For Shaq, Christmas begins early

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For Shaq, Christmas begins early

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

FRAMINGHAM -- The holidays are a month away, but Shaq-a-Claus has already come to town.

On Sunday, Shaquille O'Neal shopped the aisles of Toys 'R' Us in Framingham to donate gifts to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

"This is what I do," he told CSNNE.com as he piled toys into one of his many shopping carts. "I've been doing this Toys for Tots since '95. I just partnered up with Toys 'R' Us about five years ago. I'd always go, whenever I had a day off, and get four or five U-Haul trucks and just fill them up."

O'Neal donned a red Santa Claus hat and shopped around with members of the Marines. He also stopped to talk to fans along the way. Once he made his purchase, he helped load the toys into a military vehicle in the parking lot.

O'Neal stresses the importance of donating in the community and in his own family. His rule of thumb -- before his children buy new toys, they must donate ten toys of their own.

"We took a few of their old toys down to a homeless shelter," he recalled. "This little kid had a broken doll and she was crying. When she got her new gift she was running around happy. It actually made my daughter cry."

O'Neal hopes other public figures will also get involved in similar activities and provide toys for deserving children.

"My goal is get one big-time person in each state," he said. "Like me, I'm doing this here, New Jersey, Florida, and California. So there goes four states right there. So I just say we get Paul Pierce to take care of California and Kevin Garnett take care of Minnesota. My goal is to one day just have a guy take care of their own state and their own city."

Shaq-a-Claus is off to an early start this year.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.

Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.

“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”

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Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.

Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.

“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”

This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.

Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.

Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.

Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.