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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling lashes out at ‘vulgar’ tweeters who mock his daughter 03.02.15 at 7:44 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Suns at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Boston College at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Virginia at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling is on the attack after his congratulatory email to his daughter for her acceptance to college led to some vile tweets.

Schilling tweeted Wednesday: Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!

The former Red Sox pitcher said he expected some jock humor to follow, and he was not disappointed. However, when he started to see tweets “with the words ‘rape,’ ‘bloody underwear’ and pretty much ever other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom,” he decided to act.

Schilling wrote a response Sunday on his 38 Pitches blog in which he expressed his disgust with the behavior. He identified two of the offenders as a Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, N.J.) radio host [Editor’s note: The school emailed to say the student was a member of the Student Radio Club and had a one-hour slot on one the of the station’s student radio streams until being suspended Monday] and a Montclair State University fraternity vice president, and seven others as college athletes.

The ESPN analyst (who accepted an invitation to join Dennis & Callahan at 9 a.m. Monday) noted that he expects to be the subject of insults from Democrats, Yankees fans and “people that don’t like the sound of my voice,” and he notes that “that’s a pretty big group.” But, he questions, are putrid comments about his daughter “even remotely OK? In ANY world? At ANY time?”

Wrote Schilling: My daughter comes to me beyond upset. She didn’€™t do anything, she never said anything, yet she’€™s now receiving personal messages with guys saying things to her, well let’€™s just say I can’€™t repeat and I’€™m getting beyond angry thinking about it. Her boyfriend, a wicked good hockey player who has a fighting streak I absolutely love is going out of his mind to be let off his leash but unlike the athletes tweeting this stuff he understands the potential consequences of his actions and knows the time and place will hopefully come when he can make it right on his own terms.

These boys have yet to understand one of life’€™s most important lessons. In the real world you get held accountable for the things you say and if you are not careful that can mean some different things.

How on earth do you guys know who’€™s on the other end? What they’€™re thinking?

This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’€™re at a point now where you better be sure who you’€™re going after.

Added Schilling: The ignorance and pathetic lack of morals or of any integrity is astounding.

Kevin Garnett is showing his appreciation to Timberwolves fans for welcoming him home by purchasing 1,000 tickets to the team’s next home game, Monday night against the Clippers.

The first 500 fans to log on to the team’s website at 9 a.m. Monday each will get a pair of tickets.

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Read More: Barack Obama, Curt Schilling, kevin garnett, Minnie Minoso
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Timberwolves reportedly make push for Kevin Garnett 02.19.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Mavericks at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Spurs at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s at Dayton, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Purdue at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Temple at SMU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Central Florida at Tulane, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Charlotte, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rutgers at Iowa, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UConn at Memphis, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Francis (Pa.) at Central Conn., 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Mississippi at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Diego at BYU, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Blue Jackets at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Garnett might be going back to where it all began.

According to reports out of Minneapolis, the Timberwolves have had talks with the Nets about acquiring the player who spent his first 12 NBA seasons in Minnesota before he was traded to the Celtics in 2007.

Flip Saunders, who returned to the Timberwolves to serve as president of basketball operations last year, coached Garnett for much of the forward’s time in Minnesota and apparently is interested in having Garnett end his career with his original club — and provide guidance to the team’s young players, including No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins and 19-year-old dunk champion Zach LaVine.

Garnett, traded from Boston to Brooklyn in 2013, is in the final year of a contract that pays him $12 million this season, seeing reduced minutes on an underachieving Nets team that is 21-29. If he agrees to change teams, Garnett would go to the team with the worst record (11-42) in the Western Conference.

The Timberwolves reportedly would give up 26-year-old forward Thaddeus Young to acquire Garnett, who would have to waive his full no-trade clause by Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. Garnett has said previously that he is not looking to leave Brooklyn, mainly because he does not want to disrupt his family in the middle of the season.

“I haven’t thought too much of my own personal [situation],” Garnett said recently. “When that road comes, I’ll cross it and I’ll deal with it. A lot of things with [my] family situation and things, it’s not just convenient to get up and move, to change things. It’s not as convenient as it once was when I was younger. I have a lot more responsibilities and things to take into account.”

— The Vikings reiterated that they are ready to welcome back Adrian Peterson once his NFL suspension is lifted.

General manager Rick Spielman told reporters Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine that the team expects Peterson to return to Minnesota when his NFL suspension is lifted, and, “I think our whole organization is on that same page.”

“He admitted a mistake,” Spielman said. “I’m sure he’s doing everything he can to not only make himself better as a football player but also a better person off the field.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Jerome Kersey, kevin garnett,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Missing Ohio State football player found dead 12.01.14 at 8:09 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Dolphins at Jets, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Marist at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Rutgers at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Carolina at Marshall, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Texas Southern at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kosta Karageorge

Kosta Karageorge

— The Ohio State football player who went missing on Wednesday was found dead Sunday near the campus with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Ohio police said.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Kosta Karageorge’s body was discovered in a dumpster not far from the two-story house in which he had been living. He had told his roommates he was going for a walk early Wednesday, and he had texted his mother that he was having issues dealing with concussions he had suffered. He apologized “if I am an embarrassment, but these concussions have my head all [expletive] up.”

A three-year wrestler at the school, Karageorge walked on to the football team this year. He played in one game.

Karageorge was scheduled to be honored along with the team’s other seniors before Saturday’s final home game, a 42-28 victory over rival Michigan.

“It’s hard to move on through the week knowing we don’t know where he is,” defensive tackle Adolphus Washington said Saturday. “He’s one of our brothers and it’s just hard.”

— Nets forward Kevin Garnett appeared to attempt to bite the finger of nemesis Joakim Noah during Sunday’s game in Brooklyn, although both players had a laugh about it afterward.

The incident happened during the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ 102-84 victory, when Noah was on defense and put his hand near Garnett’s face. Garnett, who earlier in the game got a technical foul for throwing an elbow at Noah, snapped at Noah’s fingers. The former Celtic did not appear to be joking around at the time, although he downplayed it afterward.

“I know how to bite somebody,” Garnett said (via the New York Daily News). “Obviously I was messing around in that moment. I wasn’t serious. I’m not worried about that. If I wanted to bite him, I would. Shout out to Mike Tyson.”

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Read More: Joakim Noah, kevin garnett, Kostas Karageorges,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers reportedly pursue Paul Pierce 07.03.14 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Twins, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: Home run derby, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Paul Pierce might be on the move again. The former Celtics star, who was traded to the Nets last offseason, reportedly has been talking to Clippers coach Doc Rivers about a reunion in Los Angeles.

According to ESPN.com, Pierce, a free agent, likely would move via a sign-and-trade, even though Los Angeles has available its midlevel exception of $5.3 million.

It’s speculated that a trade could involve the Clippers parting with Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and 2013 first-round pick Reggie Bullock.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Celtics attempt to sign Paul Pierce?

  • No, not worth the investment and/or not a good fit with this young team (55%, 227 Votes)
  • Yes, bring him back and let him finish his career as a Celtic (46%, 188 Votes)

Total Voters: 411

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However, the Clippers are one of the teams courting premier free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, so they’re hesitant to make any major moves until they know their status regarding those two stars.

The Nets this week parted ways with coach Jason Kidd, who helped convince Pierce and Kevin Garnett to accept the trade to Brooklyn last year. Lionel Hollins was hired as his replacement Wednesday. Garnett has not yet announced if he will return for the final year of his deal (worth $12 million).

The Celtics reportedly had interest in sending Pierce and/or Garnett to the Clippers last year, but the NBA prohibited any such move because of Rivers’ involvement.

There also have been rumors that Pierce would consider a return to the Celtics.

— The Rockets made their push for Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday, including putting up billboards in and around Toyota Center with Anthony pictured in a Rockets No. 7 uniform.

However, the team already has a No. 7: Jeremy Lin, who stole the spotlight from Anthony when he became a phenom with the Knicks midway through the 2011-12 season. It’s been speculated that Houston would have to trade Lin — who has a nearly $8 million cap hit — in order to fit Anthony’s contract.

In typical Lin fashion, the former Harvard star relied on his faith to pull him through this latest controversy, tweeting: Luke 6:29 – If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, doc rivers, Jeremy Lin, Jimmy Graham
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce calls Nets ‘soft’ after late collapse vs. Raptors 04.23.14 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN, MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Stars, 8 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blues at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Bobcats at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Mavericks at Spurs, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Bayern Munich at Real Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: CONCACAF Champions, Cruz Azul at Toluca, 8 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— It’s not quite Larry Bird calling out his Celtics teammates in the 1984 NBA finals against the Lakers, but Paul Pierce appears to be doing his best to light a fire under his Nets, calling Brooklyn a “soft team” after Tuesday’s Game 2 loss to the Raptors in Toronto.

The Nets squandered a 69-64 lead early in the fourth quarter and allowed the Raptors to score 36 fourth-quarter points on 12-of-16 shooting and tie the series with a 100-95 decision. Brooklyn was out rebounded 52-30 in the game.

Pierce, who scored nine straight points in the final three minutes of Game 1 as the Nets grabbed a 94-87 victory, missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner with 24 seconds remaining Tuesday. He made just 2-of-11 shots and scored seven points.

But after the game the former Celtic was more concerned about his team’s lack of defensive teamwork and aggressiveness in the paint.

“We gave them everything they wanted — 50 points in the paint, and [19] offensive rebounds,” Pierce said. “We were a soft team tonight.”

Teammate Kevin Garnett said he expects the Brooklyn fans to be rowdy for Friday’s Game 3, especially after Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri yelled “[Expletive] Brooklyn]” to a group of Toronto fans outside the arena prior to Game 1 (for which Ujiri was fined $25,000 by the league).

Said Garnett: “It’s going to be a rowdy environment, like it should be. I don’t know if you can say ‘F’ Brooklyn and then come into Brooklyn, so we’re about to see what it’s like.”

— Wild forward Matt Cooke has a hearing Wednesday in New York with the NHL‘s department of player safety to explain himself for his knee-on-knee hit Monday that injured Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.

Cooke, well known for his bad behavior during his days with the Penguins, has stayed out of trouble the past three seasons after multiple suspensions, but this latest incident appears likely to cost him. The Avs say Barrie, who left the game immediately after the hit, suffered a sprained MCL and will be out 4-6 weeks.

“Does he really need to do those nasty, dirty hits?” said Avalanche forward Max Talbot, who played with Cooke in Pittsburgh. “He’s been in that mode since Game 1. He has been chippy with his stick, going in, slashing guys and, you know, being dirty.”

— Longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager said he is “honored” by the outpouring of support he has received since he started chemotherapy as part of his battle with leukemia. On Sunday, TNT broadcasters and analysts paid tribute to Sager by wearing flashy suits (Sager’s trademark), and famously curt Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in an interview with Sager’s son that he wanted Sager back and would be nice to him.

“It was just fabulous, an uplifting, tremendous thing for me,” Sager told Sports Illustrated. “Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s unbelievable, what an honor.’ But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn’t be right. I want him to go Serbian [a reference to Popovich’s heritage] on me.”

Sager said he is watching the NBA playoffs on TV and “it is therapeutic.”

“Getting my first chemo was very emotional,” Sager said. “I’m thinking, What is this going to be like, how will it feel, what effects will it have on my body — a total unknown. I have never been sick a day in my life. All of sudden they are administering the first chemo and [ESPN/ABC play-by-play announcer] Mike Breen gets on the air and says, ‘Hey, we just want to say we miss Craig Sager.’ That happened right as the first chemo came. I was like, Wow, I feel better now from the love and support of the airwaves!”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 23, 1969, Ted Williams returned to Fenway Park as the manager of which team?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It hasn’t been easy, let’s not kid ourselves. We’ve been fortunate enough in the last two games to get leads. We’re not going to talk about a comfortable situation because until you win that fourth game, it never is.” — Bruins coach Claude Julien, after the Bruins’ 3-0 victory Tuesday gave them a 2-1 series lead over the Red Wings

STAT OF THE DAY: 35 — Strikeouts this season for Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka — who fanned seven Red Sox in New York’s 9-3 win Tuesday — the most through a pitcher’s first four starts in team history

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Angels slugger Albert Pujols hits his 500th home run in Tuesday’s game against the Nationals.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Washington Senators (who moved to Texas after the 1971 season to become the Rangers)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Dale Houston, half of the group Dale & Grace, was born on this day in 1940.

Read More: Craig Sager, kevin garnett, matt cooke, Paul Pierce
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Frustrated Kevin Garnett admits age might be catching up to him 01.02.14 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Predators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Hockey: World Juniors, United States vs. Russia, 6 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Finland vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Canada vs. Switzerland, 11 a.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: World Juniors, Sweden vs. Slovakia, 1:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Washington at Arizona State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: California at Stanford, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oregon State at Colorado, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Alabama, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Garnett has mostly stayed quiet during the Nets‘ disappointing season, but on Wednesday the former Celtic opened up to reporters about his frustration, indicating that he is unsure of his role on offense and that his age might be catching up to him.

Garnett scored two points Tuesday in a blowout loss to the Spurs that dropped the Nets to 10-21. The 37-year-old is averaging 6.5 points on 36 percent shooting — by far the worst averages of his 19-year career.

“The most frustrating thing about me is I could see if I wasn’t and I wasn’t in here working or taking [expletive] days off,” he said. “I put time into my craft for it to come out, but then that’s rhythm on offense. And I don’t have that right now.”

First-year coach Jason Kidd has limited Garnett to a career-low 21.5 minutes per game “to get him through the season,” but it doesn’t appear to be helping in the here and now.

“Honestly, I have no rhythm. I’€™m trying to establish some confidence and figure this whole, ‘Where I fit into the offense’ thing,” Garnett said. “Right now I’€™m just not even a priority. I’€™m trying to be more of a defensive-minded guy. … So I probably need to be a lot more aggressive. Right now my mental [focus] is more defensive right now than offense.”

Added Garnett: “Nobody likes to lose. I’€™m not a loser. But I show up every day and I try to be a professional and give everything I have. You put Father Time on top of that. It doesn’€™t help anything else. And knick knacks and injuries and stuff like that and guys going out. It’€™s just a frustrating time.

“But you know what? I’€™ve been through some harder times than this. I have a lot confidence that I’€™ll come out of this, and we’€™ll come out of this with some decency.”

— At PennLive.com, writer David Jones casts some light on Bill O’Brien‘s frustration with Penn State and why the coach appears set to leave the school to take over the Texans after two years in Happy Valley.

Said O’Brien in a recent conversation with the reporter about how Joe Paterno loyalists might view the departure of longtime assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden: “I don’t really give a [expletive] what the ‘Paterno people’ think about what I do with this program. I’ve done everything I can to show respect to coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. I’m tired of it.

“For any ‘Paterno person’ to have any objection to what I’m doing it makes me want to put my fist through this windshield right now.”

— An Associated Press photographer died early Wednesday morning, hours after he collapsed on the field while taking photographs following the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night in Atlanta.

Dave Martin, 59, was taking photos of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin following the Aggies’ 52-48 victory over Duke when he apparently suffered a heart attack. He was administered CPR on the field before being taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Dave Martin was an excellent photojournalist, a consummate and dedicated professional and a wonderful person,” AP vice president and director of photography Santiago Lyon said. “Wherever his work took him he made many friends and will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 2, 1994, which Patriots player recorded his 100th and final career sack when he tackled Dolphins quarterback Scott Mitchell during New England’s 33-27 overtime victory?

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Read More: Bill O'Brien, Dave Martin, Jason Kidd, kevin garnett
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 6: Celtics trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers 12.27.13 at 9:23 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 16: Celtics trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers. To see the previous entries, click here.

The move seemed incomprehensible at first.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn Nets jerseys? Impossible.

Sure, Pierce and Garnett’€™s best days clearly are behind them, but these men had led Boston to two NBA Finals and the organization’€™s first title since 1986.

But on June 27, Celtics€™ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge completed a trade that marked a changing of the guard. Boston traded Pierce, an revered 15-year Celtic who persevered through incredibly ugly times in Boston, and Garnett, the man perhaps most responsible for the franchise’s drastic turnaround, and began the inevitable rebuilding process for the Celtics.

The Nets also received Jason Terry, who disappointed in one season for the Celtics. His year in Boston will be remembered more for the posterizing dunk LeBron James laid on him than his contributions to the team.

“We would like to thank Paul, Kevin and Jason for everything that they have done for this franchise,”€ Ainge said. “€œWe would not have won Banner 17 without Paul and Kevin, and they will go down amongst the all-time great players to have ever worn a Celtics uniform.”

The Celtics garnered three first-round picks (2014, ‘€˜16, ‘€˜18) along with Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans for the trio.

“We are excited to welcome Gerald, Kris, Keith, MarShon and Kris to the Celtics family. They bring a wealth of talent, experience, depth, and flexibility to our team,” Ainge said.

With Terry, Pierce and Garnett scheduled to make a combined $33.4 million in the 2013-14 season, and considering that the most appealing return Boston received was the three first-round picks, the move was widely viewed as a salary dump and the beginning of the Celtics’€™ rebuilding process.

The band began to break up earlier in the summer when Boston shipped coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers.

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Read More: Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Danny Ainge, Gerald Wallace, Jason Terry
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett show frustration with Nets’ lack of heart at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Wizards at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Northern Kentucky at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Lafayette at Seton Hall, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Military Bowl, Marshall vs. Maryland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Texas Bowl, Syracuse vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Fight Hunger Bowl, BYU vs. Washington, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Speedskating: U.S. Olympic trials, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The hope in Brooklyn was that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would provide veteran leadership and toughness to lift the Nets into the realm of the NBA elite. That plan has gone awry, and the two ex-Celtics are showing their frustration with the team’s lack of heart.

“You can say what you want about individuals or certain people being mentally tough, but it has to be everybody,” Pierce said. “I can’€™t speak for everybody all the time. If this was an individual sport, I could speak for myself. But you know, some people respond to adversity different, no matter who is around or who says anything to them.”

Following Wednesday’s 95-78 loss to the Bulls — which came two days after coach Jason Kidd called out his team for “getting very close to accepting losing” following a blowout loss to the Pacers — Kidd reportedly lit into his team in the locker room, with Garnett adding some choice words as well.

Kidd benched players during Wednesday’s game for lazy defense, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around.

“We’ve got to keep fighting, keep grinding, and as a staff and players we need to keep moving forward, and right now we are not,” Kidd said.

Said guard Deron Williams: “I’m even surprised with this season, how it’s played out. It’s like a nightmare. The way the injuries have been and the things we talk about every day; the lack of energy, the lack of effort. I didn’t see that as being a problem when we put this team together.”

The Nets will be hard-pressed to start turning things around soon, as they face seven teams with winning records over their next 10 games, including the Pacers, Spurs and Thunder on the road, and the Warriors and Heat at home. Even in the woeful Atlantic Division, the Nets face a challenge to climb back to relevancy.

“Well, our record shows we’re not a good team right now,” Pierce said. “When you’re 9-19, you have a lot of work to do. Our goal is still to improve, but when you’re 9-19, your record speaks for itself.”

LeBron James was named The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday after leading the Heat to their second straight NBA title while winning his fourth MVP award. Tennis star Serena Williams was named the Female Athlete of the Year a day earlier.

James received 31 of 96 votes to out-poll Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (20) and race-car driver Jimmy Johnson (7). He’s the third NBA payer to be so honored, joining Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

“I don’t think I’ve changed much this year,” James said. “I’ve just improved and continued to improve on being more than just a basketball player. I’ve matured as a leader, as a father, as a husband, as a friend.”

Added James: “I’m chasing something and it’s bigger than me as a basketball player. I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero … those things mean so much, and that’s what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don’t think this is the biggest role that I’m going to have.”

— The NBA on Thursday baked up Clippers star Blake Griffin‘s assertion that he should not have been ejected from Wednesday’s 105-103 loss to the Warriors. Griffin was involved in separate confrontations with Draymond Green (who was fined $15,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after he was ejected for elbowing Griffin) and Andrew Bogut, and while both Warriors players were given flagrant fouls, Griffin was assessed a technical each time for fighting back, and that caused his ejection.

“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said. “A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”

Griffin voiced his dissatisfaction after the game, implying that the Warriors knew what they were doing.

“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to [the referees] fell for it,” Griffin said Wednesday night. “To me, it’s cowardly basketball. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked. … If I knew the answer I’d probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 27, 1956, which Celtics player had his consecutive free throw streak ended at 55 — an NBA record that stood for 19 years?

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Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 11: Rajon Rondo suffers season-ending ACL injury 12.22.13 at 9:04 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No.11: Rajon Rondo suffers season-ending ACL injury. To see the previous entries, click here.

When the Celtics fell to the Hawks, 123-111, in double-overtime on Jan. 25, 2013, it represented a heartbreaking loss for a team desperate for a victory. The loss dropped the C’s three games below .500 for the second time in the 2012-13 season, and it marked their sixth straight defeat, their longest losing streak since they lost 18 in a row during their horrendous 2007 campaign.

Unbeknownst to the C’s, they’€™d also lost arguably their best player, a loss that would set off a massive rebuilding process in Boston, and the eventual removal of their championship-winning coach. Rajon Rondo, a Celtic since 2007 and the starting point guard of the 2008 team that won the Larry O’€™Brien Trophy, suffered a torn ACL during the game, an injury that would force him to miss the rest of the 2012-13 season and at least the first two months of the 2013-14 campaign.

The severity of Rondo’€™s injury was revealed both to Boston’€™s players and a national audience in the middle of the team’€™s second straight double-overtime game, a 100-98 win over the Heat on Jan. 27.

“It was shocking, frustrating,” Rondo said. “I wanted to play against the Heat that day, Sunday, and I thought I was playing. But maybe 30 minutes on the clock I did my ritual, my routine, I got in the shower and something was telling me this just didn’t feel right.”

Before his injury, Rondo averaged career highs in points (13.7), rebounds (5.6) and minutes (37.4) and dished out 11.1 assists per game, which would have placed him second in the NBA in that stat.

“Obviously the Rondo news is tough,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the Miami game. “I knew before the game, but I didn’t tell anyone. Obviously it was pretty emotional.”

Forward Kevin Garnett, one of Rondo’€™s closest friends on the team, expressed his disappointment as well.

“It was a big blow to everybody in here, me included,” Garnett said. “Man, that hurt. It’s tough. We had a tough game, came in, and he told the whole team in the locker room. It’s tough, tough on everybody.

“[Rondo is] becoming the heart and soul of this team. He’s coming into his own. Had some bumps in the road, but we’re just trying to be supportive for him.”

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Read More: Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Danny Ainge, doc rivers, kevin garnett
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Nets’ Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce welcome Doc Rivers to Brooklyn, beat Clippers 12.13.13 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Lakers at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Iowa at Iowa State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS quarterfinals, Towson at Eastern Illinois
College hockey: Colorado College at Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College soccer: NCAA semifinals, Notre Dame vs. New Mexico, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College soccer: NCAA semifinals, Virginia vs. Maryland, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ reunion tour continued Thursday night, and this time it ended in a loss, as the Nets turned away the Clippers in Brooklyn, 102-93.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came when Kevin Garnett deviated from his normally intense pregame routine to hug Rivers and the Clippers assistant coaches who also moved over from Boston.

“I’ll always have a special place for Doc,” Garnett said.

Said Rivers: “I was shocked that Kevin came over before the game because he has a routine. I turned to [assistant Tyronn Lue] and said, ‘Well, Kevin’s going to struggle now. He just broke his routine.’ But no, we talk all the time. It was nice. They were really happy about last night is basically what they both said.”

Garnett scored just two points but helped keep Blake Griffin in check. Paul Pierce, in his second game back from a hand injury, had 10 points.

Garnett and Pierce went 2-0 in this week’s reunion games, after beating the Celtics on Tuesday night. They’re hoping they can carry over the success and get the Nets rolling after a disappointing 8-14 start.

“We hope so,” Pierce said. “I think our experience, our competitiveness, our leadership, hopefully can rub off on everybody. We’re starting to see signs of that, and that’s what we’re here for.”

‘€¢ New Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano met the media in Seattle on Thursday, and he explained why he decided to leave the Yankees.

“I didn’t feel respect,” Cano said of his former team. “I didn’t get respect from them and I didn’t see any effort.”

Cano said the Mariners‘ willingness to go to 10 years while the Yankees offered seven was the deciding factor.

“I was looking for a contract where I would just be able to play and focus on the game and wouldn’t wonder when I’m 37, 38 would I have a job one day. Would I be able to play?” Cano said. “The one thing in Seattle is I get the chance. Am I going to keep working hard? Yes. Even harder? Yes. I’m going to do my best and play the same way I was playing in New York and go out there and do my business and win games.”

Cano’s celebrity representative, Jay-Z, watched the press conference from the side of room and declined interview requests.

“Today isn’t about me,” the music mogul said. “It’s about him.”

‘€¢ At least three people were stabbed in the parking lot outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High following the Broncos‘ loss to the Chargers on Thursday night, according to reports out of Denver.

“It was obviously a very chaotic scene, and investigators have their work cut out for them,” Denver Police spokesman Steve Warneke said.

Three men were transported to area hospitals and were “conscious and talking.” Police said they believe there is a fourth victim who left the scene.

This is the latest in a string of violent incidents outside NFL stadiums this year. Earlier this month, when the Broncos were playing in Kansas City, a man who was found in another fan’s car died after an altercation.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 13, 1991, during the Celtics’ 117-97 victory over the visiting SuperSonics, center Robert Parish became the fifth player in NBA history to appear in 1,200 games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and which two former Celtics?

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