Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I tell my wife all the time, ‘You don’t see many 7-footers walking around at the age of 75,'” says Bird, who’s 6-foot-9. “She hates it when I say that. I know there are a few of us who live a long time, but most of us big guys don’t seem to last too long. I’m not lying awake at night thinking about it. If it goes, it goes.”
It’s a macabre outlook for Larry Legend — but he’s hardly alone in harboring it. Ask a bunch of NBA big men and the consensus is that their atypical size and the strains placed on their bodies during their careers cause them to deteriorate more quickly and die younger. The bigger they are, the younger they fall — or so they think. Is it possible they’re right?
This is an important, albeit depressing, read from Jackie Mac. As Celtics fans, we should already be well aware of the staggering incidence of cardiovascular problems among basketball players, current and former. Just look back over 30 years, and you don’t have to try too hard to rattle off a list of Celtics and ex-Celtics that were impacted by this. Bird, Ainge, DJ, Reggie Lewis, Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Pete Maravich, not to mention former rivals like Wilt, Malone, Kareem, and DeBusschere.
And that doesn’t even touch on how hard this game is on players’ bones, muscles and joints. Shaquille O’Neal’s career as a Celtic ended because, basically, his Achilles tendon stopped healing properly. A friend of mine, a former beat writer for the local paper, was in Chicago to cover the NBA pro day a few years ago, and he said that he was amazed at how beat up these former players were.
If you take away the basketball aspect of things (or other sports where height is an advantage), extreme height is almost a physical disability. There is strong evidence that these guys’ bodies often just don’t work right.
The article also provides this incredible statistic:
Seven-footers are so anomalous that an absurd 17 percent of them who live in the United States will at some point play in the NBA.
Page 2: The time Larry Bird was traded in the Larry Bird League
I had covered the Celtics enough during the playoffs for Bird to be a little familiar with me, so before a preseason game in New York, Bird was coming off the floor after warming up and I felt comfortable stopping him in the hallway.
“Remember that article in the Finals where you gave your system for ranking the best players?” I said.
“Well, we’re going to have a fantasy league using that system.”
“Would you mind picking the draft order?”
This is an older article (Jan. 6, 2016), but it first popped up in my twitter feed a couple days ago. If the previous article is a bit of a downer, this is a nice follow-up.
Page 3: Bob Ryan doesn’t like Dwight Howard.
I think he’s a big clown that has squandered an enormous God-given ability that could’ve made him one of the great centers of all time.
Odds are ESPN won’t suspend Bob for that remark, since Howard doesn’t work for ESPN.
And, frankly guys, it just seems like the trade rumors this season have been incredibly stupid. Like every team who ever overpaid a player, made a poor choice on a player, or in any of a number of other ways, screwed things up, thinks that somehow Ainge is going to bail them out by overpaying for the privilege of taking their mistakes off their hands.
Last week it was all about ‘Blake Griffin’s an idiot and do the Boston Celtics want him?’ And this week it’s about ‘Dwight Howard doesn’t like to get yelled at and do the Boston Celtics want him?’ What’s it going to be next week? ‘Markieff Morris doesn’t understand how the world works, and do the Boston Celtics want him?’ Oh wait. We’ve already had that one.
Page 4: IT’s in the skills contest. Kelly’s in the crowd.
The NBA did not fulfill Kelly Olynyk’s wish of being in the 3-point contest, but named Isaiah Thomas as a participant in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend. Both events will be held Saturday, Feb. 13, in Toronto.
KO’s being left out of the three point contest in favor of, among other contestants, Chris Bosh (shooting .366 to Kelly’s .417) Apparently including Bosh satisfies the NBA’s self-imposed quotas for alien life forms.
Finally: The stupidest thing you will hear all day, unless you have an appearance in traffic court.
— CSNNE.com (@CSNNE) February 4, 2016
Guys, this is Felger, Mazz and Stephen A. talking about the Celtics. Do not watch this video unless you are a trained professional or you have too many brain cells and are trying desperately to kill some without recourse to alcohol or glue huffing.
I’ve watched the video for you, so you don’t have to. Trust me, the tag line in that tweet above? That’s not even close to the stupidest thing that Stephen A. says in the course of his interview/monologue.
The rest of the links
Trade rumor division
Boston Herald: Bulpett: Forget about Dwight Howard; David Lee in limbo