expect in a new facility, Gotham said there will be a balance of sorts struck between that and the franchise’s longstanding history.
“What will be clear is it will be … at that intersection of, which is a strange intersection, of innovation but honoring our tradition,” Gotham said. “This will be a building that’s state-of-the-art, moving forward. But at the same time, I think one of the things we’re lucky to have is this treasure trove of great guys who came before us who left great wisdom and great quotes. You can see a lot of that built in. Coach Stevens is big on having motivational phrases around for the guys to see every single day when they come in for practice. If those come from Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, all the better. You’ll see us incorporating those kind of things.”