CHICAGO - Bennie the Bull literally took a shot at Kevin Garnett and James Posey last night.
During the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 106-92 win over the Bulls at the United Center, the Chicago mascot shot T-shirts out of a T-shirt gun that hit them in the back. The incident happened when Garnett and Posey were walking to the bench during a timeout with 2:49 remaining. Garnett and Posey gave Bennie the Bull a glare, and, said Garnett, "We exchanged words."
Garnett was sent back to the bench by the referees after trying to explain what happened.
"I felt threatened," said Posey, who is considered a villain among Bulls fans for his tough fouls when he played for Miami, and was booed every time he touched the ball last night. "They already don't like me here already.
"Two T-shirts were thrown at me and KG. I don't feel safe. The T-shirts were fired out of that gun or whatever.
"I feel a little sore in one spot. I might have to get treatment.
"First, I thought it was a teammate just tapping me. But then I looked down and there were T-shirts and there were only two down there. Let's see how the league handles this."
Bennie the Bull was not available for comment.
Rivers earns monthly awardThe NBA rewarded Doc Rivers with monthly coaching honors for the second time this season. Time will tell whether a Coach of the Year honor is coming his way, too.
Rivers yesterday was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March, having guided the Celtics to an NBA-best 13-3 record, including the franchise's first road sweep of the Texas Triangle (San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas) since 1987. The Celtics picked up nine wins in the month against teams that are currently playoff-bound.
Rivers also received the award for November.
"I feel the same way I felt when I got the other one," Rivers said. "I thank Kevin, Paul [ Pierce], Rajon [Rondo], Perk [Kendrick Perkins], and all of them. That's about it."
With the league's best record in hand, Rivers is a solid Coach of the Year candidate. His competition for the Red Auerbach Trophy likely will include New Orleans's Byron Scott, the Lakers' Phil Jackson, and Houston's Rick Adelman.
"If there is an award here, I hope it's with one of my players," Rivers said. "Other than that, there is only one award that we want and that's at the end of the year."
Garnett is a candidate for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. Pierce is a dark-horse MVP candidate. Second-year point guard Rondo is a candidate for Most Improved Player.
Rivers believes the Celtics' dominance may hurt Garnett or Pierce's chances for the MVP Award. Sam Cassell suggested they are canceling each other out for MVP because they are on the same team.
"The MVP race, unfortunately, is a numbers-oriented race," Rivers said. "I think what people don't take into account about Kevin and Paul is - and I don't know how many games it is - but I think it's over 20 games we've won by plus-20 points. There are a lot of games where Kevin and Paul aren't even playing in the fourth quarter.
"Their numbers are literally affected by that. The great part about those two is they could care less. They could care less about the MVP thing. They could care less about the talk. All they want to do is win as a group, and to me that is what an MVP should be."
A Sutton supporterCeltics guard Tony Allen was shocked to learn yesterday that Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton had resigned, two weeks after the Cowboys finished with a 17-16 record. Sutton, who was two years into a five-year contract, was an assistant coach under his father, Eddie Sutton, when Allen played for Oklahoma State from 2002-04. "Anywhere he goes, I'm still supporting him and I'm helping him with his recruiting," Allen said. "That's my man. I'm real surprised. He didn't even get a fair chance. All the players that came to the program were off Eddie Sutton. At least they should have given him three years to even see. They didn't even give him a chance to progress."
No style points for DavisGlen Davis is now sporting a Mohawk. No, there was no rookie hazing involved. "Big Baby" said he has wanted one for a while and had his hair cut Monday. Asked what his teammates thought, Davis said, "They said it's horrible." Rivers joked, "I don't think you have to make Baby do things to draw attention to [himself]. He'll draw attention on his own." . . . Posey clarified that his recently born daughter was not a whopping 28 inches long, as reported, but 20 1/4 inches long . . . Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau has been rumored as a candidate for the Bulls' coaching job. "I don't get into that," said Rivers. "It's the middle of the season. I'm not commenting or talking about that. I want [all my assistants] to get [head] jobs. And they all deserve them. But that's all I'm going to say on that."
Marc J. Spears can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org