Here's the oft-promised, rarely-delivered link to my weekly media column. FYI, it usually can be found on Friday mornings somewhere relatively prominent on the right side of the sports front, but for those who say they can't find it, here you go.
This week we caught up with ESPN/ABC hoop analyst Jeff Van Gundy. In the time I've been on the media beat, he's right there at the top of the list (along with Phil Simms) among prominent personalities who are genuinely enjoyable to talk to. Van Gundy comes across in an interview just as he does on the telecasts -- as loving basketball so much that he can't help but share his unfiltered opinion.
I pretty much emptied out the notebook in the column, but I didn't use a bit with Van Gundy -- who picked the Lakers to beat the Celtics in the Finals when I spoke to him before the alarming Game 5 -- talking about how the Celtics are an embodiment of their coach, Doc Rivers.
So here it is.
"The Celtics are going to put out a very competitive team," Van Gundy said. "The Celtics won’t be outcompeted. Who ever beats them will beat them. But they won’t be outcompeted. I’m sure that gives Doc some comfort.
‘‘And that’s who he was as a player," said Van Gundy, who was a Knicks assistant when Rivers was the New York point guard. "He was the ultimate competitor. Now if you’re doing a drill in practice, where there’s no score kept, he was, ‘Eh, OK. It’s practice.’ But if you put a score on it, and you have one of the great competitors that’s every played the game. And he has a team that fits who he was.’’
In a related note: Celtics wrap it up tonight. Bring on the Suns.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.