|Posted by paul on July 5, 2012 at 7:20 AM|
It's easy to blame Ray Allen for the Celtics negotiation impass that has Allen visiting the Heat today for wining and dining and possible contract signing. As much sense as it makes for the Heat to try to hire the best three point shooter in the game, since no team is better at driving and kicking than they are (Allen should be able to spot up, catch and shoot all game long, every game), the whole thing reeks of sophomoric one-upsmanship. Lebron wants to stick it to the Celtics, and so does Ray.
And the sight of Ray Allen schmoozing with the Heat after losing game seven to them was hardly endearing, from a Celtics fan's point of view. Some folks call that 'class'. Simmons said it looked like Allen was handing out his resume.
One really has to wonder how this spite-based marriage will feel to the loving couple once they look at each other and realize that they are expected to live together. Mr. Ego, meet Mrs. Robot! Mrs. Robot, meet Mr. Ego! Oh, and meet Mr. Thug, your new husband's best, best, best, best friend! Now let's all play Happy Family.
Welcome to Hell, Jesus!
In all seriousness, Ray Allen on the Heat could work out brilliantly. But I still think Boston is Ray Allen's home. The Celtics have made him a nice offer. Danny has already built a team that looks like a contender. I wonder if Ainge is refusing to give Allen the one thing he probably really wants; a no trade guarantee of some kind.
If that's what Allen wants, I don't think it's unreasonable at all. At this point in his career, Ray Allen should certainly not have to be worrying about having to pack his stuff up and move again. If all the man wants, when you come down to it, is a little respect and a little consideration, shouldn't we be willing to come more than halfway?
I wonder if sometimes Danny gets so locked up with his doctrinaire stance about being a GM, famously based on a misinterpretation of what happened to the Celtics in the nineties (but even if it were a correct interpretation...), that a GM should basically have every player on the trading block at all times, that he can't see reason?
I don't think it hurts at all to reiterate on the subject of 'what-happened-to-the-Celtics'. We had the greatest dynasty in sports history, until we hit a twenty year skid that may have been unprededented amongst great 'dynasty' franchises in sports. What started it was a double tragedy that also may have been unprededented, the sudden deaths of Lenny Bias and Reggie Lewis. Perhaps many fans aren't aware of this today, but Len Bias wasn't just a draft pick. The team had fallen in love with this kid. The players had fallen in love with him. The fans had fallen in love with him. He was the Future of the Franchise almost as much as Bobby Orr was when he came to the Bruins in the late sixties. Bias was also literally the future, in that the Celtics had a lot of draft pick leverage tied up in him. Red Auerbach had done some of his most masterful wheeling and dealing to land a high pick for a perennielly low-drafting team, and it was 'spent' on Bias.
Bias' death broke the Celtics down, and it was an amazing tribute to the determination of that team's Big Three that they kept on excelling for years afterwards. Then a seeming miracle ocurred. Reggie Lewis, a local basketball legend for his college career at Northeastern, was drafted 22nd by the Celtics, and - much like Rondo - soon showed himself to be a developing NBA superstar. Incredibly, unexpectedly, the tail-dragging Celtics had a future again ... until Lewis too died suddenly and tragically, leaving the Celtics team, franchise and fandom in a deeper state of shock than ever. That's when they turned to Pitino, who was in over his head from the beginning, miles over his head, in what looks now like an act of desperation.
Of course, it all depends on how one tells the story. Danny says that the Celtics' decline happened because Red didn't trade Larry and Kevin away, as their age set in. Bird himself has rightly slapped this theory away. No team with a semblance of a heart could have withstood the double tragedy that befell the Celtics. Talk to any fan of the Celtics from the eighties about Lenny Bias. I guarantee you'll see in their eyes that it still hurts to think about what happened, about the high hopes and the tragic fall. Then mention Reggie Lewis...
What happened to us was heartbreaking and it proves, if anything, that a team MUST have a heart to excel. Stop trying to be such a tough guy, Danny. There are times to make tough decisions, but maybe not as many as you sometimes seem to think. If Ray wants no trade assurance, well, that's the least we can do.