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Vecsey says Celtics kicked Clifford Ray to curb

Chuck - Red's Army January 4, 2011 Uncategorized 16 Comments

Via Peter Vecsey:

An agreement eventually was signed by Ray, who was pressured by team president Danny Ainge to sign by a certain date (without getting lawyers involved) or forget it. Ray, the 1974-75 champion Warriors' starting center, received $100,000 to go away quietly, enough to keep him and his family (including a 13-year-old son) going for a year or so.

Additionally, the Celtics approved medical attention for Ray, specifically for an MRSA infection he contracted in his foot several years ago while working (hence, the boot he wore so long) in Boston's contaminated practice facility; Paul Pierce and Delonte West also got sick.

Had Ray not been in Minnesota last summer and gone, at the urging of his girlfriend, to the Mayo Clinic, doctors told him he was within days of having his foot amputated. Rivers told Boston reporters he had no room in back of the bench for Ray because newly hired first assistant Lawrence Frank's deal allowed him to enlist a friend.

True enough. But the real reason Ray wasn't invited back is because Rivers didn't think he was healthy enough to get out on the floor and coach. Like the infection was Ray's fault. Like Rivers didn't know Ray was ailing for years. Like he couldn't have reached that conclusion last June so that Ray would've had ample time to find work elsewhere.

Call me cold-hearted, but if Peter Vecsey is right (and that's a gigantic IF), I don't have a problem with the Celtics terminating Clifford Ray.

If the foot was limiting his ability to coach effectively, then the team was well within its rights to move in another direction.

One could interpret the team's offer of $100,000 as a generous parting gift, especially when coaches are fired and hired at the drop of a hat.

I feel for Clifford Ray, but I don't think Vecsey's portrayal of the Celtics is a fair one.

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  • Classless

    Not to mention Clifford has plenty of money anyways. Don’t weep for him.

  • Jared

    What should they have done? Keep him on staff even if he cant coach?
    Also, 100 G severance, not bad. He can make money anytime tutoring big men privately, or with a new team. Not worried for him.
    Do appreciate the work he put in for the club though

  • CFH

    Ah, Vescey.
    “Rivers didn’t think he was healthy enough to get out on the floor and coach. Like the infection was Ray’s fault.”
    How did Vescey get from (a) “not able to do his job” to (b) “like it was his fault.” If he’s not healthy enough, he’s not healthy enough… regardless of whether anyone is at fault, coaches need to be physically able to coach.
    (But speaking of fault, how does a former pro athlete, so in tune with his body, not get himself checked until he’s close to amputation?! It’s horrible that this happened and I hope he’s healing and feeling better… but he has SOME responsibility to try to keep himself well enough to perform his job. )
    Quite possibly the Celtics could have handled this better, but the inflammatory smear job of an article doesn’t present enough facts to let us know for sure.

  • daemian

    I am impressed with how moderately redsarmy responds to negative comments about the celtics by fuckface losers like peter vecsey or by blogger-fans of other teams. I personally feel the need to respond to people like that with straight venom. For example, fuck anybody who has anything even slightly bad to say about the celtics. That’s how I like to respond. So I say well done to redsarmy for maintaining some professionalism. I certainly can’t do it.
    D

  • daemian

    and peter vecsey can go have a dog turd and tonic and shut the fuck up. old fucking clown.

  • Clueless

    How does a man who played in the 1970′s have “plenty of money?” They only earned $15,000 a year in the 70′s.
    Secondly, how is accurate reporting a smear job? Did the Celtics deny the MRSA? No, they didn’t? They didn’t deny a single fact in the article. Don’t you remember Paul Pierce having emergency surgery for “an infection” last Christmas? What the hell do you think that was for?
    Thirdly, I hope all of you contract a debilitating illness due to your employers actions and get as much sympathy as you’re willing to give. The guy was hurt on the job and they fired him for it.

  • Potcallingkettle

    How much money do you think assistant coaches make in the NBA dude?
    They make about $150K a year at most.

  • Potcallingkettle

    Being a fan doesn’t mean you bury your head in the sand to when they act like asses. Hold the Celtics to a higher standard.

  • C

    More than any one here makes or a majority of people here

  • C

    No where in guidelines in his contract say even if he is injured (an injury that would prevent him from doing his job) you have to keep him because well you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Look I feel for the guy and I wish we could of kept him but this is a business.
    If you wish a debilitating illness on someone then maybe you should have one yourself and he wasn’t hurt on the job…

  • Classless

    Clifford Ray has the best health insurance money can buy and a much better chance at beating whatever was aflicting him than 90% of people who read this site.
    I don’t feel bad for him and neither should you.

  • Classless

    problem is this is only one side of the story. Most “fans” could care less about a millionaire’s health problems. He has money to treat himself.

  • Viva

    Just a thought: How did PP got infected? Ray has it for several years, and Paul got it last year, if it was MRSA (still it’s not something you treat with operation). Maybe, just maybe, that’s why he go fired, as some of the reasons.
    Just another thought: How can a sportsman,a man who should take care of his own body, be so reckless about it, and allow it to get to a stage of a near amputation?!
    Just one more thought: If he catch it at “Boston’s contaminated practice facility” I’m just wondering how did it get there in the first place?!

  • CFH

    I think I explained why I thought it was a smear job pretty clearly, but since you need extra help…
    He presents his bizarre attack/conclusion that the Celtics treated Ray’s illness “like it was his fault” in the same breath as the REASONABLE concern that Ray couldn’t do his job. That Doc blamed the victim of the illness is NOT a fact, and frankly it would go against what we know of Doc’s character.
    This same article blames another team for firing a man who later killed himself. So you can’t ever fire someone, because he might be mentally ill enough to believe that his job is his identity and all he has going for him? I’m pretty sure that’s not how the world works– nor could it.
    Vescey, as usual, weakens his case by throwing unsubstantiated speculation and conclusions as if they are facts, thus lessening the overall credibility of the argument and shedding doubt on what might actually BE factual

  • paul

    100,000 dollars is a HELL of a lot of money. If the infection really is the Celtics fault, that is an important issue, but as far as I can tell, the reason Ray was let go was that the Celtics’ rebounding sucked last year and it cost us a championship.

  • paul

    Um, that’s a lot of money, AND he played pro-basketball for years before that.