Lately Boston teams have had a history of giving pro-athletes an opportunity to redeem their careers. Its unofficial motto seems to come straight from the words inscribed on the Statue of liberty: Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning for a championship. Okay, I added my own words in there, but you get my drift.
Bill Belichick started the trend with Corey Dillon, who was viewed as a malcontent. He was a major contributor in the New England Patriots 2004 Super Bowl Championship run.
In 2007, Bill once again took on a mercurial talent in Randy Moss. That year they ended up with a regular season record of 16-0 and lost in the Super Bowl to the New York football Giants.
It stands to reason because of the Patriots success with perceived chemistry busting talent that other teams would follow suit. Doc Rivers has a standing relationship with Bill Belichick. The Celtics have picked his brain in terms of how to keep a team year in and year out in the championship run.
The Red Sox have taken on Manny Ramirez and John Smoltz, with Ramirez being a major part of two World Series championship teams.
Danny Ainge just like the Patriots head coach keeps his emotions in check when evaluating immediate team needs.
Yes, we are all saddened that Leon Powe was not be extended a contract offer, but we all know the reason why. Powe will not be ready to play until midseason and it makes very little business sense to keep a roster spot open for sentimental reasons.
In the past two years, the Celtics have taken on Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, and now Rasheed Wallace.
Wallace has accepted the two year MLE deal that will bring him roughly five million a year. Clearly it is not about the money with Wallace, he is of a different breed of NBA player.
His talents scream perennial all-star but his play says he just wants to be one of the boys. He doesn't crave the limelight, so I can see him turning down the opportunity to play with the Cavs, Mavericks or Orlando as had been rumored.
The Celtics sent a full out press to Wallace's home in Detroit and were able to sell him and his wife on the merits of coming to Boston. As much as he has been maligned and called a hothead, Wallace has always been a favorite among his peers. Apparently he was touched by the outpouring of love the Celtics showed, that he has joined gang green.
The Celtics now have that scoring punch that they need from the bench and are now looking to add more.
Names like Grant Hill and Antonio McDyess have been mentioned for the $1.3 million veterans exception as well as the biannual $1.9 million most teams get. Doc Rivers will talk to Hill at some point because they are neighbors in Orlando.
A reader on this site left me a comment linked to my article "The Red letter Days of Allen Iverson," saying that the Celtics should make a run at Iverson. If it is not a starting job, Allen doesn't want to hear it even at his advanced age of 36. It would definitely be a coup if he tempered his personality to finally win that elusive championship.
Bruce Bowen who may be released by Milwaukee could be a possible addition, but at this point it seems like his defense has deteriorated. Although coming back to Boston may rejuvenate his game.
The Celtics may have gotten the free agent scoop of the summer with Wallace. He at least gives them a chance to compete for the 2010 championship. And with only a two-year deal, his future is firmly linked with the "big three."
Ainge has succeeded in keeping the Celtics in the conversation as the East elite. Now we can only hope that he continues to add value to his bench from the refuse heap of NBA free agency.