Erden interested in potential return to Boston

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Erden interested in potential return to Boston

BOSTON As Semih Erden walked the streets of Boston on Saturday, he was pleasantly surprised to know that folks around town still remembered him.

Having played just 37 games for the C's last season, Erden, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has fond memories of his time with the Green Team.

Being a free agent this summer, Erden tells CSNNE.com that the Celtics will be on his short list of teams he'll consider playing for.

"Why not?" Erden said. "We will see what happens. I was in the street yesterday, everybody know me; that was exciting, they did not forget me. I was like, 'oh, that's nice!' To be here, this was my first (NBA) experience. I'm happy."

While there will likely be a few teams also interested in Erden, the Cavaliers are not expected to be one of them.

Erden comes into tonight's game having not played (coaches decision) in Cleveland's last three games. For the season, he's averaging 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Cleveland coach Byron Scott doesn't mince words in describing why he has elected to not play Erden.

"I was a little disappointed (in Erden)," Scott said. "This stint of three games that he hasn't played, what I'm hoping is that gets through his head, and when he gets another opportunity, he'll take advantage of it.

Scott added, "the same thing I told Semih. If he plays hard every night, he has a chance to be a good player."

Prior to the season, Scott even gave some thought to Erden as the team's starting center.

"He has to play a lot harder," Scott said.

While Erden certainly had his flaws and shortcomings with the Celtics, he often showed the kind of toughness that a number of his teammates lacked.

For the bulk of his stint with the C's, he played with a shoulder injury that he put off having surgery for until the offseason.

And there were times seven actually when Erden had to play with the starters due to injuries.

To his credit, Erden made the most of those games, one of which being a 102-101 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 2010.

In that game, Erden had eight points and three rebounds, a strong performance considering he had a handful of not-so-impressive performances leading up to that game.

Kevin Garnett was among those to praise Erden following that game.

"I think he (Erden) plays better with the first group," Garnett said at the time. "I think he knows what to expect. We know what to expect out of him."

Because of that comfort level by both, a return to Boston wouldn't be that big a stretch for the 7-footer from Turkey.

Prior to tonight's game, Erden spent some time in the C's locker room chatting up Garnett, Paul Pierce and others.

"I miss Boston," Erden said. "It's good to be here."

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

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Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

Get the latest on this story from golfchannel.com

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.