The Boston Faithful Deserved A Better Fate

By Greg Moore
Updated: May 23, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — The NBA Draft Lottery is supposed to help those teams that need help the most, but if you are a Boston Celtic fan, it is probably the biggest sham since Dorothy found out the “Great Wizard” was nothing more than a flim flam artist pulling levers on a machine.

The Celtic fans deserved to pick one of two guys that could help turn around a storied franchise but this week they are left once again jilted at the alter. Life isn’t fair and sometimes you need just deal with the hand that fate dealt you.

That’s all well and good coming from a guy whose team struck gold twice in ten years with the lottery. Hey, I make no bones about it. I enjoy covering a winning franchise and without the Spurs getting both David Robinson and Tim Duncan roughly 10 years apart from each other I would probably be writing a different tune all together.

But that doesn’t mean I cannot feel for Boston or its fans. In one word, what happened to them on Tuesday night was a travesty of the most gregarious proportions.

I don’t know what is worse for that city. The fact that it took almost an eon for a World Series title to come forth or the fact that that franchise is as snake bit as an old snake charmer who just is too slow in retrieving the dangerous reptiles.

With Tommy Heinson sitting there in the NBA studios that night, the world waited for either the Celtics or the Memphis Grizzlies to get the top pick. That didn’t happen.

Nothing went according to script. The moment the Celtics got the fifth pick, everyone knew that the draft was going to be more difficult than anyone has ever thought.

“Nobody thought Paul Pierce was going to be as good as he is when we got him at 10,” Boston GM Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe shortly after the lottery. Yeah okay, that sounds good Danny but there’s a big difference in the potential that Pierce had when the team selected him and the potential that Greg Oden or Kevin Durant has today.

These two players possess franchise altering skills. Either one of these players can take a franchise and bring them from the outhouse to the penthouse. Doc Rivers can shake his head and say that he’ll make due with whoever the team selects as trainers, etc.; he deserves having a franchise player on his watch.

But if the Celtics really wanted to right this egregious wrong, they have a chance at drafting another potentially franchise player who has plenty of “up side”. If Ainge were smart, with the fifth pick in this year’s draft they need to select Joakim Noah from Florida.

Think about it for the moment. If you can’t get Oden or Durant, you still need someone in the middle. At 6-foot-11, Noah fits the bill for the big man that they want. Now is he worth fifth pick money?

That’s up to the Celtics but this could a blessing in disguise for Boston. Noah was touted as a talented yet raw big man. Noah has been in the collegiate game longer than Oden and plus he knows how to win on the court.

As easy as it is for me to write this and say that Boston got jobbed, I can also look at the bright side. With the fifth pick this team could get a big man and a quality one at that.

And to be truthful, quality big men dont. While this was a lousy way for the Celtics to get a first round pick that was high enough, the fact of the matter is that maybe this team won’t get screwed out of picking the second best big man in this draft.


Somehow I think Daniel Snyder needs to have a nanny up there at Redskins Park or at least a better PR person on the team. This week both Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels had to apologize inappropriate comments about the dog fighting investigation that involves Atlanta Falcon signal caller, Michael Vick.

“I don’t know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it’s his property, it’s his dog,” Portis told WAVY-TV in Virginia. “If that’s what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business.”

Not only are the above statements wrong, they show the lack of sensitivity that Portis or anyone else thinking that dog fighting is okay. Even when I heard it explained that Portis was telling everyone to mind their own business, it still shows the lack of education and common sense needed to just walk around this planet.

It also shows that Portis and Samuels never realized just how serious this case is; not until the Redskins sent out a press release.

“The Washington Redskins, as an organization, obviously would never condone anything related to animal cruelty,” the team’s statement said. “The team takes the recent comments of Clinton Portis very seriously and apologizes to everyone that was offended.”

“We were wrong for joking about the situation,” Samuels said. “It’s very serious. We don’t agree with dog fighting.” That really isn’t good enough in my eyes.

What Samuels and Portis did was actually embarrass the NFL by not thinking straight and thinking that certain “cultural” activities was acceptable despite what the laws may say. Ignorance of the law doesn’t even apply here; lack of common sense to follow one’s own advice does.

Whether one judges Michael Vick on his actions or not is debatable. Vick is a polarizing figure in the ATL. This isn’t a fight that Portis or Samuels should have even given an opinion on and that’s why I actually question the PR department of the Redskins.

While Samuels and Portis became the embarrassment of the week for the league, it was this department that allowed them to even make such statements. So in a sense, the Redskins were at fault just as much as the players were and that in itself is tragic.