Doc Rivers says Celtics want Kevin Garnett back next season

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The question is not want. As always the question is money.

But know that the Celtics would like to have Kevin Garnett back next season, in large part because he has played better than expected this season. His contract is up at the end of this year, he is a free agent. Still, some in Boston think that if he does play next season it will be only in Boston.

Doc Rivers is on board and said this about KG before the Celtics took on the 76ers Friday night, via CSNNE.com.

“Oh yeah, absolutely. We want him back,” Rivers said. “I think it will come down to if he wants to play or not. But, you know, who knows? So many games and so many things can happen. Being around this as long as I have I know it is very emotional how the season ends. And a lot of players have made poor decisions on the end of a season, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

As to why he would play in Boston as opposed to somewhere else?

“I think he’s very comfortable, I think he’s healthy,” Doc Rivers said to Greg Dickerson on CSNNE’s Courtside Club… “I think moving him to the five has been a big benefit to him. Now he’s the quickest guy every night at his position, and I think that’s been a big benefit to him as well.”

All that love is swell. It really is.

What matters is always the money.

Next season the Celtics have just $35 million on the books because Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal and KG (as well as others) all come off the books at once. They have the ability to bring in a max player and more. They can remake the roster for the future, with Rajon Rondo as the heart of the new team. KG is not the future. So it’s a matter of who they can bring in and at what price before they consider KG.

Garnett is not going to get a long-term deal or anywhere in the vicinity of the $21 million he is making this season. But if he would do a two-year deal closer to a league average salary, would Boston bite?

The Celtics have a lot of decisions to make. So does Garnett. But don’t be shocked if he is back in green next season.

Ray Allen on the other hand…

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.