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Celtics Notebook

Truth is, US squad has no position for Pierce

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / May 25, 2008

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The highest-ranking USA Basketball official said no new players are expected to be added to the pool of NBA stars from which the Olympic roster will be chosen. That basically made it official that Paul Pierce will not be a late addition and thus the Celtics won't have any player representation in the Olympics.

"It just didn't happen for him," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball's managing director. "He hasn't been with us for two years. We're locked in with players at that position. That kind of eliminates that possibility."

Pierce was a member of the US's disappointing 2002 world championship team. He also was part of a large pool of players that USA Basketball could select from in 2006.

Pierce was an All-Star, an All-NBA third-team selection, and the Celtics' leading scorer this season. But even with his success and international experience, his lack of participation the past two years made it easy for USA Basketball to look elsewhere, at players such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Tayshaun Prince.

Pierce says he has no hard feelings and plans on watching the US play in Las Vegas in an exhibition game against the Canadian team July 25.

"I'm pretty much off the list as far as USA Basketball," Pierce said. "But I'm going to try to go out and support them this summer during the time that they are out there. I want them to win the gold."

Celtics Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen both played on the US's gold medal-winning team at Sydney in 2000. Colangelo was interested in Garnett, but he declined an offer.

Pierce described the roster decision as "tough" for USA Basketball, but he believes the players on the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship team should go to the Olympics.

"You have guys that already have chemistry because they played together in the tournament," Pierce said recently. "I think it's going to be hard [to choose]. There are going to be some great players that are not going to be on the team. The thing is, you've got to develop chemistry.

"If you look at these teams overseas, they don't have 12 great players. But they have great chemistry and that's why they've been able to catch up."

While Pierce played on a national team that didn't medal during the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis, he says it could have been worse - such as when the Americans didn't win the gold during the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"I'm glad I didn't lose on the biggest stage, the Olympics," Pierce said. "People are going to forget about [the world championships]. But they aren't going to forget about the Olympics."

In the house

Eddie House's 7-year-old son, Jaelen, has had one of the best seats in the house for home playoff games as one of the team's ball boys. Jaelen became a ball boy for the first time this season and has sat on the baseline during the Celtics' postseason games, including two Game 7s. Jaelen, whose uncle is Hawks guard Mike Bibby, also attended first-round games in Atlanta. During halftime of the Game 7 win over Cleveland, House had his son alongside him when he was interviewed by ABC at halftime. "I don't think he realizes how big it is for him or how much it can help him with his athletic endeavors," House said. "Being around the huge games that he has been around, I don't think it will rattle him as much from already being around stuff like that. For me, it's a big emotional lift to see how excited he gets when he sees our team succeed. It's motivating for me."

Good spot for him

In his rookie season, Glen Davis has filed away a few special memories. In January, he scored a career-high 20 points in a 92-85 win against Detroit at The Palace of Auburn Hills, helping the Celtics end an 11-game Pistons winning streak.

When Davis arrived at the arena yesterday, his January performance was not far from his thoughts.

"It was the first thing I thought about when I got off the bus," Davis said.

In the postseason, Davis has played an average of 8 minutes in 14 games, but in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, he played 11 minutes and scored 6 points.

In the regular season, he averaged 13.6 minutes a game and chipped in 4.5 points and 3 rebounds a game.

With each game in the playoffs, Davis said, he feels a little more experienced, although he still understands he has to continue to improve.

"I'm new to everything, but in other cases I feel way beyond a rookie now," Davis said. "Experiencing the postseason and contributing in the postseason, it's helped me tremendously in my game and I feel older."

Code of silence

Asked during yesterday morning's shootaround about his team's health, Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked, "Pretty good. [Bill] Belichick told us not to talk about injuries anymore." . . . While Indiana seems to be the favorite to land Rivers's son, Jeremiah, Georgia Tech and Central Florida are also possibilities. Jeremiah will have to redshirt a year before using his two years of eligibility after transferring from Georgetown.

Monique Walker of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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