The Usual Suspect.

Because he writes lots of words and does it both for money and at a pretty consistent rate/level, Bill Simmons is often a target for critique. After being directed by my big brother, I read Simmons’ most recent post at the you know where website concerning the all too new subject of Rasheed Wallace’s erratic and frustrating behavior.  In case you haven’t read the article, don’t.  It’s really flippin’ long and there’s nothing groundbreaking here (especially if you live in Portland or follow the hometown Blazers).

It’s the same diatribe that has been rehashed over and over about Mr. Wallace.  “He’s aloof, doesn’t like to work out, shoots too many three-pointers at too low a rate, can’t really play defense or rebound like he once did and so forth.”  Beside the fact that this is not very revelatory Simmons’ article completely hides the real culprit of this story while he perpetuates one of the pet peeves of us here at the New Enthusiast (I know you forgot we had pet peeves it’s been that long.)

Not once does Simmons, in this 9 million word essay, mention the two words that immediately came to mind after I read most of the article, Danny Ainge.  Ainge, the General Manager of the Celtics did sign this 35 year old, past his prime, poster child for inconsistency throughout his career, to a 3-year, 18 million dollar deal early in the free agency period last summer.

This is the type of deal that pisses off Mr. and Mrs. Sportsfan so much.  And it’s mostly because management’s decision  never gets discussed in an honest way after deals like this get signed.  In hindsight, the meme tends inevitably toward the underperforming athlete when, in this case, what Wallace is doing is what he has done for the past five or six years. Now he’s 35 and he probably is too old to get away with being able to do it effectively anymore.

Moreover, it’s not like Wallace was the only possible big man that could have helped this version of the Celtics.  All of the following, while probably less talented are younger and probably more motivated to work and were unrestricted free agents last summer (One of which was on the Celtics frakkin’ bench last year):

Lamar Odom (probably a long shot I know)

Antonio McDyess

Brandon Bass

Leon Powe

Channing Frye (basically a younger version of Wallace except super-cool, cheap and probably available on a two year deal.  Received a one-year from Suns).

It is also within the realm of consideration that with the huge 2010 free agency class, certain franchises would be looking to dump salary during the season or at the deadline.  Cripes, Portland got Marcus “friggin” Camby for some guys named Outlaw and Blake.  Are those professional basketball players or the title of a Cagney and Lacey spinoff?

So while Wallace has largely been disappointing for the Celtics this year, to heap all the blame on him for doing what he’s done the past half decade is more than a little disingenuous.  It’s not as if Rasheed Wallace’s agent during the month of July 2009  stalked Danny Ainge with a gun pointed to his head saying, “Sign Sheed for three years at 18 mil or else”.  On the flipside, it’s not as if after being offered 18 million dollars guaranteed, Rasheed Wallace would respond, “Oh no, I could never take that money as there’s no way I’ll ever be worth that kind of money for the next three years”.

Simmons’ avoidance of the mangagement angle of the Celtics story is even more awesome because Bill Simmons has openly lobbied for front office positions before either disturbingly or with tongue in cheek.  So maybe when Simmons gets that front office interview he can think hypothetically about Hypothetical Danny Ainge thinking that in some way giving Wallace his final pay day would turn out awesome…

Oh boy, Hypothetical Danny Ainge, oh boy.

3 thoughts on “The Usual Suspect.

  1. without any hard evidence to back this up, i feel confident in saying that at some point in his writings about sport, BS has identifed the fact that GM’s feel that their franchise can “fix” an underperforming player. it must be more difficult to see those flaws in one’s own beloved teams.

    for my own part, this is the third straight year i have been convinced that Soriano would earn his Cubs salary. then again i don’t get paid to write about it.

  2. Pingback: Today’s Celtics Links 4/10 « Flceltsfan’s Weblog

  3. For the duration of summer 2010, the world descended
    upon South Africa for the most watched sporting occasion – The FIFA World Cup.
    The approach of preparing for this world event necessary multilateral endeavours led principally by South
    Africa and FIFA. Media protection of pre-World Cup efforts and of the
    celebration itself was extensive and plentiful.

    Nonetheless, there has not been much international coverage of the publish-World Cup conditions in South Africa.
    Subsequent a crack of a yr to host the World Championships, Pietermaritzburg
    returns to host the opening stop of the World Cup for 2014.
    The World Cup starts with the two the XCO and DH riders in motion.

    These executives certainly have a vested interest in underneath-enjoying their large profits,
    but the independent analysts Sportcal have supported their sights,
    “FIFA is quick to point out that its profits from the World Cup go
    in the direction of funding its several other pursuits over the 4-12 months cycle between
    World Cups, such as much less rewarding competitions this kind of as junior and women’s World Cups and the quadrennial Confederations Cup in between continental countrywide groups champions.” The “other” Group of
    Death is Group B in which 2010 finalists Spain and the Netherlands sq.
    off in the opening match. Host nation Brazil kicks
    off the match from Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s