This could be really, really fun. Let’s hold off saying much more than that until we see what develops.
As you surely know by now, Paul Pierce submitted his first blog entry today for the Boston Globe. It’s a nice, sorta touching piece about the fact that he has spent his whole career with the Celtics and would like to keep it that way. Here’s the money quote:
I’ve been in an amazing position to say that I’m going to be linked 100 percent to the Boston Celtics.
To say that I’ve played with only one franchise, and accomplished what we have, it’s almost like a miracle. You don’t see that any more. You don’t see the same players staying with the same team like that. I’m a true follower of the game and only five guys have played for one team for 10-plus years, especially in the last 10. There’s Tim, Kobe, Ilgauskas, Nowitzki, and me.
He goes on to give us a little window into how close he came to really leaving the C’s as a free agent in 2006 and how happy he his to have re-signed. This is good stuff, and it reinforces the fact that I like Paul Pierce a lot and am happy he has matured into a Hall of Fame player for the Celtics.
But I didn’t learn very much from post #1. And that’s fine. This is post #1, an introduction, a mission statement, a bit of a love letter to Boston (which Pierce calls “home”). For this to work, though, Pierce has to do more going forward.
Give us something we can’t get from the Globe or the Herald. Put us on the team plane. Who tells the crudest jokes? Who (besides House) is always running late? Who has weird practice habits we don’t know about?
Take us in the huddle and into your mind. What did you think when Doc Rivers called the 3-4 pick-and-pop three straight times down the stretch against Memphis. How much has Rudy Gay improved? Who’s a lot tougher to guard than we realize?
Don’t me wrong—I don’t want Pierce’s blog to be intentionally controversial. I don’t really care if he weighs in on Tiger Woods or gay marriage or the Obama health care plan. If he wants to, fine. But Pierce is a basketball player on a basketball team that means something to a lot of people. Teach me something about this game, the way this team plays it and the ways this team prepares to play it 82 times per season.
And let me in on the personal dynamics of the team. Kevin Ding of the OC Register wrote a great piece today about Kobe Bryant initially balking at the play Phil Jackson designed in the huddle at the end of overtime Wednesday against the Bucks—the play that ended up winning the game for LA. Readers loved it, because it took us to a place we are normally not allowed to go. My favorite Curt Schilling blog posts were always the ones recounting a particular pitch sequence or his observations about teammate dynamics (ahem, Kobe).
If Pierce really wants his blog to be something special, something fans will remember, this is the sort of stuff he has to do.
And a word about the fans. If Pierce says something we disagree with, unless it is something incredible stupid and insensitive (like this), our job is to respond in a civil way. Athletes like Pierce have handlers and publicists, and they will quickly decide that this whole self-exposure thing isn’t worth it if the worst of the worst commenters win the day. The first whiff of controversy chased Brendan Haywood from blogging. That’s a little bit on Haywood and his people—you sign up for some criticism when you put yourself out there.
I’m crossing my fingers we get something special here. I’m skeptical, but I’m willing to be optimistic. Let’s see where it goes.