Celtics might be irrelevant for a while
Boston’s Green Team is tangled up in blue.
What a week for the local franchises. The Red Sox kindled memories of the Butch Hobson/Bobby Valentine days. We all know the Bruins should still be skating. It’s still impossible to walk by any television featuring the image of the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Ugh.
So, what happened with the Celtics?
More bad luck. More nothing. And a creeping sensation that the Celtics might be bad and irrelevant for a while.
Spinmasters tried to tell us that the Celtics getting the No. 6 pick in the draft was not a bad thing. Deep draft, they claim. Steve Pagliuca actually said, “It’s a bit of a relief that it’s not eighth.’’
Baloney. There are no more Dirk Nowitzkis at No. 9, no more Paul Pierces at No. 10. The Celtics have only one hope for redemption. Danny Ainge needs to work some of that 2007 magic and acquire Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Do whatever it takes. Overwhelm the T-Wolves. Give them as many draft picks as they need. See if they’ll take the sucker bet and bite on Jeff Green. Acquire Love and build your team around him.
I heard Wyc Grousbeck on “Felger and Mazz” this past week and the Celtics owner delivered a true and frightening answer when he was asked about the future of his team.
“If we can’t do something transformative or exciting for a veteran this summer, and we’ll certainly be looking . . .’’ started Grousbeck. “Obviously, we’re going to start playing the kids. That’s what we did from 2003-07 and it wasn’t easy to do along the way and people stuck with us. We’re basically on that same path.’’
Ouch. In the words of Rob Schneider in “The Waterboy,’’ “Oh, no! We suck again!”
Please, Danny, do not bring us back to the bad old days of 2003-07. The Celtics’ aggregate record in those four seasons was 138-190. They did not win a playoff series. It was a lot of Ricky Davis and Gerald Green. They bottomed out at 24-58 in 2006-07. It was a season much like this year’s 25-57.
It’s nice that the Celtics have a loyal core of fans willing to support the team during a “rebuilding” phase, but it is simply unacceptable for most of us. There is too much else going on.
The Patriots, as long as they have Tom Brady and the ineptitude of the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins, are guaranteed to win the AFC East and get a virtual free ticket (bye week, home playoff vs. tomato can, ho-hum) to the AFC Championship game. The Patriots are hot.
The Red Sox are defending world champions and ever-relevant because of their ballpark, history, payroll, and brand. The Red Sox, like the Patriots, are relentless in their efforts to either purchase media outlets or create partnerships that will assure positive and exhaustive coverage.
It’s a nifty way to control the message and promote the product. Winning only makes the sell/pitch easier and more believable.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are deep and talented, coming off a season in which they were the best regular-season team in the NHL.
That’s three healthy, relevant teams, steeped in talent and cash and some store-bought positivity.
Sorry, Wyc, but you are irrelevant if you give us a 57-loss team featuring the likes of Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and the sixth-best 20-year-old from the NCAA. No, thanks.
Lottery night made Ainge’s task tougher. A No. 3 pick would have been a better chip to trade. It’s a mistake for fans to think the Celtics have any inside track on a 25-year-old left coast Beach Boy progeny who wouldn’t know Red Auerbach from Jersey Red or the Cincinnati Reds. There is no currency in the banners above the parquet floor. The Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls have more to offer the Wolves for Kevin Love.
But the Celtics need to bring some desperation to the table. Ainge has his bag of picks and we all know that futures are irrationally enlarged beyond all reality. In the dreamy eyes of the innocents, every Jabari Parker and Alaa Abdelnaby can be the next Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Picks 6 and 17 are not going to change the Celtics. The Celtics will still be losers with these new young players. They will not be worth watching. Trade the picks. Ainge needs to do something “transformative or exciting,’’ or risk watching his team wade into the abyss of irrelevance.