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.
“The players see his work ethic, they see his integrity, and they see his intelligence, so I think he’s earned the respect of the team in a really difficult situation this year. And I know he’s going to get better,” said Danny Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations. “He’ll be better next year, and he’ll be better the next year. He’s a sponge.”
“When you first get the job,” Stevens said, “the tradition and the history kind of overwhelm you. But once you get into the job, it’s a job. What did impact me was the support this team has, not just in the city, but all over the country as we go into different venues. These fans are amazing. I’m not just saying that to say it. This is a unique fan base. And I told our guys that demands unique attention to detail. I kind of know how gripping it all is when on Opening Day, I’m on the road, and my wife calls me and my son comes home from school and says, ‘Turn on the Red Sox. It’s Opening Day.’ And we’ve been here since August.”
I submit this with minimal comment because you’ve probably read all of my thoughts on Brad Stevens 20 times this season and I’m not going to bore you with them all over again.
This is a nice piece on Stevens and his first season with the Celtics, and it’s not a 5,000 word epic like some Grantland pieces. And it was written by Charlie Pierce, which makes me feel like I’m sitting on a porch listening to an uncle tell me the story of great coach he once knew.
As for Stevens, I feel comfortable with him at the helm for the future. He’s growing into his role at the same time the Celtics are growing into their next iteration of greatness. Unlike past versions of the Green and White, there is little angst heading out of a terrible season. There’s virtually no sick feeling of “oh my GOD how are we going to fix THIS mess????”
I like this situation. Very much, actually. If I was a corner man watching a fighter, the Celtics would be nodding at the ref after a standing 8 count. Knocked down, but now standing up, lucid, and confident that they’ve figured something out. I’d be confident too, because I think these guys are set up to win the fight in a few rounds.
Of course, rounds to us mean years, but they are years of growth behind Stevens and Danny Ainge. And I’m very comfortable with that.
Page 2: Jeff Green really is a good sport
Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green finished second in voting amongst his peers for the 2013-14 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
Memphis’ Mike Conley took home the honor with a total of 2,335 points, while Green was second at 1,971. Phoenix’s Channing Frye (1,915), Washington’s Bradley Beal (1,897), Portland’s Damian Lillard (1,881), and Chicago’s Mike Dunleavy (1,832) rounded out the voting among divisional representatives.
The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Conley to his charity of choice, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, specifically for research pertaining to sickle cell anemia. The NBA will make a $5,000 donation to each of the divisional winner’s charities of choice, including the Cleveland Clinic Foundation on behalf of Green.
Green owes the Cleveland Clinic his life, basically, so it’s nice to see them benefit from this.
It’s a nice award for Green, but I can’t help thinking that many fans wish he was enough of a prick on the court that he wouldn’t be in contention for something like this. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m betting there’s a segment of the fan base that sees this award as a negative… almost a “see, that’s what’s wrong with Jeff Green… he’s too nice!”
I’m not going to go there, though. This is nice, well deserved recognition.
Related links: CSNNE: Green 2nd for sportsmanship award
The rest of the links
ESPN Boston: Report card: Brandon Bass | CSNNE: NBA Prospect primer: Top 10 small forwards | Celtics talk TV: How the Celtics can make a blockbuster trade | WEEI: Pierce, Garnett happy for support from C’s fans