Saturday, August 4, 2007

Please wake up, Bob Ryan

I didn't have really much else to talk about today. That is until I came across this little "blog" by one of the best sports writers today, Bob Ryan. I'm sure that you might have heard of him as he shows up whenever ESPN needs a great pinch hitter on The Sports Reporters, Around the Horn, or PTI. Hell, he did so well with those show that NESN (that's New England Sports Network in non-acronym form) gave his own PTI-style show called The Globe 10.0. So, he knows his stuff.

But on this one post, I would have to give him an alarm clock so he can a real wake-up call. Here's what I mean (excerpt from the aforementioned "blog"):

For you young'uns, as well as impressionable elders, let me remind you what a proper Supporting Cast in the NBA really is.

What it isn't is the one the Celtics have at the present time. From roster spots 4 through 12, the Celtics are the most impotent team in the NBA. You must accept this, or else there is no chance of us having a decent conversation. The new trio of stars is a nice start.

A nice start. Period....

Mr. Ryan continues to laundry list the former bench players of the great Celtic teams of the 80s and early 90s. I would do so here but I hate being redundant for duplicity's sake.

The fact is that on principle, I do agree with his sentiment. There's no way that the Celtics, comprised the way they are now, would ever come close to resembling a complete and solid playoff team back then. However, he fails to factor into his playoff contender roster calculation a few variables that have transpired since those thrilling days of yesteryear:
  • The age of the Salary Cap, which prohibits stockpiling undiscovered or underutilized role players for years until they were needed. Can't pay people for not contributing right away anymore.
  • Not only one but two years of expansion, which diluted not only the game play but the player pool. Kinda hard to keep good players when there are more teams who can snatch them up by offering more money.
  • The introduction of upside, which made GMs go after younger players who did not have the strong fundamentals down and more times than not needed on-the-job training to get those skils perfected. This shift towards "potential/upside" raw players versus "proven" winners has single-handedly killed the game to the point that the NBA had to establish an age-requirement just to prevent the GMs from putting it completely in the grave.
In the type of shape that the Eastern Conference is in, the Celtics do not have to be like they were in the 80s. Shoot, if LeBron and his band of unreknowns could make it to the NBA finals, it's not hard to imagine the Hydra-head of the Celtics getting there too. So, Bob (if I can call you that), please wake up and live in the now..

Wait a sec, since I can't be a young'un (3 weeks until 38th birthday people!), I must be one of those impressionable elders. Aww, crap...

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