This week’s column takes a look at the implosion from within of the Celtics, and how Danny Ainge really had no choice but to let Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce ship up to Brooklyn, and that’s the truth.
It will be interesting to see how the dynamic of Jason Kidd as a first-year head coach one year removed from his playing career meshes with Garnett, Pierce and the rest of the Nets.
How will Rajon Rondo react to being the new leader of an average Celtics’ team with little to no playoff experience under its belt? Rondo hasn’t exactly proven that he is leadership material during his time with the team.
Rondo has been characterized by other players around the league as a whiner and too cocky.
However, the Celtics did receive some immediate mediocre compensation in their deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Boston acquired Kris Humphries, a power forward, who is more famous for his relationship with reality TV star and ex-wife Kim Kardashian than he is for his game. Gerald Wallace, a solid big-man who could put up 18 points on one night and four the next with maybe a few boards, was another pick-up.
How do I know this about Wallace? I covered the guy for the first half of the 2010 season, as an intern for an NBA blog site. I was a young intern who while in school at UNC Charlotte covered the Charlotte Bobcats at the “Litter Box” … err, I mean, TimeWarner Cable Arena. I have a funny story to share about Wallace and a brief conversation he had with me after an early-season game inside the Charlotte locker room.
I asked the 2010 NBA All-Defensive First Teamer the standard questions reporters ask: what were they showing you, and how do you think the team responded? Before he answered my question, he looked at me and said, “Do you know if the Patriots won?”
We talked about the Pats game for about 20 seconds, but Wallace is a nice guy, with a very, very deep voice that is at times difficult to understand. Wallace, although he is from Alabama, shared with me that he was a Patriots fan.
Wallace is the all-time leading points scorer in Bobcats’ history with 7.437 points per game. The combo forward was fun to watch as a Bobcat, and I can still remember the booming voice of Charlotte PA announcer “Big Jim” bellowing his name through the loudspeakers with plenty of echo.
Last year with Brooklyn, Wallace averaged a little less than eight points per game. No, Wallace is not an instant solution for the Celtics, but he does provide veteran experience. Wallace has experience with teams going through rebuilds. Look at the Bobcats — they have been rebuilding since they were founded in 2004.
Back to Humphries. No, he has never made an All-Star team, but he does have a bronze medal that he earned at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Humphries has a career average just a hair under seven points per game and five rebounds. Boston also acquired Kris Joseph, and three first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. According to Yahoo! Sports, Boston has the right to trade its first-round pick with Brooklyn in 2017 if the Nets have a higher pick. Brooklyn has also agreed to send the Celtics Marshon Brooks and Keith Bogans. These new additions will not help the Celtics win right away, or for that matter, in the near future.
Boston knew once Doc Rivers left town that all bets were off on the aging superstar duo of Garnett and Pierce sticking around. Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck can be heard up and down Causeway Street exhaling over the screeching trains of North Station about unloading Terry’s ginormous contract. When Boston acquired the then-free agent, they signed him to a deal worth $15.86 million over three years.
The question many Celtics fans are asking is does Rondo start looking elsewhere for a place to play? Or does he buck up and become a leader of this rag-tag Celtics team? Does anyone remember the Boston Celtics, prior to the Big-Three era coming to Boston?
Fans could be seen wearing paper bags over their heads, as the boys in green barely scraped together more than 30 wins in an 82-game season. Get your hardhats and blindfolds ready, this is going to be a rough Celtics bunch to cheer about for the next five-plus seasons.
While the Celtics acquired first-round draft picks, who really knows what kind of draft class a year will bring? And the 17th head coach of your Boston Celtics is … still yet to be determined.