The Champions Celebrate; Team USA starts to formulate

06.20.08 9 years ago 36 Comments
Paul PiercePaul Pierce w/Finals MVP trophy

One of our boys was at the Celtics championship parade on Wednesday and snapped some photos, which are posted at the end of this column. Of course Paul Pierce (who claimed he hadn’t slept since Game 6) was enjoying the moment and soaking in the atmosphere more than anyone, but the craziest moment award belongs to Big Baby, who at one point was shirtless and vomiting over the side of a float, asking anyone with a camera if they’d got it on tape. Guess we were wrong when we predicted Tony Allen would be the most fool-acting Celtic in the parade … There’s been a lot of speculation about what offseason moves the Lakers will make (watch for a Lamar Odom trade), but what about the Celtics? One important decision, Pat wrote on yesterday, will be what to do about the James Posey situation. And should Boston try to re-sign Sam Cassell, or let him go to Denver and begin his transition from loudmouth player to loudmouth assistant coach? Then there are free agents P.J. Brown and Eddie House. We wouldn’t be surprised if P.J. just calls it a career and avoids pulling a Gary Payton — he was pretty much retired anyway before Pierce and Ray Allen talked him into signing with Boston — nor would we be surprised if E-House fancies himself a big dog now and waits for some team to be dumb enough to overpay him … The official announcements won’t be made until next Monday, but all day yesterday we were getting preliminary reports on who’s in and who’s out for Team USA. At last check: D-Wade, Michael Redd, Tayshaun Prince, Chris Paul and Jason Kidd were in, while Amare (his call) and Tyson Chandler (not his call) are out. No one’s really talking about it, but not having Chandler on the squad is a mistake if you ask us. Who else on the U.S. team besides Dwight Howard specializes in rebounding and defending in the paint? After Dwight, you’re left with Bosh, Boozer, Brand, Brad Miller, Jamison and Greg Oden as the only bigs in the program — and you know Oden isn’t going to be allowed anywhere near a competitive basketball situation until he’s wearing a Blazers uniform. You’ve got some scorers there and guys who can get boards, but Brand is the only real standout defender … Out of CP, Kidd and Deron Williams, who should be Team USA’s starting point? A lot of people are fine with Kidd getting the nod since he’s the vet, even if he’s the third-best player in that group right now, but Deron is getting more support than we expected … Overheard in the Dime office yesterday: “DeAndre Jordan is closer to Ron Howard than Dwight Howard.” … Speaking of the Draft, NBA TV was airing old Draft broadcasts yesterday, most notably the ones from ’84, ’86 and ’87. You know ’84 as argubaly the greatest class ever: MJ, Hakeem, Barkley and Stockton all went in the first round (and some guy named Devin Durrant was the first pick of the 2nd round). But who really dropped jaws in the office was Jay Humphries, a guard out of Colorado who was picked by the Suns in the first round (and was actually an assistant with Phoenix up until D’Antoni got fired). Dude was BANGIN’ on cats in his highlight reel. We were all wondering not only who he was at first, but how come he isn’t famous to this day … The ’86 version was truly depressing to watch, knowing what would later happen to Len Bias, Chris Washburn, Roy Tarpley and William Bedford, but seeing old highlights of Chuck Person (wearing his wedding tux as his Draft suit) and Johnny Dawkins was cool … ’87 was the year David Robinson went #1 overall, along with Reggie Miller, Kevin Johnson, Horace Grant, Muggsy Bogues, Mark Jackson, Reggie Lewis, Kenny Smith, and — as David Stern put it — “Scott Pippen” out of Central Arkansas … It’s cool and everything that Ray, KG and Pierce have been so adamant about squashing the “Big Three” nickname and pushing the “Big 15” concept, but try telling that to Gabe Pruitt when he was making coffee and newspaper runs every morning during the season … You probably weren’t paying any attention at all to the Heat by the end of the season, but one of their parade of D-League guys getting actual minutes was Joel Anthony, who is running with Team Canada in next month’s Olympic qualifying tourney in Greece. Since that will conflict with Miami’s summer-league schedule, Anthony apparently had to clear it with Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra. We’re guessing Riley’s responses went something like, “Who are you again?” … Did you know Derrick Rose‘s agent is B.J. Armstrong? Will that influence John Paxson‘s decision at all on Draft day? … Damon Stoudamire said in an interview with The Oregonian that he wants to coach after he retires, and eventually wants the head job at the University of Arizona. Yes, people, it’s getting closer and closer to the day when we’ll have D-1 college coaches with neck tats … We’re out like Chandler …

Kevin GarnettGarnett
James PoseyPosey
Rajon RondoRondo & House
Paul PiercePierce
LuckyGino & Lucky

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