Very often, while I'm jotting down the notes that make up The Blog @ terrylyons.com I will make reference to articles in the Boston Globe or on Boston.com. Today, I am here to give the "little guy" some props and tell some stories about the great people who write for the crosstown rival of the Globe, the Boston Herald.
Move had to be made
The 2009-10 NBA season won’t commence for months, but judging by the furious activity at the head of the league’s class, only a fool would deny that games are being won and lost as we summer.
With Cleveland, Orlando, the Lakers and San Antonio all seeking to acquire weapons of Celtic destruction, it was imperative that Danny Ainge engineer a surge in the arms race. The general manager can honestly say that signing Rasheed Wallace as a free agent was the move to make regardless of the outside forces.
“You always have to get better,” he said. “Even if we’d have won the championship this year, we still would have done a deal like this if it was available.”
Sure, but when Ainge sees Shaquille O’Neal going to the Cavaliers, Vince Carter to Orlando, Ron Artest to LA and Richard Jefferson to the Spurs, he knows that standing pat would have been falling flat.
Just as important, perhaps, his players see it that way, too.
“I think we did have to do something,” said Paul Pierce [stats] shortly after Wallace was introduced yesterday. “I mean, you look around the whole league and it’s like all the teams at the top got better. For us not to do anything would be to say, ‘Hey, we’re losing this race.’ So it was a must for us to go out and get Rasheed.
“The Lakers got Ron Artest, Shaquille went to Cleveland and Vince went to Orlando, so all the teams at the top got better. We had to.”
Ainge’s coach believes the Celtics [team stats] may have even skipped a beat. The team finished with the third-best record in the league last season despite missing Kevin Garnett down the stretch, but Doc Rivers thinks the roster was injured before KG went down.
“I thought when we won it, we were the only team coming into last year that took away from our team and really didn’t add to our team,” Rivers said. “Orlando added to their team and Cleveland added to their team, but we kind of took away from our team (with the losses of James Posey and P.J. Brown). So I did think we needed to add some pieces. Hopefully we’re not done.”
Wallace will be an interesting piece, to say the least. Rivers can put him at center to draw O’Neal away from the basket. He can use him with Garnett to allow easier switches when Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis are picking for each other. And Wallace will help spread the floor to give Pierce more room to maneuver against Artest.
Just as the Celtics watched with interest as their intimate enemies made key additions, so now must those adversaries contemplate a world where Rivers can reach onto his bench and produce a multi-faceted big man.
“I think when Kevin was traded here two years ago, it put the NBA on notice,” said Ray Allen. “A lot of people sat back and they automatically pushed us to the top. They were a little afraid of us, and I think the same thing has happened now that we’ve added Rasheed to our roster.
“Sometimes not doing something is doing something. Sometimes you do something and it hurts your team. So it had to be the right something. I knew when Rasheed was available that it was the ultimate do something that we needed to do.”
The Celtics had to come up big if they hope to make it out of the East. They could not hope to negotiate a peaceful settlement when all around them plowshares are being turned into swords.
“I think for a long time the power has been out West on paper, but it does seem as though with Cleveland and Orlando and us that the power has shifted,” said Allen. “We’ve now got three power teams in the Eastern Conference, and then ultimately what that does is raise the level of the teams we play against every night. There’s a ripple effect.”
Without a Wallace, the Celtics may well have drowned in the undertow of that ripple.
The week collapsed before Mike Sweetney could start his comeback.
After spending roughly 1 years away from basketball, the veteran power forward signed on with the Celtics for a stint in this week’s summer league in Orlando, Fla.
But Sweetney pulled a hamstring 15 minutes into his first game Monday, and spent the rest of his week getting treatment.
Not surprisingly, Sweetney responded with gracious relief when Celtics assistant Clifford Ray walked over and told him there was a chance he could work out at the C’s practice facility next week.
After taking 18 months off - roughly a year to deal with what he described as “a family situation” and another six months in Miami to conquer his well-chronicled weight and conditioning issues - this attempt to climb back will include a few stumbles.
Sweetney also has an unlikely source to thank for his new resolve. Antoine Walker was his workout partner in Miami.
“He’s trying to show everyone that he can play again,” Sweetney said of the former Celtic who also is out of the league partly because of an inability to stay in shape. “We come from different circumstances, but we found a lot in common while we were working together.”
Sweetney also saw, up close, what a sudden setback can produce.
They were well into their daily routine when Walker was arrested and charged with drunken driving in Miami Beach last January.
“He really took that DUI situation hard,” Sweetney said. “But the next day he was back in the gym like nothing had even happened. He’s just a real good guy - a good family man, everything.”
Sweetney was the ninth overall selection by New York in the 2003 draft - one of the greatest in modern NBA history. The Knicks traded him two years later to the Bulls, and he was out of the league three years after that.
A Chicago columnist reported that a doctor had told Sweetney his life would be in danger if he didn’t lose weight - something the player still refutes.
“I’ve never received a doctor’s warning. That Chicago situation, man, that was rough,” he said, shaking his head.
But Sweetney also regrets the way he reacted to his environment on and off the court.
“I regret that I didn’t handle things in a professional way,” he said. “I got upset with things that were said about my weight. I didn’t like that the coach (Scott Skiles) was talking about it through the media. But I didn’t handle it well. The only regret I had was not being professional.”
Sweetney now is listed at 275 pounds, though that may be an old number. He said he’s lost 40 pounds, though he’s not letting on to his actual weight.
“My agent told me not to give it out,” he said.
Sweetney doesn’t plan to catch on with another team for next week’s summer league in Las Vegas.
“No, the best thing is to get healthy right now,” he said. “It’s frustrating, but I have to get going with the cardio and see where it goes from there.”
Also, here's some info about the Herald, posted online - deeply hidden on their company site:
Boston HeraldThe Boston Herald can trace its roots back to 1846 when a new newspaper named The Herald first appeared. Since that edition, Boston has always had a newspaper with the name "Herald" on its masthead.
However, today's Boston Herald really evolved from a number of different Boston newspapers along two principal lines: that of the Daily Advertiser and that of the old Boston Herald.
The Daily AdvertiserThe Daily Advertiser was established in 1813 in Boston by Nathan Hale, a cousin of the famous patriot. Located near the Old State House, this newspaper served a wealthy Republican audience.
In 1840, the Daily Advertiser took over five older Boston newspapers, including the Independent Chronicle, which was founded in 1768. It continued to gain a higher profile and by the time the Great Fire of 1872 hit Newspaper Row (the area near today's Government Center), the Advertiser was keeping Boston well-informed.
In 1884, the Daily Advertiser began printing the Afternoon Record.
Some years later, in 1904, William Randolph Hearst started a new newspaper in Boston called The American. Hearst bought the Daily Advertiser in 1917 and then purchased the Afternoon Record in 1921. (The Record is notable in that it was the first New England newspaper to adopt a tabloid format.) Hearst was now a major media presence in Boston.
By 1938, the Daily Advertiser, Afternoon Record and American had changed their names to Daily Record, Evening American and Sunday Advertiser. In 1961, the Record merged with the American into an "all day newspaper" named the Record American. Three years later, in 1964, the Sunday Advertiser switched to a tabloid format.
The Record American and Sunday Advertiser would continue publication until 1972 when they merged with a line of newspapers stretching back to the old Boston Herald.
The Old Boston HeraldFounded in 1846, the Boston Herald was the result of the collaboration of a group of Boston printers joined under the name of John A. French & Co. They published a single sheet, two-sided paper and sold it for 1 penny per copy. Its first editor, William O. Eaton, then only 22 years old, said "The Herald will be independent in politics and religion; liberal, industrious, enterprising, critically concerned with literacy and dramatic matters, and diligent in its mission to report and analyze the news, local and global."
In 1861, with the advent of the Civil War and an increased demand for news, the Sunday Herald was established.
In 1872, when the Great Fire swept Newspaper Row, Herald editors and reporters worked 48 sleepless hours amidst smoke and flames to deliver the news.
While the Boston Herald flourished and grew, so did the Boston Traveler, founded in 1825 as a bulletin for stagecoach listings. In 1912, the Herald purchased the Traveler, publishing morning and evening editions until 1967, when the Boston Herald effectively absorbed the Boston Traveler, becoming the Boston Herald Traveler.
Several years later, in 1972, the Herald Traveler was sold to the Hearst Corporation (owners of the Record American, descended from the Daily Advertiser), merging in to the Record American/Herald Traveler. In January 1973, the unwieldy name was modified to Boston Herald American. The Boston Herald American became a tabloid newspaper in September 1981. In 1982, the Hearst Corporation sought a buyer for the Herald American.
The Herald American was the immediate predecessor of today's Boston Herald.
Today's Boston Herald
Today's Boston Herald came into existence on December 20, 1982, when Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. bought the tabloid from the Hearst Corporation and changed its name from the Herald American back to the Boston Herald.
For the next decade, the Herald continued to grow in size and circulation, expanding its commitment to cover local news, increasing its local sports coverage and strengthening its business and feature sections. This resulted in a strong increase in both advertising revenue and circulation.
In February of 1994, Patrick Purcell, publisher of the Boston Herald and a News Corp. executive, purchased the Boston Herald from Murdoch's News Corp. and established it as an independent newspaper.
In 2001, Herald Media acquired Community Newspaper Co. (CNC), a group of four suburban dailies and numerous weekly, online and specialty publications. In 2006, Purcell sold CNC to Gatehouse Media.
Herald InteractiveHerald Media established its online division in 1995 with the introduction of jobfind.com, New England's premier online recruitment site. Two years later, Herald Interactive launched BostonHerald.com and shortly thereafter posted homefind.com and carfind.com.
Herald Interactive prides itself on delivering quality products for its users and a cost-effective, creative marketing medium for its advertisers.
Women's Business BostonWomen's Business Boston was launched in 1998 by Vicki Donlan and circulates in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
In 2004, Donlan sold the monthly publication to Herald Media. Women's Business Boston is the only regional publication profiling senior executive women and women entrepreneurs and enjoys a broad reach to the city's decision makers.