Irish Coffee: Ta-Ta Tony Allen
|10.19.10 at 10:48 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Tony Allen left for greener pastures. Green as in the color of cash; definitely not Celtics green. How can you blame him? After all, his list of injuries reads like a children’s song: ankles, knees and thumbs, so his earning potential could go at any moment — like a post-whistle dunk attempt.
He signed a three-year, $9.7 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. He wasn’t going to get that from the Celtics. And he was never going to play more than 20 minutes — maybe not even 15 — for this year’s C’s squad. So, why not sign with the Grizzlies?
“I was definitely overshadowed,” Allen told The Tulsa World. “Anybody would have been overshadowed considering those Hall of Fame prolific-type scorers that they had.”
He played 18.3 minutes per game for the 2007-08 Celtics team that won the NBA title and 16.5 minutes for last year’s team that reached the finals. He’s gotta be able to play more than that for a franchise that’s never won a playoff game, right? Wrong.
“I don’t think it’s smart,” Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins also told The Tulsa World. “What would you rather do? Win and play 15 minutes a game? Or you may not win as much and play 15 minutes a game. My thing is I would rather play on a winning team and have a chance to win championships — and get a playoff share too.”
Ouch. Getting thrown under the bus by his own coach isn’t going to help Allen’s injury woes.
THE GREAT POINT GUARD DEBATE
There’s a recent theory going around the blogosphere: Should you build your team around a point guard? That’s a big question for Celtics fans, considering two years from now that’s exactly what Danny Ainge will be challenged to do. Other than what will be a 35-year-old Paul Pierce, the only current player guaranteed to play for the 2012-13 Celtics is Rajon Rondo.
The crux of the point guard argument is this, from 48 Minutes of Hell:
“Because a point guard presents so much smoke and mirrors, masking teammates deficiencies, controlling tempo, and inflating statistics, it’s far too easy to get caught up in his success and prematurely go all in, overvalue your own free agents, and ignore the development of the rest of your team while still having success – just not the kind of success every team should aspire to.”
And True Hoop pretty much agreed with this notion, adding:
“You can have a point guard, and even the best point guard, but as Jazz and Hornets fans can see, it doesn’t always get you where you want to go. It seems to me building around the best point guards can be a fun thing to give your fans, but I don’t know it will ever be what they truly want.”
So, if you “prematurely go all in, overvalue your own free agents, and ignore the development of the rest of your team,” it’s probably not going to be a successful venture? Can’t the same be said about any player you’re building a franchise around?
If in 2007 the Jazz or Hornets had been in a position to trade young talent for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, are you telling me they wouldn’t have formed as equally a devastating Big 3 alongside Deron Williams or Chris Paul as they did with Pierce? Respectively, those teams finished 54-28 and 56-26 in 2007-08 — with lesser talent than the Celtics.
If you don’t surround your best player — whether he’s a point guard, two-guard, big man or whatever – with great talent, you’re not going to win. It’s that simple. If Ainge continues to seek top-tier players through trades (i.e., Garnett), find value late in the draft (i.e., Glen Davis) and sign proven talent to short-term, low-salary contracts (i.e., James Posey), he’ll succeed in building around Rondo. If not, he won’t. Again, it’s that simple.
NO NEED FOR ‘SHEED
WHDH-TV’s Larry Ridley tweeted late last night: “Rasheed Wallace tells me ‘no chance’ of return to C’s, not even in March. ‘Will be at Final 4 rooting for UNC.”
That’s comforting for Celtics fans. Two things this year’s team doesn’t need: another big-personality veteran and another technical foul waiting to happen.
THE MAGIC IS GONE
Magic Johnson sold his 4.5 percent ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday to the 46th richest man in America, Patrick Soon-Shiong. First order of business for Soon-Shiong: Why, irking Celtics fans, of course. He told the Los Angeles Times:
“It’s an honor to be part of the Lakers family and the nation’s foremost basketball franchise.”
Last time I checked, the Celtics have 17 NBA titles, while the Lakers have 16.
RAJON RONDO’S DOPPELGANGER
ShamSports.com raised this question on Twitter yesterday: How much does Twilight star Judi Shekoni look like Rondo? Judge for yourself …