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Kevin Durant Sweepstakes Time! Let’s Pitch Him the City of Boston as Best We Can

Kevin Durant Sweepstakes Time! Let’s Pitch Him the City of Boston as Best We Can

by Shaun (@slough44)

Boston is now in the front of the line for one of the biggest free agent signings in the past couple decades.  Kevin Durant.  My goodness, wouldn’t that be nice?  May not happen, though.  The Celtics now have some cap space, but so does half the league, given this notorious spike in the NBA salary cap.  So the odds might be slim, but the biggest surprise to me has been, quite frankly, that they even have a chance.  They’ve never had that before.

I didn’t feel like going to hunt for old articles to link to this post, and if you Google “Boston Celtics bad free agent market” you cannot even sniff what you’re looking for because the news is too packed with the fact that they are a big player in 2016.  But historically, Boston has not been the best place to come play for an NBA free agent.  Gun to my head, you ask me “Miami, Los Angeles, or Boston?” and it’ll take me quite a while to give you an answer.  And that’s just chubby old me.  Now imagine being an NBA superstar.  It just is not going to happen.

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - JULY 09: (CHINA OUT) NBA player Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City Thunder reacts during a meet and greet with fans at South China Agricultural University on July 9, 2011 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

But now here we are!  Very exciting times.  Now that it is the first of July, free agent season begins.  So what will the Celtics pitch to Durant during their interview?  God only knows, but we need to come up with some good ideas.  There are plenty of things to pitch to an NBA all-star about this city.  So rich in culture, food, the arts, history.  You name it, Boston has it.  I have put together a list of things that we can use to lure in Durantula.

COME TO BOSTON.  WE HAVE:


Whale Watching

Long Wharf is beautiful.  Especially if you have children, Kevin.  Do you have children?  Ahhh it doesn’t matter – either way, between Legal Sea Foods, Tia’s, or the site-seeing at the end of the wharf, you’re going to love it.  But here is the thing, Kevin – they have boats!

For just like $12 or something – not really sure – you can hop on one of the New England Aquarium’s cruise ships and head out of Boston Harbor and into the Atlantic to see some of nature’s most mystical creatures.  Humpback whales, I think.  They are lovely.

Now I’ll admit, I haven’t seen one in about six years.  I think it was when I was chaperoning my kid’s field trip.  But when I saw it, it was amazing.  The whale blew water in the air.  Then his tail came out of the water.  ELECTRIC stuff.  So much action over the course of like an hour and a half.

The boat is great, too.  The cruise ship doubles as the public transportation ferry that commutes from Hingham and Hull – you probably will never visit there but that’s okay.  So essentially, you get to maybe have a 1/6 chance of seeing a whale while sitting in the same booth someone prepared for a morning meeting in.  So relaxing.

the-boat


South Boston

Kevin, these people will love you.  Imagine the biggest Kappa Sigma frat party you ever attended at Texas.  You probably walked through the back door, or hung out in the driveway, took a hundred pictures, and then left after one of your boys took a bottle of vodka out from behind the bar.  That sounds like my ideal college party, by the way.

Okay, so take that, and multiply it by 2,000 people.  THAT is Southie.  You will fit right in, I promise.  A 6’10”, nearly-30-year old, African-American from Washington D.C.?  You are basically a regular there!  It is a match made in heaven.

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See, Kevin?  PERFECT crowd to spend your Thursday night with.

You made it to Southie in the 21st-century as well, which will benefit you.  It used to be all Irish people.  Not only did they barely speak English, but they weren’t exactly… well they just weren’t very friendly.  Nowadays, though, you have thousands of 25-year old former high school baseball studs that now work at State Street Financial as associates and voted for Trump because he “speaks his mind.”  It is SO much more refreshing there now!

And the girls are top notch, too.  You ever had Fireball Whiskey before?  No?  Well you will learn soon.  Just don’t cheer openly for the Redskins or the Capitals or Texas or pretty much any athletic team on television ever when you’re at Stats Bar & Grille.  We don’t need to be dealing with any concussions.


By the way, when you go to the beach, do you like water slightly above freezing?  No?  Alright let’s move on.


Ski Resorts

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The Greater Boston Metropolitan area has them by the boatload.  My two favorites are Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, and Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton.  The snow is so fluffy, and the views are gorgeous.  At Nashoba, my favorite view is of the snow-covered outdoor tiki bar that is only open in the summers when you won’t be here and you’ll be at your house in Los Angeles.

You are an athlete.  We all know that.  So skiing will not be an issue at all.  You can even get some snowboarding in the mix – trying to drag some knuckles and shred gnarly pow pow, man?  Nahhhh, I’m just kidding.  You know I’m kidding – this guy, he knows I’m a joker.  That’s what we do here, we like to work hard and play hard here in Boston.  You don’t get 17 banners in the rafters without working hard.

But anyways, back to skiing.  It’s basically a smaller Breckenridge.  It’s Aspen with some attitude.  Boston loves to ski in the winter.  Or just skitch on a trash can off the back of a bumper on a Subaru down Beacon Hill.  Either way, find a way to enjoy the snow, because your entire season will be under snow cover.  Oh, it doesn’t snow in Los Angeles or Miami?  Didn’t know that.


The Freedom Trail

There is something truly awesome, like in the truest sense of the word, about wandering through a cemetery and seeing headstones and graves of some of the nameless founding fathers of this nation.  I mean, these guys created this nation, and they died 230 years ago, so the cemetery isn’t in great shape – but still, just imagine it in your brain.  And then you get to walk through the city, on broken cobblestone, for several miles, while you look at old churches that are really just bars and nightclubs now but at least the foundation is still in the ground.

Remember Paul Revere from history class?  Yeah, he was captured like 15 miles from here in Concord but we can stand here in the middle of the street while our tour guide tells us the story.  You won’t see it at all, but then again, you haven’t seen any of it.  None of the Freedom Trail actually exists anymore.  But it is still so wonderful to follow.

The-Freedom-Trail-Foundation-Walking-Tour-2


Okay, so that’s my pitch to Kevin.  Four lockdown talking points to lure him here.  I don’t think he can say “no,” frankly.  If you have any other awesome ideas, share them with us.  I can send them along to Danny Ainge because we both sat courtside at a Boston College basketball game one time so I basically have his e-mail address.

And by the way, for my money, I’m thinking Kevin Durant stays in Oklahoma City.

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Win Now? Really? — Relax Celtics Fans

Win Now? Really? — Relax Celtics Fans

Boy, Celtics fans were pissed last night. After a day full or Woj bombs and Marc Stein reports, the Celtics failed to land Jimmy Butler or local product Nerlens Noel. Fans booed the selection of Jaylen Brown. BleacherReport basketball heads such as Howard Beck and Ric Bucher declared the Celtics as the losers of the draft. Bucher’s reasoning focused on the Cs need to cash in on these picks and land a superstar, which they did not. (For what it’s worth, Bucher also declared the T’Wolves to be losers because they didn’t land Butler, despite drafting the top point guard of the draft). All of this must be frustrating for fans. Personally, the only thing I found frustrating was the lack of insight from these basketball pundits. The Celtics are in win now mode? Not a chance in hell and here’s why.


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  1. The Team is Young

The average age of these Cs is 25. Olynyk, Smart, Rozier, Young, Hunter, Brown and the other 2016 picks are all on rookie contracts. Shot blocker in the making Mickey is also on something resembling the rookie scale. At 25, Bradley and Crowder are still a year or two away from beginning their primes. IT4 is legitimately the only Celtic currently playing in his peak years and even he too is just sniffing maximum performance. Hell, even free agents Sully and Turner are 27 and under. This team was not built for now, they are just exceeding expectations so we want them to win now.

  1. Assets

Next year’s draft is stacked. Sure, we say that just about every year however, I must admit that the scouting reports look pretty damn good on these prospects. And guess what, the Cs have the Brooklyn pick again. You know, that team that got worse last night and will continue to get worse once they ship Lopez out of town. If Brown hits (which he will, his floor is what Jae Crowder is now) then Crowder becomes expendable in a future trade. The Cs could draft one of the plethora of elite point guards next year (Ball, Fox Smith, Fultz,!)  and package Crowder and IT4 for a star. It does take two to tango, I understand. But if anything, this draft has demonstrated that teams are willing to trade stars. Oh, and if you think Boogie stays in Sacramento for the entire upcoming season, you’re on drugs. Like, Ric Bucher drugs.

  1. Now is Simply not the Right Time

The NBA just saw a team win 73 games. Then, we watched as the Thunder put them on the ropes. Next, we fawned over the Cavs beating that aforementioned 73 win team. For the next 2-4 years, the league will be owned by Curry, James, Durant and Kawhi. Would a lineup of Thomas, Bradley, Butler, ? and Amir Johnson beat the cavs? No Replace Johnson with free agent names such as Whiteside, Horford or Biyombo and the answer is still no. Forget the KD pipedream, Presti just robbed Orlando and got the ever elusive two guard he needed. Even if the Cs added Boogie, they still couldn’t beat the Cavs..and they shouldn’t want to. The Warriors/Cavs/Thunder/Spurs era will be ending just as the Celtics/Minny/Denver/Philly one is rising. Why push for a title now when it won’t happen?

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NBA Draft — What to expect from the Boston Celtics at #3

NBA Draft — What to expect from the Boston Celtics at #3

Let me just start this by saying I feel weird about tonight’s NBA Draft. Usually, any fan of a middle-of-the-road contender or a team that “needs help” is circling this date on their calendar. Especially fans of the Boston Celtics, who have 3 first round picks and 5 (FIVE!!!) second round picks tonight alone, with a chance to plug holes in a roster that is needing attention in certain areas.

The only problem is we quite literally finished third in a two man sweepstakes this year. Around the trade deadline, I was very outspokenly against trading this years Brooklyn in any package that might see a big piece coming to Boston. I wanted a chance at Ben Simmons, because if the ping pong balls fall the right way and Boston ended up with him I believe we have an actual chance at the East in year two or three. Fuck, I would even have settled for the second pick and Brandon Ingram, from what I have seen watching him play I really think  he has a chance to change a teams offensive identity in year one.

But, we find ourselves sitting at 3 (and 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, and 58) with a million question marks about what to do in that spot. According to multiple reports we are looking to trade that pick and I have seen names like Gordon Heyward and Khris Middleton being tossed around as possible subjects of trade. Looking back, I would have loved to ship that pick around the trade deadline, because this “sweepstakes” spot we find ourselves in with the third pick has a larger likelihood to be a miss than a make historically speaking. Proven NBA talent, preferably talent that can instantly impact the current Boston roster, is going to be harder to grab now knowing that this is a 2-man draft. But, the chance at Simmons clearly outweighed any possible draft moves at the trade deadline.

My optimism is waning, which is leading to this weird feeling in my stomach. This is partially due to last year’s Terry Rozier selction. I had a ton of hopes for that 16th pick, and I thought Terry was a good player, but ultimately a cheaper version of the combo-guards we had on the roster already. When his name was called not only was it underwhelming, but it put a small smear on the chrome-like perception of our “draft expert” Danny Ainge. I think tonight might be the grandiose spectacle that sees us return to glory, but in a more intelligent NBA front-offices have grown increasingly unlikely to make dramatic roster moves without knowing what these players being selected are truly worth.

So, I will not get my hopes up and expect a rebirth of the “Boston Celtics Title Contender” prestige, but instead pray that we select intelligently, don’t draft-and-stash talent in the later first round when we could get role contributors on rookie deals ahead of the cap jump, and possibly turn a top-3 pick into someone to get excited about. Anyways, here is what I expect from the Boston Celtics tonight:


Third Pick

Simmons is going first overall to Philadelphia, we know that much already. I am SO HIGH on Ben Simmons that I probably need to calm down a little bit. Ingram will go second to the Lakers who very much don’t deserve to get a high pick after completely mailing it in with a good roster last season. That’s the end of the draft right? Oh, wait the Celtics are on the clock and literally no one knows what is going to happen next.

Any attempt at predicting a trade might serve futile, as the NBA landscape changed a ton yesterday and is sure to again today. The names Boston has been linked with are exciting, but guys like Jimmy Butler, Boogie Cousins, and the aforementioned Heyward might not even look possible when you consider the true value of this pick. These options are not in order, so don’t assume option one means that it’s what I hope the Celtics do. Just things you can expect with this pick.

(FULL DISCLAIMER, if this pick isn’t traded and we end up with any of these guys there is a likelihood I will bitch and complain about it regardless. Just so little actual impact to be had in these selections. Just want to get that out of the way first)

Option One: Dragan Bender

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So, I think the Celtics draft Dragan Bender, the 7-1 PF from Maccabi Tel-Aviv if they keep the pick. He is super athletic, and the youngest player in the draft.  If I am Danny Ainge and I struck out on my attempts to move this pick, I have no issue taking a flier on a guy with a huge upside and a pretty high floor as well. At 7-plus feet, with a high motor and very young age, you can do a lot worse. He seems like a reliable piece for the future.

The biggest knock against him at this point was the poor season he had last year playing with Maccabi, barely getting off the bench for stretches and producing very limited numbers when he did play. This is not uncommon for young international talent, and I wouldn’t consider it a huge issue, but it has to be concerning if you are Ainge. There are far more Darco Milicic’s than there are Kristaps Porzingis’, and the recency bias may be in play with scouts valuing international talent. I call this option one, but it is the option that most likely see’s me poop my pants.

Option Two: Kris Dunn

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Nothing against Kris Dunn, but I really hope this is not the selection we make at #3. He might be the third best player in this draft, but the need for an athletic combo guard in Boston is nottttttt very high. Dunn does not want to end up in the logjam backcourt in Boston either, so for both parties I hope we take a pass here. Dunn would be a much better fit in Phoenix at #4, allowing Booker to play small off the ball and they could play with a two guard set again. If we want Kris Dunn, and I hope we don’t, that means we value him as a an NBA all-star caliber point guard. But his decision making as well as his age make me extremely skeptical of him as an eventual elite point guard in this league.

Option Three: Jaylen Brown

January 21, 2016: California forward Jaylen Brown (0) drives by Arizona State forward Obinna Oleka (5) during the NCAA basketball game between the California Golden Bears and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, CA. (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire)

I want Jaylen Brown in Brad Stevens’ system, and I want it ten minutes ago. A super-long perimeter defender with the range to shoot from outside, Jaylen Brown AT WORST is a 3-D guy who can plug into a contender right away. His biggest issues stem from shot selection and motor, which are both things Brad Stevens can improve immediately. At 6-7 with a close to 7 foot wingspan, he has a great body for an NBA small forward, with the capability to play the power forward alongside the right center. If the move is for Boston to work on Horford or other big men in free agency, taking Jaylen Brown allows you to play a multitude of lineups centered around a rim protector. Assuming Boston is not done this offseason after draft night, this would be a pick that sets you up for becoming a real contender in the NBA for the next 3 to 5 years.

Option Four: Buddy Hield

buddy

#3 is really high for Buddy Hield, but he can knock down shots and flat out score the ball. He lacks any defensive highlights from his time at Oklahoma, but that may come down to being asked to carry the offense and the fact that he played alongside an elite NCAA perimeter defender in Cousins. If Boston ends up going with Buddy, they are expecting instant offense and a guy who can create his own shot at-will. I don’t see them stretching this far at #3, even for a guy who by all accounts will improve your team both on and off the court. He won’t provide that necessary impact you look for in a top-3 pick, and a perimeter guy who can’t guard will find his way into the 7th or 8th spot in a rotation for any NBA team.


With 8 picks, something is moving tonight. There is just no way Ainge and the Boston Celtics draft 8 fucking players. Whether or not the #3 pick will move is a huge question mark, and will more than likely set the tone for the entire night, regardless what happens.

I trust Danny Ainge and I have no reason not to. Let’s go Celtics. Please don’t make me hate you.

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Episode 41 — Celtic’s Season Recap

Episode 41 — Celtic’s Season Recap

Celtics drop Games 5 & 6 to get eliminated from the postseason by the Atlanta Hawks 4-2. We discuss what went wrong in their first round series for the second consecutive year. Plus what’s next for Danny Ainge this offseason as Lottery and Draft Night are just around the corner. We take a trip around the NBA with the latest news and playoff talk as we celebrate our second Birthday on this episode of the Causeway Street Podcast. Enjoy. (By Causeway Street Podcast)

 

 

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I Tried Being a Celtic’s Fan — A Girlfriend’s Take on the Playoffs

I Tried Being a Celtic’s Fan — A Girlfriend’s Take on the Playoffs

(Editor’s Note (and foreword): So, I was watching the Celtics at 5 pm pacific standard time the other night, screaming at the TV and getting moody when Evan Turner shoots a 3… and she was just staring at me. I, then, get this story below in my email the next day at random. Little does she know, the minor details of this story actually really sum up both the Celtic’s team this season and what it’s like to be a Boston fan in general.)


 

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always considered myself a sports fan. This stems from the fact that I used to wake up everyday before school around the same time my dad was leaving for work. Naturally, we watched SportsCenter together over my bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and his cup of coffee. With this excellent form of upbringing, I would say I’m well-versed for a girl in the sports community.

Unfortunately for my fandom, this upbringing also means that I have never really had a set team. Because, like my father, I just enjoy a good game. Therefore, I am a “Lakers fan,” a “Dodgers fan,” a Kings fan (that one I actually am), and I guess now a “Rams fan.” Go Jared Goff?!?

California’s Jared Goff poses for photos after being selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the first pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

It has always been my mindset to sit down and enjoy a good game, and if a Los Angeles team is playing, I root for them. Conversely, my boyfriend, who is a diehard Boston fan in all realms, makes sure to watch every minute of every game that any New England team is playing in. I have one general rule of thumb: if I know the guy’s name, he’s probably pretty frickin good. Which is fascinating… because I didn’t know a single Celtic’s player name but I was told they are “really good.”

I’m not sure what is worse right now; being a temporary Celtics fan and have “my” team out of the playoffs, or being the girlfriend of a real Celtics fan and having him mope around.

This Celtics playoff series was a rollercoaster of emotions for my diehard Boston fan. I saw the gritty, never-give-up C’s defense comeback at home from a 2-0 deficit. I saw Marcus Smart work his ass off against a guy 4 inches taller than him. I saw Isaiah Thomas score a career-high 42 points in Game 3 to keep the hope alive for the Celtics (I only know it was a career-high because of the update I get after every game from the walking talking breathing almanac I date). And I saw Brad Stevens manipulate his lineup in a way that validates he has a shot at winning Coach of the Year in the future.

In the end, pretending to be a Boston fan isn’t so bad. At least Boston fans bleed for their teams. I’d rather be a diehard than a fan who next year says “Oh the Lakers are playing? Man, I miss Kobe.”

The Celtics may be out of the playoffs, but I heard the Sox are putting up some yahdos. Brady may be suspended four games, but at least you still have Jimmy.

jimmy

(God… he’s so beautiful)

Yeah, you know what, I think I can get used to this New England sports thing.

by Aly

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Causeway Street — Episode 40

Causeway Street — Episode 40

After being down 2-0 to the Hawks, the Celtics respond in Games 3 & 4 back in Boston to even their best of seven series 2-2. We recap one of the best weekends in C’s playoff history as Brad Stevens tweaked his starting lineup while Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart had career postseason performances in each win. We also preview Game 5 down in Atlanta, and does Jae Crowder need to score in order to get a win on the road? Plus we take a trip around the NBA as two key injuries could change the overall landscape out West going forward. All of this and much more in this episode of the Causeway Street Podcast.

 

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Causeway Street Podcast — Episode 38 –Celtics Playoffs

Causeway Street Podcast — Episode 38 –Celtics Playoffs

In this first ‘Live’ episode, we preview the Celtics and Hawks matchup in the first round of the Playoffs. ESPN radio and WEEI’s Chris Villiani [@ChrisVilliani44] stops by to breakdown the fourth vs fifth seed, as the series begins in Atlanta this weekend. Plus a debate on what was the better story between the Warriors winning 73-games and Kobe scoring 60-points in the last game of his career, in what some say was possibly the best overall night in NBA history. Tune in as we also have a major announcement regarding Game 3 in Boston!

 

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