|Kevin Garnett is the first Celtic since Larry Bird in '88 to make the squad. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)|
Kevin Garnett was named to the All-NBA first team yesterday, the first Celtic to be so honored since Larry Bird in 1988.
"I know this sounds kind of boring or whatever, but with the guys, the system, and the coaching staff, you're really put in a position to succeed," said Garnett, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds last night.
"I'm thankful and more than grateful for the team that we have."
The All-NBA teams were chosen by a panel of 127 sportswriters and broadcasters with points awarded on a 5 (first team), 3 (second team), and 1 (third team) basis. Garnett received 118 first-team votes. Teammate Paul Pierce was named to the third team.
"It's great, it really is," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "They both deserve it. Our record speaks for itself, and clearly they were a part of it.
"It's obviously not what I'm focused on, but it's a great honor. They both deserve it."
Garnett, who averaged 18.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game during the regular season, earned his fourth first-team selection. He also was recently named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Garnett on the first team were Cleveland forward LeBron James, Orlando center Dwight Howard, New Orleans guard Chris Paul, and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
"To be one of the top five players is a super honor," said Pierce of Garnett. "He's arguably, probably, the best player in the world. My hat goes off to him with what he's accomplished not only this year but in his career. I expect him to make many more first teams before he's done."
Pierce averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in the regular season. It was his third time being selected to the All-NBA third team.
"It's great when you get a chance to be honored among the top 15 guys in all of basketball," said Pierce. "It's a great award. There are 300 players in the NBA. To be chosen one of the top is an honor."
So long, HoyasGeorgetown University announced Wednesday that Jeremiah Rivers, son of Doc, has decided to transfer. The elder Rivers said his son, a guard who just completed his sophomore season, is considering four to five schools.
Rivers averaged 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1 assist in 18.6 minutes for the Hoyas last season.
"It's something he wanted to do," said Doc Rivers. "I loved where he was at. He wants to be happy in a different system. He loved Coach [John ] Thompson. I love Coach Thompson. It was a tough one.
"I didn't try [to change his mind] because if I did and it didn't work out then it's Dad's fault. I did try to show him where he was at as far as school. He was playing a lot and had a great chance to start the following year.
"Kids, sometimes they want to do things and you just support him. That's what you do as a parent."
Hard penaltyGuard Rajon Rondo was surprised when he learned Wednesday that Hawks forward Marvin Williams was suspended one game without pay for a flagrant-2 foul on Rondo in Game 7 of their first-round series last Sunday. Williams will serve his suspension at the beginning of next season.
"Marvin is a good guy," Rondo said, "but the league is going to make a decision on what they think is best."
Said Rivers, "When you foul hard in our league, you're going to get suspended."