The NBA enforcer was once a staple of the league, regulating, protecting, inciting, and disrupting. But rule changes and evolving playing style pushed the bad boys out of the paint. Here we look back at the history and fading future of the basketball hard man.
What’s the perfect length for the NBA season? Have we underrated Karl-Anthony Towns? And could the NBA lottery really be rigged?Sorry there hasn’t been an NBA mailbag in a few weeks — I’ve been resting myself for the playoffs. Send future questions to email@example.com.
In the spring of 2010, as the Celtics were entering a playoff run that would end in the NBA Finals, a team executive approached coach Doc Rivers about a cutting-edge system they had just acquired, something related to six space-age cameras in TD Garden’s rafters.
When Bob Ryan would begin writing a Celtics game story — a “gamer,” as it’s known in the trade — he’d look for a lede. An insight, a gag, a short scene. Something he could extract from his brain before deadline that would give the reader a proverbial starting point.
He's not talking about the many blessed periods of his life.
If it is any consolation to Billy King, his 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett does not yet rank as the worst Nets trade in the pockmarked history of the franchise. Nor is it the most lucrative heist the storied Celtics have ever pulled.
It’s Big Monday in the Big East and No. 1-ranked Louisville is in town to play the University of Connecticut. The underdog Huskies are energized from the opening tip. The crowd is rocking with the possibility of a major upset while Rick Pitino stomps away furiously on the sidelines.
It's impossible to properly explain what Kevin Garnett meant to the Boston Celtics after his arrival in 2007. His legacy will forever hang above the Garden floor in the form of the 2008 title banner, and his No. 5 jersey will soon find a spot nearby.
After a long summer of topless championship parades, free-agency meetings in the Hamptons, Snapchat mishaps, and gold medals, the NBA is finally, truly, really, almost back. The start of training camp marks the beginning of our NBA Preview. This week is Squad Goals Week.
Reflections on guarding Wilt Chamberlain, coaching LeBron James, and calling Michael Jordan “boss” from the player and coach whose career has spanned six decades There is not much to see on the drive from Charlotte to the western banks of Lake Norman along North Carolina Highway 16.
Most years, we have more time. The NBA Finals end, and then there’s a nice little grace period that allows everyone to get caught up with the biggest stories in the NBA draft. That didn’t happen this year. It feels like the Finals ended five minutes ago, and now the draft is just days away.
Just like Rajon Rondo used to set up the fast break for the Boston Celtics, he is setting up a vacation with his former Celtics teammates from the 2008 NBA championship team to celebrate the nearing of the 10-year anniversary of their title.
Few athletes have left as deep an imprint on their sport as Kevin Garnett has on the NBA. As KG celebrates his 39th birthday, a collection of players, coaches and executives recount what made him such a unique and transformational figure over the last 20 seasons.
The boss of this site calls me Spock sometimes. It’s intended, I hope, as praise for my ability to dispassionately analyze NBA basketball — to search for the root of what happened on the court without being distracted by the emotion of “liking” or “hating” either of the teams involved.
In the hectic chaos of a playoff series in New York, Kevin Garnett revealed his true self. While the rest of the media horde descended upon Shaquille O’Neal for their daily injury update after a morning shootaround, Garnett slipped out the back door.
Welcome to King of the Court, our daily celebration of the best performances in basketball from the night that was. We’ll be keeping track of the best player of every night of the NBA season, and tallying the results as we go along.
Want to know why there were no major deals? Look no further than LeBron and the WarriorsThe Dictionary of Modern Strategy and Tactics defines deterrence as: “The prevention or inhibition of action brought about by fear of the consequences.
If you missed Part 1 of my annual NBA Summer Movement review, in which I handed out Midnight Run quotes as awards for July’s winners and losers, click here. Before we get to Part 2, I want to make five more points about one of my favorite movies ever. 1.
The Celtics beat the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in what was one of their most convincing wins of the season. After starting the game with a flurry of turnovers, Rajon Rondo had 13 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds.
From his daughter's passion for the Cup-less Kings to his own for the aged Celtics, Bill Simmons gets a refresher course in disappointment My daughter was crying. We were waiting for a green light on Olympic Boulevard, returning home from a Stanley Cup celebration that never happened.
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Tuesday morning that Kevin Love underwent arthroscopic surgery and will miss six weeks. That means he will miss the All-Star Game, most of March, and in the event of a setback, the run-up to the playoffs.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Jae Crowder was certain the Boston Celtics had landed their first free-agent prize in nearly two decades, and teammate Isaiah Thomas wasn't arguing with him.
The Boston Celtics stood pat again. This is the third straight major NBA trading event during which the Celtics have opted out and kept their powder dry. There is evidence that general manager Danny Ainge tried quite hard to acquire Jimmy Butler or Paul George in the final week before the deadline.
CHICAGO — After dealing a former most valuable player, letting a fiery, ex-defensive player of the year walk in free agency and signing a future, yet aging Hall of Famer, the Bulls were bound to change. We just didn’t know whether it’d be for better or for worse.
For the past few years the Celtics have been playing it both ways. Some NBA teams bide their time and build for the future, others scramble to compete in the present, but Boston is the rare team that has juggled both. The Nets picks are a cheat code.
The days leading up to the NBA All-Star break can have a bit of a senioritis feel. Guys are eyeing those plane tickets, making plans to go to New Orleans, Hawaii (sorry, DeAndre), and Cabo. Who knows, maybe there’s a lovely little B&B in Vermont with Jonas Jerebko’s name on it.
But first, it’s a Grantland Basketball Hour alert! On the heels of last night’s “Hardcore Playoff Preview” with me, Jalen Rose and Zach Lowe …
The 2017 NBA trade deadline is a reminder of a universal truth: Assets can depreciate. Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has assembled the NBA’s most expansive collection of assets, including Brooklyn’s unprotected first round picks in the 2017 and 2018 drafts.
Steve Kerr's answer, of course, was "yes." There was no pause to consider how adding Kevin Durant to a 73-win team would affect chemistry. No worry that the four-time NBA scoring champion might disrupt the delicate ecosystem he'd created. Kerr needed no convincing.
Just like Bill Russell before him, David Ortiz and his larger-than-life persona have written his name in permanent ink in the Boston history books Tomorrow afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts, the great Bill Russell finally gets his own statue. Details were scarce until recently.
My argument is as follows. If my daughters take up smoking and find it impossible to quit, there is a fairly high chance of a fairly bad outcome. They may die early and very unpleasantly. Perhaps at 58 rather than 85 years old.
As it turns out, the way you stop Allen Iverson is with cheap domestic beer and a good divorce lawyer. Journalist Kent Babb published a biography of the former superstar this week (I recommend it), and there are stories in it about Iverson being, at times, a complete shitbag. To wit:
I am not a huge fan of athlete-designed or endorsed foods and diets, mainly because I am not an athlete, but I also hate the joyless, clinical approach so many of these “diets” take. (In fact, when Tom Brady released his absurd, overpriced “nutritional manual” last year, I was incensed.
An NBA champion as both a player and a coach, Rick Carlisle knows a thing or two about getting to the NBA Finals. So the praise that he heaped on the Boston Celtics following their victory over Carlisle's Dallas Mavericks on Monday night carried some extra heft.
By necessity, the folks officiating your sports are a relatively anonymous lot. You come to watch a game. They enforce its rules, and given the hell that keyed-up spectators can give an official, the maintenance of a kind of privacy makes sense. Anonymity does have its exceptions. Some are happy.
From the car he phoned his doctor, who advised him to swing by for tests and medicine. The doctor then sent him home to bed. "And then that night my chest was hurting,'' Ainge says. "And I woke up, like 5 in the morning, and man, my chest is still hurting. My left arm feels like there's a numbing.
One of the biggest assets in anyone’s life is a generous network. It is a gift that grows simply by sharing it. Think of it as the Law of Accelerating Returns — the more you share your network, the more people share it in return and the more the rate of sharing accelerates.
AS THE PERSON IN CHARGE of building the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge has proved adept at seeing possibility where others might see a problem. This particular aptitude of the affable Ainge doesn’t apply only to basketball. Sometimes it even applies to, well, lunch.
One of the side effects of the Boston Celtics' inactivity at the trade deadline and Friday's disheartening loss to the beefed-up Toronto Raptors is that there will be increased speculation as to whether Boston should seek additional help by means of the buyout scrap heap.
What would you say if I told you that some of the world's most gifted athletes are heavily addicted to a substance they believe greatly enhances their performance? Not surprised, you say.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis has always had something of a tense relationship with his former coach, Doc Rivers. During an interview with Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard, Davis released some of that tension and took a few shots at Rivers.
Every time the Clippers freeze up at the end of a game, every time rumors leak about internal strife, the specter of their 2015 series against the Rockets raises its head.
NEW ORLEANS — It’s been a trade that has been circulating for the better part of a year now.
NBA front-office executives and owners are often a reserved bunch; and when they aren’t, we sometimes wish they were. Tuesday, the Lakers replaced Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, former Lakers player, coach, and minority owner, longtime tweeter, first-time (player personnel shot) caller.
Going into Boston’s Wednesday clash against the Cavs, members of both teams were insisting it was just another game, and the contest sure lived up to those low expectations.
Kevin Garnett wouldn’t talk to me. That’s how we met. The reason KG wouldn’t talk to me is that I was working on a long feature for Boston magazine that served as both my introduction into the world of Garnett and also an entry point into covering the league.