Friday FT's: Kobe vs. Shaq (Again); Delonte works

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Friday FT's: Kobe vs. Shaq (Again); Delonte works

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 are still plenty of hoops to talk about.
Shaquille ONeal may have retired from basketball this summer but that doesnt mean Kobe vs. Shaq talk has come to an end.

Let's set the scene: Kobe Bryant is currently in Italy as part of a Nike promotional tour. According to Sportando.net, Bryant was asked about his former teammate O'Neal during a radio interview, to which Bryant responded, "I like players who work out. I used to do that 67 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them."

On Thursday, O'Neal tweeted a video of himself singing Sade's "No Ordinary Love" to ... a basketball I'm gonna miss the game.

No Doubting Wests Work Ethic
While many NBA players pondered finding employment overseas during the lockout, Delonte West announced he had applied for a job at Home Depot. This week he tweeted that he is now an employee of Regency Furniture Showrooms, and he has been sharing photos from his application to his first days on the job on his Twitter account, @CharleeRedz13:

Applied at Regency Furniture, need a 2nd job to stay afloat during the lockout.

I am now an official employee of Regency Furniture.. Check me out on my first day.

"Me and the crew at Regency. It's been a long day."

Just finished a big moving job.

Another on the job pic. This is the last one, don't wanna get fired.

Before he started his new job, West hosted the Delonte West Charity Weekend in Washington, D.C. to benefit several organizations, ranging from senior citizens to children. Check out photo (below) of West playing bingo with senior citizens at the Magnolia Garden Nursing Home. He was also at the Casino Royale benefit event with Baltimore Raven Ray Rice.

Rondo Confident One-on-One

Last weekend Rajon Rondo headed to Alcatraz in San Francisco for the final round of the Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament. Dime Magazine was there to talk to Rondo about the tournament, the NBA lockout, and one-on-one basketball. Check out a few excerpts from the interview, where Rondo is always in game mode:

Dime: If the Celtics held a 1-on-1 tournament, who would win?
RR: Probably me. I mean, we play a little 1-on-1 sometimes. Pauls pretty good hes probably the best 1-on-1 player we have cause he can score inside and outside, and he can check guards and bigs. So I could say Paul, or I could say Id win.

Dime: What about a 1-on-1 tournament with just NBA point guards. Who wins?
RR: Me.

Dime: Okay, so who would you beat in the finals?
RR: Whoever gets there.

Rondo also tweeted a photo of himself playing a game of H-O-R-S-E against fans at Alcatraz here.

Celtics Tweet of the Week

@paulpierce34: Today's game in Allen Field house brought back so many memories I couldn't have scripted the game today any better Best fans n the world

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Celtics 1997 first round draft pick (3rd overall) Chauncey Billups turned 35 on September 25. Billups played 51 games for the Cs during his rookie year before being traded to the Toronto Raptors . . . Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, who appeared in 20 games for the Celtics during the 1978-79 season, turned 60 on the same day. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons in September of 1979 . . . Brad Lohaus turned 47 on September 29. He was drafted by the Celtics with the 45th overall pick in 1987 and played over two seasons with the C's before being traded to the Sacramento Kings along with Danny Ainge . . . Chuck Cooper, broke the NBA color line when he played four seasons for the Celtics during the 1950s, was born on September 29, 1926. He passed away in 1984 . . . Ruben Wolkowyski, who played seven games for the Celtics during the 2002-03 season, turned 38 on September 30.

This Week in Celtics History

On September 30, 2005 the Celtics traded a 2006 second-round pick to the New OrleansOklahoma City Hornets in exchange for Dan Dickau. The guard was the last player to don number 20 for the Celtics before Ray Allen began wearing the jersey in 2007.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Celtics aren't asking Al Horford to be 'anything more' than what he is

Celtics aren't asking Al Horford to be 'anything more' than what he is

WALTHAM -- From one media station to the next, Al Horford effortlessly moved about during Boston Celtics Media Day.
 
In between stations, I jokingly asked the nine-year veteran, "Been through a few of these before?"
 
"A couple," he quipped.
 
But Monday was different. And every other Monday going forward this season will be different, too, for the longtime Atlanta Hawks forward, who is now a member of the Boston Celtics after they signed him to a four-year, $113 million contract this summer.
 
With that significant increase in salary comes -- from those outside the Celtics program at least -- a higher level of expectations.
 
"We’re not asking Al to be anything more than him," said coach Brad Stevens.  "He’s a good fit for how we play on offense. He’s a good fit for how we play on defense. He’s a professional. He has a routine. He works hard at his craft. He’s a guy that guys can follow by example."
 
However, Horford joins a Celtics team that -- since the rebuild began in 2013 -- has yet to win 50 games in a single season or get past the first round of the playoffs.
 
And while it will certainly be a collective team effort for Boston to achieve those goals, make no mistake about it: Horford is expected to be the man leading the way.
 
"We need to start building good habits from Day One," Horford said.

Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, is a big fan of Horford’s character and versatility, which has been on display throughout his career.
 
"As much as anything he’s been very consistent over his career," Ainge said. "Shooting the ball, playing multiple positions. He’s a guy that fits in with our system with big guys handling the ball a lot."
 
Horford’s new teammate echoed similar sentiments about the four-time All-Star.
 
And when you listen to his new Celtics teammates talk about him and what he’ll bring to a roster that’s loaded with returnees, there are a couple of common themes that seem to develop.
 
"He brings leadership; hard work," said Avery Bradley.
 
Bradley had a chance to spend some time around Jeff Teague, one of Horford’s former teammates in Atlanta.
 
"He just told me I’m really going to enjoy having him on this team," Bradley said. "He’s going to open the floor for everybody. He’s a great player on the offensive end, defensive end. He knows how to play the game of basketball. To have him be a part of this team, I’m just happy about it."
 
So is Amir Johnson, who will likely start with Horford in the frontcourt for Boston.
 
Last season, Johnson was Boston’s primary rim-protecting big man. With the addition of Horford, Johnson won’t be relied on as heavily to be Boston’s last line of defense, which makes his life easier and, more importantly, makes the Celtics a better team defensively.
 
"[Horford] has so many skills he can contribute to the game," Johnson said. "He can run the floor, block shots, shoot the 3-ball, which is big now. He can do it all. It’ll be a big piece to carry us over the top. We just have to put it all together."