Chris Uggen's Blog: perceptual/laundry bias

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

perceptual/laundry bias

rumor has it that a minnesota basketball icon is bound for boston. i'm opposed to any trade of mr. garnett (or prince, or walter mondale, or bob dylan, for that matter) but particularly opposed to any trade involving the celtics.

i've got nothing against boston, but let's face it: wolves general manager kevin mchale appears to be incapable of rendering an objective assessment of anyone or anything sporting celtic green. you see, mr. mchale enjoyed a truly beautiful run with boston, earning a reputation as one of the nba's top-50 all-time players and picking up three rings in his storied thirteen-year career.

based on his earlier trades, however, i've developed a simple hypothesis: mr. mchale suffers from a perceptual bias with regard to the boston franchise. because he played with a magnificent cast of team-first celtics in the 1980s, mr. mchale still associates green-and-white laundry with winning and happiness. when mr. mchale observes his former team, he sees only glory days rather than the mediocrity that characterizes the current collection of celtics.

when an underachieving gunner such as ricky davis dons celtic green, for example, mr. mchale envisions cedric "cornbread" maxwell coming through in the clutch. why, that's not seven-footer mark blount drifting from the paint, it's the great robert parrish! marcus banks? nah, that's dennis johnson.

well, you get the picture. the rumors suggest that the wolves will gain gerald green (trading partner danny ainge?), sebastian telfair (jerry sichting and/or gerald henderson), veteran center theo ratliff (bill walton), and up-and-comer al jefferson (heaven help us, larry bird), and perhaps ryan gomes (scott wedman or mchale himself) and a draft choice or two.

maybe it will all turn out just fine, but i've got the same sinking feeling i had when the wolves drafted ndudi ebi a few years ago. i wonder whether young mr. ebi wore a celtics jersey to his first wolves workout ...


At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jay Livingston said...

You get half the current Celtics squad and two first-round draft choices. Boston gets one player. And at age 31, how many great seasons does he still have?

(I grew up in NBA-less Pittsburgh, so when I went to college in Massachusetts, the Celts became my hometown team. This was in the Auerbach years, so being a Celts fan was easy. Lately, it's been downright painful.)

At 11:12 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

yeah, jay, but nba trades are about quality rather than quantity -- which team got the best player in the deal? this looks a little like kareem's milwaukee-to-LA five-for-one to me. that said, i'd feel a whole lot better if the same deal had been made with, say, san antonio or phoenix. the habits of winning and losing can be tough to break...


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