Bonding is great, but skills pay the bills

Bonding is great, but skills pay the bills
April 9, 2013, 5:15 pm

Yesterday, I became the 1,500th writer in Boston to comment on the new energy and vibe that’s surrounding the Red Sox. I wrote about how, for the first time in a long time, the players seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and how that has resulted in a more enjoyable product.

In other words, how just like that, this team is likable again.

And all it took was for them to actually like each other.

But even with the 5-2 start, we know that chemistry will only take the Sox so far. Obviously. Until they add a “Friendship” column to the standings, success will never be a measure of how happy players are behind the scenes, but what they do between the lines. And while it doesn’t hurt for everyone to get along, chemistry isn’t required. It guarantees nothing.

If you don’t believe, believe Kevin Garnett.

Today at practice, about 10 miles west of Fenway Park, KG was asked about the Celtics' chemistry. Basically, someone wanted to know, with the playoffs fast approaching, how was everyone getting along?

His answer: "We're bonded. But how consistently we are with our system and things, that's a different story. That's why we're in here."

Yup. That about sums it up. Ubuntu’s all well and good, but it’s got nothing to do with defending a pick-and-roll, grabbing a rebound, hitting a fastball or making a catch in the gap. Not for the Celtics, or the Sox, or any team that has or will exist. We all know this. But after the last two seasons over at Fenway, that likability sure feels good. As does the 5-2 record, all the encouraging stories (Lester/Buchholz, the bullpen, Iglesias, Jesus Bradley Jr.) that have come with it and most of all . . .

The fact that the Sox don’t have to deal with LeBron!

Or at least not until he leaves basketball for the Marlins a few years down the road.