Tag Archives: Paul Pierce

Catching Up with Danny Lawson of Emmanuel College Men’s Basketball

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Danny Lawson (middle) was recently named earlier this month the third men’s basketball coach at Emmanuel College. (PHOTO CREDIT: David Le ’10/ Endicott College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced earlier this month that Danny Lawson had been named the third head coach of the Emmanuel College men’s basketball team.

Lawson arrives in Boston, Massachusetts after a successful assistant coaching stint last winter with the Endicott College men’s basketball team. He helped coach Kevin Bettencourt and the Gulls to a 19-9 record, as well as a return trip to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship against Nichols College.

No stranger to New England basketball, Lawson played at Lexington High School before continuing his career at nearby Bentley University where he guided the Falcons to an impressive 101-27 record in four years, which included a number one and two national rankings, along with an NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2007) and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance (2005).

Since graduating Bentley, Lawson has enjoyed a great deal of success in the basketball world, working for numerous programs at all three levels in the college world, while assisting the Boston Celtics during their 2008 NBA Championship run.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Lawson to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season with the Emmanuel men’s basketball team.

What interested you in becoming the program’s third head coach? And just to confirm, this is your first-time head coaching position, right?

When the job opened up, I was very excited to apply. Being from the Boston area, I knew a little bit about the history of Emmanuel’s academics and how it is has really exploded as an institution within the last decade. To me, it represented a college with great leadership and continuity. Combined with a tremendous location in the city of Boston – we are next to Fenway Park – I felt it could be a great opportunity for student-athletes academically, athletically and socially. Also, it certainly has always been a goal of mine throughout my coaching career to run my own program.

What did you know prior to accepting to the head coaching position about the Emmanuel men’s basketball program? 

I knew the program was relatively new since the college went co-ed in 2001. The athletic administration structure and support was very evident and crucial for me (throughout the interview process). Also, the program enjoyed success in the early-to-mid 2000s, winning between 17-to-20 games each season. As I prepared for my interviews,  I saw the roster was filled with some talented and young student-athletes, which will be returning this upcoming season. Throughout the interview process I also gained a lot of valuable information about the character of our returning players that are eager to be successful.

You were an integral part of Endicott College’s run to the CCC Championship last winter, so what were some things you learned from that experience, whih will help you in your new role with the Saints? 

I got to work alongside three excellent coaches and close friends in Kevin Bettencourt, Luke Richards and Lance Greene. I have known all three coaches for quite some time – I grew up and played basketball with Kevin, competing on the same AAU team since seventh grade. All three coaches helped me gain an understanding of the D3 landscape, including what it takes to coach at this level to recruiting. I had only coached in Division 1 and 2 levels, so last year’s experience was really instrumental in gaining an understanding of D3 basketball, but also how to be successful at this level, too. The group of players I had a chance to coach at Endicott was a really special group that made my experience at Endicott a lot of fun.

It sounds cliche, but looking back to both your playing career (at Bentley) and other stops, both in college and with the Boston Celtics, who have been some of the coaches and people that have molded you into the coach you are today? 

Like most coaches, I’ve been molded by every coach that I have played and worked for, beginning with my high school coach at Lexington, Bob Farias. Coach Farias had a legendary hall of fame career – he was the best motivator and developer of confidence that I have ever experienced.

Certainly the biggest influence has been my father, Jay Lawson. It is indescribable how much of an impact he has made on my coaching career, specifically in teaching and leading players.

I was fortunate to work for Jim Ferry for seven seasons – he is the former head coach at Duquesne, LIU Brooklyn, Adelphi and Plymouth State. The various opportunities he provided helped me become the coach I am today.

Jack Perri, who I worked with at LIU-Brooklyn – he would eventually become the team’s head coach and lead them to the NCAA Tournament. Jack was one of my assistant coaches when I played at Bentley and is someone I consider a true mentor.

I also spent a great season learning under Steve Evans at LeMoyne College. Steve had a lot of success at LeMoyne from a recruiting and coaching – he is one of the best teachers of the zone defense.

Finally, my season with the Boston Celtics was about as great first basketball coaching experience. Learning and watching from guys like Doc Rivers, Tom Thibodeau, Danny Ainge, Mike Longabardi and Ryan McDonough, as well as the players really helped shape my daily work ethic and approach.

Speaking of the Celtics, you were a member of the team’s 17th championship run, so how much do you think about that experience and being able to celebrate a title with a group that certainly seemed to buy-in from the get-go? 

I was very fortunate to be a part of the Celtics organization during their 17th championship season. To say it was an unbelievable experience would probably be an understatement. One of the biggest things I took away from the experience was how important an unselfish mentality and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the team is to a program’s success. Boston’s big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen only cared about winning. They became totally invested in the team’s success right from the start when the team began its season training in Italy. And they had a great veteran bench presence combined with some young talent, as well. They also had a high level coaching staff and management team, but it all just came together at the right time and at the right point in their careers. It was really special.

Are you a Celtics fan or root for another team? 

Yes, absolutely. I grew up here and have always been a Celtics fan.

What does a new coach need to do to get prepared for a new season with a new program? How will you use the next few weeks and months to make sure the team will be ready to go come mid-October? 

Obviously there are a million things you need to accomplish when you take over a new program, but my focus this summer is all about building relationships, beginning with the current players in our program. Additionally, I look forward to meeting and building relationships on campus with other coaches, administrators, faculty and staff, too. I’m currently working on hiring the rest of our coaching staff for the upcoming season, while building and fostering recruiting relationships, as well. I am also working on completing and finalizing our game and practice schedule, while establishing our program’s identity.

Talk about building relationships with your players – how important is to begin those relationships now? 

It’s huge (and) has definitely been a primary focus for me the last two weeks. I have been able to meet with about half the team in-person, while conversing multiple times by phone or text with others. We need to build that mutual trust and respect on both sides, and then we can get on the court.

 

What is your all-time favorite basketball (or sports) movie?  

“Above the Rim” is definitely my favorite. I like others, as well, including “Blue Chips,” “Hoop Dreams” and more.  “Above The Rim” was ahead of its time with Kyle Lee Watson, Tommy Shepard, Birdie, and a lot of great actors and characters.

Finally, when you were growing up, who was a player or two that you idled? What did you like about their game? 

Like most people my age, I was a big Michael Jordan guy growing up. Also, Larry Bird, too. I loved their skill packages and competitiveness, as well as Bird’s passing ability, too.

Daily Noontime: Monday, May 1st

NBA: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Thomas appeared unstoppable on Sunday, even without a tooth, as the Boston Celtics captured game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: CSNNE.com)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It’s Monday – Monday, May 1st to be exact. And this is the first ‘Daily Noontime’ in say six-years … that is a LONG time, so let’s get you ready for a tremendous day with news, stories and links, along with our video of the day, too.

In case you couldn’t stay awake for the end of last night’s Boston Red Sox-Chicago Cubs game, the local nine – that would be Boston – managed to win its second of three by a score of 6-2, thanks to Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts

Isaiah Thomas is truly amazing, right? Even when he gets a tooth knocked-out! Yes … that happened yesterday during his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal game one victory over Washington. Via Yahoo Sports!, learn how amazing his effort has been over the past few weeks

After being drafted in the opening round by the Houston Texans on Thursday, Deshaun Watson celebrated the exciting news by buying his mother a car for her birthday on Saturday

If you’re a volleyball fan, then you probably know – by now – that Springfield College men’s volleyball captured the NCAA Division III on Sunday by defeating SUNY New Paltz, 3-1. Congrats to the Pride – way to go! 

Harvard baseball celebrated its ‘Senior Day’ on Sunday afternoon – late Sunday afternoon to be exact – with a dramatic walk-off win to send the Crimson seniors off with an exciting final victory at O’Donnell Field! 

Extra, Extra: This is a CRAZY cool story, as Canadian country music star Brett Kissel received some help from the Edmonton (and maybe Anaheim fans, too) with the singing of the American and Canadian National Anthems. I guess the mic didn’t work? 

Today’s National Day: Apparently, (and this is according to a Google search), but Monday, May 1st is International Workers’ Day. How will you celebrate it? 

Best movies from the weekend (Apr. 28-30th): According to the Weekend Box Office, The Fate of the Furious finished the weekend number one, while How To Be A Latin Lover finished second. 

Video of the Day: Paul Pierce competed in his final N.B.A. game yesterday, so let’s honor ‘The Truth’ with a special tribute to him via the Players Tribune!

Have a GREAT day, everyone! And remember to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter! 

Catching Up With Babson College’s Joey Flannery

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Babson College senior Joey Flannery has the Beavers in position for an exciting rest of the season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Babson College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports

Joey Flannery considers it a privilege to be a part of the Babson College men’s basketball team.

The three-time New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year has the Beavers yet again in position to make a deep postseason run. Flannery is averaging a team-high 22.7 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per games, too.

Last Saturday, he guided the Green and White to their best start in program history as Babson improved to 16-1 overall with a 15-point victory over Coast Guard Academy.

Last night, Flannery and the Beavers extended their current winning streak to eight games as Babson topped Clark, 90-81, to improve to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in league play.

Babson, currently the top team in the latest D3Hoops.com poll (and in our Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll, too), is back in action Saturday, January 28th when they host Emerson College.

Prior to last night’s contest against the Cougars, Noontime Sports caught up with Flannery to discuss his final season with the Green and White, what he plans to do after graduation and who is all-time favorite Boston Celtics player is, too.

Your team established the program’s best start this past weekend, winning 16 of 17 games. What does that record mean to you?

“It’s great to be recognized. We try not to look too much into the numbers or record because our focus is to take it one day at a time. It is nice to be recognized, especially as a member of this great program.”

Your team matched a school-record for three-pointers (18) last weekend against Coast Guard Academy. How have you and your teammates been able to be so successful beyond the arc this season?

Nick Comenale has helped our offense move the ball around on extremely well. We have guys, including him, in our starting five that are willing to shoot three’s, but the big thing for our offense (this season) is we’re moving the ball around knowing if we have a good shot that we’ll get an even better shot with a few more passes. Against Coast Guard, our shots were falling early, but I think our ball movement was the key for us beyond the arc. If we continue to swing it around once or twice and get two reversals then our team can shoot with confidence.”

Who is the best three-point shooter on the team?

“I would have to say Nick. We always go back-and-forth in practice on who is sinking deeper shots, but it is hands down Nick.”

What have been one or two (or perhaps three) memories you have from being a member of the Babson men’s basketball program?

“There is always a moment (or two) that stands out from each season. During my sophomore year we had some great comeback wins, while another memory would be winning the NEWMAC Tournament at home the past two seasons. Additionally, we have had a great home court advantage (during my time at Babson) and having home court advantage up until the ‘Final Four’ two years ago was awesome. Winning in front of our home crowd has been fun (especially when we beat Trinity in the NCAA Sectional Finals). Those are just some big moments (from my time here as a student-athlete), but this team is so tight, we have a lot of seniors and juniors that have been together for a while, so I think hanging out off the court and being together is another great memory of mine.”

Chicago (CHI) vs Babson (BAB) December 31, 2016

Joey Flannery and the Beavers have enjoyed their best start in program history, winning 17 of 18 contests as of Wednesday, January 26, 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Babson College Athletics)

Last week, your team rallied to defeat MIT on the road, thanks to a 54-point second half effort. Was that the biggest second half rally you have ever been a part of?

“I have been a part of some big rallies over the past four years here at Babson. During my sophomore year, we had to rally back in a few games when we trailed by 15 (or more points). One of those games we rallied back to win was against Becker (my sophomore year). We have been down at half before, but we have a lot of experience from the past couple of years and even when we were down against MIT, we still had confidence and that togetherness allowed us to come out of the locker room with a positive mindset, knowing the game wasn’t over. After eight or ten minutes, we were still trailing, but that was when we turned it on and went on a run to win the game. We locked in, got stops, moved the ball offensively and got some good looks, so I think the game (as a whole) is a testament to us being unselfish and not panicking. We were down by 15 points, we didn’t take too many quick shots on offense, but we just pushed the tempo and got looks every time we went on offense.”

What is your major and what do you hope to do with it?

“I am concentrating on economics, but at the moment I am still deciding what direction I want this degree to take me. I really hope to remain involved with basketball after graduation, so being a coach is something that interests me currently, but it’s an exciting feeling to know I will have a degree from Babson.”

What would your dream basketball job be?

“I would love to coach in college and eventually elevate myself to the professional position. My dream job would be in player development because I love picking apart details, both on and off the court and through workouts. If I don’t end up coaching, then I would be fine with being a behind the scenes guy, specifically working in a player development role.”

Being a Massachusetts native, I presume you are a Boston Celtics fan, so who is your all-time favorite Celtic player?

“Everyone is a Larry Bird fan here in Massachusetts. I was unable to watch him (compete), but he is definitely at the top of my list (of all-time great Celtics). I would have to say my favorite Celtic was Paul Pierce. He was always the player I watched growing up and to see him lead the Celtics to a NBA championship in 2008 was very exciting. Even though I don’t have all the shots that he took, I try to take what I can from his game and apply it to my game as a small forward.”

Finally, what’s the best part about being a member of the Babson community, both as a student and student-athlete?

“It has to be the friendships I have made (over the past few years). Not just the friendships with my teammates, but various members of the campus’ community and other student-athletes, too. I have so many close friends here that I know I will stay in-touch with forever. The bonds we have established is one of the many things I love about this community.”

Sunday Column: It Is Time To Pump The Breaks On Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in this year's NBA Draft. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

By Matt Noonan 

I think it is time to pump the breaks on Jaylen Brown.

Seriously, let’s stop antagonizing this individual and see what happens when he competes for the Boston Celtics this season.

Since being selected third overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Green and White, Brown has been insulted by die-hard Green Teamers that are desperate for Banner 18.

I am a Celtics fan. I was born and raised in Boston – well, technically born in Boston, but grew up outside the city – and understand the immediate need for championships. And since the New England Patriots began winning Super Bowls, the need for additional hardware and celebrations on Boylston Street have increased.

As of today – Sunday, June 26 – we don’t know what Brown can do for the Celtics or what the Celtics can do for Brown – no play on UPS there, I promise! – but until he steps on the court and sprints up and down the parquet, there is no need to barrage this young man.

Following an introductory press conference last week, Brown exhibited his frustration by telling members of the media he is ready to ‘rip someone’s head off.’

Will he rip someone’s head off? Doubt it, but make sure you wear Celtics gear when walking around or near the Boston Garden.

According to NBADraft.net, Brown’s play should be identical to Jimmy Butler, which should excite Celtics fans – how many times have we heard Butler’s name when it comes to trade talks? We won’t know if this comparison is true until we see him compete for the Green and White.

In addition to the comparison of Butler, Brown has been touted as a strong, physical down-low player, as well as someone that can go toe-to-toe with ‘the best players.’

Maybe Brad Stevens will tell him to guard LeBron James or Steph Curry next season?

We can go round and round about the selection of Brown or what he will or won’t do for this organization. Yet, until he competes – or plays one or two series – there is no need to antagonize the former Cal Bear forward.

Brown could become a cornerstone of this organization – maybe he’ll join the Celtics Mount Rushmore of Paul Pierce, Bill Russell and Larry Bird – but again, until we see him compete, let’s slow down the criticism and focus our attention on perhaps luring Kevin Durant to Boston.

Could you imagine the tandem of Durant and Brown? Could become the greatest tandem in the league’s history.

Will The Celtics Re-Sign Ray Allen?

Do you think Ray Allen will join Miami for the 2012-13 season? (Photo Credit: CelticsTown.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s the summertime, which means news can be incredibly slow, which is why Noontime Sports has decided to pose a few questions pertaining toward the various professional sports teams in Boston.

In this particular post, we decided to ask the question: Will Ray Allen re-sign with the Boston Celtics? And below we’ve provided a thoughtful answer.

I doubt it, but I hope my gut is wrong.

Ray Allen is one of the greatest deep shooters in NBA history and it’s certainly possible that a three-year, $9.3 million contract would intrigue the shooting guard to join forces with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Yet, if he wants more money, and what professional athlete doesn’t these days, he’d re-sign with the Celtics, a squad that could offer him more than the Heat.

When Boston acquired Jason Terry this past week, many believed that particular acquisition marked the end of the Allen era in Massachusetts. However, if Allen really wants to win one more championship before retirement, then why wouldn’t he attempt to do it with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce? Wouldn’t that be the ideal storybook ending?

Allen, Garnett and Pierce most likely have one or two years remaining, so I personally believe it would be the wrong thing for him to leave Boston for the NBA’s “evil empire.”

Boston currently has enough cap room to not only re-sign him, but also add additional pieces that could help the veteran squad compete for Eastern Conference glory against Brooklyn, Indiana, Miami and New York.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Miami put on the full-court press on Thursday to persuade Allen to join the Red and Black. And as noted in Ethan J. Skolnick’s blog post, Allen could see more minutes in a Heat uniform, especially if Wade continues to be hampered by a knee injury. He also mentioned that LeBron posted a picture of the shooting guard in a Heat uniform on Twitter this past week, which obviously was designed through Photoshop, but stirred up excitement by the various South Beach supporters.

All in all, I think there is a good chance that Allen will indeed ink his name on a contract that’ll provide him with a Miami uniform. Although, anything is possible, especially in the world of sports, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Expect Boston to produce a counterattack that could possibly persuade Allen to re-join the Green and White for one last title run before he makes his decision.

What’re your thoughts? Do you think Ray Allen will sign with the Heat or return to the Celtics? Feel free to send your thoughts to NoontimeSports@gmail.com or respond to us on Twitter @NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog. 

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