The Boston Celtics opened their preseason schedule last night with a 94-82 win over Charlotte. It was the first chance to see the new-look Celtics in action and get some answers to some questions. Because there have been some serious roster turnover in Boston. Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Kelly Olynyk are just some of the guys who are no longer there. Instead, it’s easier to run down the list of guys from last year’s Eastern Conference finalists who are still there: Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier. That’s it. Four guys.
And in comes Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and others. All of which raises some natural questions, like how will Kyrie fit into the offense? How will Hayward mesh with Kyrie? And then there’s Aron Baynes. You know, Aron Baynes, the Aussie big man who averaged 5 points and 4 boards with the Pistons last season and signed with the Celtics this summer. He’s a big man with simple dreams. Dreams like a bed with a fishing pole attached.
And any time you bring in a big man, people are naturally going to ask what kind of shape is he in? Actually, nobody is asking that question, but here is Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn with the answer.
Uhhh, Tom? Thomas? Mr. Heinsohn? What the hell are you talking about? Seriously, what are you talking about? First off, the rule of the locker room is that what you see here and what you say here, let it stay here, when you leave. And I’m pretty sure that applies to the locker room shower as well. As in, I’m not sure that there’s any reason for any color analyst to be starting any sentence with “I took a look at INSERT PLAYER NAME in the shower…”
That just doesn’t enter into it. There is never a context where that can add insight or wisdom to your call of the game. I’ve never been this close to running any announcers call. I nearly had to have LT jump in there. It was that bad and that weird.
And then for him to continue and say that Baynes “looks like all of Australia.” I don’t even know what that means. And clearly neither does his broadcast partner because the nervous laughter silence that follows is about as awkward as it gets.
I haven’t heard a Celtics announcer so out of his depth since Johnny Most tried to call an exhibition game between the Celtics and a Yugoslavian team.
But even Johnny wasn’t referring to seeing the Yugoslavian’s in the shower and how they were or weren’t built like all of their country. I know that Tommy Heinsohn is a legend in Boston, in large part because he says some strange things behind the mic. Just like I know it’s the first game of preseason and everyone’s knocking off some rust, and stretching their muscles, but that was about as confusing and baffling as it gets.
And no, I’m not interested in your sophomoric tweets and emails about Heinsohn’s call or what a certain legendary coach might think of it. Knock it off. You’re better than that. And even if you aren’t, I am. The next time an announcer, or a caller to this show, starts in on seeing someone in the shower or the locker room, and it makes the game or the show better, will be the first.