|Posted by paul on June 30, 2012 at 7:10 AM|
I don't usually cite Bob Ryan in a positive way, but fwiw, Ryan seems to agree with me about Garnett:
Bob Ryan says if a contender offers Garnett more money than the Celtics are willing to pay, then KG will be shipping out of Boston. But the question is more complicated than that.
At 36 years old, Garnett is no spring chicken. It takes more effort to play the game at the level he expects of himself, and the big question Ryan thinks Garnett should be asking himself is, "do I really want to do this again?"
Others at Csnne expect Garnett to make over twenty million dollars when he comes back.
Felger and Mazz don't think KG wants to coach, mentor and tutor the young ones.
I agree with all that. I don't usually agree with the folks at CSNNE, but this time I do. I suspect that KG will go wherever he thinks he can get maximum cash. I suspect that all this talk about how he will only play for Doc is a smokescreen. I guess we'll see. But I think you have to be pretty naive to dismiss the fact that KG was supposedly seen the other day in San Antonio, San Antonio being the other team that has reportedly already shown great interest in KG.
And even I have to admit that the thought of Duncan and KG playing the four and the five is pretty interesting! Man, what would that be like?!
Fwiw, I don't begrudge Allen and KG whatever it is they want. If I see KG in a San Antonio uniform, or Allen in a Heat uniform, I'll be interested in seeing how they do. Honestly, I'll even root for them a little. But I won't see them as Great Celtics. And I find the whole mess rather pathetic. My memory is probably selective, but I can't remember the last time scrubs, much less much loved and legendary Boston players, didn't offer up even basic platitudes about wanting to stay here to the public. KG finally vouschafed a few platitudes a few days ago, I read somewhere. This is all pretty crazy stuff to me. Again, maybe my memory is off, but these guys just finished a hot title run, after appealing very emotionally for fan support, after five years of being beloved by fans to the point of being widely acknowledged as all-time great Celtics despite only winning one title (which means something in these parts), and they offer us barely a platitude?
Wow. Maybe they really do hate Rondo. Maybe they are still mad about the Lockout, and the Perk Trade. I wouldn't blame them for that. Maybe they just don't give a rat's derriere.
When it comes to money, I don't mind if we pay Allen and KG 20 million dollars each, if it doesn't affect our cap. But I have to think that it DOES affect our cap, or else Danny wouldn't have made such an issue of not committing himself to renewing both those guys before this.
What they get paid clearly does affect our cap situation, right?
And even though we continue to hear the mantra that Sports Is Just A Business, we are looking at one of those typical sports scenarios; if those two guys stay, their involvement in the Rondo Transition could be truly priceless. This is especially true of KG, who has shown a tremendous propensity for teaching. He has claimed that he hates teaching, but his actual behavior seems to say otherwise, very loudly. A few weeks ago, I would have said that Felger and Mazz were clearly wrong, and that play-coaching is an absolutely natural next step for KG. If KG and Allen came back and gave us their veteran leadership, while playing reduced roles on the floor, they'd be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to us. You couldn't pay them enough.
But we need them to come back for a lot less money than they've been making, and probably than they could make elsewhere, because we need to start building a new team. I don't know if I'll ever understand why it is that even professional athletes who deeply understand the importance of TEAM refuse to recognize that it hurts them a lot when they demand so much money that the team cannot afford support talent, or in this case, up and coming talent. We keep hearing that KG is all about winning. What if he had taken less money over the past several years? Could we have had better talent coming off the bench? Would KG have had to batter his body less over the past several years if we'd had better talent than Big Baby and Brandon Bass coming first off the bench?
But as crucial as it was to have better support talent in recent past years, it's even more crucial now that we not pay KG and Ray massive amounts of money. We MUST bring in strong up-and-coming talent, now that Rondo is entering his prime.
I was on the players' side during the Lockout. In fact, I was mad at them for coming back for the season. I thought that the idea that they should give up salary cap money to the owners when the league's business was booming like never before was crazy. But that's a done deal now. The players lost that struggle because their union appears to be totally corrupt. I can't decide if Hunter reminds me more of Don King or Don Giotti, yet he's still in charge of the union, if you can even call it that. Instead of Hunter being under the gun, Fisher is! Anyway, it's ancient history now. I understand being mad at Ainge and at the owners of the Celtics, but the Celtics are about something that goes way beyond those people. The fans expressed what the Celtics are about the night they chanted for the team. This is about a tradition that is about so much more than dollars.
And we are asking KG and Ray Allen to be part of THAT tradition. We can't pay them enough to be part of it, because it's about something far beyond dollars. We want them to be part of the transition to the Rondo Era. They have a chance to be part of something very special, like Dave Cowens helping the seventies Celtics transition to the Bird Celtics, but even more so. As I've said, I see Ray Allen as the offensive powerhouse coming off the bench, and KG as the leader and mentor of a Gang of Bigs. They surely must see the potential for being part of something the league won't soon forget, a Rondo team that will inspire future teams and players.
And let's not forget that the decision KG and Allen make now will affect the way they are seen by future generations of Celtics fans. Were they rentals? Or were they True Celtics. With most franchises, the difference hardly matters, but they know very well that with the Celtics, it matters.
I think it comes down to this. Whether or not KG and Ray like Rondo, they must surely recognize that he represents the future of this team, and maybe of the game of basketball itself. KG above all must see that this is someone who has a vision of the game's future, much like him in many ways. And they must surely see that Rondo sacrificed his game to theirs for five years, and that he supported them for five years; the time has come to return the favor. I'm not speaking about contracts and dollars here. I'm talking about 'paying it forward'.
You guys spent five years restoring the Celtics Tradition. You rescuscitated Celtics Pride. Don't let it down now. Come back to us. Mentor the future. And do it for less money than you could make elsewhere, so that Danny can begin to pull together a team around Rondo. There is something beautiful just waiting to happen here, and you know it better than anyone. Be a part of that.
Steve Nash makes a good point relating to this, that it's hard to sign a contract where you give up a lot of money, only to be traded by Christmas.
Danny needs to make a commitment that he's NOT going to continue to threaten trades, especially if guys sign team-friendly contracts.