The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
(Celtics fans, meet Mario West. He could be your 15th man.)
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The obvious question after the Celtics released rookie forward Tony Gaffney Saturday is whether the camp competition for the 15th roster spot is over. After all, it seemed like a two-horse race between Von Wafer and Gaffney at the start of the preseason, so that leaves only one man standing. But the Celtics did carry an intriguing pair of young players out of camp in Mario West and Stephane Lasme. Both have reputations as being more defensive minded, and West in particular seems to be making a push to stick around thanks a scrappy work ethic that compensates for his lack of offensive skills. Could either player truly push Wafer, whose contract is not fully guaranteed, for the final spot on the Boston roster? … ‘All the new guys, the more they can play with the starters, the more beneficial it is for them,” said Rivers. “They’re the guy not guarded, so they’ll shoot wide-open shots. That’s what Von does. He hasn’t made a shot in camp yet, but he’s a great shooter, he is. I think he’s learning from us. Every time he misses, he looks over. I tell him, ‘I don’t care, it was a good shot.’ I want him to keep shooting.’”
Tony Gaffney, Facebook – “Its bean real US…got a contract offer from Turkey that was impossible to turn down, shipping out tomorrow night! If anyone wants to reach me while I’m out there, ya best bet is through facebook or twitter. See yall around Christmas. Take care.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “By waiving Gaffney, the Celtics now have 17 players in training camp. The fight for the 15th and final spot is now between another former UMass star, Stephen Lasme, Von Wafer and Mario West. But the Celtics could also waive all three, and keep that 15th roster spot open for a potential two-for-one trade between now and the NBA trade deadline.”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Two decades ago, there was an abundance of two-sport athletes. Bo Jackson was running along outfield walls one season and running over undersized defensive backs the next. Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan flip-flopped between baseball and football. … But will another pro athlete ever pull double duty? ‘It all depends on this lockout,’ Robinson said. ‘If we have a lockout, you might see a lot of guys, including myself, try out and see where it takes you, just see if you can do it or not. You never know what can happen.’ … ‘There’s a lot of really good athletes, guys that could play multiple sports,’ Ainge said. ‘I think Rajon is definitely one of those guys that could. But it’s difficult in today’s day and age. It would be tough.’ Rondo, whose first love was always football, said he thought about playing two sports when he was at Kentucky. ‘I still had doubts,’ Rondo said. ‘I wouldn’t say regrets, but I still thought about it. I thought about it in college. If I could do it all over again, I’d probably play three sports in college, really. Baseball or maybe track.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “‘He played well in the FIBA Championships,’ said the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge. ‘He played against some of the best players in the world, so we have confidence in him.’ Erden’s list of fierce competitors has grown since the start of Celtics training camp. Only this time, it is his teammates, not his opponents, who have pushed him to improve. ‘The other day, Semih was leaning on me and I spun off him,’ Shaquille O’Neal explained. ‘I told him, ‘Listen, there are four guys in the league that you can’t lean on like that.’ You lean on Dwight [Howard] on the side, you gonna get the lob. You lean on me, I’m gonna spin. You lean on [Kevin] Garnett, he’s gonna spin. You lean on [Tim] Duncan, he’s gonna spin. I just give him little stuff that he needs to have when he goes up against other guys.’ … ‘I already played in the Summer League and we played against the U.S. national team in the finals,’ Erden, 24, said through a translator. ‘We all know NBA players are good athletes, so I will work here more than I worked in Europe and I want to help the Celtics this year.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘I think the last time I’ve been in a situation like this where I just have to come in and do my part was in Portland when we had all those guys (Scottie Pippen, Arvydas Sabonis, a young Rasheed Wallace),’ [Jermaine] O’Neal said. ‘But I was a young guy and I wasn’t really developed yet. That’s the last time I can remember coming into a situation where I could just play. After that, it was pretty much, if you have a bad game, you’re team probably can’t win. If I had a bad game, people would point that out.’ … ‘The problem is that I’ve never been a player who complained or let people know how bad things were,’ O’Neal said. ‘You get guys who are hurt and they try to play and it’s, ‘Oh, I didn’t play well because I was hurt.’ I wasn’t that player. I played almost two years with a torn meniscus. I tore my meniscus twice, and I never said anything because my team was going through so much and I felt like the city of Indianapolis needed any positive notion that they could get. I played through it. Nobody knows about me having to wear the big compression (clothes) just to walk around and me not being able to practice before I played in the games. People don’t know about that. Nobody knows about me taking 10 Advil a day and then having to get my liver and kidney checked. People don’t know about that. People always judge and they don’t know about anything that was going on on the inside. One thing I can say – and anybody can say from any team I’ve ever played on – is that when I get out there I’m going to play as hard as I possibly can, whether it’s on one leg or two legs or whatever. In the last three years of my deal, people were saying, ‘Oh, he’s not worth it.’ But I was still hurt.’ Now with the Celtics, he’ll be asked to do less – and hopes to accomplish more.”
Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo! Sports – “All-Star forward Carlos Boozer, Chicago’s top free agent pick up from last summer, broke his hand in an apparent fall on Saturday, and preliminary reports suggest he’ll out for two months. Chicago Tribune reporter K.C. Johnson postulates that Boozer will likely return after Chicago’s infamous circus trip, a difficult west coast jaunt made necessary by the Barnum and Bailey Circus taking over Chicago’s United Center for two weeks, which means Carlos will miss a minimum of 15 games to start the season.”
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