Celtics’ legend Cedric Maxwell stood in location of Boston Marathon bombing just minutes before


It was one year ago today that two bombs killed 3 people and wounded 264 more near the finish line of one of America’s great races, the Boston Marathon. It was a senseless, needless tragedy, but one that united both the city and the nation behind Boston Strong.

Next week the race will return stronger than ever.

On the anniversary of the terrorist attack, Boston Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell told the story of how just minutes before the bomb went off — 7-8 minutes, by his estimation — he had been standing in the very spot that the explosions took place.

Maxwell spoke with A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“I got a little cold,” Maxwell, color analyst for the Boston Celtics on 98.5 The Sports Hub, told CSNNE.com. “That ended up saving me; I got a little cold and I didn’t have a big coat on. So I went to get warm.”

Maxwell strolled down to Norstrom’s Rack and went to the second floor.

“And then the bomb went off,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell, like everyone else in the immediate area, had no idea what was going on in the minutes after the bombings. He went outside to see.

“And all of a sudden, somebody must have said, ‘run!’ And literally, I would say thousands of people started running towards me,” he said. “I’m looking for someone behind them with a gun … something was going on. So I run back into Norstrom’s Rack and all kinds of people followed me in there.”

Eventually Maxwell went home, turned on the news and quickly realized how fortunate he was.

While watching the news, he saw a woman on a stretcher with a red dress and a red bandana on her head. Maxwell recalled standing near her when he was watching the marathoners cross the finish line earlier in the day.

But what really hit home for Maxwell was seeing that among the three people who died, there was Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Chinese graduate student at Boston University, who was standing next to him moments before he left the marathon finish line.

Maxwell was lucky. So many others were not that day.

It’s a reminder that life can be fleeting, that we need to enjoy the moments we have while we can. The entire event is a reminder of the resiliency of people when faced with tragedy.

Boston Strong.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.