June 12, 2012

The Robert Horry Theory of Competition

Dear Mr. Ainge,

In the fall of my sophomore year of college, my mom called to tell me that Bear, our family dog, had died. He was suffering from internal bleeding and the pain became so intense that the veterinarian felt it was best to put him down. By the vets estimation, Bear was essentially unable to perform day-to-day "functions" (eating, going to the bathroom, etc.) and his quality of life would be incredibly poor. Despite how difficult a decision this was, my mom knew what she had to do.  I still miss Bear.


Mr. Ainge, as President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, You are in the same position as my mother. You will have to decide if you want to keep this team on life support, or if that would simply be delaying the inevitable and it's time to rebuild.  I do not envy your position.

It's true. I actually don't dislike him.
photo.JPG
Lets Go Celtics...Lets Go Celtics...

I grew up about 40 miles north of Chicago, so I am and forever will be a Bulls fan. Yes, I even like Joakim Noah.

But I love this Celtics team (as evidenced by my twitter account). 

Mr. Ainge, I understand that this team probably is not good enough to come out of the eastern conference, and I understand the business side of things. I understand the pressure you feel to win. Despite the Celtics' fans unbelievable show of support at the end of game six, everyone in New England knows that if you don't produce those same fans will eventually run you out of town (see Terry Francona).  I understand that because the 1978-79 team only won 29 games the franchise was able to draft Larry the Legend (John Havlicek had retired at the end of the previous season), and ultimately rebuild incredibly fast. As a Bulls fan I have seen firsthand the danger of not having a plan for "blowing things up." Although, simply avoiding Tim Floyd at all costs probably steers you clear of a decade of loosing. 

It wasn't ALL your fault Tim...
Mr. Ainge, I have no idea what you should do. I wish I could create a scenario where you keep the Big 3+ (I never liked how "big 4" sounded. The + is for Rondo), trade for Dwight Howard and somehow trick Mickael Pietrus into thinking it's illegal for him to shoot unless his defender tears both ACL's. Realistically, that probably wont happen. Instead of offering a impractical solution, I simply want to say thanks. Mr. Ainge, thanks for giving us this Celtics team.  When you think about it, this team has been incredibly successful over the past five year. They won a championship in '08, got to the conference semi-finals in '09, got back to the finals in '10 (and would have won if Perkins didn't get hurt), lost in the semis again in '11 and got back to the conference finals in '12.  I realize most Boston sports fans expect their team will win a championship every year (seriously, they're spoiled), but the reality is, it is extraordinarily difficult to be successful in the NBA and really, in all professional sports (see the state of Ohio). But you know this Mr. Ainge. I'm sure you also know how success is really a complicated formula of talent + preparation + stupid luck - or, the "Robert Horry Theory of Competition" (hereafter referred to as RHTC).

Robert Keith Horry Junior
I know you are very familiar with Big Shot Bog given the whole towel throwing incident. Sorry for bringing that up. But I wanted to explain to you what I mean by the RHTC. Robert Horry was a very good player. He wasn't great, but he was good. What made him unique is that he always put himself in a situation to win. Sure he played hard, and no doubt worked his tail off in the off-season, but when dumb luck fell from the heavens he was there to scoop it up (it didn't hurt that he played for really good teams throughout his career). The reality is, you are one injury (see 2011-2012 Chicago Bulls), one awful ref (see Kings vs. Lakers 2002) or one bad bounce away from winning or losing a championship.  The RHTC states that due to the inconsistency of sports, the ultimate goal is for an individual or team to place themselves in as many winning opportunities as possible. Although the RHTC does not necessarily mean a "W" in every circumstance, it dramatically increases the likelihood of success.

Mr. Ainge, you have masterfully adhered to the RHTC these past five years and I say thank you.  It didn't necessarily produce a championship each year, but it could have.  I don't know what you should do; but I do know is that I am thankful for every Garnett explicative, Allen jumper, Rondo pass and Peirce "shimmy" through the lane. Although I was devastated when I learned Bear had died a quickly realized that although I loved him, I couldn't stand for him to be in pain. Mr. Ainge, if you break up this team I'll be upset, but I understand that some things are inevitable. Either way, things will probably never be the same, and maybe that's okay.

Thanks for the memories.

Sincerely,

Keith Krass

P.S. Before posting any blogs I send them to Sarah to ask her opinion and to elicit feedback. Her response to this blog, "I like it, it's sad....I hate LeBron. I hope the Heat lose. JUSTICE!"  I love my wife.

P.P.S. Mr. Ainge, can you settle a ongoing debate between me and my wife? What is better looking, Ray Allen's jump shot or Ray Allen?
 



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