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.
Anyway, we squeezed six competitive, interesting years out of what was supposed to be a three-year plan featuring Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, and now here we are, Boston’s Forgotten Men in this City of Champions.
We’re not stupid. We know what you’re saying. We’re stinky, but not stinky enough. You would have been happier if we had gone 0-82. Then you assume we get Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker and all our problems would be solved. But to you, we’re worthless. We’re supposed to lose in order to make you feel better.
How do you think that makes us feel?
See, here’s the deal. All these 21st century championships have completely distorted the sports consciousness around here. And those sports talk shows, all the Dennises, Callahans, Minihanes, Touchers, Riches, Greshes, Zolaks, Felgers, Mazzes, Holleys, and Salks — and that goes for you, too, Tanguay — have convinced people that every season for every sports team is worthless if it doesn’t end in a championship. But in the real world it doesn’t work that way.
In the real world just about everybody goes home empty-handed, every year. There are 122 professional sports franchises encompassed in the NFL, NHL, NBA, and Major League Baseball, and each year only four of them can win. No championship should ever be taken for granted. Ask the people of Cleveland. You think when the Browns won the 1964 NFL championship anyone thought a half-century would come and go with no Cleveland team winning a major sports championship? Impossible.
Boston Globe – Celtic pride is alive and well (Bob Ryan)
The great Bob Ryan is technically retired from the Boston Globe but every once in a while he’ll write. And from those handful of times he will write about basketball and the Celtics and when he does it tends to grab ones attention (he is in the basketball Hall of Fame, after all). In his column today, he lashes out at the thought of the Celtics outright tanking the season as well as the local Boston media (radio/TV personalities basically) about their routine (and only) Celtics discussion of tanking. This is what has happened with all of the ridiculous amount of combined success the Boston teams have had in the past decade or so. Fans, media, we all get greedy. We expect a title, or at least our team to be in the title discussion every year. If a team is not, then it’s pointless to talk about them or follow them.
Right now the only thing worth talking about, or following the Celtics for, is to hope they tank and get a lottery pick. A huge part of that is the way the NBA system is set up and, more importantly, how NBA contenders historically win and stay contenders for years. Basically, you NEED at least one if not two of the top players in the league. Just go back and look at not only the title winners but the teams that remain in the discussion. Sure, there is a 2004 Detroit Pistons team sprinkled in here and there but those are just as rare as actually winning the lottery or better yet, winning it in the right year and/or getting lucky by drafting the right player. Ryan goes on:
The issue, as we understand it, is that we are supposed to — what’s the euphemism? — “tank” this season. We’re supposed to go out there every night with the intention of losing. Sorry, uh-uh, not gonna happen. Nor should it.
First of all, it’s no guarantee of anything. We had the worst record once upon a time and we wound up with Nos. 3 and 6. If you want more detail, consult a Mr. Pitino down there in Louisville. We stunk it out another time and got the fifth pick. In addition to which, do you really think the bosses threw all this money at Brad Stevens and then asked him to perfect his losing technique?
No, we’re gonna give it our best shot, and whatever happens, happens. We’ve got a couple of young Keeper Bigs in Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. Jordan Crawford is anything but boring. We play hard. We’re trying to earn your respect. We’re professionals. We’ve got dignity.
If you stick with us, we will surprise you every now and then. Not many teams can put seven or eight guys in double figures, but we can. We’re not great, but we’re not hopeless, either. And as far as the future is concerned, we’ve got an additional first-round pick from the Nets and the Clippers in each of the next five years.
No, we’re not the Red Sox, Bruins or Patriots, and more power to them. We’re rooting for them, too. But don’t be distracted or overwhelmed by all the noise out there. We’re not heading to a 2014 championship, but we are members in good standing of the greatest basketball league in the world and we will do our best to give you a show.
Finally, please remember you are living in the most blessed sports town in America. These are the Good Old Days, and that includes us. We’re just a little behind schedule.
The Celtics have only really gone one season from start to finish where the goal was to tank. That was the 1996-1997 M.L. Carr special. The 2006-2007 season did NOT start out that way, but once Paul Pierce was injured in December after the Celtics got off to a horrible start (and then Tony Allen got hurt, etc.) well things just avalanched from there. But that team began the season with every intention of trying to make the playoffs. This team is too well coached and has too many players with things to prove whom are all buying in to the coach’s team concept. Don’t expect them to tank either. The good news is that the Celtics still have a great ownership and are the “envy of every front office executive who craves a rebuilding challenge.” Danny Ainge is one of the best at his profession so it will be interesting to see just what he and the front office does to make “Celtic Pride” return to contention. I just don’t think they’ll be driving those green tanks on the way back.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – From Gino to Giannis time
MassLive – Despite Jared Sullinger’s big night, Celtics bow to struggling Bucks | Jared Sullinger’s presence makes everything better for Boston Celtics | Rajon Rondo will make a really good coach one day, according to Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge