Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twenty Second Time Out - T-Minus Draft Day

Why do no NBA players want to come to Boston? I know it’s a lot to ask that all four of your cities major sports teams be at the top of their respective leagues. I’m not going to lie I’m pretty content with the Sox lineup right now and the Patriots are going to be codes, but I don’t think it’s asking too much to have your NBA franchise be relevant and competitive. I wrote about how unacceptable the Celtics season was after the lottery but as we sit here and hour away from the draft and the way the rumor mill has been swirling I simply can’t help myself.

I realize that everything that’s been on SportsCenter has been rumor but over and over again I’ve heard (Fill in NBA player name here) doesn’t want to go to Boston. It can’t just be because the Celtics suck, I know they do but so do a lot of other teams. I’ve also heard it’s a racial issue. Boston is not a place young black athletes jump at the chance to go to. If you look over the history, there is a precedent for that attitude. When Randy Moss first signed with the Pats I remember hearing a lot of talk about how it could be rough on him because Boston isn’t the greatest on polarizing black athletes. Which is true, Boston doesn’t have the best history. The Red Sox were the last team to integrate and the Boston media, newspapers and sports radio especially have been pretty tough on black players in this town.

Black players are often painted as selfish, lazy and or money hungry, like Deion Branch and Asante Samuel. Personally I have nothing against those guys, I do wish they’d play with out holding out but they also play a sport with the shortest average career length. If you look at it that way I can see where Asante is coming from with his “’Get Paid” tattoo.

This nobody wants to play in Boston sentiment is just another example of how far the Celtics have fallen and how Danny Ainge has failed (too this point – I still have a hint of optimism – surprisingly). At this point the draft is going to be anti-climatic for me. Without getting the one or two pick it almost doesn’t matter who they get. Obviously it will have implications for the future, like if they draft the Chinese guy we’re in trouble, unless the other NBA teams start signing chairs to play defense then we’ll be ok.

If asked me a month ago I’d say please God don’t take Joakim Noah, now I don’t see the Celtics winning more than 40-45 games so why not take Joakim at least he’s a winner. Ok I’m still not really sold on Joakim but that’s my point a month or two ago I was ready to swing over the NBA draft. Now I’m not sure how much I really care. Am I going to be pissed if we get Joakim, probably not, but I’m not going to be too stoked if we get Jeff Green, Al Horford and Corey Brewer or trade the pick. Since everyone apparently hates the idea of coming to Boston (easy Shawn Marion – not sure who you think you are) I guess they will just have to pick. I’d like to see Horford, but he probably won’t be available I think I’d honestly be the happiest with Corey Brewer; he really impressed me in the final four. Either way the draft is in 40 minutes, unfortunately it’s not going to be the block party we all hoped it would be a few months ago. Here’s to another couple of months of talking to the three Joe’s and trying to convince ourselves that if everyone stays healthy and the kids come together this team could surprise people… J

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