Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Toine over Rasheed???
Ever hear of Anthony Walker? Neither had I until my nephew(thanks to loyal BBB reader Mike N) emailed a link to his profile page...
After doing a bit more investigating, I realized that Anthony Walker was really former Employee #8, Antoine Walker (aka. Toine’, Cyber Toine’, Captain, or Punk if your name is Bob Ryan). He was recently cut from his team in the Puerto Rican league, meaning that his services are freely available to any NBA team, the Celtics included.
We all know the story: He played with passion while bleeding Celtic green. His
entertaining play gave the fans something to cheer about during the darkest days of the franchise’s history. His wiggle, although hated by most, allowed us true fans to throw SOMETHING in the faces of our opponents at a time when championships were not on the radar. Who can forget his timeout rant in the Eastern finals vs. NJ in the 2001/2002 playoffs? That was Toine’ at his best. I’ll always cherish the memories from being at that game live. (side note: one of my good friends who happens to have a pony tail down to his ass and a degree from WPI, was one of the many fans sporting a classic “wife beater” tank top in an effort to taunt Jason Kidd that night. No holes barred in Boston . Gotta love it.) We knew that they were not going to win the title that year, but Captain Toine made it interesting. Sure he shot too many three pointers, hated Rick Pitino (he was correct and ahead of the curve on that), loved subway and blew through $100M+ on gambling, cars and supporting his posse. But Toine loved being a Celtic, and wanted to win in a big way. He never wanted to get traded out of town, and despite some post Boston success (starter on Miami ’s title team), he his career has not been the same since leaving
Now for the part of the story where people may question my sanity: As a bench player, Toine’ would help the 2009/2010 Celtics. I’ll go as far as to say that I would rather have him over Rasheed Wallace right now….at least the Rasheed that we’ve seen this year. I know that by the NBA rules it’s too late. I also realize even if it was not too late, the likelihood of this happening would still be remote. But I stand by my opinion.
If we swapped out these two former NBA all stars, what would the C’s lose? Sheed can’t shoot the 3 anymore (28% this year), so nothing lost there. Sheed rarely goes down low, which is unfortunate because he should be able to school the second unit stiffo that is usually guarding him. He came with a reputation as a great defender, however he has not been a defensive difference maker for the team, and their team D has gotten much worse since his arrival. He gets too many T’s and has recently yelled at Doc on the bench. I guess we can hold out hope that he’ll get it all back in time for the playoffs, but things seem to be trending the other way with him.
So why Toine? He would accept his role, follow the instruction of the coach, think team first and add some badly needed attitude and desire to win. We have proof of this, as when he was reacquired by the C’s in the 2004/2005 season, he displayed these exact traits during their playoff run. Sometimes it’s the little things that get a team going in the right direction, not the acquisition of a big time player or canning a coach. Although he would not be the difference for the C’s between winning and losing the NBA title, I personally believe that he would bring more to the team for the rest of this season than Sheed will. One more meaningful wiggle please.
On a serious notes...please checkout Mike N's link on the left hand side if to donate to his Kids for Cancer Run. http://www.firstgiving.com/mikenovak
Chico-Meng is the owner of the Homestead Braindarts franchise/restaurant critic and Bingo Bar Blog contributor.