11.25.06

Massarotti : Truth Is, Doc’s Damaged By Mute Pierce

Posted in Basketball at 4:01 pm by

After being routed by the Knicks at home, there’s little surprising about Celtics fans chanting for the removal of Doc Rivers. Except, writes the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti, the part about Celtics captain Paul Pierce “hanging his coach out to dry.”

At least now we know the Celtics™ new team motto:

Every man for himself.

œI have no reaction to the crowd, a terse Pierce (above) said when asked about the fans calling for his coach™s firing.

Pierce said nothing, though that was a fitting complement to his performance on the floor. Pierce finished the game with 12 points and just two rebounds, and he had more turnovers (six) than trips to the foul line (five).

Then, when he might have simply suggested that the players need to take responsibility for their performance, he gave a non-answer that will trigger a chain reaction of follow-ups.

Why didn™t Pierce defend his coach? Have Pierce and Rivers ever really buried the hatchet? And what does it say if the best player on the team seems to take some measure of satisfacion in his coach being criticized?

For now, know this: We live in a supersaturated media age where athletes literally go to camp to learn how to answer questions. The postgame interview generally has become a marketing tool. Most every player understands that he has everything to gain by spitting out cliches and company lines, and teams are expected to show a certain measure of solidarity, particularly at the most trying moments.

So far (and to his credit) Danny Ainge has emphatically stood by his coach. So has Celtics ownership. Now the C™s are slipping again, and the team™s best player has passed on a chance to endorse his coach, which can only make you wonder about the times that lie ahead.

And it makes you wonder, too, whether the captain of the ship is actually trying to lead a mutiny.

You know the drill : you’ve paid crazy loot for great seats to an NBA game, and some oversized jerk is blocking your view of the action. So what if his name is Erick Dampier?

Though the D-League season began last night, NBA.com has no stats nor information about the Austin Toros’ 101-77 loss at Albuquerque last night, the only NBDL contest on the schedule the league’s site was unable to webcast or update in progress. Though they’ve got the internet on computers these days, they might not have it in New Mexico.

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