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Friday, August 5, 2011
Layup line: Rookie chatter

By Chris Forsberg | @ESPNForsberg | Email

Our occasional glance at Celtics-related headlines around the web:



* Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson continues to hint that he'll forgo overseas opportunities and simply work out stateside if there's any chance the 2011-12 NBA season can be salvaged, even as both sides suggest there's monster gaps between the players and owners at the start of negotiations towards a new collective bargaining agreement.

In a highlight/interview video from the Indy Pro-Am, Johnson talked about supporting college (and potentially pro) teammate E'Twaun Moore as he prepares to head to Italy during the lockout, working out with Tim Grover of Attack Athletics in Chicago, and his desire for the lockout to be over so he can get started on his NBA career.

"My teammate E'Twaun Moore just decided to play in Italy; I'm definitely supporting him, I've been with him for a long time now and I'm just really happy for him," said Johnson. "I don't think I'm going to head to Italy... or anything like that. I'm definitely waiting it out. I think the biggest thing for me is working on my body and just trying to get better from there.

"I've been working out with Tim. It's been good. The biggest thing is working on my lower-body strength, my abs... [Attack Athletics] speaks for itself, you train with the best players. It's a good fit for me."

Johnson said he's using the downtime to study film and mentally prepare himself for the season.

"Right now I'm just anxious," said Johnson. "I'm ready to meet all the guys, get acclimated in Boston and things like that. That's the part I'm really missing out on."

* As Moore prepares to join his Italian league team later this month, the Northwest Indiana Times talked to a local player agent about his experiences in Treviso:
European player agent Dave Maravilla, a 1982 Lake Central grad, recently returned from the NBA Euro Camp in Treviso. He said Benetton will be a good fit for Moore even though it has experienced hard times, financially, and has eliminated the million-dollar contracts it once handed out like candy.

"It's still a good job. It's still Benetton. I think it'll be great for him," Maravilla said. "He's going to experience European basketball at its best... More important for E'Twaun, he's got a chance to really step in and be an impact player. They'll be counting on him to contribute."

Sienna, Milano and Rome are the premier Italian teams with Benetton in the same conversation.

"Without a doubt, E'Twaun's going to have to bring his 'A' game to compete over there," Maravilla said. "He'll be challenged every game, every day in practice."

Moore also talks a bit about the hardships of the lockout and how it's delayed his NBA dream. Moore notes, "Getting drafted by the Celtics was a huge step for me in going from college to the pros. I'm still trying to soak it all in. But I still feel I'm an underdog and have got to prove myself at this next level."

* Former Celtics guard Nate Robinson is still flirting with the idea of playing in the NFL.

* Darius Miles, who spent the 2008 summer with the Celtics a couple years back, is in hot water after trying to bring a loaded gun through security at a St. Louis airport.