Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I think the time is now for them, and I hope the players understand that and have an urgency that their time is now.”
Paul Pierce was a guest at the season ticket holder last night where Kyrie made his bombshell announcement (well, kind of a bombshell, he’d been telegraphing it pretty strongly over the past week), and, as one might expect from someone who’s just on the other side of his career, he had some thoughts about the transitory nature of it all.
He’s a smart player, he’s a smart guy. He understands that championship window. Also, it doesn’t last that long.
Ah yes, the ‘championship window’ — that semi-mythical bit of architecture that comes with no guarantees. Pierce’s Celtics had a ‘championship window’ that was mangled by a succession of injuries and one major medical problem: 2009 – Kevin Garnett; 2010 – Kendrick Perkins; 2011 – Rajon Rondo (dirty D-Wade); 2012 – Jeff Green (don’t think Green would’ve made a difference in 2012? Go back and look at the Celtics’ bench production in their last two games against Miami in the conference finals).
One title in a five year window isn’t much, but it’s more than most players get.
And like Pierce said, it doesn’t last that long.
With some savvy roster management, the Celtics might be able to extend their window longer than was the case with Pierce, but it’s still a fleeting thing. The phrase ‘time flies’ is an unfortunately imprecise translation of ‘tempus fugit’, time flees, time escapes.
Pierce also had thoughts on Ainge:
Danny just showed you how he’s not afraid to take a chance, he makes hard decisions. That’s hard to do. It was hard for him to trade me or Kevin. But it’s not about the name on the back. The good thing about Danny, we talked, so we had an understanding. It was never no hard feelings. But he’s always going to do what’s right for the franchise. It’s not surprising that they are where they are right now.
Red Auerbach liked Danny Ainge.
Red also traded Ainge to the one of the worst teams in the league (even then the Kings were terrible). A few years before, he’d traded Cornbread, whom he also liked, to the Clippers, who were the worst team in the league.
Both players eventually came around, although it took Maxwell awhile. Ainge was a bit more pragmatic (Ainge also eventually ended up on a couple halfway decent teams; Maxwell was subsequently traded to the cocaine-addled Rockets).
Playing careers don’t last very long–and there’s very little about them that’s guaranteed. But while you’re playing, it doesn’t feel that way–at least not when you’re in your prime.
As a player, you’re not likely to think that getting traded is in the best interests of the team–not at the moment, anyway–you have to think that you’re better than whatever the team’s getting in return. But if time bears out the GM’s decision–and takes some of the sting away from being uprooted and sent off to some other place–you’ll probably end up understanding where the GM was coming from.
Heck, IT was willing to come back to the Celtics less than a year after what was generally considered to be one of the most cold-blooded trades in league history. And Pierce? Well, he got the last laugh.
Page 2: Where we should all stop talking about New York City being a basketball mecca.
ESPN’s Chris B. Haynes appeared on FS1’s to report a favorite in the hypothetical Durant sweepstakes. And it’s good news for New York Knicks fans.
There are few narratives in sports that are as risible as the ‘New York is a basketball destination’ story that crops up every time there’s a free agent on the move.
Perhaps the most ridiculous part of this narrative is the notion that New York is a ‘basketball mecca’.
New York, we are told, is a wonderful place to play basketball because, again, we are told, if you’re a famous basketball player with the Knicks, you are royalty in a city where that means something.
This notion is ludicrous on its face, but it is even more ludicrous when it’s used to explain why a player might choose to play in New York instead of Boston, as we saw happen with Kyrie Irving over the past few months. Paul Pierce summed it up best:
I think he has an understanding after being here: It’s all about legacy. To have a legacy here in Boston can be like none other in the NBA.
Nobody with sense, nobody that you’d actually want staying in Boston, is going to go to the Knicks to cement his legacy. Nobody in Boston is going anywhere else to do that.
As Kyrie put it:
I do have a dream of putting my number 11 in the rafters one day, if I’m so blessed to do that
Or, rather, Evan Turner’s 11:
Finally: New grist for the rumor mill
Several league sources have said they believe Davis could end up either with the Celtics or Lakers if the Pelicans were to move him. If he landed with the Celtics, he’d be reunited with former Team USA teammate Irving. The two have already spoken about what it would be like to play together in Boston, according to a league source.
Jay King is now happily among those journalists who can use ‘league sources’ in his articles, and we welcome his ability to toss out anonymous information as it’s that much more chum in the water for us sharks.
I highly doubt the Celtics will land Anthony Davis, if only because someone out there is going to overpay for him, but we at least know what we have to look forward to for the next several months: Talking heads going on about what’s a fair price to pay for Davis. My pre-season prediction is that the argument is going to come down to whether the Celtics should trade both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for Davis, with Celtics haters chiming in that the Celtics should include even more than that.
The rest of the links
Boston Herald: Kyrie Irving: ‘I plan on re-signing’ with Celtics