January 5, 2008


Welcome to the era of Chemacterility (Jan. 14, 2008, ESPN The Magazine)

Here's the new mantra for savvy NBA teams: "Chemacterility." Why haven't you heard the term before? Because I just made it up. But it's an amalgam of three concepts that have formed the foundation of the Duncan era in San Antonio: chemistry, character and (cap) flexibility. [...]

Sure, Danny Ainge revamped the Celtics by acquiring Ray Allen and KG, but the rest of his game plan has been equally important to the team's early success, and it hasn't received nearly enough fanfare. He filled a depleted roster with unselfish, high-character guys like Eddie House, James Posey and Scot Pollard and refused to pursue any moody vets. Thanks but no thanks, GP and Troy Hudson!

Much has been made of Boston's team slogan -- "Ubuntu," an African word meaning unity -- but you need to attend a Celtics game to understand why they're on pace for 139 wins this season. In the layup lines, everyone is high-fiving and joshing. Before the opening tip, Posey greets each starter with a prolonged man-hug and inspirational words. The nightly sequence might hark back uncomfortably to Rocky and Apollo's beach snuggle, but it works. During games, bench players stand and cheer as if they're being coached by Mark Madsen. In garbage time, the starters root just as passionately for the scrubs.

These guys eat dinner, hang out, work out and play video games together. They don't care about stats, acclaim, shots or minutes. It's a team in every sense. Even better, Boston's future is protected for years to come: Allen's contract expires in 2010, Pierce's in 2011, KG's in 2012. The Celtics are good, and they will continue to be good. What more can you ask for? When you can mix talent with chemacterility, you have something substantial.

Tonight it was Glenn "Big Baby Davis" who came up big as the C's made the Pistons look old.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2008 10:16 PM

The foundation of the "Duncan era in San Antonio" is Tim Duncan and whatever reasonably talented guys they put on the court with him. Boston is trying to do the same thing with a 32 year old guy who's never won a playoff series.

It won't last more than two years and they won't win a title.

Posted by: Brandon at January 6, 2008 2:01 PM
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