Welcome To Wally World

Boston fans were awaiting news of a trade all day yesterday. But when the trigger was pulled on a blockbuster deal last night, it was Danny Ainge, not Theo Epstein, who was making the trade. The Celtics shipped out Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed and two second round draft picks and received back Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak, Dwayne Jones and a conditional first round pick. Shira Springer looks at the deal, talking to the agents for a few of the players involved. It is possible that Olowokandi may never play for the Celtics. Steve Bulpett says that the object of this trade, in addition to creating better cap flexibility, was to provide a better compliment to their best player, Paul Pierce. The Celtics feel that Wally Szczerbiak can provide better support to Pierce with his outside shooting. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the Celtics shaking things up. Peter May weighs in on the deal, but isn’t sure what the point of it is. In the middle of May’s column is this curious passage.

But, having said that, the team Ainge blew up to get Davis was a .500 team with a coach who preached defense and whose players played defense. The team Ainge tweaked to get Szczerbiak is, two years later, well below .500 and has a coach who preaches defense. It's not all on Ricky, that's for sure. This team is younger, more accident prone, and doesn't defend as well.

Ah yes. A reference to “The Day the Music Died”. Never has the breaking up of a bad team been more lamented. I’m guessing that May might think the whole Ricky Davis era was a waste. Perhaps Ainge should’ve hung on to Eric Williams, Tony Battie and Kedrick Brown? May admits he’s never been a Ricky fan and hints that there must be a deeper, darker reason why the Celtics are trading him. Mary Murphy looks at Davis moving on this fifth NBA team. Ricky handled the news with class, as the Celtics PR guy tells us that the statement he released about loving Boston really came from Davis, and wasn’t one of those manufactured marketing quotes. Bulpett looks at how crazy Wally’s world is going to be for the next few days. His wife is due to give birth on Monday, which is the same day the Celtics play the Timberwolves in Minnesota. You can get reaction to trade from the twin cities in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In the latter paper, Tom Powers has a column entitled “No one got the better of this dismal deal”, and he says:

If nothing else, this trade is going to cost me a few dollars. I had a friendly wager with a buddy that no NBA general manager would be dumb enough to accept Michael Olowokandi in a trade.

I forgot about Danny Ainge.

Guess we know how highly he “Kandi Man” is thought of out in Minnesota. Thought…if Olowokandi never plays for the Celtics, does Powers still have to pay up? The BSMW Full Court Press has reaction to the trade, and after initially being furious with the deal, they see some sense in the move. Springer’s notebook and Bulpett’s notebook look ahead to Ron Artest’s debut with the Sacramento Kings tonight at the Garden against the Celtics. You can get more on Artest from the Bay Area Sports Pages, which includes the Sacramento Bee.

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The Bruins won their third in a row last night, 3-2 over the Washington Capitals. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Steve Conroy and Joe McDonald have the accounts of the game. Douglas Flynn says that Tim Thomas just might be saving the season for the Boston Bruins. Steve Buckley (subscription only) also has a look at Thomas, who is just happy to be in the NHL instead of toiling in the minors. Nick Tavares looks at how the Bruins appear to have turned things around.

Kevin Paul Dupont gushes over 20 year old Washington star Alexander Ovechkin. Mick Colageo has more on the Russian superstar. Conroy examines how the fit thrown by Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere may have been out of the same frustrations felt by a lot of goaltenders this season. Burrell’s notebook has more on Thomas being a factor in the Bruins’ recent turnaround. McDonald’s notebook looks at the Bruins starting to get healthier, but Conroy’s notebook looks at Brad Isbister injuring his leg last night.

Michael Silverman runs down all the things that happened while Theo Epstein was “away”. Jim Donaldson says that Theo needs to get to work now. Larry is off the hook and Theo is on the hot seat. Silverman’s notebook says that things aren’t looking good as far as Coco Crisp coming to Boston. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has coverage as well.

Jackie MacMullan looks at former NFL player Roy Simmons, who might be the poster boy for “Super Bowl casualties sucked in by the excitement and the nightlife and the adulation.” Nick Cafardo has a look at the Seahawks defense.

Scott’s Shots has a look at the media coverage of the Celtics trade last night, a look at Bill Simmons’ email interview with Curt Schilling and a plethora of other ideas.

Check back later for this week’s version of BSMW SporTView.

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