In this era of 10 minute oil changes, 1 hour photo developing, and instant everything, we tend to get impatient with anything that takes awhile. This includes basketball. Where in most cases a little impatience won't change much, in basketball impatience can be the difference between continual mediocrity and building a contender. Pitino was impatient with Chauncey Billups and traded him for Kenny Anderson so he would have an instant PG instead of trying to develop Billups into the PG of the future for the Celtics. Billups helped to lead the Pistons to championships while the players we traded for him are out of the league. Jim O'Brien was impatient with Joe Johnson and traded him for instant help to propel them down the stretch. Joe Johnson is now helping other teams get better while the two players we traded him for (Delk and Rodgers) are aging role players. Another example of impatience is Jermaine O'Neal. I see any number of message board posts saying that we should get O'Neal and how good he is. Well, it took O'Neal years to get that way. He was drafted out of high school by Portland in '96 and only averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds his first year. Second year he upped it to 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds. In O'Neal's 3rd year in Portland, his averages dropped to 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds and played in only 36 games due to injury. If he was in Boston I can just read all the posts saying what a bust he is. (Is this sounding familiar by any chance?) In O'Neal's 4th year he averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. This kid showed promise in high school. Enough that he was the 17th pick in the first round. But yet in 4 years he doesn't seem to be showing a lot of progress. Then, in 2000, he was traded to Indiana for Dale Davis. In his 5th year in the league he finally started to show the talent that was promised when he was drafted. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds. If Portland had just a little more patience, they could have this young and promising All Star center on their team. J O'Neal has continued to improve his averages every year after that break out year in his 5th year in the league. By now, you know where I am going with this, I am sure. The Shaq's, the CP3's, the LeBron James's who come into the league and are impressive right away are few and far between. Centers and PG's especially take more time to develop. Especially when you draft a player out of high school or an underclassman, you have to realize that they probably won't be stars right away. Especially with high school players, it is like a whole new world. They have to learn the game all over again on the pro level as it is nothing like the high school game. Along with that, they have to learn to live on their own for the first time, learn how to condition their bodies for the NBA season and their whole lives are in upheaval. Now if we compare Al to J O'Neal, Al is way ahead in terms of his game and development. He averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 points his first year and 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds his second year, in spite of the injuries. Al is going into just his 3rd year and his numbers improved from his first to his second year. A number of fans are getting impatient and want to move Al because of the injuries and because he isn't dominating like they think he should. But this kind of thinking is why J O'Neal is an All Star in Indiana and not Portland and why Chauncey Billips led the Pistons to a championship and not the Celtics. Sure we can trade our young kids with so much promise for a player who can help us right now... but just as Chauncey, O'Neal and Joe Johnson are starring in the league long after the veteran players they were traded for have fallen by the wayside, if we trade our youth, 3 years from now we will be in the same position and OUR young players breaking out and starring and leading their teams to championships when whoever we get for them are long gone. I for one hope that Danny has learned that patience is a virtue and that being impatient may just doom the Celtics to a perpetual state of mediocrity. source:
Incredible write up, FL12. Outstanding use of past examples of high school players and young rookies who were passed up way too quickly. I remember reading that both Jermaine O'Neal and Tracy McGrady daily tore it up in practices, but did not get the playing time in games. But yet, they were traded away and became stars for their new team(s). There was an article just the other day where Ainge (or Rivers, maybe Tony Brown) said that Gerald would score like 30 pts in practice against Pierce and Ricky. To me, this is prime example of why we CANNOT, or MUST NOT, trade Gerald Green away. He's got the ability to be an incredible player--now he's just got to adjust his game to the NBA level and find his comfort zone. Same with Jefferson. The kid has come this far without getting the right coaching. Much like how Jermaine wasn't doing much in his 4 years in Portland, Al hasn't really set the world on fire yet. But Jermaine had the game and when it finally materialized, he showcased the game he always had in him. This is how Jefferson is going to be too. He's got the ability inside of him. Now he has to put in the extra work and the coaching staff has to make sure he gets the right mentoring to bring it out of him.
Thanks for reminding us, FL12, of how we must be patient for our young players to develop.
I have waited 20 years and counting. I will not get any sympathy from Patriots (40 years) and Red Sox (86 years) fans on this. Boston Celtics only path to success is how well they drafted and how well they managed that Salary Cap. I think the Celtics are on the right track and some astute members of the media also believe that - Ron
great article FL. I think Danny is one of the better judges of talent in the league when it comes to GM's. He makes lots of moves but unlike Isaiah he adds talent, draft picks and sheds salary rather than adds mediocrity, high salary and trades away draft picks.
We are SO much better set for the present and future with DA at the helm than we were with Pitino/Obie.
Right Esco. That's why even though at first, I may not agree or see Ainge's reasoning for getting the players he gets, I later find out that it was a brilliant move. Even with this Iverson talk, I'm not necessarily jumping with joy, and actually would prefer if we don't make the trade. But I do have faith in Ainge's judgment, especially in player's talents and abilities, so if he thinks its the best thing to go after Iverson, I'll be on board with him--as long as he doesn't give up Gerald or Jefferson.