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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

comings and goings of an NBA Champion

As I learned in 2002 after the Patriots won the Super Bowl-the first local team to win a championship when I wasn't wearing diapers-no matter how much you want a team to keep exactly the same personnel, it ain't happening partner.

When you do a franchise in Madden or season in any other video game, there's some shuffling in your roster automatically so what makes you think that professional athletes (and their agents) with oversized egos will settle for a hometown discount?

Sometimes you can see the writing on the wall (re: Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe), other times you wish a certain player didn't depending on who you talk to, either bang Manny's wife or underaged girls (re: Orlando Cabrera) while others simply chase a dollar sign (re: Deion Branch and Ty Law).

With this firmly implanted in your mind, it should come as no surprise that the 2008-2009 Celtics will look a little different. Going into the off-season, the two most important potential free agents were James Posey and Eddie House, in that order of relevance.

Predictably, the Celts front office wouldn't budge past a three-year offer to Posey and the veteran, two-time champion choose to get a four-year deal in New Orleans.

Posey has to look out for himself and his family foremost and I am too old to begrudge him that. He wanted more security and the challenge of helping another team that is on the cusp of really making some noise in the Western Conference. Makes sense to me.

Yesterday, the C's resigned House and Tony Allen to two-year deals. I'm happy for House, who has seemingly been on every team in the NBA short of the Oklahoma City Thunder (stupid name, huh?). As for Allen, ugh. The only time Tony Allen showed any potential was during the Celtics' awful year two seasons ago. He was playing the best basketball of his life and he blew out his knee, trying to make a dunk after a foul had been called. I can't think of a better way to sum up Tony Allen.

Management is sticking by him, for some reason, but who knows what to expect from him? Especially if he's in a packed Chicago nightclub. How'd that trial end up by the way? Must have missed that one. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Tony Allen will ever do anything notable in the NBA from here on out. He's athletic enough and a solid defender so he'll probably always be cashing a check for the next 6-8 years but that's about it.

Losing Posey is the bigger issue, the guy was one of the keys to the great regular season and championship. He stepped his game up in the biggest contests. During the season, in 24.6 minutes a game he averaged 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and .97 steals while shooting 38% on threes and 80% from the line.

He is the definition of a winner. In the 2008 Finals, he scored 8.7 points a game, grabbed 3.8 rebounds and 1.33 steals. Most memorably, he was a huge part of the Game 4 comeback as he had 18 points. He was what the Lakers lacked, a tough, physical player that was willing to get dirty and dive on the floor.

Thanks Posey, good luck with the Hornets.

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