Sunday, June 30, 2013

Celtics Shooting for Major Rebuilding

It isn’t often in today’s pro sports world that an athlete can claim they played an entire career with one team. Add one less name to that list.

As rumors had been swirling following their ouster in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the hands of the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics recently began cleaning house. For at least this sports fan, it is sad to see.

While most who follow the NBA knew that the game’s most storied franchise needed some changes, most probably did not expect to see a full-blown fire sale (this is in essence what it is).

In the first move, head coach Doc Rivers went some 3,000 miles from the Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Next, news broke at week’s end that the two main stalwarts of the team, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, were heading south to play next season for the Brooklyn Nets (deal can’t be approved until July 10).

As of the weekend, word was circulating that injured star guard Rajon Rondo may end up in Dallas.

Is anyone else figuring on leaving the Celtics for greener pastures?

Pierce Should Have Retired a Celtic

The most disappointing of all the moves is seeing Pierce leave the team that many thought he would break in with and retire from. Yes, players’ staying in one city their entire career is becoming rarer year by year.

While you can understand what GM Danny Ainge (former Celtics guard and potential next head coach) is doing, it does not mean you agree with it.

According to the news, Garnett (scheduled to make $11.5 million next season) and Pierce ($16.7 million) move to Brooklyn in return for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Reggie Evans, and a signed-and-traded Keith Bogans. Jason Terry will also head to the Nets, who will also send Boston the team’s 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks, along with the right for Boston to switch 2017 first round picks if Brooklyn’s pick is higher.

If you think that Boston is unloading massive salaries and essentially clearing its books, think again.

Taking on Wallace is no cheap matter, as his deal (three years, and $33 million following 2012-13) leaves Boston with an average player and a heck of a lot of money due his way. Now if Boston can somehow unload him and get something in return before next fall, then the deal may look a little better to Beantown fans.

As for Humphries, Joseph, Evans and Bogans, bench warmers at best, though they will likely see playing time given how bad the Boston roster now looks without Pierce, Garnett and potentially Rondo. While Terry has had his moments in the past, he’s not exactly someone you will build around.

While both teams may be the better or worse for it moving forward, it all comes back to seeing the end of an era in Beantown. Pierce, Boston’s team's captain, a 10-time All-Star, team’s second all-time leading scorer (John Havlicek, 26,395 points) and likely Hall of Famer, should have retired in the green and white.

Then again, this is sadly today’s world of professional sports.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

About the Author: With 23 years' of experience, Dave Thomas covers items including news, sports, and the importance of one's online reputation.

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