COMMENTARY: The Boston Celtics’ rise has a lesson for us all

first_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Posts Every two weeks, Mike Mandell gives his thoughts on the sports scene in Ellsworth, Hancock County and beyond.About four years ago, Danny Ainge had a decision to make. The general manager of the Boston Celtics saw the writing on the wall when others didn’t necessarily want to. His team was getting old, and something had to be done.Ainge knew what that something was: He had to find a way to trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, three of the franchise’s most revered players. Those players had been instrumental in bringing the 2007-08 NBA title to Boston after the longest drought in team history, and it had seemed they were destined to retire as Celtics. Changing that wasn’t guaranteed to be received well.In a move that broke the hearts of fans throughout New England, Ainge did so by sending the trio to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets wanted to compete for a championship, and trading for some veterans would help them do that. In response, they sent the Celtics their 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round picks and the right to swap first-rounders in 2017.Yet Ainge’s moves didn’t stop there. Just days after the blockbuster trade, he made another move to secure the team’s future when he hired Brad Stevens from Butler University. It was a hire that came out of left field; Stevens had flown under the radar during the search, and at 36, he was the youngest coach in the league from Day 1.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFast forward four years, and it’s the Celtics that have come out winners. The Nets’ championship aspirations never materialized, and they currently dwell at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The Celtics, on the other hand, are in first place.What happened? Well, it all started when the team swallowed its pride and made a move it knew would decrease the quality of their team for a few years. That’s never an easy call to make, but Ainge knew the team’s strength was its future rather than its present.Still, Ainge had to be willing to put his team through some early struggles to get there. Boston’s streak of six straight playoff appearances ended when the team went 25-57 in 2013-14, and it looked as if the following season wasn’t going to be much better during its early days.Ainge remained patient, though, and it wasn’t long before that patience paid off. The Celtics eventually turned their 2014-15 campaign around and made the playoffs. They have continued to improve with each passing year and now find themselves ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers and in position to seal home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.Faced with a situation that seemed difficult, the Celtics have instead turned an era that appeared to be headed for a long rebuild into one that’s been rewarding. They’ve done so with players that other teams have discarded and by making draft picks that made some analysts scratch their heads. At nearly every turn along the way during that process, the Celtics have been vindicated.That’s a lesson that can be applied broadly. There are times when the real rewards in life exist down the line. At times, we have to sacrifice what we know for the chance at something better in the future. Those sacrifices can garner criticism from others. They can also make us question ourselves. In the end, though, there are times when these decisions simply have to be made.I felt this way upon making the decision to move to Ellsworth, a city 1,500 miles away from my home in the Midwest. Indeed, there were instances in the few days after accepting the job when others asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Yet I saw a new path ahead of me — a path that would take me somewhere I’d never been. Just as Ainge did, I chose to follow that path, and it led me to a new community I’ve come to love.As for the Celtics, success in pro sports is defined by championships, and they still have a long way to go. With the Nets floundering, though, a Boston team that is getting closer to reaching that level will likely be in position to draft franchise-changing talents such as Markelle Fultz, Michael Porter and DeAndre Ayton over the next two years. That’s one of the rewards you reap when you think down the line and are willing to move on.Only time will tell if the Celtics can add another Larry O’Brien Trophy to their storied history. Regardless, Ainge’s willingness to try something new opened him up to opportunities he wouldn’t have had if he had closed the door when the Nets came calling. That’s a lesson that can be applied to us all. Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Biocenter_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com.last_img read more

Barkley named CLASS award candidate

first_imgSenior quarterback Matt Barkley was selected as a candidate for the national 2012 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate football, the Pac-12 announced Monday.Off-field star · Though quarterback Matt Barkley is best known for his play on the field, he remains active in the community and has a 3.21 GPA. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanBarkley joins 30 senior student-athletes from Football Bowl Subdivision teams who have demonstrated success in the classroom and on the field while making a positive impact in their communities.Barkley, a communication major, carries a 3.21 grade point average, making him one of 16 candidates who have a GPA higher than 3.0. He also took 15 of his teammates on a service trip to Haiti last summer to build four homes and deliver 2,500 pounds of supplies.Barkley has also traveled to Nigeria, South Africa and Mexico to rebuild houses, distribute supplies and gifts and volunteer at orphanages.While attending Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., Barkley and his father Les started the Monarchs for Marines program that raised money for families of wounded and fallen soldiers.On the field, Barkley has 10,059 passing yards and 92 touchdowns in his USC career. He has the second-most passing completions and third-most total offense yards of  all time for the Trojans.Through four games this season, Barkley has thrown for 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is on pace to become USC’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns, passing completions and total offensive yardage.The Trojans’ first-ever three-time captain is one of eight candidates who were All-Americans last season.Three other Pac-12 players were nominated for the award, including UCLA punter Jeff Locke, Arizona center Kyle Quinn and California tackle Matt Summers-Gavin.Other notable nominees include Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.After the candidates are narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the season, an official ballot will be distributed to media, coaches and fans. The winner of the award will then be announced during the 2012-13 bowl season.last_img read more

10 fun facts about Fordham

first_img Published on March 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu No. 3-seed Syracuse (24-8, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) is hosting at least one, potentially two, NCAA Tournament games. The Orange open up their 2019 Tournament with a fellow New York school, the Fordham Rams (25-8, 13-3 Atlantic 10). Here are 10 fun facts you need to know about Fordham before Saturday’s game.1. Television TimeIn 2019, every men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament game is broadcasted on the Turner and ESPN networks, respectively. But it wasn’t always the case. In the beginning of television’s expansion into society, Fordham played in both the first ever televised football game in 1939 and basketball game in 1940.2. Multi-Use GymAdvertisementThis is placeholder textFordham’s Rose Hill Gym is the oldest Division I gymnasium in the nation. It opened in 1925 and has been in use for basketball and volleyball ever since, except during World War II, when it was used as Army barracks.3. Magenta battleFordham’s original color was not the maroon it is today. It was originally magenta, but one of the Rams’ rivals, Harvard, also had that color. Since both schools couldn’t keep the color, a series of baseball games were played to decide. The Fordham Athletics site says that Fordham won the games, but Harvard failed to honor the promise. 4.Donald Trump’s brief stintPresident Donald Trump, before later graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, attended Fordham. He began school in 1964 and was a member of the squash team. Trump was a member of the ROTC program before leaving the school in 1966 to transfer to Penn. 5. Fordham’s other famous alumniFordham has famous alumni across multiple different career paths, including acting, broadcasting and coaching. Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, actor Alan Alda and Super Bowl-winning head coach Vince Lombardi all attended Fordham. Broadcaster Vin Scully and first-ever female Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro also join the list of well-known alumni. Singer Lana Del Rey signed her first record-deal while in school before dropping out to pursue music.6. No need to shopFordham tuition in 1850 was $200. That price included six suits, shirts, socks, a hat and an overcoat. Students also received a silver cup with their name engraved on it.7. Death at its doorAt the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, Fordham has its own cemetery near the University Church. It’s been dedicated to Jesuit people, and the first burial dates back to 1847. No one has been buried there since 1909, though.8. Poetic PoeEdgar Allan Poe grew up in the Bronx, not far from Fordham’s Rose Hill campus. Every Sunday at 11 a.m., the bells at the University Church would ring 11 times, and the bells are said to have inspired Poe’s poem “The Bells.”9. Freshman Rule BookBack in 1920, Fordham had a list of rules its freshmen had to follow. Freshmen were required to carry matches for upperclassmen and ask for permission before smoking in front of them. They also had to move off the sidewalks to allow upperclassmen to pass. The newbies were required to tip their hats to their elders.10. Triple CrownFor 23 years, the third leg of horse racing’s “Triple Crown” was hosted at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx about a mile from Fordham’s campus. In 1890, the Belmont Stakes moved to Morris Park before moving to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York in 1905. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more