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?