The Celtics will go to work this weekend on one of their major problems but, strangely enough, they haven't done anything about what is certainly their major headache - and we don't mean deciding on their first draft choice.
The Celtics have no lease to play in the Boston Garden next season. At this point in time, they are still not talking with the Garden's management, and president Paul Mooney isn't making any phone calls to find out what the Celtics' thoughts are.
Lest you forget, the Celtics have slapped a law suit on Mooney and the Garden, and that didn't set well. The bottom line is that the landlords (Garden) are not going to change their present rental agreement, and the tenants (Celtics) say they won't sign a new one with the same terms.
Logic says the Celtics can't play their home games anywhere but the Garden next year, but right now the feeling between the two parties is very bad.
One problem the Celtics will deal with immediately is a new contract for Cedric Maxwell, who has played out his option. Coach Bill Fitch and general manager Red Auerbach will meet with Maxwell's agent, Ron Grinker, in Cincinnati this week. Grinker is bringing 27 top college players to his free- agent camp for the pros to take a look at before the draft. Grinker's camp is designed to see if he can pick up some of the players as clients.
When Maxwell dropped by the Celtics' office yesterday afternoon, he was asked if he was going to sign with the team. "I don't know. You have to ask management and my agent that," he said. As a gag, Fitch had presented Maxwell with an alarm clock inscribed "Sleep Nights," which is Fitch's favorite saying when a player on the team make mistakes during practice.
After Maxwell was late for a recent practice, Fitch took some money away from him and purchased the alarm clock with the appropriate saying. "It works," Maxwell reported to Fitch. "I put it in a drawer in my bureau and forgot it. Then it went off in the middle of the night, and I thought someone from outer space had landed in my room."
Fitch said the Celtics have not eliminated Darrell Griffith of Louisville from their No. 1 derby. "He's got as good a shot as anyone at this moment," said Fitch. "We honestly don't know what we are going to do. We don't want to make any mistakes. We're going to find out everything we possibly can about the top picks, and weigh every possible trade we can make."