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.
History is obviously a very important aspect of the Celtics, and it certainly helps that so much of theirs is positive. Both Flip Saunders, who spent the 2012 with the Celts as a coaching consultant, and Doc Rivers are trying to recreate the Shamrock family feeling with Minnesota and the Los Angeles Clippers, respectively.
Rivers’ new team has never made it to a conference final, and the Timberwolves haven’t even been in the playoffs since making it to the West finale in 2004. And while the Celtics have 17 championships, this is just the 25th year the Wolves have been in existence.
“But we’re still trying to do what we can with that,” said Saunders, who now heads the club’s basketball operation. “I saw what they had in Boston with the former players around and the history, and we have to start getting that. We don’t want to forget about the people that were here. You have to start sometime. If you keep on waiting, you never get it going.
“But you see it in Boston with the tradition and the way they treat everything first class no matter what they do. I think that’s important. They have that tradition and that passion, and that’s something we’re working toward capturing here.”
Rivers is starting off with a dynamic group of players in Los Angeles, but after walking into a veritable museum of basketball history with the Celtics, he has joined a club that would just as soon forget much of its past.
“I just came from one of the best team names — I think the best — in basketball, and I saw a lot of stuff that I learned there,” said Rivers. “I’m saying that about even when we were bad. Being around Tommy (Heinsohn) and Bob Cousy and (John) Havlicek and KC Jones — those guys and Red (Auerbach) — for my first three years, it was amazing. The love they have for each other, how they put Bill (Russell) on this pedestal. . . . A lot of times when you get around ex-players and you’re talking about the stars, there’s always this little jealousy stuff. There’s none of that with the Celtics. They talk about Red with this fatherly love. They talk about their team as their team.
“A lot of those guys from those teams went other places and did other things, but they had that in them and that will never go away. Just being around that taught me a ton, and I’m looking at this team and this organization, and that’s my goal. If just somehow I could form that, to me it’s the challenge of challenges. It does excite me, trying to change this culture to guys wanting to win instead of trying to keep their jobs. There’s a lot of survivors in our league.”
Boston Herald - Celtics Pride to go
There aren’t many organizations in the sporting world that have as much rich history and tradition as the Boston Celtics do. Any time I’ve traveled to other NBA cities and talked hoops with the locals, the one thing they always say they would love to see are “all the banners hanging inside the Garden.” Those banners are won by the players on the court, by the coaches coaching them and the front offices building them. The Celtics can lay claim to being the genesis of a lot of things that began and continue to spread around the league.
A wonderful byproduct of winning and winning often, is that several other teams will try to emulate you or better yet, hire your coaches or sign/trade for your players. In Bulpett’s piece he only talks about Doc and Flip Saunders who have tried to make green run as deep as Minneapolis and Los Angeles. The irony is not lost on me since those are the two cities where the rival Lakers are affiliated with. But even the Lakers (the LA variety) weren’t champions until they had a green influence by the way of Bill Sharman go there and teach them Red Auerbach’s fast break style, hence the creation of the “Showtime Lakers.”
Just go around the league and you can see shades of green everywhere. Do you think the Nets would have been toasted completely by now if it wasn’t for KG and Pierce keeping them together during adversity? The Houston Rockets come to town tomorrow and I’m sure head coach Kevin McHale has instilled a few things he learned in Boston to his team. Or how about the team with the best record in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers? They were built by none other than Larry Bird. I’m guessing he used some of the things he learned from Red. Rick Carlisle is Dallas consistently has the Mavs competing and even one of Danny Ainge’s disciples, Ryan McDonough has brought the Celtics pride to Phoenix and they have shocked the NBA world with how well they’ve played.
Even role players have taken what they’ve learned here and have shaded their own team with a little bit of green. Tony Allen is a huge part of the Memphis culture, and Big Baby is (amazingly) looked upon as a leader in Orlando. Green truly runs deep and it’s amazing to see that a guy like Flip Saunders, who was here merely as a consultant to the 2012 team, was so influenced by it. You see C’s fans at every road game as close as MSG in New York to as far as last night’s game in Portland, Oregon. It’s what makes us all proud to be C’s fans, what keeps us attached, and so hungry to see more banners get raised to the rafters. After all, you could be like the Lakers, who basically have zero influence around the league, outside of Brian Shaw in Denver. (Sorry, can never resist a shot at the Lakers!)
The rest of the links:
CSNNE - Scoring droughts continue to plague Celtics | In the bonus: Blazers’ three-point shooting on point | Sullinger will keep reserve role after strong performance | Good, bad & ugly: C’s hang around, and lose again
Worcester Telegram - Celtics keep drawing crowds even after departures
Memphis Commercial Appeal - Grizzlies brass knew Courtney Lee could shine in Memphis