Taking our lumps, licking our wounds, reaping our… well, the Spurs are giving those of us who foolishly predicted their demise (in my case, in a measly 5 games, whoops) a good deal to think about. What I’m primarily thinking about is last summer the Spurs signed Danny Green to a 3-year deal worth under $12 million. Very shrewd, San Antonio. As usual.
But that’s not what I’m writing about here — the Clippers and the Celtics are in much ballyhooed talks to trade Kevin Garnett for a mess of underproductive (or, if you prefer, overpaid) albeit younger players. Among them, DeAndre Jordan and the sticking point (get it? he’s a point guard) Eric Bledsoe. The weirdest part of this deal I suspect will never happen, is Doc Rivers. Yeah, the Celtics coach who doesn’t do rebuilding projects the same way KG doesn’t do youth movements (which is code for rebuilding projects) could be the first head coach in the NBA to be traded since Stan Van Gundy was resigned by Miami and sent to Orlando. Which is like the Siberia of Orlando, if you ask me.
Anyway, this bit of history between the Clips and Celtics was out on the weekend from the New York Times NBA blog.
Cheer up, Clippers fans! It’s no disgrace to lose to the Spurs. You have a promising future with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin anchoring the team.
Here’s something else you might know: you also have a championship pedigree.
That’s because, in the strictest of strictest interpretations of the law — not to be confused with what actually goes on in the N.B.A. — the Clippers are, in reality, the Boston Celtics. The owner, Donald Sterling, longed to model his franchise after the Celtics (even though every move he made basically killed that plan). Well, he got his wish.
We’re talking legalese and very fine print here, and the story goes all the way back to 1978. That year, the owner of the Celtics was a Hollywood guy by the name of Irv Levin. He wanted to move the team to southern California, but he knew the N.B.A. would never allow that to happen.
So Levin did the next best thing. He convinced the owner of the Buffalo Braves, the Kentucky Fried Chicken magnate John Y. Brown, to swap franchises.
“My understanding, as best as I can remember, is that the current Celtics team is a successor to the Buffalo Braves,’’ Russ Granik, former deputy commissioner of the N.B.A., said in a telephone conversation on Tuesday. He was the N.B.A.’s assistant general counsel in 1978.
And that would mean that the current Clippers team is the successor to the Boston Celtics?
“Yes,’’ Granik said. “In a strictly legal sense.”