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First capture-the-flag and now pretty princess parties?

The Boston Celtics are a tight squad. Tight enough to try unconventional approaches like dodgeball and ultimate frisbee in practice, and to show up for each other off the court - even if it means dressing up like Aladdin.

What at first glance might seem like a frivolous bunch of distractions, are, on closer inspection, a clear sign of the depth of connection and commitment these guys have to each other and the game. They don’t go through the motions when it comes to honing their craft, instead choosing to think outside the box to get a higher degree of “buy-in” in practice, and they are choosing to honor commitments - even minor, slightly goofy ones - away from work, too.


You’re probably wondering what exactly I’m referring to regarding Aladdin costumes and pretty princess parties, so I will explain: It seems Jordan Mickey casually promised Jae Crowder’s daughter he’d don whatever Disney costume Jae’s daughter - Jada - wanted for her third birthday party, which was "Frozen" - themed.

Jada chose Aladdin, and did not forget Mickey’s promise. Jordan did not forget his either.

So, fast forward a bit, and Mickey makes good, having somehow cobbled together a makeshift Aladdin get-up out of a pirate costume and a fez. It’s harder than you’d think to find Disney costumes for 6-foot eight guys, and harder still to convince most 6-foot eight guys to wear them - but wear them Mickey did. And more impressive still, there was no external compulsion involved, according to Jae in Chris Forsberg’s ESPN article:

“[Mickey] probably thought she was going to forget. But she didn’t forget and she reminded him time after time of what he was going to be … He didn’t lose a bet. It wasn’t rookie duties. He just made a promise to my little one and she never forgot … It’s more than basketball. We’re trying to build a brotherhood. Trying to be there for one another ...I think it makes the game much easier to play once you have a good cohesion off the court. I think that’s big because you come into a locker room at the NBA level, there's so much emotion, so much pride in the locker room. Off the court, we’ve never had that problem. We just always come together and be brothers, be there for one another. And it helps players unite with one another.”

It wasn’t just Jae and Jordan at the party, either - Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko made the event (both have young daughters), as did Terry Rozier and his girlfriend, who dressed up as Minnie and Mickey mouse. The importance of such events for strengthening team unity is not lost on Rozier, in Forsberg’s ESPN piece:

“It’s more than basketball with us … It means we can trust one another when you’re that close … I feel like our trust just keeps going up and bonding helps. Bonding brings trust. And trust carries over to the court. It makes you successful.”

I’m probably not on an island thinking ultimate frisbee and pretty princess parties could be a big part of this season’s on-court success, which may be the weirdest sentence I have ever typed as a sportswriter. As weird as that may be, though, the question on all of our minds right now (OK, maybe just me) is:

Shouldn’t Jordan have been the mouse?


Top photo via Jonas Jerebko
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 10/31/2016 11:40:00 AM Edit
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