I apologize for the lack of an update this morning, but just like the rest of you, I haven’t gotten a whole lot of sleep this past week. I had an opportunity to get some this morning, and darn it, I took it. I also had the chance to go to a media lunch on by FSN for the upcoming Celtics season. It was a good time, information, and a chance to talk with a number of the local media types. Predictably, even though the event was for the Celtics, there was a lot of Red Sox talk around the room.
Some items of interest regarding the upcoming Celtics season on FSN:
- The home games will be broadcast in HDTV. Tommy Heinsohn joked that he’s survived a lot of things in his career, but he wonders if he’ll survive high definition.
- Mike and Tommy will have a Q&A session with Doc Rivers in the pregame prior to each game. Also Willie Maye will speak to an assistant coach and a player during halftime of each game. As Maye noted, they’re looking for more of national broadcast feel to each telecast.
- There will be a dedicated post game show following each game: “Green Zone” will not just be a segment of New England Sports Tonight, but will deal solely with the Celtics game just completed.
- “Legend of Red” will be a two part biography on Red Auerbach. Part I will premier on November 6th at 7:00. The program will include never seen before family photos, interviews with former players such as Bill Russell and Larry Bird and classic Celtics footage with calls by Johnny Most.
Mike and Tommy took questions from those in attendance, Tommy emphasized how much he’s going to enjoy seeing an up-tempo team with speed and quickness. He said the former style of play the last few years has been BORING. The running style of play is essential because a good big only comes along once a decade, if that. He mentioned several times about the whole organization being on the same page, and how that has not been the case in the past.
About the rookies, Tommy said that Al Jefferson has some Moses Malone in him. He can score, and he can rebound. It may take some time to develop him, but he’s got it in him to be great. He feels Kendrick Perkins is going to be a contributor this year. Regarding Delonte West, Heinsohn noted that he made a pass in the preseason that he’s only seen three players ever make. A full court bounce pass that was waiting perfectly for the recipient. Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy and Ernie D were the only other players he said he’s seen make that pass.
I asked Heinsohn about Gary Payton…he has had strong opinions about Payton in the past…and not positive ones. I asked him how he viewed him now as a Celtic. Tommy joked that it’s a case of he wore the black hat before, and now has donned the white hat. He feels Payton is going to be a leader, and is already helping the younger players and setting the tone for the club.
Mike Gorman was also very enthusiastic about the prospects for this team, he feels they will compete for the Atlantic Division. As for Gary Payton, he says he is already displaying great leadership. He was amazed to see that Payton has only missed 8 games in his entire career. He wasn’t sure about what Danny Ainge was doing when he first heard about the trade, but now he feels it was brilliant. He also said this Celtics team will not be short on toughness…something that previous teams lacked.
A few quick notes from elsewhere…you may have seen this already, but if you haven’t be sure to check out this Slide Show from Reily Studios….just an amazing series of pictures that should leave you with goosebumps. It’s good to see that Dan Shaughnessy is picking up from his radio appearance yesterday and made it into a column, the premise of which is “I invented the curse, I wrote the book, I say when it is over.” At the same time, Dan seems a little weary of the whole thing himself. Yes, Phil Mushnik may hate everyone, but today he tears into Tim McCarver and Joe Buck…something that should warm the hearts of Red Sox fans all over the country. Don’t expect things to get better in the next round however, with McCarver having played many years with the Cardinals, and Joe Buck being a TV and Radio broadcaster for the team and of course the ties his father had with them as well. We’re not the only ones tired of McCarver though, there is even a website shutuptimmccarver.com, which isn’t even done by a Red Sox fan, but instead by a Mets fan.
WEEI will continue its wall-to-wall Red Sox coverage this weekend. Jon Wallach will have overnight post game shows, and Jon Meterparel and Wendi Nix will be on Sunday morning from 6-9 prior to the usual NFL Sunday program.
As for the Patriots, how crazy is it that they are going for the “Official” league record for consecutive victories (already owning the “unofficial” record) this Sunday against the New York Jets, and no one is saying a peep about it. Maybe it’s better that way, it seems to have made Bill Belichick’s press conference’s even better, you need to check out today’s transcript. Maybe it was because there were only hard-core football writers there, but this stuff is as informative as you’re going to see anywhere. It continues to boggle my mind how media types complain about Belichick being boring and dull. They want the Bill Parcells’ “She” material all the time, yet if you take the time to read and listen, Belichick tells you 100 times more about the nuances of football than Parcells or probably anyone else does. In the articles today, Nick Cafardo brings up the Patriots supposed interest in trading up for Dewayne Robertson in draft day 2003, but Michael Felger calls that rumor “baseless” and shreds it.
Dave Scott looks back at a week only an “idiot” would believe in Scott’s Shots.