(on the left, Paul Pierce. On the right, unidentified middle-aged white guy)
To paraphrase Lionel Hutz, there’s the truth, and there’s the truth about The Truth. On Saturday, it was reported Boston and Paul Pierce (had agreed to a 3 year contract extension that would keep no. 34 in Celtics green for the next 5 seasons.
The Globe’s Peter May responded on Saturday by wondering, “what’s the hurry?”
What would have been the downside had the Celtics decided to wait a year on the extension? Why not see what Pierce did with this team before emptying the vault? If he led it to 55 wins and the Eastern Conference finals, then great. You produce the extension and reward him. But what if this team wins 38 games next year? Or 42 and barely sneaks into the playoffs? You’ve got a guy on the books for $59-plus million who likely will be very hard to move — unless Isiah Thomas is still in charge in New York — and you’ve had another season in which he really hasn’t been able to put the team on his back and succeed.
Bruce Allan of Boston Sports Media is quick to remind us that “Pierce could’ve opted out of his contract and become a free agent next summer…and the Celtics could’ve ended up with nothing.”
The point here is that the lead NBA writer for the largest and most influential newspaper in the region had no idea about a very important contract clause for a player that he covers which many casual fans were aware of. Further, no one on Morrissey Blvd caught this mistake, either.
There’s nothing to defend. The whole premise of the column is invalid because May thought Pierce had two years left on his deal, when in fact Pierce could opt out after next season. Had it been true that the Celtics had Pierce locked in for the next two seasons, the premise of May’s column, while likely unpopular, would still have had some merit to at least consider. But it doesn’t. He looks rather foolish at the moment.
A Mr. B. Simmons of Los Angeles, California was pretty quick to echo Allan’s sentiments in a letter to BSM :
I’m sure May is a nice guy … but I can only judge him by his production over the past 20 years. It doesn’t seem like he has given a crap about basketball since Bird retired. if anything, he comes off like a middle-aged white guy who openly dislikes the sport and can’t relate with most of the players.
I just can’t believe how far this newspaper has fallen – we have now reached the point where the alleged lead basketball writer for the paper had no idea that the team’s best player could have been a free agent in 12 months, and even worse, slammed the Celtics for re-signing him because he was so desperate to be a contrarian (and only because he doesn’t have the talent or the passion to make this team more fun to follow). I’m so tired of this crap – it’s really sad that I trust the opinions/information of complete strangers on a message board over someone who’s employed by the Boston Globe to cover the only basketball team in town. What a disgrace.
Of course, no one could possibly accuse the noted author and social commentator from ESPN’s Page 2 of sounding like a middle-aged, white guy.
On an unrelated tip, Simmons gleefully announces that he’s looking to adopt an EPL team. Because they’re all so desperate for fair weather fans.
Thanks to everyone who e-mailed suggestions for my new English Premier League soccer team that I haven’t picked yet. Out of any challenge that I’ve ever thrown out to the readers, I can’t remember getting a more passionate, entertaining and informative batch of e-mails. If anything, I’m even more dedicated to making the leap now. And this isn’t going to be a half-assed thing, either. I’ll be buying the merchandise, TiVo-ing the games, traveling to see a couple home games, throwing myself into the team … I’m going all out. Obviously I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I’m a huge sports fan and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that I missed the boat with the English Premier League and UEFA. Better late than never.
With that in mind, I’d like to issue an open invitation to all TV/radio/print fixtures in the UK who’d like to fall in love with the Boston Red Sox to do so at their earliest possible opportunity. If you’re funnier than Phill Jupitus, all the better!