On his Twitter page, Lakers forward Ron Artest took issue with suggestions that his team's triumph over the Celtics in seven games was impacted by the absence of Boston center Kendrick Perkins in the decisive Game 7 after the 7-footer blew out his knee in the previous contest.



According to a press release issued by USA Basketball, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has withdrawn his name from consideration for the final spot on Team USA, who will begin their participation in the World Championships Saturday night in Istanbul. 


Chico Walker saw a different side of his nephew this Fourth of July weekend. It wasn’t a three-time All-Star shimmying on the court. It wasn’t the centerpiece of several legal troubles, either.



Speaking to the Arizona Republic, former Celtics guard Eddie House said he was upset when dealt from the C's to the Knicks just before the trade deadline.


"That stung a little bit," House said. "When you feel like you're a main part of what the team is doing and you're on a mission, to get the rug pulled out from under you and get sent to a team that has no shot ... that kind of hurt."


In his first public comments since the Celtics acquired Shaquille O’Neal, Kendrick Perkins said Friday that Boston’s pickup of O’Neal was a “great” acquisition, and added that he was “glad” the team made the move.

Speaking to the Boston Globe, Perkins, who suffered a knee injury in the NBA finals against the Lakers, said he isn’t intimidated by the thought of having to win his job back from O’Neal after missing the first few months of the season.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce said in an interview with CSNNE that he would like to finish his playing career in Europe. Talking about the contract he signed this offseason — which will keep him in Boston for three more seasons with an option for a fourth — Pierce said he couldn't picture himself in another NBA uniform, but he would like to see what a European jersey looks like.


In an interview with the New York Times, new Celtic Shaquille O’Neal said that he is working on his doctorate at Barry University and once that degree is obtained he no longer wants to be called “Shaq” and that he is no longer in the business of crafting nicknames for himself.


“I’m done with the nicknames,” O’Neal said. “Actually, when I obtain my doctorate, I will not allow people to call me Shaq anymore, either.”


Also of note in the interview:


Former Celtics guard Dennis Johnson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night in Springfield.


The presentation began with a video montage showing some of Johnson's career highlights, including his game-winning jump shot in Game 4 of the 1985 NBA Finals and his basket following Larry Bird's steal in the final seconds of Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. Fellow Hall of Famers John Havlicek, Bill Walton and Bird spoke during the montage, with Bird calling Johnson "the best player I've ever played with."


SPRINGFIELD - Charles Barkley, in Springfield for Hall of Fame weekend, talked Friday about the Celtics addition of Shaquille O'Neal. The TNT analyst -- part of the legendary 1992 Olympic squad being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year -- feels that the move was a "no-braner" for the Celtics.


"Don't forget, Shaq played very well last year," Barkley said. "I thought it was a very good pickup for the Celtics. Shaq played very well. He's going to help them a lot."


The 2010 Celtics preseason schedule is now available online, with games coming against Atlantic Division opponents.


Boston will see the Nets, the 76ers, the Raptors and the Knicks each twice.


For more information on the preseason schedule and the Celtics, visit the Green Street blog.