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.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.