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Or at least find it in a bookstore and "skim" the article. ESPN the Mag has a feature story on the Walker-back-to-the-Celtics deal that is quite an interesting read. Author Tom Friend reveals a few surprising bits of information about the initial trade of Antoine.

For instance, Jim O'Brien and his staff discredited Walker to Ainge when he first came into town. Funny how O'Brien was made out to be a player's coach. The reason was that they didn't want to face the struggle of "taking back Antoine's freedom." A freedom that they gave him. Sad. Reminds me of Office Space: "We uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won't be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it will just work itself out naturally... We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible."

It goes on to state that when he was traded, an assistant actually gave Ainge a hug and said "Thank you. Now I can coach again." You know, I see a good coach as someone that can make the best out of whatever talent they have around them. Lets just say that based on this article and basically everything that's happened in Philly this year, O'Brien and his staff are the exact opposite of that.

Anyway, the article actually offers more than that. It gives a pretty balanced view of the whole story. I admit that I generally want to give Ainge more credit than he may deserve (but only because I've seen the method to his madness all along). I admit that at times I give Walker more credit than he deserves (but only because I remember what he meant to this team the first time). This story does a good job of showing that both men made some mistakes, but were willing to make up for them and move on when the opportunity arose. Hats off to them for it.

So I guess what it boils down to is this: If Ainge had just listened to hagrid and I, he would have started his house cleaning by ditching O'Brien. Maybe a real coach could have been up to the task of "taking back Antoine's freedom." Maybe a real coach would have saved us 16 months of bitter separation.

I think Ainge haters and Walker haters had it all wrong. It was all O'Brien's fault all along!

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