|Posted by MikeS on January 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM|
I'm new to Celtics Title Town, so first I'd just like to say hi to all of my fellow C's fans. I'm sure a lot of you are just as confounded as I am about the Celtics start to the season. I'm here to rant about Danny Ainge, so that's what I'm going to do now...
Let me start off by saying, I'm very worried with the way the Celtics have started the season. But I'm not worried about the team. I believe they can turn it around and there's no reason why I shouldn't. The season is young, the new guys need time to adapt, and some players are still shaking off the cobwebs (though as a mostly veteran team they should know what shape to be in come the start of the season). No, I have no problem with the team's current record, except that my heart hurts and my pride is trampled upon every time they miss a lay up, give up 3 offensive boards in a row, or fail to score 15 pts in the first quarter. My biggest worry is not the team's performance but how that performance is being viewed by the 'Mad Scientist' Danny Ainge.
For every solid move Danny has made I feel he's made two or three questionable ones. After the gamble paid off and the new Big Three was assembled, I would never have guessed he'd stick to that gambling mentality. He gambled in not re-signing James Posey and Tony Allen (major role players on Finals-appearing teams). He gambled drafting players like J.R. Giddens, Avery Bradley and the newest victim of Doc's rookie dungeon, JuJuan Johnson. He gambled signing a player like Patrick O'Bryant over a player like Chris Andersen after the 2008 title run. (Could you imagine Chris Andersen coming off the Celtics bench?! The defensive tandem he would create aside either Perk or KG? The legitimate minutes he'd take off KG? The minutes that probably would have saved KG from his untimely injury right before the C's were set to defend their title?!?) He gambled by relying on the waiver wire to fill the gaps (Stephon Marbury, anyone?) And he gambled by letting Perk, a brother to his teammates and family to the franchise, go for what has turned out to be a protected 1st rounder and last year's early exit from the playoffs. It was clear that this move wasn't made to win championships (the then best in the league C's collapsed with a lack of chemistry and surplus of injuries), it was made for business reasons; money and securing a potential building block for the future.
The Perk deal, combined with the constant shopping of Ray during the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons, the dangling of Rondo over this extended offseason, and even his admittance to suggesting Red trade the original Big Three, is proof enough to me that there is no sense of player loyalty with Danny Ainge. With every loss I fear he's a phone call away from blowing this team to bits. And there's nothing to suggest he wouldn't. The most recent rumors of Pierce being a player of interest around the league terrifies me. The idea of the captain of this franchise who has given so much over the years being traded, makes me angry just typing it out. If the C's recent form continues, there's no doubt that Ainge will be fielding offers for his aging core of superstars and there is no feasible scenario where it would look good. How do you trade Ray Allen? The most consistent player this team has; the record-setting shooter who must be challenging Father Time in 3-Point contests to keep him on hold. How do you trade Kevin Garnett? The man who singlehandedly made basketball relevant again in Boston. How do you trade Paul Pierce? The team's heart and soul for over 13 years now, the first player with a legitimate chance of starting and ending his historic career as a Celtic in God knows how long.
The players look lost, tired, and unmotivated but are they solely to blame? "Ubuntu" seems to have died with the Kendrick Perkins trade, with the constant rumors, with the lack of showing loyalty to the personnel who made the Celtics relevant again. Basketball, after a good run, no longer seems to be a brotherhood in Boston anymore. It seems that it's all business.