Thursday, June 29, 2006


The Saddest Music In The Wyc

I'm sick to my stomach. Last night was easily the worst I've felt about this team since the Vin Baker trade. We had a chance at establishing a young, solid backcourt of Brandon Roy (or Foye) and Marcus Williams (to go along with Delonte and Gerald Green), and instead wound up with two undersized point guards who can't shoot, one of whom was the third string PG for the worst team in the league.

Yes, this has all been said today by others, but it still bears repeating. In five years these draft night moves will be painful memories, as the players we passed up on develop into stars and our franchise continues to struggle. We have yet again foolishly squandered the opportunity to slowly develop a young core of players, and instead make personel moves in the name of appeasing an ownership group that equates "success" with "gate receipts."

In all of this, Danny Ainge is either an imbecile or a victim, or perhaps both. Either way, he's the custodian of this failure, and his reign is soon about to end.

The Big Dumb Telfair Trade

From a purely basketball standpoint, this was the worst and most short-sighted trade of the Ainge era. Swapping stiffs to save money is one thing, but I can't imagine there is anyone who truly believes that in 5 years Sebastian Telfair will be a better NBA player than Brandon Roy or Randy Foye. Of course, if you believe the spin, we are at such an evolved status as a franchise that we no longer can content ourselves with drafting the best player available, and instead have to trade "assets" for need. Because, remember, Paul Pierce is such a unique and rarified talent that he deserves a chance to play for a championship and these dumb moves will soon make that eminently possible.

It's all such bullshit, and last night was filled with the loud sound of scraping from the bottom of the barrel. During the pre-draft interview on FSN, Danny actually had the temerity to say that Telfair was a "veteran" of the sort that they were seeking out to improve the team. A veteran. Two years out of fucking high school with 136 games under his belt. Unless he's Chris Paul we're pretty much fucked, and believe me, he's not going to be Chris Paul.

So regardless of the insulting spin coming out of "Celtics Draft HQ" on FSN, the reality is that this deal was mostly based on saving Wyc's Daddy's money. We sacrificed a top pick to ship off the 2nd most embarrassing contract of the Ainge era for a sorta-soon-to-be-expiring deal that seems tailor made to either pad the Iverson deal immediately, or to sit on the books until 2009 when the team's payroll will cut nearly in half and Wyc's consortium of Generation W failures can cut bait and fade back into the moneyed ether from whence they came. Get ready for draft-day retrospectives where we watch Brandon R.O.Y and Randy Foye's recent exploits on a highlight reel juxtaposed with the losing records of the teams that passed them by. We will be one of those teams. And Sebastian Telfair will look all the smaller.


More on AI soon, I have an epic piece in the works, but last night had some gems from the spin cycle that deserve some attention.

1) Mike Gorman actually said the following in response to Dickerson's query about whether or not AI and Pierce could play together: "Absolutely. If Paul Pierce could play with Ricky Davis (rueful laugh), he can play with Allen Iverson." What the FUCK is that? Wasn't RickyD this wonderful player and a great kid and a reformed super-duper Celtic and all that goddamn bullshit not 7 fucking months ago? RickyD was something of a ball hog, sure, but not nearly in the same class as Pierce, let alone Allen Iverson. For Gorman, it was a disgraceful moment for a man who should know much, much better.
2) This trade will be entirely about putting asses in seats, and when was the last time a trade like that ever worked? Oh yeah, when we killed a #1 pick to rent Antoine Walker. They even put a chart up on the FSN show that pointed out how Philly is the number 5 team in the league for attendance, averaging about 2000 more than the Celtics. AI is Wyc's easy way to guarantee robust ticket sales for the next three years, allowing him to re-sign his trophy buddy Pierce to an extension, get on ESPN a few times, and be able to brag to Mark Cuban about his club's power at the gate.

The Small Exceedingly Stupid Trade

The Rondo pick for next year's #1 was inexcusable and embarrassing. This is Ainge at his absolute worst – fixated on obscure talent he finds singular, unable to let it go. See Robert Swift, Marcus Banks, and Telfair. In the same embarrassing way that he seeks to prove his scouting ability by drafting under-heralded 2nd rounders who succeed as fringe NBA players (when everyone else figured they just plain sucked), he refuses to simply draft the best players available, instead harping on those semi-diamonds in the semi-rough that he's obsessed with polishing into stars. That's why he could never make a conventional pick like Randy Foye or Brandon Roy. They have no allure to his scouting heart, they are fully formed good players, and by picking them it marginalizes the only role as an executive he's comfortable with. His dream is to draft someone he finds under a rock who becomes the next LeBron James, allowing him to take sole credit for the team's turnaround. In this way he is the exact opposite of Larry Bird, who has contented himself with being a patient gardener, and for the most part has succeeded by not overreaching.

Rondo equals Orien Greene with a better college pedigree. That is it. For a fucking #1 pick.

Unfortunately, a 33 win team cannot afford these kind of indulgences. It needs talent, lots of it, and the patience to develop it. Last night was a serious step backwards.

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