Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Bird's daily routine became an excruciating cycle of pain management. He would receive a steroid injection in his back, lie in traction at the hospital in a full body brace, feel some improvement, go to practice, have a flare-up, then wind up back at the hospital for another shot and more traction.
In their final two seasons together, Bird and McHale grew increasingly distant, even mildly antagonistic. The pain and disappointment of their suddenly limited skills wore on both of them.
"At that point Kevin was the healthier of the two, and he felt Larry should have deferred to him more," Parish said. "That's when the relationship really started to deteriorate."
"The injuries made us all ornery," McHale said. "We were all experiencing the same thing and we were just miserable."
"When you are injured, you can't move, you can't do what you want, so you don't want to talk to anybody," Bird said. "You just want to be alone."
Just when you think you've heard all the stories about Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, Jackie MacMullan delivers another gem of a column. She details the deterioration of the original Big 3 – physically, mentally and emotionally.
In this digital media age, we have unprecedented access to the players and that allows us to immediately scrutinize their actions. We make fun of KG for his lack of explosion and rip Rajon Rondo for his moody behavior. But if Twitter existed in 1987, we'd have done the same to our heroes – Bird and McHale.
"What we went through is similar to what those guys are going through now, but I would say they are more banded together than we were," McHale said. "When I watch them I still see three guys saying, 'Let's do this. Let's win some games together.'
"Their final run has brought out the best in them. Our final run really brought out the worst in us."
McHale's quote makes me think we should appreciate the effort we are seeing from these guys.
Robert Parish shares a great story about a confrontation with Michael Jordan during his first days in Chicago. If you don't have time to read it now, I'll be posting it later today.
On Page 2, Doc isn't concerned about this road trip.
"I'm really not [concerned]. And 'no' is the answer [to if the trip has been looming over the team's head]," Rivers said Thursday on WEEI. "I couldn't say I'm looking forward to it. But I don't know how hard this trip is. I think the trip in April is far worse. There's days off [during eight-game road trip]. The toughest part of this trip are the first two games."
Ah. the trip in April — the one nobody has really talked about. Taking a quick look at it, yeah it's much worse. From April 10th through April 20th the Celtics play eight games — six of which are on the road. Of those six on the road, the C's play three in a row (at Toronto, at New Jersey, at Charlotte), have a day off, then play in New York.
Eight games in 11 days? Yikes.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – 'Most likely to be traded?' | ESPN Boston – 5-on-5: KG's resurgence and more | Celtics have time and opportunity | Ainge: Nothing even close on trade front | Herald – Ray Allen won't excuse rare 0-fer | Salem News: Rondo helps pass along healthy message |