* Peter Vecsey of the New York Post rated Boston's acquisition of Shammond Williams among the best moves made by an NBA team during the offseason.
"Most people have no clue how easily [Williams] can embarrass opponents off the dribble and effortlessly pile up points," opined Vecsey last week.
Celtic's coach Jim O'Brien is also looking for big things from Williams this year. "I am shocked at how good of a 3-point shooter he is," O'Brien recently told the Boston Herald. "I hesitate to say he is a great shooter, but he might be a great shooter."
O'Brien was surprised Shammond didn't play more for Seattle. "I think he has the skills that I am attracted to as a coach, so I think he is going to be a hell of weapon for us," added the Boston coach.
* The Limoges CSP Tar Heel backcourt tandem of Donald Williams and Derrick Phelps got off to a great start on Saturday. In an 81-68 France-ProA league season-opening victory, Williams tallied 33 points (14-20 FG, 3-6 3pt.-FG, 2-2 FT), as Phelps tossed in 21 (8-12 FG, 3-5 3pt.-FG, 2-2 FT) with 5 assists and 7 steals
Recent Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown let it be known last week that he would like USA Basketball to select him to coach the United States' entry in the 2004 Olympics. "I'm not going to politic for it," Brown said, "but I'd be thrilled if they wanted to have me be the head coach."
* Eric Montross, of the Toronto Raptors, is still troubled by the foot/ankle injury that caused him to miss the last four games of the 2001-02 season.
Montross will be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks because of a stress fracture in the left ankle joint.
* Steve Bucknall, 36, has returned to England for his 14th pro season. Bucknall has agreed to terms with Birmingham of the BBL.
* Ed Cota will welcome a former rival as a new teammate in Kaunas, Lithuania. Former Duke star Chris Carrawell has been signed by Zalgiris Kaunas, according to eurobasket.com and the Zalgiris official web site. Cota and Carrawell both played in the ACC from 1996 to 2000.