Mickael Pietrus

Pietrus will not play for veteran minimum, so goodbye Boston


Boston is already pretty deep with swingmen. They have Paul Pierce starting at the three with Jeff Green back behind him. Avery Bradley starts at the two guard and Courtney Lee is behind him, with Jason Terry able to play that role depending on how Doc Rivers decides his rotations.

Mickael Pietrus is a luxury for Boston at this point, and for that the Celtics are only going to pay the veteran minimum ($1.23 million in this case, with his nine years in the league) for a guy who plays limited minutes and has had knee surgeries the past couple of summers.

Pietrus will not play for that, his agent Bill McCandless told WEEI in Boston, in no uncertain terms.

“MP will not play for the veteran’s minimum. Period,” said McCandless. “It’s not happening. That’s the beginning, middle and end of that. … He is not a veteran’s minimum player. There’s no chance he’ll ever sign for that….

“I’ve had the veteran minimum thrown at me like hubcaps,” added McCandless. “In this collective bargaining agreement, a component of any player’s wishes and desires is the money teams are willing to pay. They’re pro athletes. My mother might cry in her beer when Johnny Damon runs away to the Yankees, but you and I understand it’s a business.”

Pietrus played in 42 games for Boston last year and wasn’t terribly efficient, shooting 38.5 percent overall (33.5 percent from three). He scored 6.9 points per game for Boston but needed 6.4 shots a game to do it.

Another team might be willing to jump in for a couple million, and his agent says there are overseas offers, but Boston seems out of the picture.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: