Jermaine O’Neal was brought in to help carry the Celtics through the first months of the season, while Kendrick Perkins is still recovering from knee surgery.
Fortunately, the Celtics brought in Shaquille O’Neal to back up the other O’Neal.
Shaq got the start, put up 12 and 9 in 24 minutes, on 4 of 5 shooting. Jermaine watched. Again. There has been the wrist and the back and the hamstring and through it all JO has not gotten a lot of run. Which led Doc Rivers question how much Jermaine can help at the start of the season, as he told the Boston Herald.
“Yeah, there is (concern),” Rivers said before the game. “(O’Neal) hasn’t been able to get on the floor, obviously. It’s not going to happen tonight and maybe not for the first couple of practices, so there is some concern about opening night and what he can do for us.
“JO and I were just talking, and it was, after the first day of training camp, you’re never healthy again. You have to get something. But how much can you function? It’s what you’re going through the rest of the year.”
Danny Ainge knew what he was doing this summer — he has added two more big men to the roster with the theory that he’ll have enough at any one given time to get through a game and with that the season. Jermaine and Shaq both bring more offense to the five spot than Boston had last year. It gives Rivers depth and options.
Then come the playoffs that depth can help wear teams down along the front line (not many teams can bring a Shaq off the bench).
At least that’s the plan. Until the next nagging injury crops up.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.