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LEEInks list: Veterans who stopped in Boston on way to Hall

08.10.10 at 6:56 am ET
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With Shaquille O’Neal signing a two-year deal to play for the Celtics, it brings to mind other Hall of Fame-bound players who signed up for a stint in Boston toward the end of their stellar careers.

This list consists of players who played at least 10 years elsewhere before arriving in Boston, and later earned a spot in their sport’s Hall of Fame. (Apologies to Artis Gilmore fans, but he’s still not in the Hall.)


Dominique Wilkins

The Human Highlight Film didn’t have too many highlights in Boston after he joined the Celtics for the 1994-95 season at the age of 34. Wilkins, who starred with the Hawks for 11½ seasons, came to Boston and averaged 17.8 points, well below his career average of 24.8, for a Celtics team that went 35-47. After spending the next season in Greece, Wilkins returned for one-year stints with the Spurs and Magic before calling it quits. Here’s ‘Nique and the C’s losing to Shaq and the Magic in the final real game at Boston Garden, Game 4 of the first round of the 1995 playoffs. The C’s lost the game, 95-92, and the series, 3-1.

Pete Maravich

Pistol Pete was at the end of a 10-year career split between the Hawks and Jazz and playing on well-worn knees when he joined the Celtics for the final 26 games of the 1979-80 season, better known as Larry Bird‘s rookie year. Maravich averaged 11.5 points in 17.0 minutes. His most memorable night came when he scored the final 10 points of the game in a comeback win over the Washington Bullets. Maravich averaged 6.0 ppg in the playoff and then retired. Check out this clip of Maravich playing with Bird and fellow Hall of Famers Tiny Archibald and Dave Cowens.

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Read More: Bill Walton, Dominique Wilkins, Shaquille O'Neal, Tom Seaver

Jets not optimistic about Revis

08.10.10 at 6:37 am ET
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As cornerback Darrelle Revis missed his ninth day of training camp Monday, the Jets rejected the latest offer proposed by the his agents, and Jets representatives did not sound optimistic a deal can get done before the regular season.

“The answer’s no,” owner Woody Johnson said, a few hours after agent Neil Schwartz told The Associated Press he was awaiting a response from the team.

Revis is scheduled to make $1 million in the fourth year of his six-year rookie deal, but he wants to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league. On Friday his agents met with team representatives and presented a new multi-year proposal.

“Fundamentally, there really wasn’t any change,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said, “and right now, we can’t find something that makes sense for both sides, so we really don’t have any progress.”

Added Tannenbaum: “The problem in this situation is we have a very fundamental difference of opinion on what the compensation should be. When we will talk next, that’s hard to say.”

Read More: Darrelle Revis, Mike Tannenbaum, Woody Johnson,

Reds acquire Edmonds from Brewers

08.10.10 at 6:30 am ET
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The Reds acquired 40-year-old outfielder Jim Edmonds from the Brewers Monday in a trade for injured outfielder Chris Dickerson. The Reds, attempting to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995, lead the Cardinals by one game in the National League Central after losing the opener of their three-game showdown in Cincinnati that started Monday night.

Edmonds, who played for the Cardinals from 2000-07, was in the starting lineup in center field, batting fifth against Chris Carpenter.

“I don’t know what to say,” Edmonds said. “It’s been a quick 24 hours. To go from kind of the bottom of the standings to the top in a hurry and show up here playing the Cardinals — it’s going to be a little nuts.”

Read More: Chris Dickerson, Jim Edmonds,

Mariners fire Wakamatsu

08.10.10 at 6:23 am ET
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With the Mariners stumbling along at 42-70 and in last place in the American League West, the team fired second-year manager Don Wakamatsu on Monday.

Daren Brown, the manager of Triple-A Tacoma for the last four seasons, took over on an interim basis hours before a game against Oakland.

“I would like to thank the city of Seattle and all the baseball fans here in the Northwest for the great support offered to me during my time as Mariners manager,” Wakamatsu said Monday night in statement released by the team. “My single biggest disappointment is that we were not able to finish what we wanted to finish here, bringing a championship club to the fans.

“I cannot tell you how great the fans were to me, and to my family. The support I received here will always mean a great deal to me.”

Read More: Daren Brown, Don Wakamatsu,

Arbitrator upholds voiding of Kovalchuk contract

08.10.10 at 6:19 am ET
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Ilya Kovalchuk is officially back on the market after an arbitrator Monday ruled that the NHL was correct to void his 17-year, $102 million contract with the Devils because it violated the rules of the salary cap. The NHL Players Association filed a grievance against the league. A hearing was held last week and arbiter Richard Bloch sided with the league when he issued his ruling.

Kovalchuk and the Devils are back at the negotiating table.

“While we do not currently have a contract with Ilya Kovalchuk, discussions have resumed and we are hopeful that a contract will be reached that meets with the principles in arbitrator Bloch’s award and the NHL’s approval,” New Jersey president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

Read More: Ilya Kovalchuk, Rumor Mill,

Report: Devils expect Kovalchuk decision Monday

08.09.10 at 10:10 am ET
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The Devils are expected to hear if the front-loaded contact they signed Ilya Kovalchuk to is excepted by an arbitrator, according to the New York Post. The 17-year deal had been rejected by the NHL because it was believed to circumvent the salary cap. If the arbitrator does not rule in the team’s favor, other teams that had previously pursued Kovalchuk like the Rangers and Kings could be right back in the running.

Read More: Ilya Kovalchuk, Rumor Mill,

Report: Oakland’s Chavez considering retirement

08.09.10 at 8:49 am ET
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A’s third baseman Eric Chavez is mulling retirement while still recovering at home from bulging disks in his neck, according to a report by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Chavez is a six-time Gold Glover at the hot corner but was moved to a designated hitter role before suffering the injury earlier this season.

Read More: Eric Chavez, Oakland A's, Rumor Mill,

Report: Pistons consider adding McGrady

08.09.10 at 8:14 am ET
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The Pistons are thinking about adding fading superstar Tracy McGrady but remain completely undecided on the matter, according to TNT’s David Aldridge. McGrady played for both the Rockets and Knicks last season, averaging just 8.2 points per game between the two teams. He had microfracture surgery on his left knee the season prior. The Lakers, Clippers, Heat and most notably the Bulls were said to be interested in the shooting guard/small forward, but he remains unsigned for the 2010-11 season.

Read More: Detroit Pistons, Rumor Mill, Tracy McGrady,

Monday’s Morning Mashup

08.09.10 at 7:17 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 2:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)


♦ Knicks owner James Dolan‘s decision to re-hire Isiah Thomas as a consultant did not go over well in New York. The team is taking an absolute beating in the local papers. The New York Post‘s Mike Vaccaro found it offensive. Frank Isola at The New York Daily News writes that team president Donnie Walsh, who reportedly opposed the move, should force Dolan’s hand while he still has a chance to salvage some dignity. Former Knick (and Celtic) Stephon Marbury, who had a public falling-out with Thomas in New York, could say only “Good luck, New York.” Harvey Araton at The New York Times is a little more level-headed in his examination of the situation, trying to explain what it means and why the Knicks would make a move that seems to be nonsensical. And William C. Rhoden, also in The New York Times, gets Thomas’ response to the firestorm of criticism and finds someone willing to say something nice about him.

♦ The Akron Beacon Journal has the story of LeBron James returning home for a charity event and making it a point to thank fans in Cleveland, whom he left out in his newspaper ad thanking Akron last week.

♦ NFL official Bill Leavy, during a visit to the Seahawks training camp over the weekend, admitted he regrets blowing two key calls during Seattle’s Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh in 2006. His comments elicited some varied reactions from Seahawks and Steelers players. Meanwhile, Jarrett Bell at USA Today has a piece on receiver Mike Williams, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft who has been a bust so far, impressing at Seahawks camp after being given a chance by his former USC coach, Pete Carroll.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 9, 1984, who became the first Red Sox pitcher to allow a home run to the first batter he faced in the major leagues when he gave up a solo shot to Pete O’Brien of the Rangers?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That would have been a great feat, but I’ll start at a complete-game, one-hit shutout with 17 strikeouts.” — Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, after losing a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday vs. the Rays but recovering to finish the 1-0 victory

STAT OF THE DAY: 0-for-16 — Jacoby Ellsbury‘s line since returning from the disabled list, following his 0-for-4 performance Sunday night at Yankee Stadium

‘NET RESULTS: More basketball trick shots, including one from the top of a farm silo.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Charlie Mitchell

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Barbara Mason is 63 today.

Read More: Isiah Thomas, LeBron James, Mike Williams,

Leeinks list: Shaq’s best commercials

08.09.10 at 7:07 am ET
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As many people know, new Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal makes a living out of making a character out of himself. In the past few years, he’s toned it down considerably, but in his heyday Shaq was everywhere. Not only was Shaq featured in several feature films, including “Blue Chips,” “Kazaam” and “Steel” (he also made an appearance in “He Got Game” with his now-Celtics teammate Ray Allen), but he made his way into homes every night through his many, many endorsements. From milk to soda to candy to cable, Shaq was — and still is — the NBA’s king of sales.

Through the power of online video, let’s look back on some of Shaq’s best commercials, with our minds set on seeing Shaq represent the Green on more ads in the future.

Pepsi — Playground Bully, 1993

Synopsis: Shaq, looking a bit like Gary Payton, literally breaks into a neighborhood basketball court, bends a rim down to dunk (seeing the opposite is a lot more fun) and proceeds to storm over to the cooler for a much deserved beverage. When there is no soda left in the cooler, he casually walks over to a small kid, who flat out denies him the Pepsi.

Best Moment: 0:16 — Romantic music starts to play as Shaq lays eyes on the child, giving the totally wrong impression.

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Read More: celtics, commercials, Shaquille O'Neal,