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Your Morning Dump… The new Big 3 are a helluva lot healthier than the old Big 3

Chuck - Red's Army March 9, 2012 Uncategorized 9 Comments

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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."

ESPN Boston – When greatness comes in threes

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.

CSNNE

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

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  • DD

    I’m not the biggest fan of Jackie’s but this article was fantastic. The Parish and Jordan stuff is down right awesome! Also if Bird was serious about that trade proposal it would be hard not to pull the trigger.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Health is no longer an issue for the Big 3.
    When you are 35 years old, in the NBA, it is over!

  • JMall

    I get that sports is a young man’s game. In sports, 30, is considered old, but with today’s sports technology most 30 yr olds don’t play their age. But your “it’s over” comment is baseless and false. If u like the veteran superstars like Pierce, Garnett, Allen, Dirk, Kidd, Kobe, Duncan, Ginobili, Nash, Hill, Carter, Marion, Gasol, Odom, Jamison, Billups, RIP, Prince, Camby; these guys are in their early to mid 30’s and still going strong.
    The way some of u Celts fans dog this current Big 3 is gonna come back to haunt many of us, especially when the Celtics go back to being a medicore team once the Big 3 are gone.

  • Quest

    Great article

  • Danno

    Couple things:
    35 WAS old in the NBA in the 1980’s, because sports medicine wasn’t anywhere near as advanced as it is now, and most of these guys smoked and drank heavily. today, not so much. Guys who stay in good shape because their agents and teams get on them, have much more longevity, and it really depends on the particular physical makeup of each player. Look at guys like Jason Kidd. Steve Nash. Tim Duncan. Ray Allen.
    Also – since everyone keeps harping on age and rebuilding around a younger core, think about this for a minute:
    Pierce, KG and Ray have all had “off games” or stretchs of less than stellar play. But their skills are still there. Their shooting percentages are still consistent. What made them stars, still exists within them. Rondo – on the other hand, doesn’t have those skills. and at 26, with 6 years in the league to his credit, those skills aren’t just going to magically “appear”. Shaq, for all his talent and ability and basketball IQ, NEVER developed a consistent free throw or jump shop from 12+ feet. Talent isn’t something you can suddenly attain through osmosis. You either have it, or you don’t. In some very important aspects of the game, Rondo simply doesn’t have “it”. And he never will. It’s just not in him.
    This is not “Rondo Bashing”. It’s simply a reality. He is as good now as he will ever be. Is that good enough to be a starting point guard on a playoff caliber NBA team? Absolutely. Top 5 PG’s in the league? Nope. Offensive liability? Depends which Rondo shows up on any given night.
    So if you’re going to use Rondo to “build around” you’d better be willing to shell out a boatload of dough to get younger players who are as talented and capable as this big 3 are/were, or you’re destined for mediocrity.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    inside danny’s desk is ray and kg resigned contracts: 1 year and player option @ 5M

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    You make some good points. People tend to point to Jason Kidd as an example of a player who developed a jump shot.
    But look at his career statistics… http://espn.go.com/nba/player/stats/_/id/429/jason-kidd
    He’s been a fairly consistent 40% shooter for his entire career. He did start to develop some 3-point range, but nothing exceptional. My point is… the Kidd example is overblown.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Of all those names you listed, only one of them was older than 32 when he won a ring.
    That would be Jason Kidd, who at 7.9 PPG, played a very minor role and was the Mavs ninth {9th} leading scorer.
    KG, Ray, and Paul can whip themselves in the greatest shape of their lives…and it still won`t matter. Their legs are shot…they`ve lost their quickness, spring, and explosiveness.

  • Danno

    I agree. You are who you are. Accentuate your positives and use them to your advantage.
    The bigger point – If you surround Rondo with Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, and say, Danny Granger – he would be as effective as he is now.
    If you go into a rebuilding phase and you surround him with second tier guys like Michael Beasley, Jeff Green, and Trevor Ariza – they’ll be lucky if they make the playoffs.