Go on vacation, and what happens? Only everything.
Tyler Seguin departs. Brad Stevens arrives. And the Red Sox quietly roll on while probably wondering how the Bruins are still stealing their headlines in July.
Thanks in advance for humoring me as I play the annoying role of the sports guy who can’t resist weighing in on the news that happened in his absence.
I’m still catching up, and I’ve got some questions. Such as …
Will the Bruins regret trading Tyler Seguin?
Not immediately, and probably not in the long-term, either. Lost in all the static about the decision to trade the talented, immature 21-year-old forward to Dallas is the fact that the Bruins not only got a productive, prime-of-career player in return in soon-to-be-28-year-old Loui Eriksson, but one who should be a perfect fit in terms of style, discipline, and professionalism.
To put it another way: Any time you hear a player referred to as a Patrice Bergeron-type, but with a better scoring touch — Eriksson has four seasons of at least 26 goals — then you must be positively thrilled to have that player on your team. It will take him five games to win over Bruins fans. Maybe three.
I like this trade a lot, and I like Seguin. He’s as immature as … well, as the median 21-year-old male, probably. (The stuff he’s doing now is the stuff that helped make the early ’70s Bruins enduring legends.) And it’s obvious something significant happened between the time the Bruins rewarded him with a six-year, $34.5-million contract extension in September 2012 and last week, when he was dealt to the Stars. I suspect they have more evidence than what has been revealed so far that his partying has diminished his talent.
But that talent is undeniable, and I thought he worked harder than his reputation would suggest during the playoffs. They might still be playing Game 7 against the Leafs had he not caused the chaos in front of the net that preceded Patrice Bergeron’s winning goal.
I hope he grows up and becomes the player he should, but given what the Bruins got in return, there’s no reason for regret.
I’m more bummed that Nathan Horton, a genuinely nice guy who had some big moments here, felt like he needed to move to Columbus in order to find the suburbs.
How should we feel about Brad Stevens, Celtics coach?
Love it. Love it. Loved it from the moment I found out about it during the three seconds I was allowed to use my phone on vacation in lovely, isolated Eastport, Maine, which is so far off the grid that Siri thinks she’s in Canada and punctuates everything with “eh?”
He’s bright, relentless, defensive-minded, innovative, an exceptional communicator, and it’s not all about him.
It’s an inspired choice by Danny Ainge, and giving him a six-year deal makes all the sense in the world.
He’ll be the voice when the core of the next great Celtics team arrives in the NBA, and he’ll be the voice when that team fulfills its potential.
It’s also a fair, honest commitment to a coach who for the time being is set up to fail. He will and should make his NBA debut with a brutal team.
The 2014 draft, as you may have heard, is expected to be loaded. The Celtics need to aim for that Andrew Wiggins/Jabari Parker jackpot now.
Which is why I would be surprised if he ever coaches Rajon Rondo. Rondo, in good health, is too good and proud to play for a team that should be sacrificing the present for the future.
Any lingering questions about Aaron Hernandez?
Many. But one above all else: How long has he been this person, one allegedly capable of masterminding a murder, perhaps multiple murders?
Asked another way: What has he been involved in that we don’t yet know about?
In appearance? Definitely. And that jump shot sure is true, especially for a 7-footer. But you guys know the truth — it’s silly to get carried away with his 25-point Summer League debut.
… someone named Eric McArthur rebounds like Dennis Rodman, and Dionte Christmas looks like a potential rotation player.
This is when you find out who can’t play, not who can. That comes later, in the fall, against the varsity. Twenty-five points for the 13th pick in the draft? This is exactly what Olynyk should be doing. As for his long-term hopes, I’ll buy into Danny Ainge’s post-draft assessment.
“He isn’t an explosive athlete but he’s got a quick mind; that makes up for a lot,” Ainge said. “He’s got a chance to be a good 3-pt shooter.”
Sounds like a good role player on a good team. Nothing wrong with that.
How about those Red Sox?
How about ’em? Fifty-four wins, 36 losses, a 4.5-game lead in the American League East, and a farm system bursting with talent and potential reinforcements.
Oh, and it’s a finally a collection of players that actually performs as a team, which only enhances the enjoyment of watching them.
Nope, not bad for a bridge year. Not bad at all.