Courtside chatter

A Star turn looming for Boston?

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / June 11, 2008

LOS ANGELES - The Celtics have the paperwork in hand to apply to host an NBA All-Star Game as early as 2010. While they are obviously busy with the NBA Finals now, they will make a decision on whether to apply after the championship series ends. The paperwork must be filed by the end of the summer.

"They've expressed interest," said Ski Austin, executive vice president/events and attractions for NBA Entertainment. "[Celtics president] Rich Gotham has met with us a couple of times over the last few years. We have sent them the specs for a formal bid. I think they are doing their due diligence."

The Celtics have no particular year in mind, but the NBA is currently considering sites for 2010-12.

"We are a bit preoccupied right now," Gotham said. "We haven't talked about it recently. It's a great event. We'll talk about it when we have some time during the offseason."

One thing that could aid their All-Star bid is hosting the Finals this year - the NBA has become very familiar with the Garden, Boston officials, and other venues that could play a role in an All-Star Weekend.

"Our experience in working with the NBA on such a huge event as the Finals would help with the All-Star Game," said Gotham. "We have an idea on the scale of it, the global media. And the NBA has experience with us from working the Finals."

Said Austin, "The big-event layout is very similar, so that helps a lot."

Picking a Rose

University of Memphis point guard Derrick Rose is expected to spend two days with the Bulls for a workout and interview next week, according to Wasserman Media Group vice president of basketball B.J. Armstrong, the ex-Bulls star.

While many expect the Chicago native to be taken by the Bulls with the top pick in this year's draft, Rose is also expected to visit the Miami Heat, who have the second pick.

Armstrong acknowledged the Bulls have made no commitment to Rose.

"They have to see all the kids," he said. "They have players to see, trade options. We just want them to see who this kid is, do their due diligence."

Armstrong said Rose spent six weeks in Los Angeles working out after finishing up at Memphis. He went to the predraft camp in Orlando for interviews and a physical and is currently in Chicago.

"He's just working out," Armstrong said. "He went home for a couple of days and will be back in LA."

Thrown off by Bulls

After taking a strong look at veterans such as Mike D'Antoni, Doug Collins, and Rick Carlisle, the Bulls decided on Suns assistant GM Vinny Del Negro, who has no coaching experience, as their new head coach - a shocking development around the NBA. The Bulls are expected to announce the hiring in Chicago today. What makes it so surprising is that the Bulls are coming off a season in which they were arguably the most disappointing team in the league and have the top draft pick. And there were other veterans such as Avery Johnson and Flip Saunders available. With all due respect to ex-Celtic Sam Vincent, one Bobcats player said last season that you can't have an inexperienced coach trying to learn alongside a young team that's also trying to learn. Vincent was fired after one season with Charlotte. It will be interesting to see how long Del Negro lasts, though he does have one big fan in Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. "I've spent a lot of time with him and I think he has some star characteristics," Ainge said. "I'm not surprised that both [the Bulls and Suns] talked to him and found him very attractive."

Men at work

The Celtics, who have the 30th and 60th picks in the draft, worked out prospects at Santa Monica High School yesterday. Ainge said he wasn't certain whether he would hold another workout in Los Angeles . . . The Lakers, who have only the 58th pick, have been working out players at their training facility in nearby El Segundo . . . The Los Angeles Clippers, meanwhile, are working out some quality prospects at the Spectrum Club in El Segundo. The Clippers have the seventh and 35th picks in the draft. Yesterday, they worked out LSU forward Anthony Randolph, Arizona guard Chase Budinger, UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, Oregon guard Malik Hairston, Mississippi State guard Jamont Gordon, and New Mexico State swingman Justin Hawkins. Today, the Clippers are scheduled to work out Texas point guard D.J. Augustin, Nevada center JaVale McGee, Kentucky shooting guard Joe Crawford, NBDL Idaho guard Mike Taylor, and Utah State guard J.C. Carroll.

Running in place

Celtics center Scot Pollard, who has had surgery on both ankles, said he did conditioning on an elliptical machine yesterday and hopes to be jogging on a treadmill in two weeks.

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