There are a few interesting things out there today. The Herald has an article that centers on Doc being ready for the season but in it is a bomb about Ricky Davis.
There is also a quiet acknowledgement from the team that by midseason, Rivers had an unworkable situation on his hands. The Davis experiment, while bearing fruit on the floor after two seasons, had run its course in the locker room. According to a team source, Davis habitually undercut Paul Pierce’s authority, often talking and joking behind the Celtics captain’s back, and “rolling his eyes” when Pierce attempted to address the rest of the team. Similar things were said about Davis during his brief time as LeBron James’ teammate in Cleveland. “Paul was very aware of it,” said the source. “It began to affect his play and his demeanor. That was something that had to change.”
I loved what Ricky brought to the floor during games. He was an exciting player who gave 110% during games. But if this is true, his divisive behavior in the locker room did more to undermine the team than his play on the floor helped it. Chemistry on a team is very important and we didn't need that kind of undercutting of Pierce when he was trying to take a leadership role. To Danny's credit he made the reason for trading Ricky the fact that he and Paul had similar games, not Ricky's behavior off the court.
Town Online has an interesting piece on the struggle for tolerance in Reading to right a terrible wrong.
To make up for the lack of tolerance that basketball great Bill Russell received here in Reading in the 1960s, Stoneham resident Bob Sansone would like to rename a portion of Route 28 - from Main and Franklin streets to the North Reading line - as Tolerance Road. Russell, an African American, lived in Reading first on Main Street then on Haverhill Street while playing for the Boston Celtics. During that time, vandals broke into his home and damaged his property. In addition, his residency was petitioned against by a small group of townspeople.
I am reading a book on the history of the Celtics and it has a lot to say about the undercurrent of racism that the players had to face in the past from the 60's right through the 90's. My hat is off to Mr Sansone and I wish him luck in his fight for tolerance.
The Enterprise has a piece that brings up the high expectations for this year's team and hopes that the players can live up to them.
The Celtics used a number of combinations, searching for players to take hold of spots, but Rivers doesn't see that happening this season. “The whole rotation thing will spell out,'' he said. “San Antonio and Detroit, they know their rotations now. With us last year, no one ever separated themselves. I do think there will be separation this year. That'll make our jobs easier.''
Doc expects several players to step forward and take the spots available. I also expect several players to break out this season. Even though there will be stiff competition at several positions, the chemistry on this team is very good. I am expecting great things this season!
In a bit of a bizarre story, Gerald Green's alma mater is being closed down for a number of infractions and a large debt. We read stories all the time about players going back to their old schools to talk to the students as Gomes did this off season and there is always a story about the player's high school retiring his jersey. I guess Gerald won't get to do any of those things and that is a shame.
You can go here to check out Danny's interview on FSN. The fact that he mentioned that Al is competing for minutes with Gomes and Scal caught my attention. Either Scal had some sort of resurrection over the summer or something is wrong, because Scal shouldn't be getting a lot of minutes this season. He also mentioned Rondo, Telfair and West all playing together at times. That would be a very interesting lineup. Short, but interesting and very, very fast.
JB over at CelticsStuff Live is trying to stir up some suport for an uprising against the high prices of sporting events and the refreshments you can find there. It would be nice to make things afordable for the common man again. And while you are there, don't forget to cast your vote in the Guess the Season Record Poll. Many predictions are already in. You have until tip off of opening night to make or change your predictions.
His name isn't on the Celtics' roster, and he won't be included in the preseason media guide. But it's impossible to miss 6-foot-11-inch Akin Akingbala working out at the team facility these days. He is, as they say, along for the ride. He played college ball at Clemson and then played three games for the Celtics in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13 minutes a game. His big game came against the Pistons, when he had 10 points and 8 rebounds in 24 minutes. If Akingbala doesn't stick here, maybe Nellie should give him a call. He was 8 for 8 from the line during the Vegas Summer League .
A lot was made of the Pittsnogle signing, but virtually nothing, other than these two obscure mentions has been made of Akinbala and where he figures in the plans of the team. Maybe he and Pittsnogle have been signed just to push players in camp, or maybe there is some promise there. It won't be long now until we find out.
>>The fact that he mentioned that Al is competing for minutes with Gomes and Scal caught my attention.<<
I think Ainge may have said this to lessen the pressure on Jefferson. If he comes out and says that the starting spot is for Jefferson to lose, it does 2 things. 1) it may upset Gomes and Scal that they aren't being given a fair shot to compete for the starting role (this is a morality issue), and 2) it may take the edge off of Jefferson if he knows that the starting spot is his to lose. We need Al to come into training camp and preseason determined to beat all competition for the starting role, and that fire needs to be burning very hotly. It'll cool down significantly if Ainge says to the media that Jefferson is already assured the starting spot.
I hadn't thought of that but it is very true. Jefferson had very high expectations on him and that put a lot of pressure on him and Danny may just be trying to limit the pressure this season other than what Al is putting on himself.
To me, that's what Ainge is doing. He's consciously trying to keep pressure off of him, and allow Jefferson to develop at his pace (which may take a big step forward this season), and not at the pace he, the media and fans place on him.
I think this is the tactic he is using for all the young players.