Celtics' thin roster gets fuller with additions of Pollard, House
BOSTON -- The rest of the Boston Celtics roster is starting to take shape.
"Getting Kevin Garnett has been kind of a big deal. But now that us two are here, you really have a chance," Pollard joked on Thursday at news conference. "I'm excited to be the cornerstone of this team."
A 10-year veteran on his fifth team, Pollard averaged 1 point and 1.3 rebounds in 24 games for Cleveland last season and has never averaged more than 6.5 points. The 6-foot-11 center also played with Reggie Miller on the Indiana Pacers for two seasons; the Celtics have had talks with the potential Hall of Famer about coming out of retirement to make a run for a championship.
Pollard said he was trying to "track him down and see if I can get a hold of him and talk him into that."
"If I can be any part of that, I'd be happy to," Pollard said.
The NBA's most-decorated franchise, the Celtics have gone 21 years since winning their 16th title in 1986 -- by far the longest drought in team history. After surrounding Pierce with a decent core of young players, only to watch him go out for 24 games with foot and elbow injuries, they lost a franchise-record 18 consecutive games and contended -- some say intentionally -- for the league's worst record.
But when they landed the fifth pick in the draft, missing a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, basketball boss Danny Ainge decided to go in the opposite direction. They got Ray Allen on draft night, then traded just about everything else of value for Garnett, the 2004 league MVP.
A seven-year pro who averaged 8.4 points in under 17 minutes last season, House said Ainge has been courting him for three years, but he wasn't so interested in being part of the rebuilding process.
"This is the best look. It's a great time," House said. "There's a good buzz going around right now. There has been a cloud for a while because they haven't been winning. I have a special feeling for this team. It just seems like all the pieces are coming together."
But they're not all there yet.
Ainge confirmed on Wednesday that he has talked to Miller, who has been retired for two years but still could provide a boost off the bench -- and a key 3-pointer down the stretch.
"I'm not sure they're done with all the moves they're going to make," Pollard said. "This team, it's definitely got that feel, and we haven't even convened yet."
Pollard said Miller was the kind of player he hated playing against, but loved playing with.
"As a side note," he added, "I always hated Kevin Garnett."
Pollard and House ate lunch with Doc Rivers before meeting the media.
"It was like talking to another player, not really a coach," House said. "He was talking to us like we were equals."
Ainge went on vacation after landing Garnett in an unprecedented 7-for-1 trade, but he has been active, signing House and Pollard and courting Miller to put together a supporting cast.
Team owner Wyc Grousbeck also took part in Thursday's news conference by telephone, from an undisclosed vacation spot.
"I need the rest, too," he said. "I'm resting up my check-writing hand."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press