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Power move

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  October 1, 2010 03:02 PM

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So Red's Army pointed out the latest sign of how big opening night is -- or the latest sign of the apocalypse depending on how you view it.

The Celtics' larger than life season-opening epic against the Heat and the Boston Media Consortium's gubernatorial debate between Deval Patrick, Charles Baker and Timothy Cahill were both slated for Oct. 26. Faced with a stare-down of monstrous proportions, the Boston Media Consortium blinked.

From WBUR's Election Wire:

Rather than squaring off against the Green and the NBA’s new Big 3, the Boston Media Consortium has moved its previously scheduled Oct. 26 gubernatorial debate so as to not coincide with Celtics’ opening night.

That evening, the C’s begin their season at home against the new-look Miami Heat, who picked up MVP LeBron James and forward Chris Bosh in the off-season to complement star guard Dwyane Wade. The nationally televised game is one of the NBA season’s highlights.

The consortium, of which WBUR is a member, decided that it wants to ensure that voters tune in for the important debate. (It’s the final one of the campaign.) The debate will now be the night before, on Oct. 25. As State House News Service wrote, it’s “a relief to the subset of political junkies who are avid basketball fans, and vice versa.”

The Celtics have had a couple of crosses with politics in the past year. Over the summer, Doc Rivers played phone tag with President Barack Obama (Obama called him back).

In this instance, seeing the debate moved left even Rivers in slight awe.

"That's power," he said.

Appreciating the gesture, Rivers said he was willing to come to a compromise.

"If they’re going to watch the game," he said. "Then I’m going to watch the debate. Yes I am."

Asked if he'd consider running, Rivers joked, " I wouldn’t win. We had an owner [Steve Pagliuca] who tried already. And I don’t want to spend the money that Pags spent, I can tell you that."

New Massachusetts resident, Shaquille O'Neal, was just as appreciative, saying, "Thank you governor."

But at the same time, he acknowledged that whether you're a politician or a teacher or a doctor, sports are important to many people.

"I know we do a lot for people," O'Neal said. "I know those guys do a lot for people. Everybody does a lot for everybody. I know those guys get up early in the morning just to read what you guys are going to say. Like I know that first game it’s going to be people coming just to see us play so. That’s what I love about America."

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