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When did the Celtics become the Lakers?

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM



It wasn't that long ago when Shaq and Kobe were at odds. It was a public feud for a better part of a decade, and it was also at it's peak when they both played on the same team. The crap hit the fan when the Lakers lost in the Finals in 2004. Kobe was a free agent, and Shaq was nearing the end of his days as a prime time center.So the team went in a different direction.



A day after O'Neal was traded, Bryant re-signed with the Lakers for seven years and $136 million. Bryant said he enjoyed playing with both Jackson and O'Neal, and he said he did not influence the Lakers' decisions regarding the two. Regardless, newspapers the next day criticized Bryant for his alleged manipulation of the team O'Neal added, "When it came to my leaving, [Kobe] could have spoken up. He could have said something. He didn't say anything." Winter said, "[O'Neal] left because he couldn't get what he wanted—a huge pay raise. There was no way ownership could give him what he wanted. Shaq's demands held the franchise hostage, and the way he went about it didn't please the owner too much."



These two had public jabs during their three-peat with the Lakers. The first year seemed to be all roses when the Lakers won the first of three titles. Towards the end Kobe had more than Shaq on his back. Phil Jackson grew tired of Kobe, and he walked away for a season. For about five years this was a very public clash between two star players and a coach. The Celtics find themselves in a sticky spot right now in the public eye. It's not the exact thing as the Lakers, but it's playing out to be a big circus much like the Shaq-Kobe Lakers.


For me I see Rondo as the Kobe type. I also seen Rondo growing frustrated with this team, much like how Bryant did with Shaq coming into camp every year out of shape. Rondo surpassed the 'Big Three',but like I've said a million times, and many of you have. This team has never been his. But everything has been blamed on him in the process. 


Look at the Ray Allen debacle. Ray was more than willing to take a bench role with the Heat, but wasn't willing with the Celtics. Ray wasn't capable of listening to a player who was not his equal when he joined the Celtics in 2007. Father time caught up with Ray, and Rondo was entering his prime. Ray was unable to let go of that alpha male thing, but for the Heat it was easier. I'm sure because it was an easier go for another ring. The old saying if you can't beat them join them.


The purpose of this story is simple. The Celtics franchise has pride itself for longer than I have been alive on being loyal and great, and many other things that have integrity at the forefront. The Celtics in the past month have been a damn car wreck. The Celtics may have damaged their good reputation, or this is just a minor issue that will be aired and fixed. This story has had a beginning a middle and hopefully an end soon. 



" Jackson and Laker management decided to loosen their reins on Bryant, who decided to play the season as normal, but with admittedly no patience for O'Neal's comments to the media. As in past seasons, the tensions between the angry Bryant and sensitive O'Neal grew, with intense media attention. Jackson, who suggests he has had a tenuous relationship with Bryant ever since a remark he made in a 2001 interview that Bryant "sabotaged" games in high school to win them at the end, states that the Lakers suspended talks over a contract extension after he shouted to General Manager Mitch Kupchak "I won't coach this team next year if [Bryant] is still here. He won't listen to anyone. I've had it with this kid."Bryant, after realizing the apparent finality of his time with Jackson, more or less reached a distanced truce with him.


Like I said. When did we become the Lakers?




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4 Comments

Reply paul
7:14 AM on June 23, 2013 
Wow. This is a great piece, Shawn. And you really put your finger on Rondo's dilemma. He gets all the blame, but entering his eight year in the league, he still doesn't really get to call the shots. It's blatantly not fair. The Allen situation was such a good example. Regardless of whatever else happened there, the bottom line, so to speak, is that Allen resented coming off the bench with the Cs, yet was more than happy to do it with the Heat. He just refused to accept the rise of the young ones. Something in him just wouldn't let him do it. The mental gymnastics of going over to the enemy were easier for him than the mental gymnastics of changing roles on a team that needed to become younger! We needed him this past year.

Something not that dissimilar happened with Magic early in his career. There was a conflict between him and his coach for the Lakers, and the result was a new coach. Coaches too sometimes resist the rise of a young player who has a mind of his own, and great talent. Doc needs to understand that his role needs to change, that his role has to be facilitating Rondo's vision of the game, and facilitating a smoother change of relations between Rondo and the Old Ones, or else someone needs to move on, and please, Danny, don't get rid of Rondo. Rondo is something special. He is a door opening to the future of basketball.
Reply Greg
12:23 PM on June 23, 2013 
I think u point out something key. I think Doc got the Big 3. I think Rondo needs a coach that gets him. A coach able to crack the problem. Rondo needs one star player? A Stockton to a Malone. How can we make it happen? Stockton and Malone were the team. Doc has never coached a great point since Rondo. The first two years this team was built for the Big 3 as they got older it changed,but Doc didn't. Rondo took this team on his back in year 3. It took Doc until the playoffs to let Rondo lead this team. We just need to have a coach that can build an offense around Rondo.
Reply paul
2:53 PM on June 23, 2013 
Josh Smith?
Reply jlil89
3:33 PM on June 23, 2013 
paul says...
Josh Smith?


I really think Josh Smith and Rondo could do some special things together. Nothing better than having good times with an old friend. Smith would WANT to play alongside Rondo... unlike Pierce at times :'(