After getting in a 8:30 last night and getting his physical done, Michael Finley showed up at the Garden and got some shots up, working up a sweat in the process. He won’t, however, play tonight against the Wizards. Rivers said Finley might play Tuesday in Milwaukee. Meeting the media for the first time, Finley sounded gracious, even though his role with his new team is still unclear.
Coach was pretty honest with me, which I can respect, that he doesn’t know how he’s going to use me. I have to respect that. I’m coming to a team that’s already established. They’ve put in X amount of games here.
So for me to come in and try to establish a role right away would be crazy for me to even think that. But coach has put he at ease where he doesn’t know, I don’t know. Just when my situation comes go out there and play hard.”
Finley gets some pre-game shots in
… where the Washington Wizards just aren’t the fun-loving bunch they used to be.
Gilbert Arenas is long gone, and after his gun-slinging incident with teammate Javaris Crittenton, the Wizards decided to blow up their franchise’s Mt. Rushmore, sending Antawn Jamison to Cleveland and Caron Butler (a player the Celtics were interested in) to Dallas.
One of the players they got in return, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, is most likely going back to Cleveland, the other, Josh Howard, tore his ACL 91 minutes into his stint as a Wizard, and they’re at the bottom of the Southeast Division at 21-38.
When you look at it from that vantage point, the Celtics’ situation doesn’t look bad at all. They won three games they were supposed to win after falling to Cleveland and New Jersey. They’re trade-deadline addition Nate Robinson is almost everything the Celtics wanted him to be, averaging 9.8 points off the bench. Kevin Garnett appears to be hitting his stride.
Still, in a season where question marks come up every few days, the latest comes in the form of their newest addition Michael Finley, who will meet the media at 6:30. The ex-Spur should give the Celtics experience and shooting, but he’s made it clear that he came here looking for a chance to win a ring.
One of the better storylines today actually comes from Wizards locker room where Shaun Livingston’s trying to resurrect his career. He was taken by the Clippers with the fourth pick in the 2004 draft ahead of Devin Harris, Sebastian Telfair, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Jameer Nelson among others. But this freak accident in 2007 — similar to the one Tony Allen suffered — left him with a torn ACL. He spent the following years trying to bounce back, going from Miami to Memphis to the D-League to Oklahoma City and now to the Wizards.
“Playing is where my fun is,” said Livingston, who has had to endure many joyless days and nights since shredding three knee ligaments and dislocating his knee cap with a gruesome injury suffered on Feb. 26, 2007 — three years to the day before he signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards.
Livingston has played just 26 NBA games since the injury, including the past four with Washington. And, no matter how well he fares with the Wizards or anywhere else, Livingston understands his career will never be about what it is, but what it could have become.
“The reality is that’s going to be with me my whole career and even after my career. It’s going to be the ‘What if?’ ‘The guy that could’ve been,’ ” said Livingston, the No. 4 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004. “But I came to that realization a long time ago when I was laying in a hospital bed. A lot of people can’t accept what happens to them. Certain things, it’s like, I’ve already accepted that. My job is to make the best out of what I have right now and my opportunity. I’m thankful for it.”