The Big Story: Even with the Celtics and Bruins taking center stage with football done, the big story is the utter lack of interest in your Red Sox as they open spring training. This is a team that a decade ago sold out 820 consecutive games and looked at Truck Day as an unofficial local holiday. Yet this week, no one cared. At all.
Sports 101: Name the seven former Celtics who later became head coach of the team.
News Item – Celtics Shooting: Thanks in part to their often overpowering offense the C’s have started with the NBA’sbest record. But buried in the credit their 3-point bombing gets is their incredible accuracy on 2-point shots, where, led by Kristaps Porzingis’ 63.2 percent, four guys in the eight-man rotation are above 60 percent and as a team they’re making an incredible 57 percent of their twos. The best the Bird-era Celtics ever did was 53.1 percent in 1987-88 when Kevin McHale’s 60.6 percent made him the lone guy over 60 percent.
News Item – High-Profile NBA Teams Struggle: An interesting story as the NBA season evolves is how teams with Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic and Steph Curry aren’t living up to the results their big names are expected to produce. L.A., Dallas, Golden State and Phoenix have all struggled mightily to just get a playoffs play-in slot, while long-downtrodden Oak City and Minnesota are solidly in the guaranteed slots with young Orlando competing for one. And while the Suns and streaking Warriors may have righted their ships, the question is, are we seeing a changing of the guard?
44 – NCAA-record rebounds pulled down by Lauryn Taylor for D-II Francis Marion in a win over North Greenville.
64 – wins the 43-12 Celtics are on pace to reach after closing the first half with a136-86 win over Brooklyn.
… Of the Week Awards
Clever Headline – San Francisco Chronicle: They led their paper the day after the 49ers lost the SB to KC in Sin City with “Loss Vegas.”
Now I’ve Seen Everything – Eddie House: We know the days of the tie and jacket are gone but seeing that get-up of a hooded sweatshirt under a sports coat Eddie wore sitting in for Scal during last week’s Celtics-Nets broadcast game was a new low. The good news is he was solid analyzing the game.
Thumbs Up – Caitlin Clark: Congrats to the U of Iowa star for passing U of Washington’s Kelsey Plum’s 3,527 career points to become the all-time leading scorer in women’s D-I college basketball. She did it in style by going for 49 points, 5 rebounds and 13 assists in a 106-89 romp over Michigan.
Thumbs Down – NBA All-Star: With the ridiculous final score of Sunday’s defensive masterpiece 211-186, can the NBA All-Star game be called anything but what it’s become — a travesty?
Random Thoughts: The MVP chants Jayson Tatum got in Brooklyn last week are the loudest I’ve ever heard a guy get playing away from home.
Guess Adrian Griffin really was Milwaukee’s problem. After going 3-7 in the first 10 games since his firing, the Bucks have obviously turned it around under Doc Rivers. Including the fired-in-May Mike Budenholzer, their tab for HC’s on the payroll is around $30 million.Here’s my question about Mac Jones: If he can’t play in the NFL, why was he so good his rookie year? Luck or something else?
Sports 101 Answer: The seven former Celtics who later coached them are Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, Satch Sanders, Dave Cowens, K.C. Jones, Chris Ford and M.L. Carr.
Final Thought – The Red Sox: The worst part of the Red Sox dilemma mentioned earlier was not the lack of player moves, unwillingness to spend on talent, phony team-leaked rumors they were in on every free agent from Shohei Ohtani to Tucker Carlson, or the hiring of a not nearly ready for prime time GM. It was hearing earnest but clearly delusional team president/sacrificial lamb Sam Kennedy offer this doozy in defense of the team’s brass on WEEI in January: “If you think for one second that we aren’t passionate, committed, dedicated to the Boston Red Sox, you’re wrong, you’re a liar, and I’ll correct you on it, because it’s total BS.” Sorry, Sam, that’s not true. Expectations are at their lowest for your team since the bottom-dwelling days of the 1960s because ownership simply does not care about anything beyond expanding their sports business portfolio. Thus you’ve got a long haul in front of you.
So Tip No. 1: Calling your customers “liars” is not the best way to go. Tip No. 2: Tell us the truth — that you’re rebuilding, with a target date for when you’ll be ready, so unrealistic expectations built by owner Tom Werner can be adjusted to look at Triston Casas and company with an eye on their growth, not being failures who can’t live up to the 2004 glory days.
Be honest with your customers and then get your act together.
Email Dave Long at email@example.com.