Archive for June, 2013

JUST FOR THE RECORD

June 18, 2013

WELCOME TO LOB CITY

Nobody asked for my opinion but this is America and if an idiot like Sarah Palin can spew her nonsense across the airwaves and Internet, then by God and all that is holy according to the music and words of the late, great Negro poet James Brown, I’m going to give it whether you want it or not. Now pay attention as there will be a quiz at the end of today’s lesson.

I am so against the Clippers making any deal that includes Blake Griffin that if I were asked to do a TV or radio interview right now, I’d sound like Yosemite Sam. There are three absolutes in sports: 1) You can’t teach height; 2) You can’t teach a “kill or be killed” attitude; and 3) you never, ever trade youth and athleticism for aging and breaking-down veterans.

If the Clippers trade with the Celtics for a couple of aging and breaking-down future Hall of Famers – Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce – and a bunch of expiring contracts (a nice way of saying “players that nobody wants anymore”) – it will be the biggest mistake since Mike Tyson mused to himself, “Robin Givens sure is fine. What could ever go wrong?” But even more than those factors, what really troubles me about the whole potential Celtics/Clippers trade is one Glenn “Doc” Rivers.

Don’t get me wrong; I think he’s a very good, bordering on great coach (he’s only one of four current NBA head coaches with a championship to his credit) and were he a free agent, I’d be the first resident of Lob City to say: “Bring us Doc Rivers!” But, Rivers ISN’T a free agent and even worse, he’s quitting on an organization and city that have shown him a lot of love since he became their head coach in 2004.

Granted, I know it might be a bit naïve or presumptuous of me to interject even a hint of ethics and morality into professional sports, particularly at this level. But, I simply don’t like the fact that Doc Rivers, who fully knew KG and Pierce were aging before his eyes when he signed his 5-year, $35 million-dollar contract two summers ago, wants out now that it appears the Celtics are going to have to rebuild their team. Never, ever hire a quitter; you will live to regret it.

Last but not least, not only has Rivers pretty much made it impossible for him to return to Boston as their head coach, the Clippers have also poisoned their vacant head coach position by publicly going after Doc. Let’s say this deal falls through – how do they then turn to Lionel Hollins, Byron Scott or Brian Shaw (my #1 choice) and say, “Hey there buddy, wanna be the coach of the Clippers?” with any real sense of either man being who they really wanted. It’s much like last fall when the Lakers fired Mike Brown and let it be known that they were talking to Phil Jackson about returning once again. As soon as they made it known that Mike D’Antoni (is he even still alive) was going to be the new coach instead of Phil, they destroyed any credibility with both the players and fans. (By the way, Bernie Bickerstaff is still undefeated as interim coach of the Lakers. I’m just saying.) The Clippers may have done the same with their very public flirtation with Doc Rivers.

“Help us, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.”

There is only one man who can now save the Clippers from themselves. For various reasons, some professional and others personal, it may be very difficult for him to accept the call from the offices of Donald T. Sterling.

“Phil Jackson, please pick up the red, white and blue courtesy phone in the lobby.”