His 15-Game, 91-Minute Career is Over

January 26, 1999

His 15-Game, 91-Minute Career is Over

   WALTHAM - The X Factor is now an ex-Celtic. Officially.

Dontae Jones, whose Celtic career lasted 15 games and 91 minutes, finally was released yesterday. The 6-foot-8-inch swingman was labeled by Pitino as the "X factor" in last season's multiplayer trade with the Knicks. But two things worked against Jones: The Celtics had plenty of players at his position and the team was not wild about his approach to practice.

What will Jones do now? Well, even the Celtics don't doubt his ability to score. And he is still young enough (23) to hook on with another team. The only issue is whether Jones is willing to go to the CBA before making a return to the NBA.

He may not want to do that immediately, since finances are not an issue. He may be unemployed, but the Celtics still owe him the salary remaining on the last year of his contract, which is worth nearly $900,000. That figure will be prorated over 50 games.

A 'sellout,' sort of

One of the most popular questions during the lockout was, "Who cares about the NBA?" This morning's answer to that is, "Somebody near you." That was obvious yesterday when the Celtics announced that there are no tickets remaining for Friday's exhibition game against the Raptors at the FleetCenter. Of course, it helps that the tickets were free. But all the freebies are gone . . . The Celtics are dealing with a few injuries. The most serious ones belong to Bruce Bowen and Greg Minor. Bowen injured his left wrist and could miss two weeks. That would mean the guard/forward would miss the season opener. Minor has bone spurs in his left ankle, a condition that could require surgery for the 6-6 guard. Neither player will dress for tonight's exhibition game in Toronto . . . Pervis Ellison update: According to the Celtics, Ellison has had his right ankle reconstructed and is certainly out for the year . . . Andy Enfield, the Celtics' new shooting coach, is tinkering with Antoine Walker's routine at the free throw line. "He told me all great free throw shooters have the same routine. He watched some tapes of me from last season and told me I switched up my routine too much," said Walker, who shot 64 percent from the line in 1997-98. The Celtics certainly have the right man teaching Walker. In college at Johns Hopkins (where he was a Division 3 All-American), he once missed only five free throws - out of 436 attempts - in a season.

Speech coaches

Dwayne Schintzius already has established himself as a legitimate All-Interview Team candidate. "He's got a little Jayson Williams in him," Kenny Anderson said. "And some Derrick Coleman. Chris Morris rubbed off on him, too."

Schintzius was told of Anderson's remarks and said, "Don't forget Kenny Anderson. He's got something to do with me, too." The 7-3, 260-pound center said he still has some soreness in his lower body, but it's not of deep concern. He knows why the pain is there. "I was just hanging out in Florida during the lockout," he said. "I didn't think there would be a season this year. I ran a little and lifted weights a little, but not like I should have." . . . Pitino has said that the rest of the team needs to catch up to Dana Barros's conditioning. Which led to the obvious question: What did Barros do during the summer? "Nothing crazy," he said. "I just knew what to expect from Coach. [ In the summer of 1997] , I just ran around on a treadmill. Last summer, I had a program to follow." . . . The Celtics got a good scare/laugh during yesterday's Media Day. There were several lights stationed around their gym for photography purposes. One of the lights fell during a shoot; and it sounded like a gunshot. A few players scattered, but things quickly got back to order.

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