8.11.2010

Doc or Danny: Who is More Important?

WALTHAM — Doc Rivers has turned into Dr. Phil. The Celtics coach revives careers. He soothes and coddles players with unruly reputations and he uses brutal honesty with others to eliminate any delusions of grandeur.

And as “The Big Visitor,’’ Shaquille O’Neal, entered Rivers’s Winter Park, Fla., home last month, looking to chat contract with the Celtics, O’Neal listened to two hours of no-nonsense talk from Rivers.

O’Neal sat there stoically as Rivers’s kids called their friends to let them know the Big Diesel was there and that his Big Diesel truck was parked outside. Rivers did not allow the aura of O’Neal to prevent him from telling the big man what was required to become a Celtic.

He told O’Neal he may not start. He told O’Neal his skills had declined, so touches won’t be a priority. He told O’Neal he was a liability on pick-and-roll defense. O’Neal sat there with a blank expression, and Rivers thought there was no chance of a deal getting done. There was no way O’Neal would accept that type of criticism and accept a minimum salary as well.

Shortly after that meeting, O’Neal agreed to a contract, another future Hall of Famer who bought Rivers’s salesman’s pitch, another player past his prime willing to eat his pride for the good of the Celtics’ cause. It was no surprise. Dozens of players around the league long to play for Rivers.

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It's a nice team.

Wyc, Danny, and Doc, that is.

But which one is the key to the Celtics' return to greatness?

Wyc because he controls the purse strings?

Danny because his friendship with Kevin McHale got this all started?

Or Doc?

Doc Rivers, the guy who free agents want to play for.

Doc Rivers, the guy the players play their heart out for.

Doc Rivers, the guy who brought the African concept of ubuntu to the Boston Celtics.

It's certainly a great team.

Wyc, Danny, and Doc, that is.

But to whom shall we give most of the credit?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gotta believe MIA will make a run at Posey if (when) he is bought out. Versatile, well liked and able to contribute even at his age.

Celtics will likely inquire about Posey for their final roster spot, too. Good fit there as well.

Chris Mannix

FLCeltsFan said...

Hey Lex! Good to see you back at it again. I took a couple of months off too but am back as well. Long story, but I'm writing for CelticsLife now.

I'd say that Doc and Danny are equally important. Danny brings in the right pieces and Doc knows how to handle them. One of the CSN reporters called him a "Veteran Whisperer." I thought that was good.

As for Posey, if he gets waived and we can get him for the vet minimum, it would be a good deal. Rudy is younger and more upside. But Posey already knows the system and the team.

Lex said...

Hey FCF!

Celtics Life?

Wow.

That's a change.

I'll have to come take a look.

FLCeltsFan said...

I don't know how to do all the technical stuff on the boards and Loy was never around on CG (formerly Loy's Place) After his photobucket account was over the limit and I was stuck with these horrible white boxes where graphics should have been for a week or so before he finally fixed it, I started thinking of moving. CL is affiliated with my home boards as well so just a lateral move.

Lex said...

Good for you.

It looks like a great blog!

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