I tell this to my friends and family all the time. We are fools. We are given little information or completely inaccurate information and yet we still find the need to formulate our own opinions based on very little fact. Due to this we almost always come out looking like fools. It happens in many different facets of life, but nowhere is it more glaring than in our relationships with, and opinions of, our favorite sports teams.
As much as I continually remind people of this, I fall prey to the temptation as everyone else does, so I’m no better. It’s in our nature. We want to know. We need to know. So when we can’t or don’t know, we guess.
So, plain and simple, there it is. We don’t know what is going on with the Boston Celtics. Furthermore, and scary as it may be, we also don’t know what will happen with the Boston Celtics. But with that said, it is just not in our nature to let it go or wait for results. We just can’t let it go. So I will offer a parallel to my own professional working situation that might give us a bit more clarity concerning what is happening with the Celtics.
I am a graphic designer. The man I work for is not a graphic designer, has never been a graphic designer, and knows absolutely nothing about what I do and how I do it. But he is none-the-less concerned with knowing what I am doing. It directly affects him and his business so he wants to keep himself apprised. As you can imagine, it is very difficult for me to keep my boss informed when he really doesn’t have any concept of what I’m doing.
When I began my job I tried to explain things thoroughly and quickly found that I would leave my boss confused and more negatively concerned about my work, making my life more difficult. It was difficult enough to do my job without having to teach someone how the whole graphic design thing works. I learned that, in order to keep my sanity, I needed to tell him only what he needed to know. To dumb what I was doing down into its most basic form and tell him what he wanted to hear unless it was completely necessary. It sounds bad, but in fact, it made he and I happier and the business ran more smoothly because of it.
This is exactly like our relationship with Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers. They are graphic designers who work for us and we know absolutely nothing about what they do, or at least not enough about what they do to be monitoring their decisions. So to make their lives easier they tell us what they think we want to hear, and they describe their plans and operations in the most vague ways they can. They know they will be held accountable for the end results, and they are comfortable with that, but until then they just need to keep us occupied so they can do their jobs.
All this brings me to one simple point. Maybe they knew this team wouldn’t be all that great. Maybe this team, as it stands, was never supposed to contend. Maybe this team is just supposed to be a group of the best assets Danny could put together for the time being.
Let’s look at what we do know.
1. The team is paying around 27 million dollars this year to two guys (KG and Pierce) Danny Ainge convinced not to retire. Danny expects to contend this year. He was willing to stake a lot on that.
2. After struggling in last season’s playoffs to teams who could play multiple big men, Danny decided to go with Garnett (small at the center position), backed by Chris Wilcox (coming off of heart surgery). Top this off with the fact that Brandon Bass was slated at the 4 spot, and we were left with a small inside presence.
3. Danny did not sign a backup for Rajon Rondo. Danny decided instead to go heavy on 2 guards. Bradley, Lee, Terry, and Barbosa.
So that is what we had to look at. A team we knew was trying to contend, with a lineup that looked deep, but very lopsided. We asked questions and Danny told us what we needed to hear so he could keep doing his job. We’re going to be like San Antonio, was the answer. We’re going small because Miami is small. We bought it, because we really have no idea what’s going on.
To be fair, we can’t really know what’s going on. Depending on what Danny and Doc’s plans are it might ruin everything to tip their hand to the fans, let alone the team. For instance, what if Courtney Lee was signed to be a trading chip for the midway point in the season? What if Fab Melo was drafted for the same reason? Would they play as hard? Would we go to games, and watch a team on TV that was incomplete? Would we cheer every shot Brandon Bass makes the same if we knew the shots only increased his trade value?
Again, I will repeat, we are fools. All we have are two facts.
About half the team’s salary has been given to WIN NOW.
For a team that is supposed to contend we have a VERY LOPSIDED roster.
Something tells me the trade winds are blowing, and Danny's been feeling them for months. But what do I know. I’m just a fool.