Patriots

Coach K crashes Dean Smith's party line

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Coach K crashes Dean Smith's party line

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

ESPN conference call on "Outside the Lines" to celebrate the legendary Dean Smith's 80th birthday. Bob Ley is the host. Ley welcomes in Roy Williams, George Karl and Matt Doherty.

Ley: It's a treat to have you all here. Let me begin by -- Hold on, I'm getting word that we've got a surprise visit on the line from Tyler Hansbrough! Of course, Tyler never played for Dean Smith and has had very limited contact with the former Tar Heels coach. They might have met after UNC won the 2009 National Championship; I honestly have no idea, but we here at the World Wide Leader have always had an emo crush on the kid, so, thanks for calling, Tyler!

Karl: ...Are you serious?

Doherty: You won your first title with my recruits, Roy.

Williams: Shut up, Matt. And Tyler, you need to move on, son.

Ley: Tyler? You there?

"Tyler Hansbrough" Sinister, nasal voice: Oh, I'm here. But this isn't Hansbrough, you fools.

Williams: Wait just a doggone minute; I know that voice. Krzyzewski, is that you, you stinkin' weasel?

Mike Krzyzewski: It is I.

Karl: Oh, for the love of... Look, I've got more important things to do than listen to this. Carmelo might be trying to call me to apologize right now so I can't be tying up the line. Hangs up

Ley: Well, gee, Coach K, if you wanted to send best wishes to Dean Smith on his birthday, you didn't have to use a fake name.
Williams: Man's a weasel.

Krzyzewski: Ley, you should narrate religious cartoons; you're too soft for sports. I wouldn't call what I have to say to Smith "best wishes."

Doherty: Come on, Mike. You passed him on the all-time wins list. You've won more tournament games. You've won more national championships. Just let the old man live in peace.

Krzyzewski: Matt Doherty: You disgraced the University of North Carolina. Your wins over my Duke Dynasty don't actually count because they went toward some of the Tar Heels' worst seasons in recent history. Southern Methodist is irrelevent; you are irrelevant. Go away.

Doherty: Sobs You're... evil. Hangs up

Krzyzewski: Especially nasally And then there were two.

Ley: Um. Back to the birthday... Roy... What does this day mean to Tar Heel nation?

Williams: Long pause Right. Okay. You walk outside and it's 80 degrees today, the sky is Carolina blue... it's a tribute to Coach Smith.

Krzyzewski: Cackles "The sky is Carolina blue"? Are you kidding me, Roy? How far is Dean's hand up your butt, you sad, sad little puppet? Oh, and Roy?

Williams: Another long pause Yeah?

Krzyzewski: Whispers Everybody in Kansas still hates you.

Ley: That's not true, Roy! Everybody loves you! Everybody loves everybody! We're all hap-hap-happy today!

Krzyzewski: SILENCE! I have something to say. The Duke University Blue Devils are going to be champions this season. And when we win the title -- and I am crowned Emperor of All Sports -- I am going to dedicate Duke's dominance to one Dean Smith. Then I will finally be free of The Double Standard. Happy 80th Birthday, you son of a bitch.
Williams: ...Emperor of All Sports? With the Plumlee boys?

Krzyzewski: Yes.

An awkward silence falls on the line

Ley: Okie dokie, then.

Another awkward silence

Krzyzewski: I'll see you on Saturday, Roy. 8 p.m. CBS. Brace your team of mortals for yet another defeat. Hangs up

Williams: That boy ain't right.

Ley: So, there you have it: Mike Krzyzewski wishes you a very, very Happy Birthday, Dean Smith. Here's to 80 more years!

Line goes dead

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

Stevens knows hanging banners is ‘what it’s all about’ in Boston

BOSTON – When Brad Stevens took the Boston Celtics job in 2013, he knew what he was getting into.
 
Yes, the Celtics at that time were rebuilding which usually means years and years of slow but steady progress – if you’re lucky.
 
And then after maybe a few years of struggling to win games, a breakout season occurs and just like that – you’re back in the playoffs.

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 But here’s the thing with the Celtics.
 
While most rebuilding teams spend years working their way towards being competitive, Stevens hit the ground running and in just four years, he led the Celtics from being a 25-win team to one that was just three wins away from getting to the NBA Finals.
 
He has the kind of basketball resume that’s impressive on many levels.
 
But Stevens knows good isn’t good enough in this town.
 
“We’re here in Boston,” he said. “Winning is good, but hanging one of those (banners) up is what it’s all about. That’s what makes this such a special franchise.”
 
And for Stevens, a franchise where the expectations for success under his watch have never been greater than they are now.
 
Boston only returns one starter (Al Horford) from last year’s squad which advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after having won an East-best 53 games.
 
However, they added a pair of All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to join Horford. In addition, they drafted Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft.
 
Boston also has a slimmed-down Marcus Smart (he lost 20 pounds from a year ago) as well Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier who will both benefit from having another NBA season under their belts.
 
And while it’s a small sample size and consists of just two teams (Philadelphia and Charlotte), the Celtics breezed their way through the preseason with a flawless 4-0 record which included at least one game in which they did not play their usual starters which shows how impactful their depth may be this season.
 
That success can only help, especially with a challenging schedule that includes seven of their first 11 games being on the road. 
 
Still, the potential of this Celtics team has never been greater than it is right now since Stevens took over in 2013.
 
And just like the increased expectations of the team, the same can be said for Stevens who is considered one of the better coaches in the NBA.
 
Marcus Morris will begin his first season with the Celtics, but had a lot of respect for Stevens well before he was traded to Boston from Detroit this summer.
 
“You hear a lot of good things about him from other players,” Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “And once you get in here and start working with him and seeing what he does every day, you see what they’re talking about. He’s a good coach, man.”
 
This team’s success will hinge on how the players perform, but there’s an added element of pressure on Stevens to find the right combinations that will position the Celtics for success.
 
“We have a lot more guys who can do a lot more things on the court, so it will be a little more challenging for us to figure out how to best play with each other, and for Brad to figure out which combinations are the best ones,” Boston’s Al Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “But we’ll figure it out. Brad’s a really good coach, a really smart coach. And on our team, we have a lot of players who are smart, high basketball I.Q. guys. We’ll be OK.”
 
Basketball smarts aside, the Celtics’ success will hinge heavily on how quickly they can bring a roster with 10 new players up to speed quickly.
 
It’s still early, but players like what they’ve seen from the collective body in terms of team chemistry.
 
“I think that’s the beauty of a lot of guys on the team,” said Gordon Hayward. “It’ll be different each night with some of the different roles we play.”
 
Which is why the Celtics, while lacking experience as a team because of so many new faces, are still seen as capable of winning because they have a number of players who can impact the game in many ways.
 
But as good as they are, it still comes back to Stevens doing a good job of putting them in the best positions to find success individually as well as for the Celtics team.
 
When you look at how time with Stevens jumpstarted Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder’s careers, or how it helped revitalize the career of Evan Turner, it’s obvious that he has the Midas touch when it comes to getting the most out of players.
 
For Boston to have the kind of success they believe they are due for, it’s going to take the contributions of many.
 
And even that might not be enough.
 
But having the path being bumpier than expected is something Stevens embraces.
 
“Here in this league,” he said. “You have to love challenges.”

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