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The Association, Ep. 5: Stray Observations, Pt. 1

This episode is an hour long, so I’ll link the first two installments here and put the rest up with commentary over the weekend. This episode is as great as all the others, with perhaps its peak arriving at the discussion of Ray’s shooting technique and the feature on Glen Davis. What a consistently involving show this was. All expectations met and exceeded. But don’t let it distract you from the other great stuff that’s gone up today!


The first five minutes: The tone taken by Doc and the players in discussing the Perk trade is, pardon my language, bananas. They act like it was some kind of inevitable natural disaster that they have to rebound from. Doc: “We traded a player, but we traded one of our family members. You just don’t get by that. You don’t just wipe that away and go play basketball.” Replace the first sentence with “a volcano destroyed our practice facility” or “Von Wafer’s dog was run over” and then it kind of makes sense. But this trade did not just happen to the team out of nowhere! THIS. WAS. VOLUNTARY. What does it say about the trade that nobody has anything to say about how it’s going to help, just how difficult it’s going to be to “get by”? You shouldn’t have to “get by” a thing your basketball operations professionals chose to do!

6:28 – Gotta give it up to Rondo for just talking about two dudes being friends like it’s barely even a thing. He misses going to the mall on road trips with Perkins, and a lesser guy would withhold that information, but not Rajon Rondo. He forces you to confront that and get a little misty over it. He and Perk were FRIENDS, and he wants the world to know. Acknowledge your friends, everyone.

6:55 – This is where Rondo auditions Avery Bradley to be his replacement friend now that Perk is gone. It does not go well. Rondo makes the effort to wear a cotton kimono with breast pockets, but Bradley just throws on a t-shirt and orders up a bunch of Shirley Temps (note the empty husks of Shirley Temps past next to his full one). But that’s not the biggest problem. Avery: posture, dude. Get some. When you have a conversation with your friend who is better than you at your job, don’t sit with your face hovering six inches above your food. The guy chats like he dribbles! Nice of the ESPN editors to not include the part of this scene where Bradley gets Nexted by Rondo.

8:10 – I like this story about the entire locker room going nuts in an emotional chain reaction. That’s one of the fun things about everyone on the team being insane. Cassell and Posey hucking chairs at each other, PJ Brown threatening to tan everyone’s backside, Ray just sitting in front of his locker reading “Life of Pi” and shaking his head…that’s the stuff.

11:00 – Riddle time at the Jeff Green house. Jeff’s girlfriend asks “What do you call a pony with a cough?” Jeff’s mom responds with what sounds like “A pony seven,” which, you know, is not a great guess, but thanks for getting involved. When the answer is revealed to be “a little ho(a)rse),” everyone laughs really hard because they’re nervous about being on camera. Then Jeff talks about how he misses Oklahoma City because it was easy to drive there.

13:35 – Ray, still toned like a dang printer cartridge, says he always knows why he missed a shot. “Short, legs…long, I’m aiming it…” That is so awesome. He knows that he’s “right-eye dominant” and works that into his game. I never want to hear anyone else talk about anything ever again. Everyone else, please stop talking so Ray can talk about shooting threes and his childhood.


1:55 – Footage from the 1996 NBA Draft. Stern shakes the hands of Kobe, Nash, and Ray in succession, secretly knowing that these are going to one day be one of the ten best players ever, a two-time MVP, and the all-time three-point champion. Seriously, Stern plans all of this stuff.

2:05 – Young Ray Allen looks quite a little like a current Jeff Green. Could that be why Ray took him in as a mentor? I kind of wish Ray would grow his hair out so we could see if it receded.

4:40 – Baby compares his abs, or his absence of abs, to Ray’s 12-pack soda box (the new 12-packs with six rows of two, not that old “three rows of four” nonsense). Then he pretends to eat some salad greens, forgetting that he’s already revealed that he eats spaghetti and pancakes before every game on this very show.

The Davis feature that follows right after that is very sweet, and actually of some value for fans, because lost in the criticisms of Glen Davis’s play is the fact that he is a very good, sensitive guy. I’m not saying anyone should lay off for this reason, but you know, keep it in mind. He really loves being a Celtic.

9:59 –  There’s an analogy here about a chicken vs. a pig that is so confusing and illogical that it probably doesn’t bear repeating here. It’s about how pigs sacrifice more than chickens, because chickens just lay eggs but pigs sacrifice “their whole bodies,” so Davis wants to be a pig. Chickens, of course, also sacrifice their whole bodies, but this is the reasoning that led to Glen taking more charges, so just go with it.

12:35 – So if Danny Ainge is willing to appear in this video, why isn’t he talking about the things we want him to talk about?

  • James Patrick

    I still say the trade was all Ainge. Doc's trying to put a positive spin on it and everyone else looks like they lost their puppy.

  • Batman

    I really wanna see what went through Avery's mind when he got invited to dinner with Rondo and decided to buy clothes at Models and drink Shirley Temples
    Also the Jeff Green part was so awkward
    The producers keep trying to make him more interesting than he is

  • Jeff

    I was just as mad as everyone else when I heard we lost perk, but this is getting ridiculous-the trade happened! its over, there are no do overs in professional sports. It is a business first, and unfortunately this season we were forced to see that. Perk would have LEFT after the season, he wanted more money than we could give him. We are keeping Paul until he retires, or dies, whichever is first. Ray wont be old until he is like 60. Either way Perk was gonna leave so at least we got something for him. Deal with it, move on, lets get banner 18 and cheer for the guys we got. they are pretty god at closing out a basketball game still.

    • hdavenport

      This horse is long dead, but the Celtics didn't get anything for him. They have to resign Green and Krstic after this season. The trade can only be appraised in terms of the value of each player to the team for this season.

      • Batman

        Yeah I wish we could have at least got a SF that wasn't a free agent after this season

  • Chris O

    I think the analogy was supposed to be a pig and a hen. Because hens lay eggs and aren't cooked into a 'chicken' for a long time and the pig is just fattened up and slaughtered. Plus Baby is just built more like a pig then a chicken

    • Rex

      Yes, that's the idea. More precisely, BBD is riffing off an old saying: "In a breakfast of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved and the pig is committed."

      • hdavenport

        That is really amazing. I have never in my life heard that saying and I love it. Thank you both.

  • Greg

    Hi Hayes,

    Purely out of interest, why did you guys wait a week before posting episode 5? It seems you posted the other 4 episodes almost immediately after they aired. What's really weird it that ESPN still has not posted episode 5. Like Celticshub, they posted episodes 1-4 right after they aired. I was starting to think that for some odd reason you and ESPN were contractually obliged not to post it!

    Also, did Ray Allen really sit at his locker and read "Life of Pi", or is that some random thing you just made up? I know Phil Jackson used to give his players books to read, but I've never heard of other NBA players (or any pro athletes for that matter) reading actual books.

    • hdavenport

      I'm not sure why ESPN hasn't posted the final episode, but that's what delayed us. No legal stuff or anything.

      I made up the "Life of Pi" thing, but Ray does read a lot. I've seen a few interviews where he talks about "The Alchemist," his favorite book.

  • Greg

    Thanks for the info, Hayes. Yeah, it's pretty strange that ESPN never posted episode 5. What's even weirder is that I swear there hasn't even been so much as a mention of it on ESPN's website after it aired. Forseberg was all over episodes 1-4, and he did mention episode 5 before it aired, but nothing since then. It's on Youtube of course, so it's not like it's a big deal or anything, but it is kind or strange.

    I love that pic of Ray reading The Alchemist. I remember several years ago when the NBA had that "Read to achieve" campaign going on (as can be seen on Ray's shirt in the pic) and I always thought it was kind of hypocritical considering how many NBA players skipped college, but nice to know that Ray actually does read.

  • Rachel

    My sister calls this show "The Association: Boston Celtics: Pure Gold: Me Crying." Which pretty much sums it up for me. I get misty-eyed at the sheer awesomeness of our team, in terms of both athletic ability and personality. I really want them to extend it into the post-season! Can we petition EPSN?

    And it reminded me why I love Big Baby. He'll come up big at some point in the playoffs, I know it.