Media Day. One day closer to game day! I'm pretty excited to see the stories that come out of today's media sessions. So far everyone's been saying the right things but now it's time to put their work where their words have been. And the revenge tour of the Celtics begins. I have a feeling we're in for a lot of fun this season.
How ironic is it that Shaq, the guy who gave Paul Pierce his nickname, is now on the same team with him. The Truth and the Big Nickname, both working on winning a ring together. Also, how ironic is it that the two guys with the name O'Neal have ended up on the Celtics. And even more ironic that neither of the guys named O'Neal is Irish.
Speaking of the Big Shamrock and nicknames, Jackie MacMullan has a great article on ESPN in which Shaq says that he embraces his role as a leader on the bench and has christened the Celtics second unit as the BBM, or the Boston Bench Mob. I love it! And after having to mentor young players in his last stops in LA, Miami, and Cleveland, he is enjoying the veteran environment in Boston. I love his quote about Him, KG, Marquis and the Turkish guy. Good to see that Semih is here and jumping right in to the fight. Here is a tidbit from Jackie's article:
"For once in my career, I won't have to hold anybody's hand and they won't have to hold mine," he said. "I'm surrounded by veterans. We had a great battle [last Thursday] at HealthPoint. It was something I never had before -- three, four, really great players all in one pickup game.
"It was me, Kevin [Garnett], Marquis [Daniels] and the Turkish guy [Semih Erden] against Ray [Allen], Paul [Pierce], Jermaine [O'Neal] and Big Baby. Amazing. Really high intensity."
O'Neal predicts Daniels, who was injured early last season and never won the confidence of Doc Rivers upon his return, will play a more significant role this season.
"I know Marquis well," he said. "I know what language he speaks. He's gonna help us, I know that.
"He's one of those players who got caught up in the system. He'd be a starter on a lot of other teams. But here, he's not going to play over Paul, or Ray, or Rondo.
"So he's coming off the bench and I told him, 'It's going to be great.' I told the same thing to Nate [Robinson], Big Baby. I told them, 'Here we come. We're the BBM -- Boston Bench Mob.'"
You know, I've been thinking that the new technical rules may lead to an increase in star calls. Do you really think they are going to give a tech to Kobe, LeBron, Wade or any of Stern's other pet players for expressing their displeasure at a call? I can see Stern's minions taking their vengeance on the players without superstar status and turning a blind eye to the "superstars" who are whining. I mean, say they call a technical on Kobe for complaining about a call. You really think they are going to call a second tech and toss him for complaining? I don't see it. But I can see them tossing other players left and right simply because they can.
And, maybe instead of making rules that will let the refs toss players for complaining, Herr Stern should take the time to consider why so many players complain. Could it be because his incompetent refs are blowing calls left and right. Players complain because the refs call fouls where there are none, and miss fouls where they have obviously been, and call it one way for one team and a different way for the other team. Maybe Stern should concentrate on making his officials less inept instead of making them more powerful.
One of the trivial things that has entered my mind lately is whether the Heat is/are plural or singular. I've seen headlines saying the Heat are... and I've seen headlines saying the Heat is... Somehow using Heat as singular just doesn't sound right. I never cared for singular names for teams for this reason. We know just where we stand with the Celtics. The Celtics ARE the most storied franchise in the NBA. But do we say that the Heat are the most hated team in the NBA or the Heat is the most hated team in the NBA. Just a thought.
This camp will be very competitive. There are some very good players vying for the 14th and 15th spots on the team. My thoughts are that Delonte and Tony Gaffney should be the obvious choices. I think if Delonte can keep his head straight, and the Celtics offer him the best chance of doing that, he can really help the team. He can play defense, has a good midrange game, knows the system, and can also handle the point. And Tony seems to be just what the team needs. The guy is long, blocks shots, is an excellent defender, can score, and would be perfect to back up Pierce and Quisy at the 3. He can also play the 4 if necessary. Who are your picks for those last two spots?
Media day is here. Can't wait for the reports to come in this afternoon. I'm getting very, very excited for this season. Anyone else with me?