Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This morning I happened to catch a little bit of Cold Pizza, which is almost always a bad idea. Shira Springer was on to talk about the Celtics. The talk managed to work its way around to the possibility that the Celtics will acquire the number one overall pick. As the talking head asked Ms. Springer which of the two top prospects would be the likely choice in the event the Cs should win the lottery, she said something that surprised me.

Shira talked about the Celtics personnel department doing their homework under their intrepid leader, and she mentioned something that I had forgotten for a time. Danny Ainge will bring in his ace in the hole, the brain typing guru Jonathan P. Niednagel. I'm not much in the way of a scientist, but this seems like this century's phrenology. Particularly if this charlatan's analysis of Erik Ainge is a representative sample of his work.

One need not waste much time surveying the wreckage of the Boston Celtics season to conclude that the Danny Ainge and Niednagel have not whiled away many hours talking with the flowers, as they lack the requisite grey matter. This critique of Ainge's fixation on brain typing may lack subtlety, but it is quite amusing. This article is perhaps the most horrifying and damning evidence that Ainge is a horrible GM, and the people who hired him should lose their NBA franchise privileges in much the same way as Butch (Bruce Willis) had his LA privileges revoked by Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction.

Danny Ainge signed Brian Scalabrine to a deal worth $5mill per over three years because a guy who lucked out of real estate at the right time in California told him that Scalabrine shared a brain type with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird? You must be joking. For all I know (I will be brain typed over my dead body), I might share the same brain type. But I am a horrible basketball player. Hell, Mark Cuban might have the same brain type, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a frustrated jock sniff who can't play a lick of basketball.

Then there is the list of Niednagel's clients given in that piece from the New York Sun: Kevin McHale, Terry Donahue, who was probably the best college football coach at UCLA except for Dick Vermeil, Karl Dorrel, John McKay (even though he suffered from the sizable handicap of never having coached the Bruins and in fact having coached their arch rival USC) and me (another guy who never coached UCLA) and a bad GM for the 49ers, Kiki Vandeweghe and John Gabriel. That is a dreadful list, especially when you consider that outside of McHale, none of the others are employed as general managers at the moment.

And there is the fact that the author of the Sun piece quoted Ainge as having said: "You can take Red Auerbach, Jerry West ... all those guys that judge talent. I'd take Jon Niednagel." Personally, I think I'd take Red or West, or even someone who had only won one championship over a snake oil salesman. But this man will run the Celtics until they have 12 swingmen, no playoff appearances and hell freezes over. Or at least until an owner who no longer needs yearn for that happy day when his testicles descend into their proper position. I trust you will forgive me for the vulgarity.

For her sake, I hope Shira was joking. But it's hard to tell with her, since she was tragically born without a personality. I will say this and move on. If she brought brain typing into the conversation, and it wasn't a joke, she is either the third dumbest person in the world (behind Ainge and his guru) or she's on the team's payroll. To tell you the truth, I don't really care. Just so long as Danny Ainge and the brain typing boys make sure they buy the bridges I have for sale down in NYC before the door closes on their careers with the Celtics.

I haven't really been watching too much basketball lately. It's not easy to watch anymore. I have been watching a lot of the 31 days of Oscar on Turner Classic Movies. Ordinarily, I would leave the specifics of these evenings out of the blog because I recognize that most people don't share my interest in classic cinema. But tonight I saw Cactus Rose for the first time, and I'm still trying to figure out what I think about it.

It was very funny. But there was something inherently depressing about it. And it's not the 27 year old single straight guy dreading a winter storm warning and watching a 38 year old movie alone the night before Valentine's Day. OK, maybe it is that, but there was something else, too. Ingrid Bergman's character was in a night club doing late 60s dance moves. As a fan of Casablanca and Notorious, I was deeply disappointed to see that. It was beat. 25 years after starring opposite Bogart and Grant, there she was doing the damn mash potato. What a world.

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