Rich Paul/SI Article....

jeremyh331

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Jun 15, 2019
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Hey friends--

Long time reader and writer (back to the Dickie Thon days and SOSH in its infancy) who disappeared for a couple decades. I read often and am thrilled to be "back."

Genuine, serious question--what purpose does Rich Paul (or the like) serve superstars like LeBron or AD? Really--the whole SI article played the "buddy card." Reading through the piece, I kept coming back to something I've long believed--hire a lawyer for the contract/legal "stuff," pay 'em by the hour and the agent becomes useless.

I was the student manger at Providence College in the mid 1990s. I once asked one of our better players who was a lottery pick and enjoyed a long, successful professional career the purpose of an agent. He couldn't give me a real, straight answer beyond the company line. Just weird.

Maybe it's just the culture. Maybe it's the camaraderie.

I don't get it.
 

Spelunker

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Hey friends--

Long time reader and writer (back to the Dickie Thon days and SOSH in its infancy) who disappeared for a couple decades. I read often and am thrilled to be "back."

Genuine, serious question--what purpose does Rich Paul (or the like) serve superstars like LeBron or AD? Really--the whole SI article played the "buddy card." Reading through the piece, I kept coming back to something I've long believed--hire a lawyer for the contract/legal "stuff," pay 'em by the hour and the agent becomes useless.

I was the student manger at Providence College in the mid 1990s. I once asked one of our better players who was a lottery pick and enjoyed a long, successful professional career the purpose of an agent. He couldn't give me a real, straight answer beyond the company line. Just weird.

Maybe it's just the culture. Maybe it's the camaraderie.

I don't get it.
I enjoy the artfulness of this: it's like some people saying that they "went to a school near Boston".
 

nighthob

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I mean we all know he’s talking about Croshere since he was the only player in that era to get drafted in the lottery (Williams missing the cut as Boston made the playoffs by default).
 

TheoShmeo

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The thing that struck me the most about that article was Paul's comment that AD would not come to Boston because of management issues. I assume that ties back to Ainge/IT, and the perception that Danny mistreated him. I assume that is not code for Boston being a bad place for black players. I guess it's possible that Kryie deciding not to return could be seen by some in the league as a commet on management. Take it for what it's worth, but a friend with ties to some of the Celts' minority owners says that some in the ownership group think Danny does not suck up enough to the stars and that he should since it's a players league.

Whatever Paul's comment means or is triggered by, it makes me wonder if Danny is damaged goods and the team should cut their losses.
 

Devizier

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The thing that struck me the most about that article was Paul's comment that AD would not come to Boston because of management issues. I assume that ties back to Ainge/IT, and the perception that Danny mistreated him. I assume that is not code for Boston being a bad place for black players. I guess it's possible that Kryie deciding not to return could be seen by some in the league as a commet on management. Take it for what it's worth, but a friend with ties to some of the Celts' minority owners says that some in the ownership group think Danny does not suck up enough to the stars and that he should since it's a players league.
Might very well be the latter. Lebron hated the Lakers' highly touted young guys and look where they ended up. I honestly thought the draft pick haul would allow them to keep Ball and/or Ingram for depth but maybe Lebron just wanted them (particularly Ball) gone and that was that. It's fair to note that the Celtics' young guys are better than those and it might work out in the long term that Danny did well by them. Certainly it seems that a lot of guys around the league want nothing to do with Lebron.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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The thing that struck me the most about that article was Paul's comment that AD would not come to Boston because of management issues. I assume that ties back to Ainge/IT, and the perception that Danny mistreated him. I assume that is not code for Boston being a bad place for black players. I guess it's possible that Kryie deciding not to return could be seen by some in the league as a commet on management. Take it for what it's worth, but a friend with ties to some of the Celts' minority owners says that some in the ownership group think Danny does not suck up enough to the stars and that he should since it's a players league.

Whatever Paul's comment means or is triggered by, it makes me wonder if Danny is damaged goods and the team should cut their losses.
You’re putting way too much thought into the words of someone who is bending over backwards to avoid saying “I work for LeBron, of course I want my star client playing for the Lakers.”
 

mauf

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If Danny doesn't suck up to the stars, he gets more respect from me.
I think it depends on how you define “sucking up.”

Bringing a top-5 talent under the tent on major personnel decisions (including deciding who coaches the team) only makes sense — in a star-driven league, your future success depends on keeping apex talent like that happy. So, for example, if Giannis demands the sort of influence that LeBron currently enjoys in LA, the Bucks would be fools not to give it to him.

The only top-5 talent the C’s have had during Danny’s tenure was KG, and I’ve never heard that he was anything but happy with management. The rap on Danny appears to be that he didn’t give I.T. and Kyrie the same superstar treatment. I don’t think that was a mistake.

Perhaps treating Kyrie as though he were a superstar would have helped the C’s land AD, who I believe is legitimately an apex talent, but that’s 20/20 hindsight, and no way to run a franchise. My guess is that Kyrie will be unhappy at his next stop too — he’ll either be upset about being second banana (like he was in Cleveland), or he’ll be the top dog and look to blame others when the team isn’t good enough to contend (which is my read on what happened here).
 

lexrageorge

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Kyrie was perfectly happy his first year and into his second year here. And, for all of Ainge's supposed inability to suck up star players, he did recruit two highly sought after free agents in Horford and Hayward to come to Boston, and would have landed KD had it not been for the Warriors super team already in place.

Facts on the ground indicate that Kyrie did not like playing with Tatum, Brown, et al. But Kyrie is also not the player for whom you clear out your best assets for nothing. And Ainge was in position to fix that problem, even if only for a year, but that wasn't enough for Kyrie. Reality is that Kyrie-exit should be pinned 100% on Irving and noone else.

Davis and Klutch teamed up specifically to get Davis to the Lakers as soon as possible. Not New York. Not Miami. Not the Clippers. It was Lakers or bust. No other team was in play. The Knicks could have made an offer for Davis that could have topped LA's in terms of players, and could have offered the #3 pick (far more valuable in this draft than #4), but didn't.

And the idea that the IT4 situation has damaged the Celtics has been thoroughly debunked already. Any suggestion that the Celtics should "cut their losses" with Ainge is the most silliest of hot takes to the point is not even possible to have a reasonable debate on the topic.
 

TheoShmeo

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Kyrie was perfectly happy his first year and into his second year here. And, for all of Ainge's supposed inability to suck up star players, he did recruit two highly sought after free agents in Horford and Hayward to come to Boston, and would have landed KD had it not been for the Warriors super team already in place.

Facts on the ground indicate that Kyrie did not like playing with Tatum, Brown, et al. But Kyrie is also not the player for whom you clear out your best assets for nothing. And Ainge was in position to fix that problem, even if only for a year, but that wasn't enough for Kyrie. Reality is that Kyrie-exit should be pinned 100% on Irving and noone else.

Davis and Klutch teamed up specifically to get Davis to the Lakers as soon as possible. Not New York. Not Miami. Not the Clippers. It was Lakers or bust. No other team was in play. The Knicks could have made an offer for Davis that could have topped LA's in terms of players, and could have offered the #3 pick (far more valuable in this draft than #4), but didn't.

And the idea that the IT4 situation has damaged the Celtics has been thoroughly debunked already. Any suggestion that the Celtics should "cut their losses" with Ainge is the most silliest of hot takes to the point is not even possible to have a reasonable debate on the topic.
"Cut their losses" was not a good choice of words. I meant "make a change in light of the circumstances." Ainge has been very good and made many smart moves, so "losses" is a poor word to use in this discussion.

But I respectfully disagree that any discussion of whether Ainge has become an issue is not a worthy topic. You may be right that AD is using "Boston management" as an excuse for not being willing to stay past one year. But I think it's at least possible that perceptions of Ainge has something to do with it. If it does, then it could be a problem for other star players too. The answer might be as you say. All l want as a fan is for ownership to at least consider whether Danny's presence will make it hard to attract top talent.

Maybe you're right that the IT4 situation has not damaged the Cs. But I don't buy that the notion has been thoroughly debunked. I think, to the contrary, that some players or agents could still view that negatively. That is not my way of saying that anyone should see it that way. But how could you or anyone know that there's no lingering affect with some people?

As to Kyrie, I agree with notion that he is quite capable of being miserable for any number of reasons. I always thought that wanting to leave LeBron was a curious choice and Kryrie turned himself into the best Boston player who I have ever disliked intensely this year. So yeah, Ainge would be a convenient scapegoat for a player who is prone to wanderlust.
 

Caspir

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And, for all of Ainge's supposed inability to suck up star players, he did recruit two highly sought after free agents in Horford and Hayward to come to Boston, and would have landed KD had it not been for the Warriors super team already in place.
What on Earth are you talking about? Durant himself has contradicted this weird, "we were totally second choice" thing that Celtics fans have been pushing for two years now. He was not coming here. He definitely wasn't coming here after the Celtics pitch consisted of asking Tom Brady to talk about football championships and nightshade avoidance diets, but the Celtics, per his own words, were not the second choice. Unless you've got something better than a direct quote from the player, you're just saying things for the sake of bolstering your argument.

Ainge has landed one legitimate superstar in his tenure, and did so by trading with his bff. It is a legitimate question whether he is capable of getting the talent needed to win in this league, or if he is the GM that "regular" players like, but stars don't bother with. Hayward is swell, but we signed him based off of Brad, and he is not a superstar. Al is the definition of a very good but not great player.

And the idea that the IT4 situation has damaged the Celtics has been thoroughly debunked already.
Based on the Celtics sort of almost coming close to getting a superstar player to make them his third choice? Disagree.

I do agree that people saying Ainge should be let go are foolish, but nothing in your post does anything to firm up those feelings.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 

lexrageorge

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No other organization would have handled Thomas any differently. And I do recall quotes from Durant saying he was impressed with Boston's pitch; he wasn't doing the Mark Texieria.
 

Caspir

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No other organization would have handled Thomas any differently. And I do recall quotes from Durant saying he was impressed with Boston's pitch; he wasn't doing the Mark Texieria.
You recall quotes that he was impressed by their pitch, and decided he would have signed here if not for the Warriors in spite of the fact that he himself has said that was not the case? And you're arguing that other people's silly hot takes are stunting the conversation?

Agree on IT.
 

lexrageorge

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From 2016: https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2016/11/kevin_durant_explains_why_he_w.html

From 2018: https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-celtics/2018/06/04/kevin-durant-tom-brady-celtics-pitch-hamptons

I don't get the vibe from any of the quotes in the links above that Durant never had any intention of coming to Boston. To be fair, we'll never know if Boston was a close #2, a distant second, or #6 among the teams that were courting Durant that summer. But the Celtics pitch did go way beyond Tom Brady, as Durant does mention how he had the chance to talk to Stevens, Ainge, and his potential teammates. I had forgotten him and Bradley were pretty good friends.
 

The Social Chair

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Lebron/Paul dislike Danny for the Trump comment. It has nothing to do with IT4.

"His career's not over," Ainge told 98.5's "Toucher & Rich" on Thursday. "I'd just like to ... why he's saying that, I don't know. Maybe he thinks that that sells. Maybe he's taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don't know."
This apparently made Lebron furious.
 

DJnVa

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The thing that struck me the most about that article was Paul's comment that AD would not come to Boston because of management issues. I assume that ties back to Ainge/IT, and the perception that Danny mistreated him. I assume that is not code for Boston being a bad place for black players. I guess it's possible that Kryie deciding not to return could be seen by some in the league as a commet on management. Take it for what it's worth, but a friend with ties to some of the Celts' minority owners says that some in the ownership group think Danny does not suck up enough to the stars and that he should since it's a players league.

Whatever Paul's comment means or is triggered by, it makes me wonder if Danny is damaged goods and the team should cut their losses.

Come on---he has problem with Boston's management, but is okay with the Lakers? It's just words with no meaning.
 

TheoShmeo

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Come on---he has problem with Boston's management, but is okay with the Lakers? It's just words with no meaning.
Could be. It could also be that Danny has turned off some players. To me, it's not so much as an AD issue. That's just one guy. His father was railing against Boston mid season. I'm only concerned if there's a lot of players who feel that Ainge is a problem given the amount of power the players wield. Not many stars have chosen the Cs on Danny's watch, and now we have this comment. Ownership would be foolish to not at least consider whether Danny is a barrier to constructing a champion.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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From 2016: https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2016/11/kevin_durant_explains_why_he_w.html

From 2018: https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-celtics/2018/06/04/kevin-durant-tom-brady-celtics-pitch-hamptons

I don't get the vibe from any of the quotes in the links above that Durant never had any intention of coming to Boston. To be fair, we'll never know if Boston was a close #2, a distant second, or #6 among the teams that were courting Durant that summer. But the Celtics pitch did go way beyond Tom Brady, as Durant does mention how he had the chance to talk to Stevens, Ainge, and his potential teammates. I had forgotten him and Bradley were pretty good friends.
I think he said on the Bill Simmons podcast that it was GS 1 OKC 2 and everyone else wasn't close, but I could be misremembering.
 

luckiestman

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I think he said on the Bill Simmons podcast that it was GS 1 OKC 2 and everyone else wasn't close, but I could be misremembering.

Too much value is given to what people say. Durant chose GS. All we know is what his first choice was. Anything besides that is cheap talk.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Not many stars have chosen the Cs on Danny's watch, and now we have this comment. Ownership would be foolish to not at least consider whether Danny is a barrier to constructing a champion.
Other than Horford, Hayward, and Garnett (agreeing to extend before the trade), sure. He also got Irving on board, initially.

How many stars did the Celtics get to join them before Ainge’s era? What’s the right number of stats that should have joined during Ainge’s tenure? Other than Durant and now Davis, who else could they reasonably have gotten but missed out on due to a star not preferring the Celtics? What curve is he being judged on here?
 

lexrageorge

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Could be. It could also be that Danny has turned off some players. To me, it's not so much as an AD issue. That's just one guy. His father was railing against Boston mid season. I'm only concerned if there's a lot of players who feel that Ainge is a problem given the amount of power the players wield. Not many stars have chosen the Cs on Danny's watch, and now we have this comment. Ownership would be foolish to not at least consider whether Danny is a barrier to constructing a champion.
It wasn’t AD saying it was “The Management”. It was Rich Paul, who’s had millions of reasons to stretch the truth. And 4th hand info about Danny’s relationships with players that contradicts everything we’ve heard about the same is not something I would give any credence to.
 

scottyno

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Could be. It could also be that Danny has turned off some players. To me, it's not so much as an AD issue. That's just one guy. His father was railing against Boston mid season. I'm only concerned if there's a lot of players who feel that Ainge is a problem given the amount of power the players wield. Not many stars have chosen the Cs on Danny's watch, and now we have this comment. Ownership would be foolish to not at least consider whether Danny is a barrier to constructing a champion.
How many stars chose the Cs on Danny's watch compared to before?
 

OurF'ingCity

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Could be. It could also be that Danny has turned off some players. To me, it's not so much as an AD issue. That's just one guy. His father was railing against Boston mid season. I'm only concerned if there's a lot of players who feel that Ainge is a problem given the amount of power the players wield. Not many stars have chosen the Cs on Danny's watch, and now we have this comment. Ownership would be foolish to not at least consider whether Danny is a barrier to constructing a champion.
This is absurd - Danny is a large reason they won their one recent championship and have contended for others. Even if it were true that Danny was “turning players off” he’d be worth keeping for his overall skill at trading, accumulating assets, etc.

But, of course, there’s no real evidence that he has actually “turned players off” anyway. What is your evidence for this? KD? That’s a single player and his reasons for going to Golden State have been extremely well documented. Hayward chose to come here and Horford before him. Kyrie will likely leave but, again, the reasons for that are pretty idiosyncratic and I don’t think can be tied to Danny anyway (and, of course, Kyrie wouldn’t have been here at all if Danny hadn’t had the balls to trade for him in the first place).
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Before dumping on Danny for an imagined inability to bring in talent, please lay out all the other GMs that do or have done it better so we have the appropriate context. It’s a short list mostly comprising of the rare few who are good enough to hang around for 5+ years without getting canned. Buford and Pop couldn’t hang onto Kawhi and traded him for Demar. Should management think about a change there?
 

TripleOT

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Rich Paul's job was to chill the market for AD so he would end up on his boss' team, the Lakers. He did it well.

As an added bonus, he helped poison the atmosphere of the Celtics, which will probably result in a second team all-NBA piece walking away for no compensation.
 

TheoShmeo

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My point is that I think whether Danny is an issue for free agents is something ownership should consider. Not that they should can him.

And fair points re the guys he has indeed reeled in. KD and AD not coming to Boston and Kyrie leaving after two seasons are data points but as people have noted, there are answers for all three.

But here's my question: Why did AD (and yes, it's AD; Paul is speaking for him and his father made consistent comments) cite "Boston management"? Why go there? Why that specific? That seems pretty unusual to me and he could have just said he wanted to play on the West Coast or some such more benign thing.

I'm not sure why suggesting that ownership should examine a somewhat unusual comment from an agent, in the context of the team's best player leaving, before just moving on to the next thing, warrants intense reactions. All business owners should stop, look and listen each time unusual -- albeit very reasonably explainable -- comments are made about their managers. Even if just to reject them as concerns, taking stock of out of the ordinary statements or actions is what I want any enterprise I care about to do.
 

DannyDarwinism

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How many stars chose the Cs on Danny's watch compared to before?


Unless I’m forgetting someone, it’s basically Dana Barros (hometown guy), Xavier McDaniel and a washed ‘Nique. Boston’s lack of appeal as a destination for NBA free agents had been a subject of debate here for a long time.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Unless I’m forgetting someone, it’s basically Dana Barros (hometown guy), Xavier McDaniel and a washed ‘Nique. Boston’s lack of appeal as a destination for NBA free agents had been a subject of debate here for a long time.
Stars will go to teams in premier locations or to teams that are already great or have a very good chance of being great. Boston isn’t unique - in the last 10 years, how many great free agents have gone to, say, Minnesota? How about Atlanta? Orlando? Phoenix? Or any of a selection of many other teams including the top two teams in the East this year?

Point being, for something like 90% of teams the path to greatness is acquiring stars through good drafting and trading and smart signing of more mid-level players, not being able to attract marquee, franchise-altering free agents. Toronto and Milwaukee are perfect recent examples of this.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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But here's my question: Why did AD (and yes, it's AD; Paul is speaking for him and his father made consistent comments) cite "Boston management"? Why go there? Why that specific? That seems pretty unusual to me and he could have just said he wanted to play on the West Coast or some such more benign thing.
Who said "Boston management?" That line from the article is outside of quotation marks, it's at best a paraphrase:
Boston? Davis’s father told ESPN in February that he wouldn’t want his son playing for the Celtics, and Paul confirms that he has warned off Boston management.

“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Paul says. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
Was there another instance of "Boston management" being cited that you're referring to, or was it this? Because if this is is it, you're attributing words to Rich Paul (that you are then attributing to Anthony Davis) that he didn't say (at least not in this article).

And it's not even being cited as a reason for not wanting to go to Boston; it's a statement regarding whom they were attempting to send a communication to. If he had said "front office" instead of "management" would that get your ire up? Who else do you communicate with regarding trades and potential signings?
 

DannyDarwinism

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Stars will go to teams in premier locations or to teams that are already great or have a very good chance of being great. Boston isn’t unique - in the last 10 years, how many great free agents have gone to, say, Minnesota? How about Atlanta? Orlando? Phoenix? Or any of a selection of many other teams including the top two teams in the East this year?

Point being, for something like 90% of teams the path to greatness is acquiring stars through good drafting and trading and smart signing of more mid-level players, not being able to attract marquee, franchise-altering free agents. Toronto and Milwaukee are perfect recent examples of this.
You seem to be arguing against a point I never made, but yes. We’re similarly situated to a lot of teams in the NBA, but things have gotten better in the Ainge era, not worse.
 

OurF'ingCity

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You seem to be arguing against a point I never made, but yes. We’re similarly situated to a lot of teams in the NBA, but things have gotten better in the Ainge era, not worse.
Sorry I wasn’t taking issue with your post specifically, just the general position you referenced that some people have that a Boston is somehow uniquely disliked as a free agent destination.
 

scottyno

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My point is that I think whether Danny is an issue for free agents is something ownership should consider. Not that they should can him.

And fair points re the guys he has indeed reeled in. KD and AD not coming to Boston and Kyrie leaving after two seasons are data points but as people have noted, there are answers for all three.

But here's my question: Why did AD (and yes, it's AD; Paul is speaking for him and his father made consistent comments) cite "Boston management"? Why go there? Why that specific? That seems pretty unusual to me and he could have just said he wanted to play on the West Coast or some such more benign thing.
Because he wanted to go to LA and Boston was the other major competitor that might have traded for him so he wanted to convince them to back off?
 

TheoShmeo

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Who said "Boston management?" That line from the article is outside of quotation marks, it's at best a paraphrase:

Was there another instance of "Boston management" being cited that you're referring to, or was it this? Because if this is is it, you're attributing words to Rich Paul (that you are then attributing to Anthony Davis) that he didn't say (at least not in this article).

And it's not even being cited as a reason for not wanting to go to Boston; it's a statement regarding whom they were attempting to send a communication to. If he had said "front office" instead of "management" would that get your ire up? Who else do you communicate with regarding trades and potential signings?
Fair points. I still hope and assume that ownership will consider the issue, and unlike the folks on the board, I know well the person who has spoken with some of the minority owners about concerns they have with Ainge, but it looks like I did not read the SI article carefully enough and I appreciate your post.
 

Reverend

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Rich Paul's job was to chill the market for AD so he would end up on his boss' team, the Lakers. He did it well.

As an added bonus, he helped poison the atmosphere of the Celtics, which will probably result in a second team all-NBA piece walking away for no compensation.
What I still don’t understand is: Why was it necessary to poison the Celtics locker room?

Or, for that matter, how he could do it.
 

scottyno

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What I still don’t understand is: Why was it necessary to poison the Celtics locker room?

Or, for that matter, how he could do it.
If the Cs come off another successful season this year and Kyrie is happy and decides he's coming back they probably trade for AD even with possibly a 1 year window and try to sell him on Boston, with Kyrie unhappy and 9/10ths of the way out the door they backed off.
 

sezwho

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Honestly, the Celtics locker room was poisoned long before the Davis rumors.
Agreed, not that Klutch wouldn’t poison a clubhouse but they didn’t need to here.

Didn’t exactly chill the market though, Lakers bled pretty fing dry...will be really curious if they can still build a team.