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.
That’s exactly how the Celtics’ players looked at it, too. “He’s standing up for his team,” said forward Brandon Bass. “That’s all you can do.”
Green agreed. “He fought for his team,” he said. “What he had to say, I guess it was right. I don’t know what he said, but whatever he said, it had to be said. He got tossed for it, but that’s him standing up for us.
“It’s very nice, because we’re out there battling and the refs, they make the calls. You can’t argue with them, but sometimes, they do get it wrong. It’s good to have our coach fight for us.”
Guys love it when their coach gets ejected. I guarantee there was plenty of ball-busting on the team plane. I’m sure for some guys, it was a bit of a professional bonding moment. Though this quote/response stood out to me:
“It means a lot,” Wallace said of Stevens’s response. “It shows spirit. I think it has been in question whether he supports us or goes all out during the games. I think it just kind of boosts the guys’ confidence [in him] and in believing in him knowing that he’s willing to fight for us.”
Stevens understands where Wallace is coming from.
“These guys have been really good to me the whole time, but without question there’s a feeling-out process when you first get a new coach and there’s a new team,” he said. “There’s also a feeling-out process for me.”
I’m not quite sure what Wallace meant by “I think it has been in question whether he supports us or goes all out during the games.” Are guys misinterpreting Stevens maintaining an even keel as a lack of effort? Or is that Wallace alone making that mistake.
Unlike playing basketball, coaching it doesn’t have to involve diving anywhere or flipping the F out like Jim Boeheim did. As I’ve said before, Stevens’ playing it cool is more to set an example to young players that the highs and lows of a long NBA season shouldn’t get too wild. If they do, you really risk falling into the trappings of success and failure.
But, like Stevens said, there’s a learning curve, and some guys want a little more hot sauce in their bags than others.
Either way, you wouldn’t expect a coach’s ejection at the end of a meaningless game a couple of months away from the end of a meaningless season to have any real, well, meaning. But this one did. And maybe it’s something we can look back on as one of Stevens’ milestones along the way to becoming a long-term, quality NBA head coach.
Side note, do you think that Marc Davis admires that picture of himself?
… “oh yea Marc, look at those guns. Look at that form. All these guys who say I’m a crappy ref are just jealous of the guns. They’re ALL just jealous. F Ed Hochuli… I’M the one they should be calling ‘guns.’”
I dunno, I just picture him as a guy who calls his arms “guns” a lot.
He’s a prick.
Page 2: Jason Collins plays basketball. The world does not end.
“I had him as a teammate last year and he is much needed around here,” Pierce said.
“In the society we live in, this was going to happen eventually,” Pierce said. “He is a guy that is going to be able to open up the door for athletes around the world. It doesn’t matter your race, gender or sexuality because it’s about being part of a team and caring for one another. Every guy in here does their own thing and so be it. In this sport everything is magnified and it’s great to have him here to open up the doors for so many athletes.”
I know some of you look at this and scoff “what’s the big deal? So what?”
And you’re right, it’s not a big deal. Except it also is.
The sad fact is that for generations, various groups have had to prove that they are just the same as everyone else. It used to be women, it used to be minorities, and now it’s gay people. They all (and many, many others) have to make a grand show of doing something that, in reality, is no big deal to prove to the small-minded that it really is no big deal.
Collins didn’t use it as a chance to make a pass at someone in the shower. He didn’t infect anyone with “gay” by playing out there. God didn’t wipe the planet clean of humanity for allowing this to happen. Shit, he didn’t even smite the Nets for allowing it happen. They won the game.
It was, by all accounts, a very forgettable moment. In fact, forgetting this moment is sort of the point.
Drafting Chuck Cooper was a big deal in 1950. Drafting a black player today?
So maybe 50 or 60 years from now when an openly gay player is battling for the MVP while he leads his team towards the Finals, I’ll be lucky enough to be in some rocking chair somewhere telling some kids “believe it or not, this would have been a big deal when I was younger.”
And they’d scoff, and tell me to go change my diaper. And they won’t know who the hell Jason Collins was. And that’d be OK, because sexuality truly wouldn’t matter anymore.
They’d say the same thing some of you are saying… “so what?”
That’s why last night was a big deal.
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