By Adam HartCSNNE.comThe following is the dramatized story of the Fiesta Bowl president and CEO who was fired for allegedly using bowl monies for extravagances and illegal campaign contributions. If only someone was there to tell the Madoff scam in fairy-tale form.Once upon a time a man got a job as a promoter for a bowl; a bowl so glorious onlookers came from across the countryside to view it. His name was Junker, and my he was good. As time grew, his work carried him up a tall ladder -- literally -- where he was charged with protecting the beautiful bowl. His new responsibility was a source of great pride for his family.Soon it became a source of something else, something tangibly better. Junker discovered this bowl contained money -- lots of money. Since few even knew that bowl atop the tall ladder held anything more than aesthetics, taking a small amount wouldn't hurt anyone. So he did just that.Junker promised himself he would only take money for the sake of the bowl. His hands first dipped into the bowl at a time of great anguish. For it became known those pilgrims flocking to witness the bowl also flocked to somehow-dangerous local strip clubs. "It is important for us to visit," Junker said to his most-trusted employees. "We certainly will conduct business there."And how. Junker repeated the phrase "This is for all the Tostitos" a dozen times during his trip to the strip club. No security risk was found. The 1,241 was worth it.His hands again dipped into the bowl, this time during great turmoil. Lawmakers were either for or against planting bean stocks to the south to prevent undesirables from visiting. As any good protector of a bowl would, Junker told his most-, semi- and least-trusted employees to make political contributions to the bean stock-backing lawmakers; he then reimbursed them via "bonuses." No undesirables saw the bowl. The 46,539 in "bonuses" was worth it.Junker's hands dipped into the bowl a third time. He was turning 50, which isn't all that old in the world of fairy tales. But he needed to throw himself a birthday party, anyway. Though some claim it had "absolutely no business purpose," the party allowed Junker to ease his mind. For a tense mind could lead to a dropped bowl, the very disaster against which he was hired to protect. The precious bowl did not fall from atop the ladder. The 30,000 was worth it.But one day the trustees of the bowl -- the mean old people who hired Junker -- showed up at the base of the ladder. They knew about the money in the bowl. Junker nervously looked down from atop the ladder, as the trustees climbed rung-by-rung. When they reached the top, they saw a sizeable amount of money was missing. Junker was fired. Ashamed, he descended down the ladder he once worked so hard to climb. He was instructed to never again witness the magic of the bowl in person. Junker, who took advantage of the bowl and those who made it shine, became an undesirable. A true undesirable.
It was one of Tacoma, Washington’s finest carrying the scoring load most of Wednesday night for the Boston Celtics.
But it wasn’t the Celtics’ leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas.
It was his backcourt mate and fellow Tacoma, Wash. native Avery Bradley picking up the slack in Thomas’ absence as Boston pulled away in the second half for a 117-87 blowout win over the Orlando Magic.
Wednesday’s victory was Boston’s first in Orlando since Nov. 8, 2013.
Bradley led seven double-figure scorers for Boston (13-9), with a team-high 23 points.
Thomas missed his first game of the season with a right groin injury that will sideline him for a yet-to-be-determined period of time.
The 5-foot-9 guard ranks among the NBA’s leaders in scoring (26.0) in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game.
But Bradley was up to the challenge of filling the void left by Thomas, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider the game was away from the TD Garden.
Bradley has been good this year, but has really stood out in road games where he has averaged 19.0 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field compared to 15.8 points on 41.3 percent shooting at the TD Garden.
The first half was a tightly contested game with neither team leading by more than eight points.
After Orlando scored the first basket of the third quarter, the Celtics went on a furious 18-2 run to lead 67-54 which had five different scorers for Boston that spoke volumes about the balanced offensive attack the Celtics came with to make up for Thomas’ absence.
Boston’s defense picked up its intensity in the second half, but just as important was the renewed emphasis on ball movement that was simple, crisp and highly effective.
And it came against an Orlando team that came in having won four of its last five games – all on the road – which included beating the always-challenging San Antonio Spurs on their home floor.
But as important as it was for Bradley to help fill the enormous scoring void that exists without Thomas, Boston also needed a strong game from their bench.
That’s exactly what they got, and it wasn’t just one or two guys, either.
Jaylen Brown had arguably the best game of his still-young NBA career coming off the Celtics bench, finishing with 13 points which included a powerful, rim-rattling dunk over Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic.
Boston also got great play out of Terry Rozier (career-high 16 points, five rebounds) who saw a few more minutes than usual because of Thomas’ injury.
Not only was the victory important to pad the win total, but it also provides a nice boost of confidence for the Celtics as they hit what will be arguably the most difficult stretch of the season in terms of quality opponents.
The Celtics have 12 games remaining this month, with the teams having a combined record of 152-105, or a winning percentage of .591.
Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.
The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.
"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."