Doc: 'I have no idea' if Rondo will play against Nets


Doc: 'I have no idea' if Rondo will play against Nets

BOSTON Rajon Rondo is about as tough a player as you'll come across in the NBA.
So the idea of him suffering a right ankle injury and not being able to return can not be discounted.
Boston managed to survive a Rajon Rondo-less fourth quarter on Wednesday in squeaking out a 98-93 win over Utah.
But it remains to be seen if the C's can last an entire game without their floor leader.
Boston may have to find out the hard way Thursday night when they play the Brooklyn Nets.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said it was "iffy" that Rondo could have returned to the floor on Wednesday night against the Jazz.
When asked if Rondo would play against the Nets, Rivers responded, "I have no idea. With sprained ankles, tomorrow you'll know more."
If he's unable to play, the Celtics would likely re-insert Courtney Lee into the starting lineup and have Jason Terry slide over to running the point.
There's not a single player in the Celtics locker room who doesn't know that they are a better team -- a much better team -- with Rondo rather than without him.
Still, there is clearly an upside of sorts for the Celtics during stretches in which Rondo is off the floor.
"You don't wish any hurt upon any of your teammates, but it's the nature of the business, it happens," said Boston's Paul Pierce. "We went without him a few games last year, so we just have to make the adjustments."
Rondo missed 13 games last season with the Celtics tallying a decent 8-5 record in his absence.
While there are a number of adjustments that have to be made if Rondo is unable to play, there's a confidence about this team that keeps them relatively confident that the void left by his absence will be filled by someone.
On Wednesday, that player was Leandro Barbosa, who led the Celtics second unit with 16 points but maybe even more important, didn't allow the Celtics to miss a beat even with their best player out of the game.
"It shows how deep we are," said Celtics big man Chris Wilcox. "We've got guys who can step up."
And the timing of that lesson could not be any better as the Celtics travel to Brooklyn to face a Nets team that's led by point guard Deron Williams.
Still, the idea of having to play games at some point without Rondo was something that Rivers anticipated coming about at some point this season.
"He's not going to play all 82, I doubt," Rivers said. "It'd be nice. You know, how I think, guys, the next guy, just somebody has to step up and we have to figure it out. Tonight was a great example that we did that."

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Isaiah Thomas keeps recruiting players on Instagram. It was only a matter of time before somebody got pissed. 

Thomas, who on Wednesday commented on a photo of the disbanding Clippers telling Blake Griffin to come to Boston, was up to his old tricks again later in the day. With Paul George almost a certainty to be dealt this offseason, Lance Stephenson posted a picture of he and George pleading with him to stay in Indiana. Thomas wasn't exactly polite in his comment, leading to a back-and-forth.

"Blasted" might be a stretch, but the Celtics did indeed go 3-0 against the Pacers last season, though none of the wins were by large margins. George dropped 37 points on the Celtics in Boston's 109-100 win on March 22. 

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge


MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."