June 30, 2013

Doc rejoins Celtics, sort of

With Rondo on his way to Dallas, Pierce and KG heading to Brooklyn, and Doc moving west, Celtics fans may despair that the once-great team is being shattered.
Rest assured. We’ve been to this movie before.
In 1978, the original Celtics franchise was sent to Buffalo in a baffling deal that brought the then-Braves to Boston. (There was as baseball team called the Boston Braves that played at what is now Nickerson Field at BU. That franchise is now in Atlanta.) Included in that shuffle was one talented and troubled player, Marvin Barnes, whose story is featured in the “What the Hell Happened To” blog.
That same year, GM Red Auerbach had brilliantly drafted Larry Bird as a junior, even though Bird would return to Indiana for his senior year. The great teams of the 1980s had their basis in the train wreck that was the Celtics ownership of the 70s.
Astute readers will note that current GM Danny Ainge was a good basketball and baseball player and a pretty good basketball executive. Red Auerbach, however, Ainge ain’t.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo team moved to California, first to San Diego and then Los Angeles. So Doc River is now coach of what had been the Celtics.