Chris Ford on Robert Parish: "I never saw him go inside while he was with Golden State. I always pictured him taking those jumpers from the foul line." Robert Parish on Robert Parish: "I played both the low post and the high post at Golden State. But because I could shoot from the outside, all you heard about was my high-post game. They took a good thing and made it a bad thing by saying, He can only do this one thing.' " Whatever the case, the Celtics never hesitate to dump the ball in to the big fella in the low hole when they want two points.
We have seen many instances of this over the years. Robert Parish was considered lazy and an underachiever in Golden State. They felt that he would never be a good center and couldn't wait to trade him so that they could draft Joe Barry Carroll. Yet Parish became a Hall of Fame player in Boston and helped to lead them to two championships. Dennis Johnson was considerd a troublemaker in Phoenix who couldn't run a team and yet, he became the glue that held the team together in Boston. Steve Nash languished in Phoenix in his first stint there before breaking out in Dallas.
Red made a habit of bringing in players other teams didn't want and making them into solid contributors in Boston. We already discussed Parish and DJ. Don Nelson, is another player that Red nabbed off the waiver wire that wasn't wanted in LA and he became a solid contributor for 5 championship teams in Boston. And most notably, Bill Walton was at the end of a career that had been plagued by injury but yet he came to Boston and was the Sixth Man of the Year. Many times we see a player who seems washed up, a troublemaker, a mistake, etc. only to be traded or cut and then become an All Star on the team they go to next. Chauncey Billips was a player seen by Rick Pitino as not developing quickly enough. But yet he went to Detroit and developed very quickly.
In most cases, the difference is in the system or the coaching. Some come from a system that doesn't fit their playing style. Or the coach and the player don't get along and so the player is not given playing time or is given a reputation as a malcontent. Or, sometimes it is just the player maturing and breaking out that coincides with the trade. Brandon Bass was not given much of a chance to prove himself in Orlando as his coach didn't have much faith in him. He came to Boston and Doc gave him a chance and he played very well for the Celtics.
Sometimes we see players who didn't shine in college become a star in the pros because the college system didn't fit their strengths. Rondo came out of a system that didn't really fit him at Kentucky. Twenty GM's passed him over because of his struggles in college. But Danny Ainge had scouted him in high school and knew what he would be capable of in the right system. Once Rondo got into Doc's system, he thrived and has become one of the best point guards in the league.
There are also many cases where a coach is fired and the team does a turn around because the coach was not getting through to the players or the coach's system didn't fit his players. This is why we see so many coaching changes in the league. As there are trades and personnel changes on teams many times the coach's system no longer fits the the new players and a change has to be made. After spending a fortune to bring in highly paid players, it is usually the coach who goes and not the players. Bill Fitch was the perfect coach for the Celtics in Larry Bird's first season but after 3 seasons, he was no longer effective and had lost the respect of the players. KC Jones was the exact opposite of the demanding drill sergeant Fitch and exactly what the veteran team needed at that point.
"The way Doc Rivers runs his system is the way basketball is supposed to be played. Everyone touches it. There’s screening, moving, cutting, communication — it’s all there.”
Just like Red, Doc has a way of getting the most out of his players. We saw that with Brandon Bass, with Rondo, with Greg Stiemsma, and with others who come to the Celtics and succeed after struggling elsewhere. We have several new players coming in for this next season and I have a very good feeling that they are going to be successful in the Celtics' system, just as others have before them.
Thanks Tobi. I've been wondering why they don't make McGee an offer. I'm pretty sure they can get him for the vet min. I read where he's working with John Lucas and really wants to play. I think he's worth taking a chance on.