SAD. 8 months after disclosing she is suffering from Alzheimer’s, the University of Tennnessee’s Pat Summitt steps down as head women’s basketball coach, after 38 years on the job. She will remain with the Lady Vols as head coach emeritus. Summitt retires as the winningest coach in women’s NCAA history (1098 wins), and with 8 National Championships.
(Via NBC Sports)
Check out this incredible quote Holly MacKenzie got from the Celtic Keyon Dooling for BDL:
“‘It’s funny because there were a lot of people who didn’t necessarily talk before the game. John Stockton was a guy who never talked before the game, never signed autographs or anything like that and he was known as a gentleman and a saint so the spin that Rondo has is definitely a misconception. If you ask the guys in the locker room, I’d tell you that everybody is with him. If I have to go down a dark alley, I want to go down there with him. As a matter of fact, behind him because he’s a great leader.’”
I say incredible because it’s rare that a player expresses themselves to a reporter in this much detail about a (current) teammate. Regardless of your thoughts on Dooling or Rondo, you have to admit MacKenzie’s reporting got right to the heart of the matter surrounding Rondo. Mercurial and fiesty with the media, yes, but Rondo absolutely satisfies a team’s need for toughness and leadership when things get difficult during a basketball game.
I’m reminded of his refusal to leave the floor during the recent Knicks game because he didn’t want to leave his teammates. Say what you want about his free throw shooting or really any shot he takes outside the paint, (and forgive the war metaphor for what’s primarily a superfluous entertainment) but he’s absolutely someone you want in your bunker with you when things aren’t going well.
MaKenzie also spoke with Celtics coach Doc Rivers about his point man:
“‘Spectacular, amazing, great. I could say a lot of things. The most important one would be important. We need him to be that for us to be who we are. He is the one guy who can orchestrate our team.’”
But it’s Dooling who really speaks more intimately about Rondo, and—less-so—about Kevin Garnett. Just go read the piece, and you’ll get a much better understanding of this Celtics team that’s right back in the title hunt, after a slow start where everyone wrote them off.
[UPDATE: I just wanted to include this quote Dooling gave about Kevin Garnett as a teammate and locker room presence. Basically, he’s “‘amazing’” repeated many times.
“‘He’s incredible. I guarantee you if you did a poll of everybody who has played with Kevin Garnett, I guarantee you he would probably be 98% of people’s favorite teammate. He is that guy. He is that guy. He’s the glue. If somebody is not going well, he’s the guy to pick him up. If there’s a problem, He’s the one to address it. If somebody needs to be taken up for, he’s the one to do that, if there’s a question that needs to be asked and somebody doesn’t want to ask it, he does that. He is amazing.”’
“‘He is … he is amazing. I guarantee you if you went around the locker room, everybody who has been around him, ask his former teammates, he is incredible, man. He is an incredible man. He should get awards every year for the man, the mentorship he gives to young guys, the work ethic that he shows them and instills in them. The camaraderie that he gives to the team. You know what I mean? The way he embraces everybody on the staff from the video coordinator to the masseuse. Kevin Garnett should be an ambassador. He is that kind of personality. He is amazing.’”
So yeah, good job by Holly to get these quotes from Dooling.]
Josh Beckett has some choice words for the home plate umpire after the first inning of last night’s game against the Twins