Boston Celtics sign Blake Griffin

The Boston Celtics have signed forward Blake Griffin.

Griffin’s Celtics contract is reportedly a one-year deal for the league minimum.

Per the Boston Globe, “Griffin, 33, is no longer the explosive athlete who won the 2011 slam dunk championship, and he is a defensive liability. But he has adjusted his game over the years and become a capable 3-point shooter, despite hitting just 26.2 percent of his tries last year, when he averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Nets.”

Griffin, a 6’9” forward, appeared in 56 games (24 starts) where he averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 17.1 minutes per game for Brooklyn last season. The six-time All-Star has appeared in 724 career games split between the LA Clippers, Detroit Pistons, and Brooklyn Nets and is one of nine current players in the NBA to average at least 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists per game for their career. The 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year has also made the NBA Playoffs in nine of his 14 seasons.

More from the Globe: “Griffin was one of the more intriguing veteran free agents on the market, partly because of his glorious past. After missing his rookie season with a broken left kneecap, Griffin earned All-Star honors for five consecutive seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. He was a one-man highlight reel, using his strength and jumping ability to victimize plenty of big men on dunks.”

Celtics add Noah Vonleh, Justin Jackson, Jake Layman, Denzel Valentine, Luka Samanic and Brodric Thomas to training camp

The Boston Celtics have finalized their training camp roster for the 2022-23 season by adding Justin Jackson, Jake Layman, Luka Samanic, Brodric Thomas, Denzel Valentine and Noah Vonleh to the roster.

Jackson (6-8, 220), 27, has averaged 6.5 points (42.6% FG, 32.1% 3-PT, 79.9% FT), 2.5 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 255 career games (61 starts) over five NBA seasons. He spent the 2021-22 season with two NBA call-ups to Boston and to Phoenix while playing for the Texas Legends of the NBA G-League where he averaged 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.33 steals while shooting 37.7 percent from three in 38 games.

Layman (6-8, 209), 28, has played in six NBA seasons split between Portland and Minnesota where he has appeared in 243 career games with averages of 4.8 points (46.0% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 71.9% FT) and 1.7 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. The Norwood, MA native was originally selected by the Orlando Magic with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA draft.

Samanic (6-10, 215), 22, spent last season playing for the Westchester Knicks in the NBA G-League where he averaged 27.9 points (54.8% FG, 36.7% 3-PT, 87.0% FT), 10.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.3 minutes per game. The 19th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by San Antonio has appeared in 36 career games in the NBA in San Antonio with career averages of 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Thomas (6-5, 185), 25, spent last season as one of the Celtics’ two-way players where he averaged 15.7 points (45.7% FG, 38.7% 3-PT, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.72 steals in 30.6 minutes per game for the Maine Celtics. Thomas also appeared in 12 games for the Celtics last season.

Valentine (6-4, 220), 28, has appeared in 256 career games in the NBA averaging 7.0 points (39.4% FG, 36.0% 3-PT, 78.7% FT), 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.8 minutes per game. The former 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by Chicago spent last season split between Cleveland and Utah in the NBA while also spending time with the Maine Celtics in the NBA G-League. While in Maine, Valentine averaged 14.6 points (44.0% FG, 35.2% 3-PT, 78.6% FT), 10.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games.

Vonleh (6-10, 257), 27, played last season for the Shanghai Dongfang Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 14.4 points (45.1% FG, 38.8% 3-PT, 71.6% FT), 9.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.75 steals and 1.32 blocks per game in 28 appearances. The former ninth overall pick by Charlotte in 2014 was born in Salem, MA and has appeared in 339 career NBA games split between Charlotte, Portland, New York, Minnesota, Chicago, Denver and Brooklyn.

Boston opens preseason action against the Hornets at TD Garden on Oct. 2, its first of four preseason contests.

Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari undergoes major knee surgery

Boston Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari has undergone left knee revision ACL repair.

The surgery was performed by Celtics Team Physician Dr. Tony Schena at New England Baptist Hospital. Dr. Schena was assisted by Dr. Paul Weitzel, with Dr. Brian Cole also consulting on the case.

Per the Boston Globe, “Gallinari tore the same ligament in 2013. The Celtics didn’t provide a timeline for his return. But such injuries typically involve a recovery process of up to a year, meaning it would be unlikely for the veteran to play this season.”

Celtics suspend head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season

The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for violations of team policies.

The suspension takes effect immediately.

The team says that a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.

Via Boston.com:

Per reports, Udoka was suspended for having an “intimate, consensual” relationship with a Celtics staffer. He reportedly does not intend to resign as he awaits the Celtics’ decision on his future status.

In his first season as Celtics coach, Udoka helped the team turn what started as a disappointing season into its most successful run since 2010. The Celtics were the hottest team in basketball over the second half of last season and made a run to the NBA Finals, where they were eliminated by the Warriors in six games.

Celtics add Bill Russell’s jersey No. 6 to home court

The Boston Celtics, as well as the entire NBA, will honor the life and legacy of Hall of Famer Bill Russell, who recently passed away, through a variety of celebrations this year.

As a part of the tributes, the Celtics have unveiled a new home parquet court ahead of the NBA 2022-23 season that includes Russell’s jersey number 6 in both lanes.

This is the first time numerical text will be displayed within that area on an NBA court.

Previously announced by the league, every other NBA court around the league will display a number 6 decal on the sideline near the scorer’s table.

Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari injured, suffers torn ACL in left knee

Boston Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee.

Gallinari sustained the injury while playing for his home nation of Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier against Georgia on August 27.

And via Boston.com:

The Celtics agreed to a two-year deal with Gallinari in July, hoping that the 6-foot-10 veteran could add some shooting and offensive depth. In his 14 NBA seasons, Gallinari has averaged 38.2 percent shooting from 3-point range.

This also isn’t the first time that Gallinari has torn his left ACL, having originally done so in April of 2013. Then a member of the Denver Nuggets, the injury required multiple surgeries and kept him from making his return until the 2014-2015 season.

Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey to be retired throughout the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that they will honor the life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell by permanently retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league. The iconic Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA.

“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”

“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play the game,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “Bill’s actions on and off the court throughout the course of his life helped to shape generations of players for the better and for that, we are forever grateful. We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

In addition to retiring Russell’s number, the NBA will pay tribute to the Boston Celtics’ legend throughout the 2022-23 season. All NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table. The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon.

Russell’s jersey number, which he wore for his entire 13-season career from 1956-69, will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player. Players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered.

Regarded as the ultimate winner and model teammate, Russell transformed the game with his dominant defense and graceful athleticism at the center position. He won a record 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, which followed back-to-back national championships at the University of San Francisco (1955 and 1956) and a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (1956). Russell, who led Boston to eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959-66, was so synonymous with success that the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award was named for him in 2009.

His myriad accomplishments included five NBA Most Valuable Player awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections and 11 All-NBA Team honors. Russell was named to all four NBA anniversary teams (25th, 35th, 50th and 75th) and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975. A four-time NBA rebounding champion, he ranks second in league history in total rebounds (21,620) and rebounds per game (22.5) in the regular season. The Celtics retired his No. 6 jersey in 1972.

Russell’s impact on the NBA extended far beyond his playing achievements. In 1966, he was hired by the Celtics as the first Black head coach in the history of the NBA and major U.S. professional sports. As a player-head coach, he guided Boston to back-to-back NBA championships in 1968 and 1969.

During and after his extraordinary basketball career, Russell passionately advocated for the values of equality, respect and inclusion. He marched for civil rights with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and was steadfast in his belief that all people should be treated with dignity. Russell was awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his athletic feats and lifelong commitment to social justice.

2022-23 Celtics preseason game schedule

The Boston Celtics will open preseason action at TD Garden against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, October 2, as part of the team’s four-game exhibition slate for the 2022-23 NBA season, the team announced today.

Boston’s preseason schedule continues at TD Garden when the Celtics face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, October 5.

The Celtics will then travel to North Carolina’s Greensboro Coliseum for the team’s second matchup with the Hornets (Friday, October 7), before concluding the preseason in Montreal against the Raptors as part of the NBA’s Canada Series (Friday, October 14).

NBA legend Bill Russell passes away at age 88

BOSTON CELTICS TEAM STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BILL RUSSELL

To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was.

Bill was a champion unlike any other in the history of team sports – an 11-time NBA champion, including winning eight consecutive titles, a five-time MVP, an Olympic Gold Medalist and the NBA’s first Black head coach.

Bill Russell‘s DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of team rewards over individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights off the court.

Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn his passing and celebrate his enormous legacy in basketball, Boston, and beyond.

STATEMENT FROM WYC GROUSBECK, STEVE PAGLIUCA AND THE BOSTON CELTICS OWNERSHIP GROUP

Bill embodied character and commitment and he was truly one of the finest people to ever live. He will be remembered forever and deservedly so.

STATEMENT FROM NBA COMMISSIONER ADAM SILVER

“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – only begin to tell the story of Bill’s immense impact on our league and broader society.

“Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

“For nearly 35 years since Bill completed his trailblazing career as the league’s first Black head coach, we were fortunate to see him at every major NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP.

“I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Jeannine, his family and his many friends.”

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Per ESPN.com, “a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star, Russell was an uncanny shot blocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. He finished with 21,620 career rebounds — an average of 22.5 per game — and led the league in rebounding four times. He had 51 rebounds in one game and 49 in two others and posted 12 straight seasons with 1,000 or more rebounds. Russell also averaged 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game over his career.”