June 28, 1997
Whose longing for the days when a Celtics-76ers game dredged up a bucket
of bad feelings have been granted their wish. While M.L. Carr and
Sixers president Pat Croce tried to revive the rivalry, all it took was
for Rick Pitino and Larry Brown to enter the picture.
While the proven talents of both coaches show they are clearly beyond such scrappishness, competitiveness will light the way.
comments say he believes - with reason - that Philadelphia soured on
the Dino Radja for Clarence Weatherspoon and Michael Cage deal after
making it, thus assuring Radja would not pass his physical.
who wasn't happy at all with the Celtics for the way he was treated
during his talks with the club, fairly snapped out on draft night when
the Celts were still planning to challenge Philly's Radja finding. In an
age when NBA leaders prefer coach-speak and candor is couched, Brown
calling Pitino "this guy with choir eyes" is the NBA equivalent of Kruschev banging his shoe on the U.N. podium.
There has been a call to arms. Well, a call to finely tailored suits, at least.
And how about Brown calling Celtics team physician Arnie Scheller "a 45-year-old orthopedic surgeon who can't run up and down"?
it's what happens on the floor that counts, but delicious subplots just
seem to make things all the merrier. There hasn't been pregame emotion
for a Celtics tilt since what? Since they went into the last week of the
season in desperate search of their first Atlantic Division victory?
IN THE MACHINE: It's been open season on Radja in these parts, and
several sources of the vitriol could well be called for piling on.
may not like Radja's game and the fact he would get upset with
teammates and not make his proper defensive rotations, but he an
offseason worker. Indeed, it was his summer workouts that often
contributed to his injury problems.
And perhaps Pitino
shouldn't have been so insistent that Radja remain in Boston for this
summer. Radja is sincerely in love with his hometown in Croatia, and
since the NBA doesn't make road trips there, summer is his only shot to
get extended time there.
One other aspect
to this story will have to remain undisclosed, but trust me when I tell
you this is a very difficult time in Dino Radja's life. Business is
business, but personal life is personal life.
for Radja's claim of injury, one Sixers source said, "It's bone on
bone. He can play a game, but he can't practice afterwards. The knee
will swell. He can't play four games in six days."
HARD TO UNDERSTAND: Don Nelson is shooting par for his course in
Dallas. No one there can understand why he traded 15th pick Kelvin Cato
to Portland for 18th pick Chris Anstey and $ 800,000. Just as no one
there can understand his trades.
Nellie, who left Texas Friday to do some overseas scouting and, of
course, stop by his home in Maui, is not a bit concerned about the fans'
"I suppose I'm like everyone
else," Nelson said. "It's more fun when everyone understands the pick,
when everyone knows the player and likes the pick. We have to accept
what people say. I got more criticized in the Bay Area for drafting
(Latrell) Sprewell than for drafting anyone else. Sometimes it's a good
ALL YOUR FRIENDS HAVE GONE AWAY:
Shawn Kemp is still a Sonic, and there wasn't much talk about changing
that in the days before the draft. Clubs weren't calling Seattle with
any realistic offers. In fact, they were hardly calling.
"It really cooled down," said Sonics GM Wally Walker.
that's because people realized Kemp committed an NBA-high 320 fouls and
had 280 turnovers, seventh-most in the league, this season. Or how
about the way he simply couldn't put aside his personal jealousies for
the good of the team?
George Karl said he'd maybe see Kemp at Gary Payton's wedding next month and try to get things worked out then.
Nobody wins unless everybody wins.