I think Paul Pierce and the Celtics players are handling Ray Allen’s departure to the Miami Heat better than some of the fans.
That doesn’t mean they are really happy about it. As example A, I bring you what Paul Pierce told Celtics.com when asked if he had talked to Allen since he signed with the Heat (transcribed by CSNNE.com).
“Couple texts. You know, I’m a little bitter that he went to Miami, but he’s still a brother of mine.”
If you were looking for more detail…
“It’s going to be a little weird, you know, but Ray made the best decision for him,” Pierce said. “And that’s what pretty much it’s all about. You get in these situations, you get in free agency, you make a decision what’s best for you and your family. Ray will always be a brother for me. If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be wearing a championship ring. So the things he was able to do for this organization will never be forgotten.”
Allen was expected to move on, and while coach Doc Rivers tried to take the blame the fact is Allen didn’t like coming off the bench behind Avery Bradley and he didn’t like how often Rajon Rondo was getting him the ball. He wanted a change, he wanted to be wanted rather than being shopped at the deadline.
It’s just that he found that in Miami that galls the Celtics faithful.
But what Rivers did turning that team over to Rondo was what was best for the Celtics; Rondo is the playmaker. Starting Bradley was best for the team. The moves Boston made this summer — bringing in Jason Terry for one — makes Boston better. Rivers and the Celtics didn’t do anything wrong, they were just moving past Allen.
Except now he still stands in their way. And the Celtics will get to see him on opening night.
By the way, the thing Celtics fans should take away most from the Celtics.com interview is Pierce saying his knee is 90 percent right now.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.
Lakers forward Julius Randle has suffered a minor setback in his summer workouts. The team announced he received stitches on his right hand and will be sidelined for two weeks.
Lakers forward Julius Randle suffered a laceration to his right hand (webbing between middle and ring fingers) yesterday while practicing. He received seven stitches and will be re-evaluated in approximately 14 days.
That sounds painful, but the timing works out such that the two weeks will be up and he’ll have plenty of time to get back into things before training camp kicks off the last week of September.
One of the most surprising developments of the summer came when Evan Fournier, coming off an excellent year with the Magic, was left off the French national team that went to Rio to compete in the Olympics. Fournier himself doesn’t have a good answer for why he wasn’t included, according to an interview with the French magazine L’Equipe (translation via EuroHoops.net).
“I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”
Fournier said he didn’t have much communication with the national team, except for when head coach Vincent Collet asked him for tickets to a Magic game.
“The only time I’ve heard from the Federation this year was during a visit from Patrick Beesley (French NT technical director) in Orlando where he told me the dates of the qualifying tournament and Olympics. He didn’t tell me ‘If you do not come in Manila, then you do not come in Rio’. The second time was from an sms by Vincent Collet. It was our only contact outside competitions in the last three years. He was asking me for tickets to a game for his friends. I never closed the door to the French national team but these events sent me a clear message. That i’m not in the project. It’s that simple and it hurts.”
It’s a little bizarre that Fournier, at 23 years old and one of the better basketball players from France, isn’t on the team and a clear reason hasn’t been given. But it sounds like that isn’t going to change anytime soon.