Friday, January 02, 2009

The Mission Statement

Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge draped in a new Christmas bathrobe looked down at the Homer Simpson slippers his wife had given him and just laughed "D'oh!" Even the Celtics' loss to their longtime foe the Lakers could not get him down on Christmas Day. So what if Rondo who could be brilliant at 4 game clips, could also occasionally drag the team down with early foul trouble and over enthusiastic play. He just needed to find an experienced back up guard that could give some quality minutes down the stretch when Rondo struggled.

Whenever he found himself taking a loss extra hard he looked for affirmation to a letter from Red Auerbach he had framed on his living room wall that read, "Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success." "Aw, Red. I miss you buddy," he whispered to himself and reached for the remote control.

It was about 11 pm and TBS holiday programming included the family favorite "Jerry Maguire". "Serendipity, do-dar-day!" He winked outside at the inflatable snowman in a snowglobe that lit up his Belmont home's lawn and reclined to his favorite sports movie.

Then it hit him: "Show me the money. That's it! Stephon Marbury." Ainge picked up the phone and dialed.

"Steph? It's Danny. How's your head?" Marbury paused shocked for a second. Had his daily ritual of staring at the phone for 15 minutes every 15 minutes finally worked in getting an NBA GM to call him? He answered Ainge's strange query, "Bubblicious."
Ainge continued, "Steph, I want you to play for the Celtics."
"That's what I'm talking about! Starting point guard for the champions! The Starman is back!"
"No, no Steph. I want you to be the back-up point guard."
"Danny, I got a shelf life of ten years, tops. My next contract's gotta bring me the dollars that'll last me and mine a long time. Shit, I'm out of this sport in 5 years. What's my family gonna live on? Huh?"
"Steph, think about back when you were a little kid. It wasn't about the money, was it? Was it?"

Marbury moved the receiver away from his face and stared at it. His iphone skin was a gold-plated one hundred dollar bill. He blinked and told Ainge, "You are hanging on by a very thin thread Danny, and I dig that about you!"

Beginning to feel fed up, Ainge laid into his would be ersatz pointguard, "When you get on the court, it's all about what you didn't get, who's to blame, who underthrew the pass, who's got the contracts you don't, who's not giving you love. That is not what inspires people. That is not what inspires people! Shut up, play the game! Play it from the heart."

Danny finally felt like he was getting through. Steph answered quizzically, "You tell me to eat lima beans, I'll eat lima beans." "Lima beans?" Ainge muttered to himself. "Yuck!" He turned his attention back to Marbury and calmly said, "Help you. Help me, help you-"

Before he could finish, the pride of Coney Island had cut him off, "Shut up, just shut up Danny. You had me at hello."

"You scared me! Don't do that again...ever! Ever, ever, ever!! Okay?" Ainge exhaled, and winked again at his snowman in a snowglobe on the lawn of his Belmont home.

And so a match made in heaven was born- a Christmas miracle, if you will. Danny hung up his snoopy phone and giggled to himself when out of the corner of his eye he noticed one last unopened present under the tree. It was a card wrapped in a golden envelope. "Where did that come from?" Danny wondered. He opened the envelope and found a note from Mrs. Ainge: "If you ever want me to be with another woman for you, I'd do it. It's not something I'm interested in. Once, yeah, it seemed normal, but it was just a phase, a college thing, like torn Levi's or baseball for you." Danny kicked his Homers onto the floor and sprinted for the bedroom. To be continued...


Yes through all of this musing and rusing there is one thing true the Celtics appear on the verge of acquiring NBA pariah Stephon Marbury. While I feel he got something of a bum steer in New York I'm not sure I see the wisdom of signing a shoot first no defense playing point guard to a pass happy shut 'em down team. Ainge has made a couple great moves and a pile of bad ones. We'll see...

In related news, Theo Epstein has contacted the agent of Albert Belle and asked the Hall of Fame douchenozzle to come out of retirement. The Bruins have done the same with Sean Avery. The Patriots have invited the always welcome Eric Mangini back into their fold and the state of New York has extended an olive branch to Eliot Spitzer.

Come out tonight to catch what might be one of the last Starbury-less Celtics game of the year.

Theres a starman waiting in the sky
H'ed like to come and meet us
But he thinks hed blow our minds
Theres a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
Cause he knows its all worthwhile
-David Robert Jones .

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