There have been a lot of articles all over blogs lately about Doc's comments in the interview with Bob Ryan recently. If you missed the videos, you can find them here. They really are worth listening to. There's a lot of great stuff in the interview but this comment by Doc stood out to me:
Honestly, I don't care about the Lakers...I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year-they're in the facility now-I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That's gotta be our focus.
Doc is fomenting some real old school hate and rivalry between the Celtics and the Heat. That's how it used to be. The Celtics and Lakers hated each other. The Celtics and Pistons hated each other. The Celtics and Sixers hated each other. The Celtics and Hawks hated each other. I mean really hated each other. There was no love lost between these teams. You didn't see Larry go up and hug Bill Laimbeer after a game. Even though at the end of their careers, they became friends, you didn't see Bird and Magic hugging after a game. Those were old school rivalries and that's what Doc wants to bring back. He wants the Celtics to hate the Heat. Literally.
There were the classic Celtics and Lakers clashes and rivalries. Back in the old days, going back to the Celtics dynasty of the 60's, those two teams hated each other. The rivalry grew through the years and when the Celtics won, the Lakers fumed and they hated the Celtics even more. The same thing happened when the Lakers finally were able to beat the Celtics. The Celtics fumed and worked and put everything they had toward beating the Lakers the next year. No love lost here.
And there was the rivalry between the Celtics and the Sixers. While there was a measure of respect between the two teams, both teams wanted to win so badly that it was all out war when they faced each other. And both teams hated the Lakers. (I guess pretty much everybody does.)
And of course there was the rivalry between the Celtics and the Bad Boy Pistons. Bird hated Bill Laimbeer and the feeling was mutual. I really think if they saw each other out and about somewhere there would have been a fight right there in the street. . Both players lived to beat the other one. It wasn't that they just didn't like each other, they hated each other. In an interview posted in 2008, Bill Laimbeer made it clear that even after all these years, he and Larry still don't like each other.
Back when the Celtics really hated their rivals, they got up for the games. They gave everything they had to beat that other team. And if they lost, that loss ate at them until they couldn't think of anything other than beating them next year. When it was over, they didn't hug. They didn't wish the other team well. They sulked and fumed and worked until the next year when the hunger drove them to be even better and to be the team on top.
Doc remembers those days, the good old days when rivals hated each other. He has used various means to motivate his teams. He introduced them to ubuntu in 2008 and that's still kind of hanging around, but it lost something when Danny traded Perk. Now, he's introducing them to the old school hatred that drove the teams back when Doc was playing. One last video says it all. Johnny Most can teach the Celtics a lot about how to hate their rivals.
After losing to the Celtics in the 1984 Finals, despite having led in the last minute of the first four games, Lakers Coach Pat Riley did everything but hire an exorcist.
"I had to educate my players who the Celtics were," Riley wrote. "I asked if anyone knew. Finally Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] raised his hand. He said the Celtics were a warring race of Danes who invaded Ireland.
"I had to explain that they were also a cunning secretive race. We had to learn to overcome the mythology of the Celtics."
Good stuff! I should have known that Lex Nihil Novi had something that would fit into the old school theme. I am sure that Riles had every one of his teams hating the Celtics so much they wouldn't even eat salad.
I'll just pretend I didn't see your comment where you said you were starting to like Riley. He's the enemy. Always has been and always will be. Sorry. I just can't like a Laker (or a Knick or a Heat for that matter - and Riley fits all 3)
Yep I still detest Riley. Maybe even more than before. I do also hate the Zen Mistress. I even have a hard time liking Magic. I know he and Larry became friends and he was there at Larry's retirement and all that. BUT he's still a Laker and I just can't like the guy, no matter how likeable that he may seem.