July 1, 1997
The Rick Pitino
Reign officially begins today. This is the first day the NBA allows
teams to sign free agents and renounce players. And when it comes to
free agents, the Celtics (10 free agents) have plenty of decisions to
the team's president and coach, already has said he will say goodbye to
shooting guard Todd Day. That didn't exactly come as a surprise to
Day's agent, Jerome Stanley. "We haven't talked to Rick," he said
yesterday. Asked if any teams have expressed behind-the-scenes interest
in Day, Stanley replied, "No. Not at all."
agent point guard David Wesley has elicited the opposite response.
Wesley, who averaged 16 points and 7.5 assists last season, is
supposedly coveted by the Hornets. The team recently asked Muggsy Bogues
to retire, a request the 5-foot-3-inch guard didn't appreciate. But
Charlotte's guard pursuit reportedly is a two-man race between Wesley
and Sam Cassell, although Cassell is expected to sign with Orlando.
for the rest of the Celtics? Steve Hamer, Michael Hawkins, Nate
Driggers, Brett Szabo, Alton Lister, and Frank Brickowski probably will
be elsewhere. Pitino
said he would like Rick Fox to return, but the only possible hitch is
length of contract. That leaves one free agent with the best chance of
coming back. He has a quirky shot that Pitino
told him to keep while he was at Providence College in 1987. He was a
fan favorite last year at the FleetCenter. "Probably because fans love
how hard he works," his agent, Keith Glass, said.
The player: Marty Conlon.
"He knows Pitino; Pitino knows him. They feel real comfortable with each other," Glass said.
the 6-foot-10-inch Conlon were to return, it probably would be with a
one-year contract. Between Phoenix and Boston last season, Conlon made
nearly $ 1.5 million, and Glass doesn't want that number to drop. With
the Celtics alone, Conlon made $ 247,500.
don't have to renounce players until they are ready to sign someone
else. The Celtics may not do that today; teams like the Hornets and
Magic just might.
Camp Pitino has home
The Celtics announced yesterday that their training camp will be held
in Newport, R.I. The camp will begin Oct. 3 and conclude Oct. 9. Pitino
had said he wanted to have a camp closer to New England (last year the
team trained in Greensboro, N.C.) so the Celtics would be more
accessible to their fans. The weeklong camp will be held at the Naval
Education and Training Center . . . There was some good news for Dino
Radja last Friday. He and his wife, Zeljana, became parents of their
first child, a boy named Duje . . . One year ago, who would have thought
that Paul Grant would be drafted and not Danya Abrams? In 88 games at
Boston College, the 7-foot Grant averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds.
But he transferred to Wisconsin and developed into a first-round pick
(20th by the Timberwolves). The disclaimer, of course, is that he has at
least six inches on former teammate Abrams. Big men with a semblance of
coordination are rare in the NBA. Grant actually may have a chance to
contribute with the Wolves. Stojko Vrankovic was traded to the Clippers
for Stanley Roberts, who is hurt. And Dean Garrett is a free agent. So
Grant could play.