This notebook of Celtics news and notes delves into Paul Pierce’s recent discussion with the Boston Herald in addition to Jared Sullinger’s health and Robert Parish’s job search.
PIERCE ON RONDO INJURY STARTING DOMINO EFFECT
The Boston Herald’s Tom Layman spoke with Pierce about how it unfolded:
In Paul Pierce’s mind, there were many factors that went into the dismantling of the Celtics roster this offseason. That chain reaction, however, may have started on Jan. 27, 2013.
We all remember the face Pierce made after Doris Burke delivered the unfortunate news to the Captain. The Celtics had just outlasted the rival Miami Heat in a double-overtime contest at TD Garden, which was the beginning of a seven-game winning streak. However, in a season that many expected Rondo to be a very important part of the team, Pierce and Kevin Garnett then had to carry the load for the rest of 2012-13:
With time growing shorter with every passing game for the old Celtics core and with Rondo’s health uncertain for the upcoming year as he rehabs his knee, Pierce acknowledged that the injury was a big reason why he is now wearing a Brooklyn Nets uniform and not the one he wore for the past 15 years.
The Truth knew that the situation presented itself, and Danny Ainge pulled the trigger:
“It was like a domino effect,” Pierce said. “It was like (the Rondo injury) was there and then Doc. When you put all that stuff together, you know the writing was on the wall.”
The chance to get another ring was important for Pierce and rebuilding was not. The second-leading scorer in Celtics history is hoping his presence — along with that of Garnett, Terry and Nets head coach Jason Kidd — can bring that same kind of championship mettle to his new team, because time is running out.
JARED SULLINGER CLEARED FOR FULL BASKETBALL ACTIVITY
In last week’s notebook, I included an article about how Colton Iverson will hope to help the Celtics’ rebounding in 2014-15 and beyond, but Boston already has a big man that could be a part of the team’s core moving forward. Earlier this week, the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn delivered some encouraging news about him via Twitter:
Jared Sullinger said he was cleared for full basketball activity last week and should be ready by start of training camp #celtics
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) August 6, 2013
The next day, Washburn detailed the situation that deserves much more attention than it has received:
In the midst of the chaos that has surrounded him, Jared Sullinger has arduously tried to remain focused on his rehabilitation from back surgery. And quietly, without fanfare as the Celtics attempt to reshuffle their roster, their second-year forward was cleared to participate in full basketball activities.
“Sully” was one of the league’s best rebounders in 2012-13 with a rebounding percentage that ranked in the top 25. Although he only has 45 games under his belt in his NBA career, the Columbus native showed some flashes of brilliance on the boards. From 2007-08 to 2011-12, Celtics fans witnessed just one man in green record a statistical rebounding performance of that kind: Garnett in 2010-11. While the Celtics of the last few years tried to win in spite of being horrendous on the boards, the new era could bring a fresh style of play:
Sullinger is part of the future. A Doc Rivers favorite, he proved capable of producing and now will enter his second season with no physical limitations.
“I’m taking it as slow as possible because today is another day to get healthy,” he said.
Doctors have told Sullinger the injury is not chronic or career-altering as long as he performs the special exercises to strengthen the back. That good news keeps a smile on Sullinger’s face, especially since that same injury concern caused him to drop to 21st in the 2012 draft after being considered a potential No. 1 overall pick after his freshman season at Ohio State.
With Sullinger remaining out of the NBA spotlight, he will again be a surprise to the league. Conversely, Celtics fans know what they have in this strong rebounding power forward, and he is excited for 2013-14:
“I have no worries man, I am just going to come out and play my game,” he said. “Whatever coach [Brad] Stevens needs me to do, that’s what I am going to do. I am ready for the season.”
ROBERT PARISH SEEKING OCCUPATION
We now flip to a different page of the Boston Globe to look at another former longtime Celtic looking for another chance. Baxter Holmes explains:
Robert Parish leaned over the lectern so that the microphone could catch his voice, sharp and deep, with a touch of Southern, befitting his Louisiana roots.
… Parish, “The Chief,” admitted that his age might be working against him as he tries to find a job, an endeavor that he said is more out of boredom than for money.
“I think I may have waited a little long, because I’m sliding into 60,” he said. “That’s the time when people are starting to retire, as opposed to looking for work.”
It would have been nice for Parish to remain in the league after he played the most regular-season games in NBA history, but he went on his own:
“I take most of the blame because when I retired, I basically disappeared,” said Parish, a resolute loner who was known not to answer the phone or return calls. “I didn’t want to do anything for a long time. And when I played, I didn’t foster any relationships that could benefit me now. I kind of did my own thing.”
The four-time champion and nine-time All-Star will be turning 60 years old near the end of August and hopes to find a job soon:
For now, he said, he is available, passing the time while hoping too much hasn’t passed already.
For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam