Pinckney ready when needed

May 3, 1990

Pinckney ready when needed

The guy who returns to his hometown for a playoff game has the task of finding tickets for friends and relations. And when the hometown's the largest city in the nation, the task is compounded. Seems that everyone's a friend or a relative.


Fast Eddie strikes

Fast Eddie strikes

December 7, 1991

Every summer, he goes home to New York and tries to give something back to the city kids. And the kids? Those little ingrates, they always seem to delight in really giving it to Ed Pinckney because he wears Celtic green.


Quick break from gate puts Pinckney on a roll

Quick break from gate puts Pinckney on a roll

November 17, 1989

You don't see fire in Ed Pinckney's eyes when he gets off to a good start. He doesn't point at the crowd or give high fives to his teammates or hurl a clenched fist. He's not the cocky type.

But the veteran Celtics forward is a different player when he gets out of the blocks quickly. You can sense his confidence building after every successful jumper or blocked shot or dunk. It is important that he establish himself early in a game; the quicker he finds his range, the better he plays.


Bird: McHale was 2008 MVP

The acquisition of Ray Allen on draft night instantly made the Celtics better, a quality veteran, another scorer to go along with Paul Pierce. Then came the Garnett blockbuster. What did this mean? Maybe Larry Bird said it best. Asked earlier in the season who the MVP of the league was, Bird quipped, “Kevin McHale.”
--BILL REYNOLDS, Providence Journal

I go back and forth on the role Kevin McHale played in trading Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics.

On the one hand, the Wolves got Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff. Jefferson is averaging 20-10, and Theo's $11.9m contract comes off the books at the end of the year. The Los Angeles Lakers were supposedly in the running to get Garnett, but couldn't pony up similar assets. Center Andrew Bynum wasn't averaging 20-10 for the Lakers before he got injured, the Lakers didn't have $12m in expiring contracts to shed, and the Wolves were unwilling to take on Lamar Odom's onerous contract, as McHale isn't a fan. McHale also received two first round picks from Boston, including the Wolves own first round pick, traded to Boston earlier in 2007.

On the other hand, the deal has been an unabashed success for the Celtics and the total opposite for the Wolves. Kevin Garnett is arguably the most valuable player in basketball, while the Celtics have won as many games as the Wolves have lost. Most suspiciously, McHale, a former Celtic, has made clear several times in the past that he would never take any action to improve the Lakers. McHale remains a fan favorite in Boston, and this deal only cements his place in Celtic lore.


Pacers Pass on Bird, Take Robey Instead

June 10, 1978
The rich, in this case the Portland Trail Blazers, got richer in yesterday's National Basketball Association draft.

Portland, the 1977 NBA champion and possessor of the league's best won-lost record last season despite losing center Bill Walton to injury late in the season, started the draft by selecting Minnesota's Mychal Thompson, a 6-foot-10 forward-center.

Portland had gotten first choice in the draft by sending guard John Davis and its first round pick, third overall, to Indiana.


Pacers Hope Bird Forgoes Senior Year

April 14, 1978

The Kansas CIty Kings Have lost another coin toss for first dibs in the NBA draft, this time to the Indiana Pacers - who'd like a Bird to trump the Kings' Birdsong.

Oh what a tangled web they weave. The New Jersey Nets should have lead-off selection by virture of the leadge's worst record - but long ago traded the right to K.C. Meanwhile the Kings' own first pick had been swapped to Golden State. Okay. Indiana tied the Kings for last in the Western Conference (31-51), giving it equal priority to K.C. 's "earned" spot - and won a draw with the Warriors, since they owned same. The left Pacers and Kings facing off by conference call, and the toss in New York GHQ came up tails for Indiana.

The pacers would like to telepathize 6-9 Indiana State forward Larry Bird into forgoing his senior year - as U. of San Francisco's 6-6 1/2 Winford Boynes will - and hope if he does, he has a better rookie season than last years' No. 1 from the same state, the Bucks' Kent Benson.

The Kings followed in '77 by taking Otis Birdsong who has come through nicely - and, of course, the Bucks covered their tracks in a hurry with the very next selection in the one (via an old trade): marques Johnson.

This year Pacers and Kings agree it doesn't much difference. Jerry Oliver, Indiana assistance coach: "There's really no No. 1 player graduating everbody wants. We might consider a player and trade. We have all kinds of options." Joe Axelson, Kansas City general manager: "There's no turnaround player out there. There are two players to choose from Phil Ford and MYchai Thompson). There are also a couple of underclassmen who would really excite us if they came out" . . .


Auerbach Dreaming of Bird, Maravich Combo

January 5, 1979
Picture the Boston Celtics with Pete Maravich at guard and Larry Bird at forward. Picture the Celts rising from the ashes next year. Bet your boots boss Red Auerbach is thinking along those lines.

Maravich, finally frustrated enough to want out of New Orleans, is on the NBA trade block. Eight clubs are in the bidding, and the Celts -- whose Jo Jo White has been bucking to be traded for some time -- are in the forefront. The Maravich deal could break any day now, letting the Jazz unload the knee-braced ace and the 3 1/2 years left on his big, big contract while maybe even getting N'Orleans forward Truck Robinson out of the mood to be traded, too, as he has wished aloud in the past because of the club's "special treatment" of Maravich.

Celtic owner John Y. Brown qualifies: "I'm aware that Red has always been fond of him, but I'm also aware of Maravich's contract." Meanwhile, Auerbach finds Bird-watching at Indiana State pure pleasure.

The Celts drafted Bird No. 1 last year as a junior and are enjoying a winter of anticipation, avowedly not unhappy that the 6-foot-7 All-America opted to play his senior year at Indiana State before going pro. The NCAA Division I statistics just out show Bird the only player among the top five in both scoring and rebounding -- No. 1 in scoring, 33.3; No. 4 in 'bounding, 14.6; but that's not all. Auerbach beams, after a visit to Terre Haute to watch Bird against Tulsa (27 points, 19 rebounds, six assists): "I don't think there is any forward in the pros now who can pass any better than he can. In fact, he's the best passing big man I ever saw."


Schintzius Nearing End

Schintzius Nearing End

February 2, 1999

Center Dwayne Schintzius had his nose broken in practice Saturday by an errant elbow.

Maybe that knocked some sense into him.

Schintzius, the former University of Florida bad boy, is getting what is likely his last chance to salvage an NBA career that has been marked by plenty of laughs but vast underachievement.

The Boston Celtics, desperate to find a center, signed Schintzius to a one-year deal, hoping he finally has decided to get serious about basketball.


Dwayne Schintzius: From Prep Phenom to Enigma

Dwayne Schintzius: From Prep Phenom to Enigma

March 23, 1999

Tampa Prep's Casey Sanders will join an elite group when he steps onto the court Wednesday for the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game in Ames, Iowa.

Magic Johnson.

Michael Jordan.

Grant Hill.

Dwayne Schintzius?


Schintzius Falls to 24th in Draft


Schintzius Falls to 24th in Draft

June 28, 1990

 Former University of Florida star Dwayne Schintzius, at one time considered the most promising big man in the 1990 NBA draft, had to wait almost until the end of the first round Wednesday night before he was chosen.


Schintzius Survives Pitino's Camp . . . Barely

Schintzius Survives Pitino's Camp . . . Barely

January 25, 1999

Rick Pitino said he didn't think anyone would need to go the intravenous route during this training camp. He was wrong.

He said Dwayne Schintzius was a long-term project. He was right.

Schintzius was able to go through the Celtic paces yesterday at the FleetCenter after being forced to miss Saturday night's session in New Hampshire with what Pitino said was "a body that's sore in every single place."

The operative term for the 7-foot-3 center yesterday was survival.


Kings Pass on Schintzius Year after Drafting Pervis

Kings Pass on Schintzius Year after Drafting Pervis

April 12, 1990

It seems that it is the bad teams that must always make the difficult decisions. A lot of times they make the wrong one, which is why a lot of bad teams remain bad. A reference to the Nets would be appropriate at this point. And don't forget those Clippers, who sometimes make good decisions and are still bad.


Pervis Ellison: Gym Rat?

November 25, 1997
There's a revealing sign above the entrance to Whelan's Strength Training in Washington, D.C.: "If you train here, you are not normal."

Call up the office and you hear an ominous message about commando-tough training, high-intensity stuff clearly not for the faint of heart or, for that matter, for the non-zealot.


Pervis Ellison Alive and Well

November 22, 1997
They are mechanics in basketball shorts. They are the ones who make sure the expensive machinery is running properly. They tweak and plug and shine, making good things very good. It's subtle stuff, but very necessary.


C's May Ink Ellison

C's May Ink Ellison

July 28, 1994

M.L. Carr already has impressed Pervis Ellison with his best sales pitch.

Yesterday, the Celtics' director of basketball operations also gained significant ground with the 6-foot-10 former Bullet's agent, Bill Strickland, moving both sides closer to what may be an imminent agreement.


Ellison Signs Six-Year Deal


August 2, 1994
Sometimes when nothing is working, the best thing to do is move somewhere new and start fresh.

At least that was Pervis Ellison's thinking yesterday when he signed a six-year, $ 11.5 million contract with the Boston Celtics. Ellison, who spent four years with the Washington Bullets before they made him an unrestricted free agent this summer, has been plagued by injuries and unfulfilled expectations. He is hoping that with some new luck -- and new teammates Dominique Wilkins and Blue Edwards -- the result will be more than a change of zip code. 


Pervis back in Service?

October 6, 1997
Pervis Ellison's fractured big toe seems fine now after a marble table top fell on it. The ankle, foot and knees are also in good shape following surgery.

Once, he was the top pick in the NBA draft, an athletic scorer, rebounder and shot blocker of great potential. 

Injuries kept him from fulfilling that. But with the Boston Celtics embarking on a new era - the Rick Pitino era - Ellison is ready for a new start in his third season with the team.

"Out-of-Service Pervis" is back at work.


Jackie Mac Talks Pervis

August 28, 1994
There are certain givens in the world of sports. Dominique Wilkins, for instance, will give you 20 points (and often 20 shots) a night. Dee Brown will steal the ball more times than any other Celtic. Sherm Douglas will lead the team in assists.

None of those players will be the X factor that determines Boston's level of success this season. That falls in the lap of Pervis Ellison.

The reason is simple. The Celtics have no way of knowing what they will get from the veteran big man, who has battled injuries and a reputation for being soft. 


Pervis may Hang 'Em Up

March 24, 1998
Bill Strickland, the agent who represents Pervis Ellison, will be in Boston this weekend. He will have a meeting with Celtics general manager Chris Wallace. The men will talk about many things, but Strickland will try to emphasize one point: He doesn't believe his client should retire.

"I agree that Pervis needs to practice and be in shape to contribute, but he's not even remotely interested in retiring," Strickland said yesterday. "We're going to meet and talk about our differences, which I believe are minor. But they can't force him to retire and he is not interested in retiring. It's my job to advise him on such things and I personally will not recommend that he do that." 

Apparently there was a conversation between Celtics coach Rick Pitino and Ellisonlast week which led to talk that Ellison retire. On Thursday, Pitino said he only mentioned that possibility to Ellison, a 6-foot-10-inch center who will be 31 in two weeks. Pitino said he was satisfied when he heard that Ellison's heart was still in basketball. But the coach has not been pleased with Ellison's recent conditioning and believes he is not in shape. According to sources, the center was recently fined over his conditioning routine. And if he did leave the Celtics, more than $ 5 million would be cleared from their salary cap.

"The timing of all this was not the greatest," Strickland said. "It was a shot in the dark. I would think that this is something the Celtics would be talking about at the end of the season, not in the middle of a playoff race. And I still think there are some teams that could use Pervis. If you use him in spots, he can be very effective.

"I'm hoping that with this weekend's discussions we can resolve this. I think we can. I don't have alarms going off right now or anything."


Mark Blount: NBA's Most Improved?

March 24, 2004
Celtics interim coach John Carroll was carrying around his Mark Blount file. He wanted everyone to know that in the past five games, Blount had shot (.744) from the field and averaged 11.4 points and 16.6 rebounds, and should be considered for the league's Most Improved Player.


Let's be Blount: Mark's been Struggling

January 22, 2005
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Yesterday morning, it went Mark to Mark. The Celtics' Mark Blount and his agent, Mark Bartlestein, chatted and the topic wasn't places to dine in Atlanta or the line in the AFC Championship game.

It was about Blount's uneven play of late, lowlighted by a 0-point, 0-rebound performance in 22 minutes Wednesday night.

"He's just going through a little bit of a tough stretch," Bartlestein reported via phone from his Chicago office. "He got comfortable last year and there have been a lot of changes this year. He's determined to fight his way through it."

Did Blount have any regrets re-signing with Boston?

"No. No regrets," said Bartlestein. "That is all wasted thinking."

Said Blount, "I thought they paid me to play."

Blount, who scored 9 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Celtics' 104-98 loss to the Nets last night, said he's taking things "day by day" and said he was concerned about his game. "It can't be just one thing. "It has to be a combination of things."

Bartlestein was asked if Blount might be pressing because of the contract (six years, $38 million) he signed over the summer. "Mark does have a lot of pride and he puts a lot of pressure on himself," he said. "So much at this stage is all confidence. If you've lost it, you can't just flip a switch and get it back. His confidence level is not where he wants it to be."

One guy who professes not to be overly concerned with Blount's play is Danny Ainge, the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations.

"I think Mark is more disappointed with himself than anyone else is," Ainge said. "I think his confidence is down a little bit. I think he can do better and I think he will do better."

Ainge also dismissed Blount's pitiful individual numbers from the Bulls game Wednesday.

"He was on the court for the last 8 1/2 minutes when we played our best defense and held them to one basket," Ainge said. "That's what's important to me."

Follow by Email