Paul Pierce has not yet solidified his plans for the upcoming season, but if retirement is that decision, Pierce’s most recent (and most familiar) coach is encouraging him to do so as a member of the Celtics.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce has not yet solidified his plans for the upcoming season, but if retirement is that decision, Pierce’s most recent (and most familiar) coach is encouraging him to do so as a member of the Celtics.

At Tuesday’s annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden, Clippers coach Doc Rivers spoke to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg about the future of arguably the most prized player to wear green since the turn of the millennium, and he said Pierce should sign a one-day contract with the Celtics when he decides to hang up his sneakers.

“I think it’s important. I think we have to do that. And I think we will,” Rivers said. “Danny [Ainge] and [assistant GM] Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day he retires, he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires, he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”

Should he return, Pierce will be playing in his 19th NBA season, 15 of which were with the Celtics. Last season with the Clippers was an underwhelming one, as the 38-year-old averaged just 6.1 points over 18.1 minutes per game.

“Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way. So I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back,” Rivers said. “But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”

Rivers, who coached the Celtics from 2004 until 2013, when he left for the Clippers, said Pierce could still play at a high level should he come back.

“If I don’t think they can play, then I tell them that. But I think Paul can play,” Rivers said. “I don’t know how much he’ll play, but he can play. I’ve always thought it’s easy for someone else to tell you to retire; I think that’s something that the player has to come to by himself.”

In his frequent discussions with Pierce this offseason, Rivers said he’s heard different things about Pierce’s plan for 2016-17.

“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth,” Rivers said. “I think he has a right to do that. I really do.”

Rivers said he plans to speak with Pierce later this week but is not expecting a definitive answer.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is gearing up for his NBA debut by working out with one of the best shooting guards in the league. 

Brown posted a video on Twitter of himself working out with Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler over the weekend. The video shows the C’s first-round pick running a leg drill with help from the Bulls guard.

Back in June, Butler complimented Brown during an appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, stating the young prospect reminded him of himself after playing him one-on-one back in June.  

Brown spoke to reporters in New York after the draft about the intense game he had with Butler. 

“We went tooth and nail at it. … I guess he thought it would be easy, and then somebody won the first game and then he wanted to keep going,” Brown told reporters in New York. “And so we kept going after that, then he won the second, then he won the third, then I won the fourth, and we ended up playing all the way to 21.”

Butler — who reportedly was targeted as a trade possibility by the Celtics this summer — is getting ready for a highly anticipated season with the Bulls. After winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Rio Olympics, Butler will be teaming up with new teammates Dwyane Wade and former Celtic Rajon Rondo.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

The Celtics announced Wednesday afternoon that they waived shooting guard John Holland. Above all else, it was more of a courtesy to the 6-foot-5 Holland, who was very much at the bottom of the C’s totem pole and highly unlikely to make the final roster.

A source told Celticsblog that the 27-year-old has offers in both the United States and Europe.

From The Bronx, the swingman played at Boston University, then going overseas before making a return to the United States, signing with the Canton Charge of the D-League on December 23, 2015. He signed a non-guaranteed two-year deal with the Celtics in April, and appeared in just one game: the second game of the Celtics playoff series against the Hawks, in which he played for less than a minute.

From a development standpoint, the decision makes plenty of sense. Even with a solid camp, Holland would still likely be deep on the bench had he even made the NBA roster. That, in turn, would steal a roster spot from the likes of Ben Bentil, R.J. Hunter or James Young — individuals the Celtics have invested much more in.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Picture this: Jonas Jerebko is joining a class with Shaquille O’Neal.

On Tuesday it was announced the Celtics forward bought the Renegades, an eSports team, which, for those unfamiliar, is essentially the major leagues of video games. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

O’Neal as well as former Celtic Rick Fox already have thrown their hat into the eSports ring, and though it won’t take Jerebko away from the court, it certainly is a 180 from how he spends his winter months.

Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Jerebko was going to buy the Renegades at the start of the calendar year but wanted to “seize the opportunity” to purchase the team immediately when he noticed there were four expiring contracts.

With his purchase, the 29-year-old also took on a “Call of Duty” team called Ground Zero and put that squad under the Renegades umbrella. Ground Zero will compete as part of the organization in the Call of Duty World League Championship at the beginning of September. Long term, Jerebko would like to continue to help the team grow and field a previously defunct “League of Legends,” “Halo” and “Overwatch” team as part of the Renegades.

The writing was on the wall for Jerebko to spring at this.

He first learned of the team while playing in the NBA summer league, when he met then-owner Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles, from whom he bought the team. He’s also been a team representative in the National Basketball Players Association and as such is familiar with negotiations and rights of players.

But there is a pretty high risk in investing in such a venture. The world of gaming is wildly disorganized, something that Jerebko is aware of but looking to change.

“The Call of Duty players we were negotiating with were under contract last year and weren’t getting paid for three to five months,” he said. “That’s not going to happen with me. You get a paycheck on time.

“There are some guys in this industry asking to do six-month contracts,” Jerebko said. “There isn’t stability in that.”

As a result, Jerebko will look to sign players for one year with an option for an additional year.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

R.J. Hunter

R.J. Hunter

R.J. Hunter should not be in the position he is in.

The incessant griping about the Celtics’ lack of perimeter shooting is justified, with there being few — if any — options both in the starting lineup and off the bench for reliable 3-point shooting.

However, Hunter, a first-round pick in 2015, is known for his shot, so this should be his wheelhouse. Instead, he’s on the fringe of making the final 15-man roster.

“It’s just spurts where it’s like, ‘Bro, what I am I doing wrong?’ ” Hunter said, speaking to on Saturday at the Basketball Hall of Fame. “And it’s nothing. You’re just on a really good team.”

Hunter brings up a good point. On most any other NBA team, Hunter would have been a much more heavily utilized asset, not the eight minutes per game player he was in his 36 NBA games last season. Conversely, the 22-year-old didn’t do himself many favors when given the opportunity from Brad Stevens to play.

The shooting guard shot a pedestrian 30.2 percent from 3, while putting together a 36.7 percent field goal percentage, totaling a 2.7 points per game total over the course of the season. As a result of the underwhelming performances, he found himself in the D-League for eight games during the middle of the season. While there he shot slightly worse from 3-point range than in the NBA, with a 29.6 percent mark, but ultimately averaged 13.8 points per game.

“At that point, it was just so completely mental,” he said. “I’m not going to lie, my ego got in the way of me making shots. It was almost like for me, whatever I do, I’m in the D-League, and if I don’t do well, it looks worse. And that’s just the wrong attitude to have instead of just going in there. When you have that mentality, now I’m rushing shots. I’m not finishing shots. I’m not really putting in preparation like I have to on every shot. That’s part of growing up, though — you’re in the league, and you’re caught up in it.”

And now with the slow going to enter the league, he finds himself in a precarious position that is simultaneously a life lesson on the business of basketball: competing against a friend.

Almost immediately when he came to the Celtics, Hunter befriended James Young and has grown close with him. Also struggling to earn a spot on the 15-man roster, Young conceivably could be the biggest roadblock in Hunter starting the season with the Celtics, and vice versa.

“It was awkward at first, because we clicked,” Hunter said. “It was like, ‘Oh, you like the same things I like.’ And then we just became homies, because we were always on the bench, or we were always working out together. We always shot together after practice. I think we both know what’s at stake, and we’re grown enough to put that aside. We all have our dreams and aspirations, but it’s bigger than just me against him. I think we both kind of know that.

“It’s weird with me and James. We’ve always competed for that spot since I touched down in Boston. It’s like ‘All right, it’s going to be me or you.’ Like, that’s such my homie. That’s the crazy thing about it. It’s part of the business, though.”

If Hunter can find his way and return to the form that saw him shoot a career 35.5 percent from 3 and 42.6 percent from the field in his three seasons in college at Georgia State, he could become a valuable asset off the bench.

What sets Hunter apart is the optimism that he can hit from deep, and the two people he needs to impress most — Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge — he has.

“Danny just told me a lot of the things he likes,” Hunter said. “‘You have long arms, great touch, great feel, if you really want to put your mind to this, you could be as good as you want to be.’ That’s coming from DA. Come on. What else do I need to hear? The same with Brad, Brad’s always been good about complimenting my game. … Just what they said about what future I have and how good I can be, it was super uplifting.”

Hunter has been busy this offseason, watching tape with ridiculous amounts of detail and narrowing down what he needs to improve. It starts with the basics, with his footwork being periodically off last season.

“Every close-out I’ve had, my feet were either too spaced or I’m not ready to slide and compete,” he said. “Footwork, that’s the control of your body, so it starts there. Working on that is just building my foundation.”

Time will tell for the second-year pro, with camp now less than a month away, but after a disappointing rookie campaign, things can only go up.

“I trust my game more than ever, I trust myself more than ever,” he said. “I saw so much I can implement, given a chance. I’m really excited about that.”

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Tuesday and discussed the team’s attempt to lure Kevin Durant to Boston. To hear the interview, visit the D&C audio on demand page.

The Celtics were one of the finalists to land the 2014 MVP, and several players and front office members met with Durant in early July. Durant ultimately chose to join the Warriors, but Pagliuca said he believes his team was very close to grabbing him. 

“We put on a great presentation,” Pagliuca said. “The players did a fantastic job and Tom Brady helped us, I think we were very compelling. … We always hope for the best, and we prepare for otherwise, but I thought we had a really good shot at him.”

The Celtics got an assist at the meeting from Brady, form whom Durant has plenty of respect.

“He made a very compelling case how it’s so special to be able to play in Boston, the No. 1 sports town in America,” Pagliuca said. “Winning a championship in Boston is like nothing else, he made a very compelling presentation that I think really impressed Durant.”

Added Pagliuca: “Those are always very personal decisions by a player, so we really can’t get into their heads. But he would have been a great fit here for sure, and we were excited to have him up here. He’s a class act, I just got back from the Rio Olympics and he carried himself extremely well down there and won games with the team. We look forward to competing against him, he’s very close with Avery Bradley and I think we’re going to bother him defensively. We were one of the only teams to beat both Golden State and Cleveland on their own court last year. We were excited to play them.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at

Grousbeck on what it takes to bring star free agents to Boston: “I always felt like we could get them here if we made it a place where they thought they had a chance to win a ring. We want to be back in that contending position of winning a ring, we were wearing our rings in there when we were pitching Durant and his dad. Rings are really important, there’s tons of money in the NBA, you can get money in any city, but you can only get a ring in a couple of opportunities, a couple of places. We want to be one of those places, and then we’ll continue to attract people like [Hawks free agent center] Al Horford. He wants to come here because of the fans, because of the tradition, he wants to be part of the next Celtics championship. We’ve got to find some more people like that.”

Grousbeck on what coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge have done with the team: “They have selected players that seem to fit a role, these young guys getting better, everybody’s hungry. And Al, he is a couple years older, but he’s a four-time All-Star and he’s still got a lot of juice, a lot to give left. It will be a great year, and we’ll build from there with these Brooklyn picks.”

Pagliuca on how the team will respond if players follow NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and sit through the national anthem: “Our players are very respectful and we’re very respectful, we’ll cross any kind of bridge when we come to it. We’re really happy with our team and how they purport themselves. I think we have a great group of young individuals.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

It’s been nearly two months since Kevin Durant opted to sign with the Golden State Warriors over a slew of other bidders — the Celtics being one of them.

The Celtics brought the cavalry, including players Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart as well as President Danny Ainge and co-owner Steve Pagliuca. Tom Brady was also in attendance.

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

It’s been nearly two months since Kevin Durant opted to sign with the Golden State Warriors over a slew of other bidders — the Celtics being one of them.

The Celtics brought the cavalry, including players Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart as well as President Danny Ainge and co-owner Steve Pagliuca. Tom Brady was also in attendance.

But there was one glaringly obvious absence.

The longest-tenured member of the Celtics Avery Bradley was not in attendance, and, addressing it for the first time, there was a reason behind his absence. The pair both played at the University of Texas and interface frequently as a result of it, the guard thought it was best to stay out of it.

“I didn’t do that much,” the 25-year-old told the Boston Globe at a court makeover in Belmont. “Me and Kevin are like brothers, so we talk all the time. So I’m not going to talk to him about that, you know what I mean? I was more asking him how he’s doing.

“I was actually with him a week before all that stuff went down at a camp in Austin, so I really wasn’t that much involved.”

Though he stayed largely away from the Durant luring process, the All-Star’s decision did not seem to turn the head of Bradley as wildly as it did the rest of the basketball world.

“You know what, I can’t really say,” he said. “All I can say is that I’m happy for him, and I feel like he’s part of a great organization. And I wish the best for him. Kevin’s a really good guy and an even better player.”

Even with Bradley’s silence, it was not the product of a disdain for the Celtics or a perpetuation of the notion that the city is a black hole for NBA free agents.

In fact, with the addition of free agent Al Horford, it is more of a tell-tale sign that the team and the city — who’s longest-tenured player is just 25 years old — are becoming a more enticing location of top NBA talent in the offseason.

“To be honest, even though some people would say this is a tough place to come to obviously, I think if I were a player I would want to come here,” Bradley said. “With all the history and fans, that alone would make me want to come here. I can’t speak for all the other guys in the NBA, but I wasn’t surprised at all that (Horford) would want to come here. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization like this with a coach like we have, and the type of guys that we have? Seeing how we are just growing every single year, improving every single year, I feel like every player would want to be a part of a process like this.”

The addition of Horford on paper should revolutionize the Celtics frontcourt, making them much more of a scoring and rebounding threat. The biggest factor the 30-year-old will bring, however, will be his defense, something the Celtics have already excelled at as of late.

“He knows what it takes to be a great defender, and I know he talks well,” Bradley said of Horford. “I can tell for how disciplined the [Hawks are]. I’m just happy to have him behind me, talking and helping me defend some of the best players in the NBA.”

Bradley’s defense last season got recognition across the league, going so far as resulting in a place on the NBA’s first-team All-Defense squad. And like fellow shooting guard Marcus Smart, he believes the defense will stay solid, and even continue to improve and bring himself some more accolades. 

With that in mind, there is still quite a bit of room for Bradley to grow.

“Yeah I mean of course, that’s my goal to be defensive player of the year,” Bradley said. I feel like it’s possible for me if I go out there with the right mindset. The only thing I wanted to change in the past was being a little bit more disciplined on the defensive end. Last year I was definitely disciplined. I didn’t reach as much; I was trying to be solid to help our team. But this year is going to be a mix of both because I feel like I’m capable of being even better because I got a chance to learn from my mistakes in the past and now I know exactly what I need to do.”

And for any concerns from Bradley’s hamstring injury he sustained during Game 1 and the rest of the Celtics playoff matchup against the Hawks last season? He’s good to go.

“I was trying to fight through it, but [the Celtics staff] helped me make the smartest decision for myself and the team,” Bradley said. “That’s what I did. Now, I’m healthy, and I feel great.”

Bradley noted the injury felt better as early as a week after the Celtics’ elimination.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder

Phil Jackson has made a lot of mistakes as president of the Knicks, with a list going on and on from botched trades to swing-and-miss free agent signings and draft picks to regretful decisions in choosing coaches.

This has all lead the Knicks to an abysmal 49 combined wins over the two full seasons he’s been in charge.

That said, there is certainly a lot of regrets he could choose from — and his biggest gaffe involves one of today’s most prominent members of the Celtics.

Speaking to Today’s Fastbreak’s Charley Rosen, Jackson discussed when he could’ve had Jae Crowder, but instead took a chance with a draft pick instead.

“I don’t consider hiring [then-head coach Derek Fisher] a mistake because he worked hard and got the guys to stay as positive as possible while the losses piled up,” Jackson said. “I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo, so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder.

The 70-year-old added: “Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.”

The Knicks president does bring up a valuable point, however, that Crowder would have been in a tough spot to find playing time behind Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony. However from a production standpoint, Crowder would have been more valuable coming off the bench behind Anthony than Early has ever been in his NBA career.

After Jackson passed on Crowder, the small forward made his way to Boston via the Rajon Rondo trade that the troubled point guard to the Mavs during the 2014-15 season. Crowder finagled his way into the Celtics starting lineup during the 2015-16 season, starting every game he appeared in, and he’ll likely do the same this season.

To put it in perspective, Jackson ended up with someone who has spent quite a bit of time in the D-League and even played in the summer league this summer. He was also sidelined for most of the second half of 2016 after being shot in the knee outside of a strip club.

In that timeframe, Crowder became a quasi-star in Boston, playing in 73 games alone in 2015-16 (to Early’s 56 career NBA games) and averaged 14.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game over 31.6 minutes per game.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen