Travis Didn't Care for Ricky Pitts

January 24, 1999

There is no doubt among those who had even a casual contact with the Celtics last year that Travis Knight was miserable. But Knight took the high road last week when asked about it. "It was hard," he said. "The whole experience was hard. But I knew what I was getting into. I asked about [ Pitino] . I don't think I got into something I wasn't prepared for." Knight also said he thought Pitino improved his work habits and he wasn't bothered by the coach's intensity or yelling. "I learned to adjust and live with it," he said. "I learned a lot. I really did. And we made some great strides."

 However, in an interview with the Hartford Courant at the end of last season, Knight said, "I sold myself to the Devil. For money." He also added, "With coach [ Jim] Calhoun, I knew he cared about me as a person, not just a basketball player. Even though he would yell, I always knew where I stood with him. Maybe I knew coach Calhoun better. Maybe that's why [ Pitino's yelling] doesn't bother the Kentucky guys. He yells at them and they're fine the next day. It's a fine line between motivation and insult. A very fine line."

Asked about those comments, Knight said he'd prefer not to discuss them . . . Michael Stewart's decision to sign with Toronto also was about the money. (Cliff Robinson basically did the same thing last year with the Suns and apparently has a long-term deal waiting for him.) The Raptors will have plenty of cap room this summer and can re-sign Stewart for more than the capped-out Celtics could offer. What's more interesting is the way Stewart was cast aside by the Kings for Vlade Divac. That means either the Kings are just being the Kings or they feel Stewart is limited and the soon-to-be 31-year-old Divac is a better fit. As it stands, the Kings have a front line of Divac, Chris Webber (who skipped the first day of camp but then showed up), Corliss Williamson (re-signed for one year at $500,000), and promising newcomer Predrag Stojakovic, who can float between small forward and big guard . . .

The Knight-Battie deal was historic in that the Celtics and Lakers, the two most successful franchises in league history, almost never do business with one another. Using both teams' media guides as sources, it looks as if the Knight-Battie trade is only the second between the clubs since 1960, when the Lakers moved to LA. The other came on Dec. 27, 1977, when Boston sent Charlie Scott to the Lakers for Don Chaney, Kermit Washington, and a first-round pick in 1978. That first-round pick turned out to be No. 8 overall and was huge in that it gave Red Auerbach a cushion to "risk" the No. 6 pick on a junior-eligible then playing at Indiana State. Need we say more? Oh, yes, and the eighth pick was expended on Freeman Williams, who never played for the Celtics. He was sent to San Diego in the infamous franchise swap of 1978 between Irv Levin and John Y. Brown.


FLCeltsFan said...

What a fitting nickname

FLCeltsFan said...

By the way, in today's links there's an article on Celtics Today calling out Bob Ryan that I thought you might enjoy.

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