WALTHAM Keyon Dooling loves the game of basketball. But he, more than any other Boston Celtic, understands it as a business due to his other role as a Vice President on the NBA Players Association's executive board.
Part of doing business was dealing with fellow NBA players who didn't necessarily like the way the executive board handled the negations of a new Collective Bargiaining Agreement.
Now, some of those opposed to him, are now teammates.
Paul Pierce was among the more vocal players who pushed for the union to de-certify - a move they eventually made, well after Pierce and several players pushed for it.
Dooling, acquired via trade from Milwaukee, doesn't expect there will be any issues with Pierce or other players who might have disagreed with some of the decisions made by the board.
"That's life," Dooling said. "Some people are Republicans. Some are Democrats. You may have a different view on things. But at the end of the day, when you have a common goal, you have to come together."
Dooling, who had his first practice with the team on Saturday, said he had a "great" conversation with Ray Allen (he too had some issues with some of the executive board's decisions).
"Our positions are a little different," Dooling said. "You just have to respect that. It is what it is. It won't be a problem or anything like that."
While labor issues dominated Dooling's life for most of the summer and fall, he's not a Celtic because of his beliefs.
He's with the C's because they believe he can help them in their quest at another NBA title.
Dooling's strength in the NBA has always been his ability to pressure ball-handlers.
On Friday, Rajon Rondo discussed how he likes his new teammates, but, "I especially love Keyon Dooling," he said. "You guys are gonna see him pick up the ball (defensively). And you'll start to see me pick up the ball more as well."
Rivers has tried to acquire Dooling on multiple occasions, only to come up short until now.
"I got some length for my position, so I really try and get after it," Dooling said. "Defense starts with heart and effort. I got both of those."