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Today’s Headlines

Honestly, I am so sick of the off-season. Here are some headlines, however, that keep my NBA craving subdued a bit…

Celtics Town                                        Exclusive Interview with Lester Hudson

Celtics Circuit                                     Rondo Helping Out in the Community

Celtics Blog                                          Bill Walker is the Next “Next”

Red’s Army                                         Erden Dominates Gasol in Eurobasket

Loy’s Place                                          Random Thoughts: 16 Days Until Training Camp

Celtics Hub                                         Do the Celtics Have a Problem with Small Lineups?

NBATipoff                                           Show of the Week: Li-Ling Baron Davis BD1

The TV Navigator                           Gus Johnson Has a New One to Add to the Collection

 

Celtics Shamrock

NSS Welcomes it’s Newest Writer!

North Station Sports is proud to welcome the first addition to our writing staff!

Matt Golden is an astute basketball fan. Well versed on the history of the game and how it applies to today’s NBA. Matt is already a seasoned blogger and I encourage you to visit his blog The TV Navigator.

With today’s cable channel roster now well over 400 stations, I am often confused on what to watch and what I am missing on TV because I don’t have time to cruise all the stations. Thus, not surprisingly, my TV is currently only tuned into NBATV, ESPN and (sometimes) CNN.

The TV Navigator has given me the option to set my Tivo to shows and stations I never knew existed. Matt has made my boring off season nights more tolerable by giving me some more option as to what’s worth watching on the tube.

I can finally stop watching old VHS tapes of Larry Bird scoring 60 points on the Atlanta Hawks. Honestly, I may still sneak that one in once a week. I can never get sick of watching Larry Legend embarrass Dominique Wilkens.

Anyway, for years, Matt and I have debated on all things regarding the NBA and the evolution of the game. I am so excited to continue these debates on a public forum here at North Station Sports!

I look forward to Matt’s first post this week!

Please watch for a full profile of Matt Golden in our “About Us” section.

Celtics Shamrock 

Michael Jordan: A Sports Persona that Will Never Be Parallelled

Arguably the greatest player to ever pick up a basketball

Arguably the greatest player to ever pick up a basketball

By Nick Gelso

There are few NBA stars that possess the ability to have there first names be recognizable above any other name in their sport.

Today’s game boasts interesting names such as Kobe and LeBron but before they were even old enough to lace up sneakers one man separated basketball from sports.

Michael was, and remains, the most recognizable name in not just sports but in popular entertainment. His air-ness may share his name with the King of Pop and their achievements may be similar on a global stage but Michael Jordan’s ability to combine his achievements as an athlete and his ability to bolster his public image with his successes in the business world undoubtidly separate him from the other Michael.

Jordan entered a league dominated by Magic, Doctor J., Larry, Kareem and Moses. Among those titans of basketball, Jordan managed to captivate the sporting world while playing for an untalented Bulls team.

Jordan’s career seemed to reach new levels each season but his team was not always recognized as the second (behind Russell’s Celtics) greatest dynasty in basketball history.

Though MJ led his Bulls to the 8th seed playoff spot his first several seasons, a feat that is underappreciated on Chicago teams that were untalented and under achieving, his early career was marred by injuries and  controversies caused by jealous opponents.

The NBA’s most jealous superstar, Isiah Thomas, unsurprisingly led the charge in 1984. Michael Jordan was voted as a starter, by the fans, to the all-star game in his rookie season. Isiah, feeling the attention Jordan was receiving was unjust, led a player revolt in the all-star game. In a move most forgotten for unsportsmanlike behavior, Isiah refused to pass Michael the ball throughout the game.

Jordan went on to win Rookie of the Year honors and his battles with Isiah had just begun.

His next two seasons were busted by foot and knee problems.

In 1986, Jordan returned from knee surgery in time to face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Though the Bulls were swept by Larry’s Celtics, Jordan managed to set an unbroken playoff record of 63 points in game 2.

In 1987, Jordan averaged an astonishing 37 points per game but was again swept by the Celtics.

It wasn’t until 1988, perhaps Jordan’s most successful season individually, the Bulls emerged from the first round of

Jordan holding on of his 6 Larry O'Brien Trophies

Jordan holding on of his 6 Larry O'Brien Trophies

the playoffs. That season, Jordan averaged 35 points per game, 52 percent from the field. He won his first of five NBA Most Valuable Player award and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

It’s rare to have a player succeed on the offensive and defensive ends of the court in such a dominant fashion.

In 1988, the first of 4 epic post season battles, Isiah Thomas and his Detroit Pistons eliminated the Chicago Bulls in five games.

The Pistons and Bulls would meet again in 1989 and the Pistons, now famous, “Jordan Rules” defense facilitated in once again eliminating the Bulls.

In 1990 the Bulls emerging talent surrounding Jordan again fell to the Pistons as the “Jordan Rules” was now a famous and effective method for slowing down Jordan and stopping the Bulls.

It wasn’t until 1991 that Michael and his now ultra talented squad finally beat the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls were able to finally get revenge and swept the Pistons led by Jordan opting for the assist over the shot, made difficult by the Pistons “Jordan Defensive Rules”.

Isiah Thomas, in typical unsportsmanlike fashion, walked off the court before the final buzzer without congratulating his opponent.

After defeating the Detroit Pistons in 1991, Jordan led his Bulls to their first title.

The Bulls would go on to win 6 titles in 7 years.

Michael Jordan, a man who achieved personal stats unmatched by any player in NBA history,  won 6 NBA titles,  5 NBA MVP awards, 6 Finals MVP awards, Rookie of the Year honors, Defensive Player of the Year honors, 14 all-star appearance, 10 all NBA first team appearances, 9 time defensive first team honors, 3 all-star game MVP awards, 2 Dunk contest championships, and now he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Jordan, nearly single handedly, made famous such globally branded products as Nike and Gatorade.

Even in retirement, Jordan's endorsements of products such as Nike and Gatorade continues to ensure their profits.

Even in retirement, Jordan's endorsements of products such as Nike and Gatorade continues to ensure their profits.

On the day of Jordan’s first retirement, the NY Stock Exchange actually took a dip because of Jordan’s effect on global business.

No professional athlete can boast such a claim.

I consider myself to be a somewhat astute NBA historian and yet I had to research all of Jordan’s accolades online as to not forget any.

Above all of his personal and team achievements, perhaps Jordans most admirable contributions to professional sports was his ability to face defeat, adversity, world fame, and tremendous success with grace, maturity, sportsmanlike conduct, and humility.

His brilliance on the basketball court is missed but his presence is still felt by the players that follow him. Players such as Kobe and LeBron emulate Jordan in their on court highlights. We can often be found, jaw dropped, at an amazing move made by today’s players while thinking and sometimes shouting:

 “That was a Jordan move!”

Today’s players may be able to resemble Jordan in their play but they certainly cannot reach the levels Michael achieved, always carrying himself with class, on and off the court.

Is it too Early to Cast Doubts on Kevin Garnett’s Health?

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

As preseason is now less than a month away, with the lack of information regarding Kevin Garnett’s progress, is it fair to begin casting doubts on his ability to play in the preseason? Is it fair to question whether he will be available to play in Cleveland on opening night?

 

Dating back to last season, I was not a Celtics “KG conspiracy believer”. I did find it coincidental, however, that the Celtics declared Garnett “ready to play next week” several times before completely shutting him down around the time tickets sold out for game one of the opening round series of the playoffs.

As the playoffs progressed, Doc Rivers flirted with the possibility of a KG return. Garnett’s staring in a TV commercial right in the heart of the thrilling Chicago series furthered speculation over KG’s return.

With emotions stirring over the first round of the playoffs, a series most found to be absolutely one of the more exciting series in playoff history, I found myself thinking – How is KG healthy enough to shoot an Adidas commercial but unable to sit on the bench in a suit through an entire game?

The commercial served as a tease to me, a person who had not so feverishly craved a Celtic in uniform since Larry Bird spent weeks on the injured list in 1992.

After my emotions cooled, I realized basketball is a business and I am sure KG was capable of fulfilling his endorsement obligations, even with a bum knee.

I still hate that commercial though!

Paul Pierce gave an excellent interview yesterday to Peter Stringer, discussing a range of topics regarding the Celtics 2010 championship aspirations, he also briefly touched on KG’s health.

He mentioned Garnett being at the Waltham practice facility as a, “KG sighting”, a phrase we heard all too often during last spring’s playoffs when KG was spotted entering the practice facility. To me, a “KG sighting” is not too reassuring.

Then Stringer went on to ask Pierce how KG looked. Pierce responded:

“He’s lookin’ pretty good. He didn’t play but he’s out there doin’ slides, he’s liftin’ the weights, he’s on the treadmill, so we’re excited to have him back”

Again, to me, Pierce’s assessment of KG’s progress seems to be guarded and not reassuring.

As Greg Payne of Celtics Circuit pointed out, at the 50 second mark of the video, you can see Garnett doing defensive slides at Waltham. As great as it is to see KG in practice gear with the team, it is equally concerning to see the stiff manner in which Garnett is moving in. He looks to be hampered by a, still recovering, sleaved right knee.

I know I have to keep in perspective that Garnett recently underwent surgery on that knee and that recovery does not happen over night.

Some will say that I am paranoid.

My response to that claim is that the Celtics created this paranoia last season with their flip flopping on all things regarding Kevin Garnett’s health. Though I do not believe that the Celtics knew the severity of his injury when they claimed Garnett ready to play the week before the playoffs began (only to shut him down several days later), I do believe their dificiencies in properly relaying Garnett’s injury status to the media only added to an already beat up locker room. 

Basically, I am disturbed to say that I have lost all confidence in the Celtics medical staff when it comes to Kevin Garnett’s status updates, or lack there of.

At this point, the only thing that will subdue this brewing debate over KG’s health is for the Big Ticket himself to start talking to the media about his progress.

Even the reclusive, private, anti-social and some times rude, Larry Bird realised the importance his health played on team moral and gave media statements regarding his progress or, at times, lack of progress.

I am not questioning Garnett’s heart or desire to play – who would? I am only stating that, at times, an athlete needs to put aside his own tendencies to be private and guarded for the betterment of team moral.

If the Celtics are going to face a stint at the start of the season with Garnett unable to play, they should be emotionally and strategically preparing for that scenario now.

If Garnett’s progress is moving as expected and he will 100% be in uniform on October 27th then Garnett should say it and if they are unsure of whether he will be properly recovered and conditioned to play by opening night – he should just say it.

KG, we are waiting to hear from you!

Today’s Headlines

Celtics Circuit                    Trying to Determine Kevin Garnett’s Status

                                                 Tyone Lue May Head Over Seas

Loy’s Place                          Second Wind Memoirs of an Opinionated Man – Part 9

                                                Celtics Finally Introduce Marquis Daniels

Red’s Army                         Week in Review

                                                Hoarding Point Guards, Others Fleeing the Country

Celtics Town                      ‘Ubuntu’ Mentality Suits Marquis Daniels Just Fine

Celtics 17                            2009-2010 Celtics: Team Predictions and Finishing Chances

Celtics Blog                        Ty Lue May Sign with Greek Team PAOK

                                               All Done?

 

Celtics Shamrock

Marquis Daniels is the Perfect Celtic

Marquis Daniels and Danny Ainge meet with members of the press today to announce Daniels signing with the Boston Celtics.

Marquis Daniels and Danny Ainge meet with members of the press today to announce Daniels signing with the Boston Celtics.

All indications from today’s press conference and recent comments made by his agent is that Marquis Daniels will be a perfect compliment to the 2010 Celtics squad.

Daniels stated again today that he turned down better monetary offers to join a winning franchise in Boston. He stated his willingness to play whatever position Doc sees fit to benefit the Celtics in their 2010 championship run.

The Celtics are making it very clear that anything short of a championship will be a major failure for this team.

I love that attitude!

Danny also mentioned that Paul Pierce, Big Baby and Rajon Rondo have been into Waltham to practice daily. Rasheed Wallace has been in every day at 8 am. He expects to see the rest of the guys into practice right after the Labor Day holiday. This is beginning to take a shape very similar to the 2007 off season.

I love what I am hearing.

One thing of note in watching the below press conference. Danny has gotten visibly older since his heart attack. We wish him the best and good health.

Check out the press conference converage of the Marquis Daniels introductions today.