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"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix"
 Christina Baldwin

Arriving to a new place, adapting to a new environment, to the climate and to the character of people is always tough. To anyone who has experienced a drastic change of scenery in his life, this is no news. The individual is removed from parts of his life with which he feels related to. In a sense, it feels as if part of your identity is lost in the process. Living in a new place, and in a new culture is always a learning process from the start.

Although pro athletes are used to experiencing such changes in their lifestyles and although they are enough paid to adjust themselves much better to changes than anyone else who may be reading this, you have to understand that we are simply talking about people learning to be accepted by others. Such is the case of all the players that joined the team in the last month.

In the case of Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green the situation is particularly dramatic since their arrival to Beantown coincided with the departure of one of our most popular Celtics in the last decade. The team was in tears, and certainly torn in pieces after the trade deadline trade with Oklahoma City. Literally too, because we had very few bodies available to practice or simply to play. Still shocked, eyes blurred by the recent tears and hearts shaken both by sadness and anger, the Celtics players got the vision of Green and Krstic in the locker room for the first time. It must have been tough for everybody, and while for the most part we've been arguing and debating about the effect on the players that already were here (see Rondo and the Big Three), I would like you to think about the other side of the drama.


I would like you to think about what Green and Krstic were feeling back then. Their lives changed drastically, their schemes, plans and routines completely shattered. They left a fresh and young team in Oklahoma, to join a hierarchy of old veterans with the weight of experience on their shoulders.

If anybody has experienced the loss of a colleague at work, being fired without much explanations after a long period of time in the job, you can relate to this. You are trying to find a way to understand why the company has got rid of such a fine and valid worker and minutes later you meet the guy that will sit at his desk. You shake his hand and you are thinking of your old colleague. He feels your welcoming gestures but it's evident there is something showing in your eyes. He can feel you are thinking about something else. You are not there, and he is still not here.

Change, acceptance, drama.

Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic are very good basketball players and it also seems they are also quite good people too. Green has a quite humble profile, in which simplicity and honesty are main elements. Krstic is, as Doc pointed out this week "a pleaser", willing to work for the benefit of the team. Good workers, fine talking individuals, excellent people. They deserve a chance to be accepted by fans.

And obviously they have the talent to play in a championship caliber squad. While Krstic has some flaws (like anybody else in the team) he has the skills, the size and the IQ to be a very good element for this team, now and in the future. Let's not forget he is just 27. He can provide quality minutes for us and he will not complain if his minutes fluctuate. He will work to improve, to show he can be a Celtic for many years.

Jeff Green will make the sport lives of Pierce and Allen longer and smoother. He is a player in the mold of Rondo and KG: long, versatile, skilled and talented. He actually looks like a bigger Rondo. Physically he is gifted to play the sport of basketball. Mentally he is a good candidate to be a Boston Celtics fan favorite. Low profile, show you with my actions person.

While I am sure we will never forget what Kendrick Perkins did for this team and its fans, I am equally convinced that Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic will be welcomed and admired for many years by all of us fans of the Celtics.

They deserve a chance, they will prove they can bleed green too

Bohemian 3/27/2011 07:08:00 AM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. Nice article.

    Most people aren't going to forgive Danny for trading Perk until Green and Krstic really show us something in the playoffs... but as long as the Celtics are playing playoff basketball next month, with the heart and energy we all know they're capable of, I can definitely see the new guys really step into their roles as members of this team.

    I don't know if these guys will really both be in Boston for years to come, but anything is possible... and that includes a return to the NBA Finals this year for the C's as long as they can get their act together real soon and play Celtics' basketball, in sync with one another, even with all these new players.

  2. Phil says:

    Really nice piece. My sense is that not only we (Celtics fans) can benefit from this perspective, but also the Celtics themselves. The lack of team chemistry on offense is so palpable that there has to be some serious issues with the team accepting these guys - the Perk trade still hangs over them like a wet blanket.

  3. bballee says:

    Bohemian, I think this is the best article of yours that I have read. I occasionally address the mental requirements to play Celtic Ball and from what I've seen and read, both Jeff and Nenad pass muster. For learning on the fly they've actually done pretty well and the error rate appears to keep dropping. Also from what I've read about and heard from the Big Four, Green and Krstic have been rather well received and accepted, especially considering they replaced two of the more popular personalities on the roster. The malaise of the club hangs on the Big Four--not Doc, not the struggling to adjust second unit, not Danny, and certainly not Nenad and Jeff. One has to hope that the stakes (the post season, a title, and for the Big Three perhaps their legacy) will serve to bring them out of their funk. We've all been so caught up in their flailing that I really appreciate your bringing the focus onto the admirable reaction of the two primary newcomers.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great Piece!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    great post. I do not like all these negative comments by fans about Krstic now. Give the guy a chance.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very positive thinking... only time will tell and I know the celtics will get back on their grind...

  7. Tim says:

    Great article. However, I think that it's almost impossible to replace someone like Perkins. Personally, I compare it to the situation in Green Bay where Brett Favre was let go and the Packers didn't want to sign him--Aaron Rodgers had huge shoes to fill but the only way he was able to fill those shoes was by winning.

  8. Bohemian says:

    Thanks for the nice comments! I just hope we start playing better and recover our winning attitude.

  9. Three Toe says:

    This is one of the best articles I've read in a while. Player psychology is so important and yet so passed-over when people consider influencing factors on performance. Some people say "oh they are professional athletes they are paid to get over it and just play" but that's just a cop out. No one is showing up to their jobs, after the company transfers them halfway across the country going "stop whining about how your kids hate you now for moving, and you had to sell your home, there are no excuses for mistakes when you are a professional!" The worst thing we as fans can do is get upset at these new faces for not coming in and dominating on the spot. Unreasonable expectations breed disappointing consequences.

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