“Shutting It Down”
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 4, 2007
Paul Pierce Dives Out-of-Bounds (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)
Am I the only one who is put-off, I mean sickened, by this notion, this trend of not finishing out the season, this whole “I’m thinking about ‘shutting it down'” for the rest of the schedule? I know, I know, I am old-school as it gets. These guys are commodities, worth millions, tens of millions in revenue and, thus, have to be protected. It still makes me sick.
Bad enough when it’s “Manny being Manny” but do we have to put up with “Paul being Paul”? I know Pierce had the beginning of what looked like it could have been a stress fracture, but they brought him back in due time and they certainly would not have brought him back if it risked further injury. He came back to play so they could win a game or two after the eighteen game “Voyage to the Bottom of the (NBA) Sea”, but, more than anything, to see if the “young players”: Jefferson, West, Rondo, could learn to adjust to playing with the “superstar”, the “franchise”, the snubbed “all-star”, the “classic case of a great player on a bad team”. Apparently they got their answer because looks like Paul is “shutting it down”.
Give me a break. It’s pathetic. I share some Celts’ season tickets and knew I was going to be out-of-the-country this past Sunday, the date of the Cavs in Boston. Emailed a friend: “want the tickets? LeBron and Pierce”? Ya, sure. (Sorry, Mike.)
You’re right, I’m old school. And to prove it, I conjure the ghost of Red Auerbach. What Would Red Say? WWRS? As a coach, obviously, Red never would have had to deal with such a scenario. Last place, going nowhere? “Should I sit Russ to see if we can avoid moving into 3rd-to-last and diminish our lottery pick status”? WWRS? He’d be on the phone to see who he could get for that “warrior” Pierce, he’d throw in the Celtic dancers and Lucky, to boot.
Glad my mother didn’t shut it down right when I was beginning to walk. Or my trig or calculus teacher vanished in mid-April. Or a farmer at the 32nd acre. Ted Williams played that last game when he could have sat and protected the .400 average. Didn’t he? Cannot imagine Magic sitting or Mo Cheeks or Bird, but then again, those comparisons are spurious because they were too good to let the teams they played on be as bad as Paul Pierce’s Celtics.
And these “sitters” all claim to “love the game”? If you love it, then you play it. I think of all the players who would do anything to be on that floor, the NBA floor, proving who they are as ballplayers. But, I suppose, they too would soon be corrupted by what passes as values in today’s pro game. A guy or girl at a pick-up game, waiting on the sideline, having yelled “winners” has more, way more, integrity.