June 19, 1980
M.L. Carr was a very interested observer as he stood in the background and listened in on the views of new teammate Robert Parish.
"I like what I'm hearing," said Carr, smiling. "He's got the right attitude. He understands that he's got a role to play here and what that role is. This is just one more big step for us going all the way."
Robert Parish was very impressive in his Celtic debut, not only for the way he handled himself, but for his honesty.
Asked, for example, why his blocked-shot total dropped by nearly 100 last year from his 1978-79 total, he answered candidly, "Because I wasn't motivated to block more, as I had been in the past. Our team, as a whole, just had a bad attitude. We went out on the court thinking we were going to lose, and when you find that happening, a lot of players just don't give everything they have."
Parish said he was both surprised and elated by the trade.
"I didn't think I was going to be traded," he explained, "because they (the Golden State front office) called me in after the season and said they were going to make some moves but that I wasn't going to be traded.
"That's why I was surprised when it happened. I'm happy, because I have the chance now to play for a team that can win it all and because if I play my best, I can get recognition as one of the elite centers in the game.
"I know I'm going to have to change my style of defense," he continued. "With the Celtics, I think I will have to concentrate more on playing my own man and not on running around trying to help other people."
For his part, Carr feels that Parish will give the team a new demension.
"He will give us a legitimate shot blocker, which is something we don't have," said Carr. "And he should also give us some more scoring inside."
The latter opinion is based on the fact that, for a 7-footer, Parish has a good outside shot. He played a high-post position much of the time with Golden State and feels he'll get more of a chance to play closer to the basket with Boston while continuing to operate just as well.
"It's hard to shoot from outside and still do your job on the boards," said Parish.
Bill Fitch says neither Parish nor anyone else will win a starting job with his team next year automatically.
"When training camp opens," said the Celtic coach, "I want the same five guys starting that finished the year. I think they deserve that chance. If someone can beat them out, fine. But we're not giving away any starting jobs."
Fitch was asked about reports from Rick Robey in West Virginia, where he is attending a basketball camp, that he expects to be traded.
"If I were Robey, I'd probably feel that way myself, with all the speculation about it," said Fitch. "But we don't have any plans to trade Robey, and we haven't talked trade with any team about him. What's going to happen is that every team looking for a forward is going to talk to Boston because we've got them.
"The way I feel about it is this: If Dave Cowens retires a year from now and we have traded Robey, we'd go from an abnormal situation up front to a normal situation, and we don't want to do that. We think that Robey is a helluva player who can do a lot for us with his ability to play both forward and center."