Remember last year's preseason? All the videos and behind the scenes footage? Shaq hamming it up for the cameras? In comparison, how dull was this year's? Personally I don't think it was by accident. Last year we started hearing rumors that Danny wanted to lock Doc up long term and Doc was receptive. The two get along like brothers and I believe one of them made the determination that the Celtics would have a better chance being successful (and Doc would retain his hair) if they rid themselves of some of the "personalities."

Unless your name is
 KG, pack your bags.
The first to go was Mr. Twitter Video himself Nate Robinson. Ainge forced the Thunder to absorb Nate's contract as part of the deal in getting Kendrick Perkins. Nate seemed like a likable guy in Boston, but the Celtics weren't very fond of his immaturity. Next to go was The Big Camera Seeker Shaquille O'Neal, who the Celtics only signed after their first choice Kwame Brown spurned them in the Summer of 2010. Doc was hesitant to add Shaq originally, but when he became the only option and was willing to take the NBA minimum, the Celtics decided to roll the dice that he wouldn't be a huge distraction and would remain healthy. We all know how things turned out.

Next to go were Big Baby and Von Wafer in a trade for Brandon Bass.  This is when I started getting the idea for this post. Baby has more natural talent than Bass, but with the latter you only need to worry about basketball. Baby SOOO wants to have a Shaq/D12 like following. He's just not funny enough (Neither are Shaq and D12, but when you're a superstar more people laugh at your jokes). Baby had worn out his welcome in Boston. Wafer had always been known as a knucklehead, a talented one mind you. By all accounts he was pretty well behaved in Boston. He seemed to be the more innocent party in the Delonte/Wafer fight. With that said, I doubt he became a player that Doc advocated keeping.

How many more pics/vids do I need to
 tweet to get as many followers as Shaq?

Lastly, Delonte West signed with the Mavs for the league minimum. Now Delonte wanted to come back to the Celtics. The only reason I can see why the Celtics wouldn't have signed him for the minimum (a steal) is that they simply preferred not to have to deal with his baggage. I would have re-signed him, but then again I'm not privy to all the behind the scenes stuff. The Celtics already have some interesting personalities in KG and Rondo, and maybe they felt like that's fine if you're an all-star, but we're not dealing with it if you're an oft-injured guard.

So five "personalities" were removed and who were they replaced with?
Sure blame me because
Delonte didn't take his meds.
Dooling, Moore, Wilcox, Bass, Sasha, Johnson and Stiemsma. Essentially choirboys in comparison. One has to wonder if Doc and Danny made the decision that maybe a less talented team with less distractions could be more successful than adding guys like Marbury, Nate, Shaq, and Delonte. If you noticed there were no rumors of the Celtics going after former Ainge favorite Allen Iverson. The Celtics didn't seem to be interested in LeBron Stopper/Crazy Man DeShawn Stevenson either, when he seemed the obvious choice to target after the failed Jeff Green physical.

So is this a new direction for the Celtics or just something they're trying this year. Is this character requirement only for the bench or is it the reason why Rajon Rondo keeps having his name mentioned in trade rumors much more than a young all-star point guard should? It also might explain why the Celtics showed no interest in Josh Smith after he mentioned the Celtics as a team he wanted the Hawks to trade him to. Definitely something to keep your eye on.

What are your thoughts? Did the Celtics make a conscientious decision to remove the larger than life backups for more regular guys or is it just a coincidence?

JR 12/24/2011 05:05:00 AM Edit
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15 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is a strange thing that the Celtics and the Redsox both have done a little house cleaning after failed seasons. Here is the thing, having a colorful personality is fine as long as winning is part of the equation.
    Good for the C's, just win baby or hit the bricks!

  2. DH says:

    I noticed this too, JR. Especially after I made that blooper reel video last year. I was thinking that this year is going to be pretty dull without all the crazy personalities! But I'm sure it's probably good for the team's focus, especially in the condensed lockout season.

  3. Bohemian says:

    Well, I think you´re 100% right. It´s the only way I can understand not trying to resign Delonte for the minimum.

    By the way, Wafer is also a bit of a knucklehead himself. First he had that fight with Delonte, then the stupid missed dunk play that cost us a game last year (I think it was in Washington). Finally he had some stupid comments in which he said he was gay just for fun and then he received a lot of negative comments and all that...

  4. Should have kept Nate, the guy was such good energy! now they got Pavlovic, who's not only dull but ineffective as well. They had the best record in the East until injuries started to creep up on them so don't see how having fun had a negative effect on their performance.

  5. IA says:

    I doubt this simply cause we didn't get the impression there were distractions last season. And your point about pre season videos and stuff is kind of invalid cause the problem may not be the players. This pre season was way shorter. There isn't enough time for players to prepare so how are they gonna have enough time to mess around?

  6. Karl says:

    Great article JR and good observation. I think this could very well be true. I think it's all about health this year. Let's see how we do.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm kind of looking at it both ways. Less distraction can be a bonus. However, this boring start may also be due to a lack of chemistry. Maybe the players aren't as in sync with each other as last year. It's a lot easier to win, or come back after a loss with a group of guys that mesh together and know they're behind one another.

  8. Evan Yee says:

    I don't think doc minded all that. The celtics were having fun and their chemistry was through the roof. If they're having fun and joking around and at the same time winning, I don't see the problem. I look at last years team like the red sox team in 04 a bunch of clowns but still got the job done. I really believe that last years team if they kept them together would have won the ship. Doc even said nate knew when to kid and when to be serious.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Shaq was toast, Wafer was a headcase who missed class when they taught defense, Baby always wanted more time, more money and more biscuits & gravy, Nate was trade bait, and West was no longer durable.

    The real issue is the Celtics are paying $34 Million in Salary & Luxury Tax this year for players who have either retired or are injured.

    Maybe Management got sick of wasting money on headcases and over-the-hill big men....

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please give one fact that could support this article in anyway.

    There have been tons of interviews where Ainge and Rivers praised these guys for their energy.

    Doc and Danny are completely professional guys. They have repeatedly picked up "problem" players. All they seem to care about is on court performance.

    I cant even imagine Doc running around the locker room playing hall monitor. LOL. He just doesnt care.

  11. I think Doc enjoys the goofiness i found a video from KG and Pierce goofing off too...dont see them getting traded.
    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olcqFB0RYZs

  12. Anonymous says:

    The comments PP made about there being a lot of immaturity on last years bench should be enough to make what's said in this article valid.

  13. shelbyl says:

    I don't know if that was the intention or not, but I would have done the same and for the reasons JR stated. If you're not a star athlete, then you should be a serious and consistent one. That is one reason why I repeatedly claim that Dooling is better than West, the guy is mature as hell. Baby totally disappeared last year when we needed him the most. Nate has done more bad than he's done good. These things are important, and especially this year a tough mentality is priority.

  14. shelbyl says:

    Ask Doc about chemistry this year and he smiles like he won a trillion dollars. Chemistry is not correlated to the amount of horseplay.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Celtics need to get Josh Smith!

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