Friday FT's: Why West Picked Pacers, Baby Out of KGs Shadow

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Friday FT's: Why West Picked Pacers, Baby Out of KGs Shadow

Welcome back to Friday Free Throws, a weekly recap of the most interesting news notes, and information that have not made the headlines, but are still worth a read.

Why West Picked the Pacers

Since the formation of the New Big Three in 2007, players have made Boston a destination of choice when deciding on a new team. Others have taken paycuts to stay part of the organization.

So when David West chose to sign with the Indiana Pacers, who have not won more than 40 games in a single regular season since 2006, over the Celtics, the decision raised eyebrows.

Including Ray Allens.

"Once it got down to the end, I think his ego kicked back in," Allen told ESPNBoston.coms Jackie MacMullan. "He wanted the dollars. I guess it comes down to 'What is a championship worth to you?'

"Think of all the guys who have made 20 million and could be considered one of the best ever, but they get chided because they never won. We the Big Three all had to do less when we won. We're still taking less to make it work. But it's worth it. No one can ever say to KG, Paul or me, 'You guys never got your ring.'"

Settling in with his new team, West responded to the comments.

"What they're dealing with up there is a lot deeper than David West," Conrad Brunner of Pacers.com reported West saying. When I was figuring out what I was going to do, everybody that knows me knows I'm a thought person. I don't rush to judgment and the decisions I make are well-thought-out. This was a well-thought-out decision on my part. There's a reason why I'm in Indiana and not anywhere else. This team is young and deep with some really good pieces. And it's deep."

Davis Out of KGs Shadows ... Seriously?

During the four years he spent in Boston, Glen Davis was a key member of the Celtics bench. He also stepped into the starting lineup in place of an injured Kevin Garnett. To many, he was seen as the Cs sixth man. But to Davis, he saw it as playing in the shadows.

Davis, who was traded to the Orlando Magic as part of the Brandon Bass deal, recently reflected on his time with the Celtics.

"My whole career, I was playing behind KG, and I don't think people really were able to see what I can do," he told FOX Sports Florida. "The times that I didn't have to play behind KG, I did a great job. Now, I'm (with the Magic), and I have an opportunity to be a starter, and I'm just embracing the moment."

A former role player saying he felt overshadowed by his All-Star veteran teammates? Hm, we've heard this before.

Former Celtics: One Out, One In for Lakers

Two former Celtics participated in the Los Angeles Lakers training camp this month. But when final cuts were made, only one was remained on the roster.

2005 Celtics first round draft pick Gerald Green was waived on Thursday, the Lakers announced on Twitter. Green was scoreless with two personal fouls in eight minutes in one preseason game.

Troy Murphy, who played 17 games for the Celtics last season, signed with the Lakers this week. He averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in two preseason games with his new team.
Celtics Tweet of the Week

@unclejeffgreen: "Thank u everyone for ur thoughts and prayers...much appreciated love u all..and I'll be back soon stronger and better than ever I promise"

Celtics Birthdays of the Week

Joe Wolf, who played two games for the Celtics in the 1992-93 season, turned 47 on December 17. Former Celtics training camp invitee Stephane Lasme turned 29 on the same day. ... Hall of Famer Kevin McHale turned 54 on December 19. He is currently the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Tom Gugliotta celebrated his 42nd birthday that day as well.

This Week in Celtics History
On December 19, 1956, Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics. He made his debut for the C's three days later, recording 16 rebounds and six points against the St. Louis Hawks. On the same date in 1990, Kevin McHale scored his 15,000th career point in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. ... On December 22, 1949, Tony Lavelli presented an accordion mini-concert to over 5,000 fans at the Boston Garden during halftime of their game against the Minneapolis Lakers.

Tom Brady on Donald Trump: 'I certainly disagree with what he said'

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Tom Brady on Donald Trump: 'I certainly disagree with what he said'

After beating the Texans on Sunday, 36-33, Tom Brady didn't want to delve too deeply into what went into his locking arms with teammates during the national anthem. 

"I just think," Brady said, "there's just a great love for my teammates."

He didn't want to get into Donald Trump's comments about players kneeling for the anthem, but he was willing to go there during Monday's Kirk and Callahan Show on WEEI.

"Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said," Brady explained. "I thought it was just divisive. Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ I do believe in what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me. That is how I try and live every day.

"I have been blessed to be in locker rooms with guys all over the United States over the course of my career. Some of my great friends are from Florida, Virginia, New York, Montana, Colorado, Texas. The one thing about football is it brings so many guys together -- guys you would never have the opportunity to be around. Whether it was in college, and all the way into the pros. We’re all different, we’re all unique. That is what makes us all special."

Brady was one of several players locking arms on the Patriots sideline for the anthem. More than a dozen others, including Devin McCourty, took a knee. Just before and immediately after the anthem, fans booed the demonstration.

"I think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do," Brady said of the response. "If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about."

Curran: In the end, everyone stood because of the game

Curran: In the end, everyone stood because of the game

FOXBORO – The boos and demands to “Stand up!” rained down just as the Star Spangled Banner began. The players on the Patriots sideline who knelt – the ones boos and invective was directed at – stayed down. Others stood, locking arms with teammates while others stood with their hands over their hearts.

By game’s end, everyone was on their feet. Players. Coaches. Fans. Together.

Unless they left early because of traffic and a late Patriots deficit. Or because they couldn’t bear the thought of watching an NFL game on a beautiful September Sunday because the entertainers didn’t do what they wanted them to do before the performance began.

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The whole thing’s complicated. I understand why people take offense at those who don’t stand for the anthem.

I understand why others want to deliver a symbolic message about their American experience.

I completely understand why, two days after President Trump thought it appropriate to use the phrase “son of a bitch” to refer to someone making a silent, reflective statement, many NFL players felt challenged, backed into a corner and somewhat dehumanized. The message delivered was, in essence, “Shut up and dance.”

Personally, I prefer to stick to sports. I don’t think I’m equipped to talk politics because I don’t know policy, legislation, constituencies and special interests – all the things that I define as politics – well enough to drone on at anybody.

As for sociology – which is what this is about rather than politics – I have my experiences and others have theirs. I’m trying to mow my own lawn over here. You do you. I’ll do me. As long as you don’t encroach on me doing me while you do you, I’m fine. When I’m not completely self-absorbed, a respectful exchange of ideas can make me see things in a different light.

It didn’t surprise me some people at Gillette Stadium had a visceral and vocal reaction to players kneeling. The pot was brought to a boil all weekend, the lid was just lifted and it bubbled over.

But the irony of how the afternoon played out – that Brandin Cooks, a player booing fans were screaming at to stand three hours earlier brought them to their feet with his toe-tapping last-minute touchdown – was perfectly symbolic.

Ultimately, everyone was there for the football – the players, coaches, media and fans – and in the end it was the football that brought the unified response that stood in contrast to the divided reactions in the stands and on the field before the game.

“That’s what sports is,” said Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “That’s what sports does. That’s what makes them great. They bring out what we have in common.

“I don’t think people look at us as human,” McCourty said. “I don’t think they ever have. We’re just the entertainment. They don’t understand that there’s a human behind it. People want to shake your hand or have their picture taken with you but they don’t want to know you. That’s reality.”

Maybe. Or maybe people feel their voices aren’t heard. They don’t have a column they can write or a TV or radio show to spout off on. They don’t have the chance to demonstrate their individual feelings at their cubicle before the workday starts.

All they know is they spent $500 or more to get to and into with a belly full of steak tips and beer and they don’t need to feel like being reminded about somebody else’s societal oppression on their day off, thank you very much.

It’s not so much about who does what during the Star Spangled Banner as much as it is that a lot of people don’t appreciate the intrusion. That, and they’re tired of hearing how bad everyone else has it when it’s really no damn picnic for most people these days.

Believe me, there’s not unanimity of opinion in the Patriots locker room any more than there is in your office, home, dorm or neighborhood. Players of different races, backgrounds, economic circumstances and ways of expressing themselves are thrown in a pot together and told to work for a common goal and rely on each other.

The mish-mash of ways in which players responded during the anthem on the Patriots sideline, the reticence of some players to dip a toe in the conversation, McCourty’s opening statement at the podium and then his declining to take questions and Bill Belichick’s comment that he would “deal with that later” all seemed to indicate that the team itself is still working through how it expresses itself as a whole.

It’s complicated for them too.

But in the end, it was the football that bound them together. It was the game that left them jumping on each other and the fans standing and screaming and nobody thinking at all about who did what when the song played before the game.

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