Jan Volk Remembers the Good Times

May 11, 1997

Jan Volk, on the termination of his association with the Celtics, euphemistically reported as a resignation: "It's a little hurtful to see your picture in the paper alongside the words, 'He's out.' But there's certainly no feeling of shame. I feel very good about the things I did in my 26 years there.

"There's no bitterness here at all. Sadness? Sure. And yet even the sad emotions are based on times that were good. No one's ever sad about saying goodbye to bad times. What's sad is seeing the good times end. That's why good memories often provoke sadness. But when that happens, you've got to turn them around and understand what they really mean, and what my memories are telling me now is that I've been a pretty lucky guy.

"There are very few people who ever get to experience a championship feeling in anything. At the pinnacle of my career (as GM), I got to experience it five times; it doesn't get much better than that.

"That's why I'm still going to root for the Celtics. I'm a part of their legacy; it's my legacy, too. How could I root against that? Someone asked if I'll feel bad missing out on future titles? I'm sure I will, but, hey, their next championship will be their 17th, and I've got a good chunk of all the others.

"Despite the blood-letting that's gone on lately, a good foundation was laid; assets were left behind. I feel bad for those players who were demeaned, especially while they were hurt. A lot of these guys can play. Let me tell you something - make them all healthy, throw in two top draft choices, then add a coach like Rick, who probably is the right guy to lead them at this point in time, and the Celtics have a real good chance to be real good again.

"And I hope it happens soon. I really do."

KC Jones, with typical self-effacing humor, had the line of the week, carrying his personal belongings to his car after he, too, became a casualty of the Celtics' carnage: "It ain't easy being green."     Idle thought: If Celtics brass was miffed when Worcester columnist John Gearan pressed Pitino on the abandonment of his Kentucky recruits, one of whom (Mike Bradley) comes from the Worcester area, that might have been understandable. But for other columnists to be similarly miffed by John's industriousness? Please.

Larry Bird as a coach? It brings to mind to an observation Terry O'Reilly made a decade ago, following a loss in his second season as Bruins coach: "Now my real work begins, breaking down films, analyzing the game, viewing it again, assessing what went wrong, drawing up a plan for practice tomorrow. This is where the job really gets to you. Those guys (players) can grab a shower and put tonight out of their minds. They can release their frustrations, but I can't release mine, even though I experienced the same emotions they did. You need a certain kind of personality to do this job, which is something you never fully appreciate until you try it."

Happy birthday, Tom Fallon and Eddie King! Cakes are cookin' for Greg Madden and Johnny Bucyk (tomorrow); Mark Blaudschun, Sean McDonough and Michael Goldman (Tuesday); Milt Gunn, Jack Mahoney, Rich Webber and Harry McIntyre (Wednesday); Paul Keigan, Don Nelson and Orrin Gould (Thursday); Larry Glick and Guy Spina (Friday); and Wayne Lebeaux (Saturday).

If you see Harry and Eleanor Sinden, wish them a happy 45th anniversary! You can also offer congrats to Jim and Ann O'Callaghan (30th), George and Diana Dern (24th), Dave and Claudia Pearlman (22nd), and Bill and Ann Campanario (2nd). Idle thought: Who says marriage is a dying institution?

George Kimball gets kudos here for a $ 30,000 check now on its way to Our Ladies Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin, courtesy of his pet project, the second annual Eamonn Coghlin-Neil Cusack post-Marathon golf classic which he ran at South Shore Country Club. Last year's take was $ 16,000.

Corwin Brown, on Thursday's pickup softball for Patriots players at the Medway VFW, organized by Todd Rucci: "We've done things like this before. Last year we all went bowling, quite a few times in fact. It's just something we do to bring the team closer, to let the guys get to know each other outside of football. It's a great way to develop a team feeling, hanging out, enjoying each other, no pressure at all. We'll probably try paint ball next."

A favorite story comes to mind again this morning.

At the height of Bobby Orr's legendary career, his mother, Arva, received a call from an out-of-town writer. A private lady, she nevertheless agreed to answer a few questions, the first of which was, "You must be awfully proud of your son?" To which she replied, "Which one? I've got three."

1 comment:

FLCeltsFan said...

Volk didn't miss much. He would have had to hang around for 22 years to see the 17th championship. Such a shame that Pitino just dumped everyone who had meant so much to the franchise.

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