About a year and a half ago, the blog Interbasket made a bold and ridiculous statement. After doing intensive research of the Celtics scouting practices, interviewing people in the organization, interviewing former players, and gathering substantial evidence looking at rosters and draft selections, the people of Interbasket concluded that “the Boston Celtics are the most xenophobic team in the NBA the last five seasons.”
Unsurprisingly, the post containing this baseless accusation was unaccompanied by an actual byline. No one from Interbasket took credit for this post, not even in the comments section where the author admitted he/she sacrificed credibility for page views:
What’s even more hilarious about the attempted explanation is the logical leap taken by the author: “It’s speculative, but it does say something about the scouting and resources some teams have (not all, but some).” It actually says nothing about any team’s scouting and resources. The only fact the post illustrates is that some teams’ rosters lack in international players; more specific to the Boston Celtics, that the Celtics did not have an international player on its roster for five seasons.
After doing a little digging (clicking on Interbasket’s “About Us” section) I found out that when articles are written by “Admin” that “generally these are collaborative pieces put together by different authors, many of times – members from our forum.” So I really do not know where to direct my ire, toward the two Interbasket authors that actually supply what I assume is their real names (Matt Blair and Stuart Leung) or the two people who use pen names (Byzantine and Mark Madness)?
Okay, okay. I think you get the point. What Interbasket did is totally lame and hurts the effort put forth by credible bloggers that write accurately, do some semblance of reporting, and actually own up to things they write. Luckily for everyone, the Celtics have let go of their irrational fear of international players and now have three guys that were not born in America. After duplicating Interbasket’s extensive research (although I used Wikipedia. They have helpful flags next to players’ names) after ten minutes I was able to determine that the Celtics joined an over-whelming majority of teams by signing and trading for three international players.
Despite any discernible difference between these players and American players in terms of on-court production, I am going to like having some diversity on the Celtics. Although, the Celtics still are not as diverse as they should be. 93% of the Celtics’ roster is from two countries. Do you know how many countries there are in the world? Two countries? It looks like the Celtics are merely trying to mask their closet-xenophobia rather than get players that are available/can help them. (See? By using words like “only” and “closet-xenophobia” I can make a team look bad too!).
As Hayes pointed out yesterday, Carlos Arroyo is an accomplished poker player. In addition, Sasha Pavlovic and Nenad Krstic are both from Serbia so they at least have some familiarity (something Semih Erden never had).
While only Krstic seems to have the ability to help the Celtics in the playoffs, both Arroyo and Pavlovic are going to help spell the starters during the rest of the regular season. This ability cannot be understated. All of these guys have been solid contributors in this league and can definitely log some minutes off the bench. So here’s to welcoming the international community to the Boston Celtics and to resting the starters!