|Mike Krzyzewski reportedly considering return to Team USA||02.08.13 at 12:52 pm ET|
Mike Krzyzewski said after the London Olympics that he was done as the U.S. national team’s basketball coach. But a new coach has not yet been hired, despite USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo‘s comment after London that he planned to have a new coach in place around the start of 2013.
USA Basketball said there’s no timetable for hiring a new coach, but ESPN.com reported Wednesday that the hiring deadline has been pushed back to after the end of the college season to give Krzyzewski a chance to decide.
Krzyzewski was hired to lead the Americans in 2005, a change from the prior 13 years, when the national team had used exclusively NBA coaches. If Team USA stays with a college coach, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is considered the leading candidate.
If Team USA goes the NBA route, however, Celtics coach Doc Rivers reportedly is among the front-runners for the job, along with Philadelphia coach Doug Collins and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich. Colangelo apparently has not spoken to anyone else about the job.
Krzyzewski has been on the staff of 12 U.S. national teams since 1979, and one source told The Associated Press that there had been “rumblings” he was open to staying with the job after London.
|Top Stories of 2012, No. 5: Celtics burned by Heat in Eastern Conference finals||12.29.12 at 7:55 pm ET|
Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 5: the Celtics’ loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
The Celtics were one victory away from advancing to the NBA finals. But what stood in the way, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, turned out to be more than the Big Three and the rest of the Celtics could handle.
A 101-88 defeat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals put an abrupt end to a playoff run that looked like it had legs after a comeback season from the Celtics, who were under .500 at the All-Star break of a lockout-shortened season.
The C’s battled injury issues all season. Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox had season-ending heart ailments. Jermaine O’Neal had his season end early, and Avery Bradley missed the Heat series. Even as the playoffs began, a sprained MCL slowed down Paul Pierce and bone spurs kept Ray Allen off the floor.
After finishing first in the Atlantic Division at 39-27, the Celtics took down the Hawks in six games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to get by the 76ers in a seven-game series and line things up for a big series with the Heat.
|Top Stories of 2012, No. 7: Ray Allen leaves Celtics for South Beach||12.27.12 at 6:42 pm ET|
Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from the Celtics.
Heat owner Micky Arison first published the news of Ray Allen’s departure from the Celtics on Twitter, signaling the official end of the Big Three era in Boston.
Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2012
Allen made the choice to head south to Miami for around half the annual salary the Celtics were offering. In Miami, Allen would have the chance to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while making a fresh start with a new team. Allen signed a three-year, $9.7 million deal in July.
Reports that Allen was unhappy in Boston began to surface. There was an apparent rift between Allen and mercurial point guard Rajon Rondo, and Allen was said to be unhappy with a lack of respect from management. A Yahoo! Sports report quoted a source as saying: “He felt he was getting respect [from the Heat] that he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore. … The [Heat] presentation was incredible.”
Ainge had placed Allen on the trading block in February in hopes that the C’s could get a younger player. And a deal with the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo apparently was so close to being done that Rivers contacted Allen to let him know. That didn’t sit well with Allen.
Then Rivers inserted Avery Bradley, favoring his defensive tact over Allen’s 3-point shooting ability, into the starting lineup. Allen only started in the Eastern Conference finals because Bradley was out with a shoulder injury.
|Top Stories of 2011, No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat||12.24.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 8: The Celtics’ playoff loss to the Heat.
Even before the start of the 2010-11 NBA season, Doc Rivers knew that there was one team the Celtics were going to have to face if they were to put together another championship run. When the Heat formed their own Big Three with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it was evident that Boston and the new superteam on South Beach would end up in a postseason showdown at some point.
So it was no surprise that after sweeping the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics were preparing to face the Heat win what many called the most anticipated second-round matchup in NBA history.
“We assumed when they put this team together, at some point if we want to put another banner up then we’ll probably have to go through them,” Rivers said of the Heat days before the series began.
The Celtics were 3-1 against Miami in the regular season, but all three wins came before the All-Star break, when Boston was 40-14, tied with the Heat atop the Eastern conference standings. After the All-Star break, the Celtics were just 16-12, dropping to third in the Eastern conference, while the Bulls and Heat rose to the top to secure the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.
Many attributed Boston’s poor play in the second half the season to the trade of Kendrick Perkins. The menacing center was traded to the Thunder along with guard Nate Robinson on Feb. 24 in exchange for center Nenad Kristic, young forward Jeff Green and a 2012 first-round pick.
|LEEInks List: Most memorable Boston managers, coaches since 1967||07.11.11 at 11:46 am ET|
Dick Williams transformed the Red Sox in 1967. The team had not had a winning season in eight years, and attendance had dwindled. In came Williams, who turned a nightmare into an “Impossible Dream,” leading a squad of players including Rico Petrocelli, Jim Lonborg, Sparky Lyle, Tony Conigliaro and Carl Yastrzemski to an American League pennant and the organization’s first World Series appearance in 21 years. Though the Red Sox lost to the Cardinals in seven games, Williams and his team had restored the franchise.
With Williams’ death Thursday, WEEI looks back at the 10 most memorable managers and coaches in Boston sports since that 1967 campaign. These men aren’t necessarily the best Boston has ever seen (some were downright awful), but they are the coaches and managers whose personalities, triumphs and struggles left an indelible mark on the city’s sports history.
10. Bill Fitch, Celtics
Although K.C. Jones coached the Celtics to their height of success in the mid-1980s (two NBA titles among four straight NBA fnals appearances), it was Fitch who started the resurgence when he coached the Celtics to a championship in 1981. He was named NBA Coach of the Year with the Celtics in 1980. A former Marine Corps drill instructor, Fitch brought that same discipline and intensity to the Celtics, and Larry Bird would later say Fitch had a strong effect on the development of Bird’s legendary work ethic. He had to win over his players, but nothing does that like a championship.
Fitch went on to coach the Rockets, Nets and Clippers and retired in 1998 with 944 career wins, ranking him eighth in NBA history. It wasn’t always easy, though, as some players rebelled against Fitch’s hard-line ways. Check out this video highlighting an incident with the Nets when Chris Morris refused Fitch’s order to return to a game. Look for a young Doc Rivers toward the end of this clip.
9. Harry Sinden, Bruins
The Celtics may have owned the 1980s, and the Red Sox and Patriots have battled for control of the 21st century, but the 1970s in Boston belonged to the Bruins. Sinden inaugurated the Bruins’ reign with a Stanley Cup title in 1970. He coached two of the most beloved Bruins ever in Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. Like Dick Williams and Bill Belichick, Sinden turned a losing team into a champion, but he left just days after in a contract dispute. The Bruins put him on the voluntary retired list, keeping him from signing with a new team the following season.
|Top stories of 2010, No. 2: Celtics’ playoff run||12.30.10 at 8:10 am ET|
For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. The countdown continues with No. 2: The Celtics’ playoff run.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form
No. 9: Patriots’ playoff meltdown vs. Ravens
No. 8: Marc Savard-Matt Cooke incident and aftermath
No. 7: Red Sox derailed by injuries
No. 6: Bruins’ playoff collapse vs. Flyers
No. 5: Patriots’ Randy Moss saga
No. 4: Red Sox’ signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford
No. 3: Patriots’ resurgence
Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.
On June 17, 2010, the Celtics suffered one of the worst losses in their franchise’s history in Game 7 of the NBA finals against the Lakers. It was only the fourth time the Celtics had lost an NBA finals series and it was the first time they had ever lost a deciding Game 7. That it came against the Lakers in a game that was there for the taking only adds to the agony.
And yet this historic defeat also represented one of the great triumphs in team history, because exactly two months earlier when the Celtics took the court against the Heat to open the playoffs, not even Tommy Heinsohn himself would have predicted that they would have been four points away from an 18th championship.
Their improbable run to the finals defied all wisdom, both conventional and analytic, and breathed life into a franchise that spent the winter months of 2010 on a respirator. The Celtics went 27-27 over the final four months of the regular season and won only two of their last 10 games heading into the playoffs. The nadir came in a home loss to the lowly Wizards when afterward Doc Rivers uttered the quote that seemed to serve as their epitaph.
“If we make a run in the playoffs, will you forget [the regular season]? That’s my question,” Rivers said. “If we don’t, then it’s probably who we were all year — an inconsistent team — at least in the second half of the year. We’ll find that out.”
|Top stories of 2010, No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form||12.22.10 at 11:05 am ET|
For the final 10 days of 2010, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year. In what was a memorable 12 months for all four of Boston’s major professional teams, there was a plethora of compelling storylines. The list begins with No. 10: Kevin Garnett’s return to form for the Celtics.
Also, make sure to cast your vote in WEEI.com’s poll for the 2010 Boston Athlete of the Year.
The whispers began even before training camp started: Kevin Garnett was back. In informal scrimmages Garnett had been assertive, aggressive and more talkative than ever. A skeptical public simply nodded and said, “We’ll see.”
On the first day of camp, Garnett was bouncy and joyful. A complete reversal from the dark shadow of doubt that seemed to hang over him throughout the 2009-10 season. “I feel very strong,” he said. “I feel very vibrant. I’m excited about the year.” It was a far cry from the summer, which he described as, “Very painful, very dark.”
It was a summer that began with a crushing loss in Game 7 against the Lakers in a series that exposed the Celtics’ biggest weakness — defensive rebounding — as Garnett was unable to keep up with Pau Gasol on the boards.
There had been glimmers of the old Garnett throughout the playoffs. He destroyed Antawn Jamison in the conference semifinals and rendered Rashard Lewis an afterthought in the next round. But when Gasol rather innocently pointed out after Game 1 of the finals that Garnett had lost a step, the expected answer from KG was nowhere to be found.
Garnett had lost a step. That was obvious by even a cursory glance at his numbers and was succinctly summed up in a handful of painfully obvious plays, such as Lewis beating Garnett baseline for a game-winning shot during the regular season. The Celtics kept insisting publicly that Garnett was fine less than a year removed from knee surgery that kept him out of the 2009 playoffs, but everyone knew otherwise.
Finally, on media day, Garnett relented.
“I think more mentally than anything was hard for me because I was playing through some difficult times,” he said. “I’m not one to make excuses. I’m not the one to be out here [whining] and complaining about things.”
|Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal could play against Heat||11.10.10 at 3:14 pm ET|
After sitting out five games due to a knee injury, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal has returned to practice and said he may play Thursday night against Miami in South Beach, the Associated Press reports. O’Neal, who wore a leg sleeve and knee pads in practice on Wednesday, said that he is still experiencing pain just below his right knee.
The center is averaging 8.7 points per game along with 5.3 rebounds per game this season. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that he isn’t sure whether Shaquille O’Neal and fellow center Jermaine O’Neal, who is currently experiencing pain in his left knee, will be playing for the team against the Heat.
“Likely neither, maybe both,” Rivers told the Associated Press. “Who knows?”
|Heat want Doc?||07.20.10 at 4:07 pm ET|
There has been talk that though the Heat pulled off some pretty big moves this offseason, their building of a championship-winning team may continue into next offseason. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Pat Riley has his eye on current Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
“Riley has his eye on Doc Rivers to someday coach the Heat,” writes Wojnarowski. “Rivers has one year left on his Celtics contract, and has been heavily affected by the distance between him and his family still living in Orlando.”
Wojnarowski notes that nobody in the Heat organization made any promises of anybody but current head coach Erik Spoelstra being at the helm in Miami, but there will be considerable pressure on Spoelstra to win with the trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.
|The costly history of water and sports||01.29.10 at 2:00 pm ET|
What did water ever do to you, LeBron James?
Other than nourish and build that 6-foot-8, 250-pound frame of yours, probably nothing. On Wednesday night against the Timberwolves, after taking the ball to the hoop and not getting a foul called, LeBron took his anger out on a water cooler on the bench with a swift roundhouse kick.
The water jug and some of the cups on top hit a few fans in the front rows. Ultimately, the NBA fined James $25,000 for the incident.
Oh, the water cooler: a staple in sports for celebration and also a place where professional athletes can take out frustrations by beating the heck out of a poor, defenseless orange tub.
Here’s a look at some memorable costly moments in the history of liquids in sports:
Randy Moss vs. Ref
Before Moss came to New England and bought into the “Patriot Way” (a buy-in that came into question at times this year), he was sort of a problem child in his previous two stops. The list of incidents was long, the infractions frequent — whether it was fake mooning the Green Bay Packers’ fans or walking off the field before the game was over.
But maybe nothing symbolizes Moss’ strange behavior more than the time he squirted a referee with a water bottle during the 1999 playoffs. He had a great game, catching nine balls for 188 and two TDs, but the Vikings lost to the Rams and his frustration boiled over, causing him to act childish by squirting the ref. That incident cost the All-Pro $40,000 and left people shaking their collective heads at Randy Moss.
Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce
The Gatorade water jug shower is great to see on a field. A football field or a baseball diamond is fine, but not on the hardwood. There might even be knots in the section where Pierce doused Rivers after the Celtics claimed the 2008 championship. There was still another possession or two in the game and Rivers probably lost one of his better suits.
A great moment for the Celtics and their fans, but this seems unlikely to become a tradition that is copied by every team after it wins a championship. That said, Rivers would probably be glad to take a few more Gatorade baths with the Celtics.
Though Rivers’ shirt was ruined, it ended up being costly in a good way. The shirt (signed by Pierce and Rivers) was auctioned on WEEI. In the resulting bidding, the cooler was also thrown into the mix, resulting in a $35,000 winning bid, a $10,000 donation from Gatorade and an additional $10,000 donation by an anonymous bidder. The result was $55,000 that went to the Celtics’ Shamrock Foundation (which raises money for local children’s programs) as a result of the Gatorade bath.
Baseball players have been taking their anger out on anything they can find in a dugout for years and years, but Zambrano’s meltdown is classic. After getting ejected for a bang-bang play at the plate, Zambrano throws the ball in the outfield and heads to the bench. Just watch the video to see what he does to the Gatorade dispenser where he leaves his teammates thirsty for the rest of the game.
This was a sad story on the end of a really great college football coach’s life. After Long Beach State’s victory over UNLV in Nov. 1990, Allen, 72, was drenched with a Gatorade shower by his players. Some believe this caused his bout with pneumonia and ultimately his death in Dec. 1990. Some surmised that this would be the end of the Gatorade bath as a tradition. But, two decades later, that does not appear to be the case.
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