Celtics

Tiger's coach set to publish tell-all book

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Tiger's coach set to publish tell-all book

From Comcast SportsNet
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) -- Hank Haney has written a book about the six years he spent as Tiger Woods' swing coach, a volatile time in which Woods went from winning nearly half of his tournaments to a scandal that derailed his pursuit of golf history. "I get asked all the time about Tiger, what it was like to work with him," Haney said in a telephone interview. "I felt like I had a front row seat to golf history. It just kind of chronicles a little bit of what I went through, what I dealt with, how I coached and the observations I made." Haney began working with Woods at the Bay Hill Invitational in 2004. They parted ways a month after the 2010 Masters, where Woods made his return to golf after being exposed for multiple extramarital affairs that shattered his image and led to divorce. Most of the people involved with Woods have signed a nondisclosure agreement. Haney said he signed no such thing -- "I didn't even have a contract," he said -- although he said the book was not intended to "take jabs at anyone." Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at Excel Sports Management, said he was aware of the book 'The Big Miss' but that Woods had not seen any excerpts and would have no comment. Haney was asked whether he thought Woods will like it. "If he reads it, I don't think it will be a book that bothers him. It's hard to say," Haney said. "Anybody who reads it will think it's interesting, very fair and honest, and that's what I wanted to do. I was on that job for six years. There were 110 days a year I was with him. I stayed at his house for close to 30 days a year. You make a lot of observations." The book will be released by Crown Archetype, part of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House, Inc. It is scheduled to be published March 27 -- one week before the Masters -- and issued simultaneously in print and digital formats in the United States and Canada. Haney wrote the book with Jaime Diaz of Golf Digest, whose coverage dates to when Woods was a teenager and Diaz played golf with Woods and his father. Diaz also spoke at the memorial service for Earl Woods. He said the title was collaboration. "It has multiple meanings," Haney said. "The Big Miss' was golf jargon. The big miss of a drive, obviously that's been part of his game. The big miss of an opportunity? That's really where we got the idea. It was a missed opportunity that Tiger and I had that we experienced working together. That all comes out in the book." Haney was the second of three coaches Woods has used as a professional, though he was part of the most interesting times. He received more criticism than any coach, even though Woods won 29 times and six majors during their six years. "The period of time that I dealt with Tiger was much more unique, in terms of having the scandal, Torrey Pines with the broken leg at the U.S. Open, other things, too," Haney said. "It was a totally different time." Woods went nine months without winning after going to work with Haney. Starting with the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan at the end of the 2005 season, however, Woods won 46 percent of the tournaments he played worldwide. During their six years together, Woods got married and had two children. His father died in May 2006, and Woods missed the cut in a major for the first time at the U.S. Open a month later. As for the serial adultery, Haney said he didn't know about it and doesn't delve into that chapter of Woods' life in the book, except for his return from the scandal after going nearly five months without competition. "It's something you can't NOT talk about it," Haney said. "My last tournament was the Masters, and that was his first tournament back from the scandal. I didn't know anything about the girls. That's not something I could specifically comment on. Everything I comment on is what I observed and the facts I knew. I didn't know anything about that. "But I did know about how he interacted with me about that, what my observations were and other areas in terms of how I dealt with and the aftermath." The most compelling win under Haney came at the 2008 U.S. Open, when Woods learned he had a double stress fracture in left leg, along with torn ligaments in his left knee. Despite not competing for two months, he won in a playoff over Rocco Mediate. Haney recalled doctors telling Woods before that U.S. Open that he needed to spend three weeks on crutches, followed by three weeks of rest. Haney says Woods told the doctors, "I'm playing the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win." Pressed for examples of his observations in the book, Haney declined, not even to mention his favorite moment or the low point in his coaching relationship with Woods. Haney said he knew all along he would be writing a book. He worked primarily with Mark O'Meara, which is how he got to know Woods. Haney said from the day he first went to work with Woods, he knew that would be his last pro client. He took notes and kept his observations in diaries, then waited to find the right publisher and someone -- Diaz -- to help him with the book. Haney said he hasn't seen the finished product, but "we're very close." "It was an incredible opportunity," Haney said. "We had a great run and I enjoyed it, but a lot of things happened in six years that made it feel a little longer. I had a lot of great observations from being in the position I was in."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hawks

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Hawks

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Celtics-Hawks preview: C's defense looks to keep up historic pace

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Celtics-Hawks preview: C's defense looks to keep up historic pace

As the wins continue to pile up for the Boston Celtics, so does the praise and adulation from others throughout the league. 

It’s a double-edged sword if you think about it. 

Acknowledging how good the Celtics are, is indeed a sign of respect. 

But it also means Boston plays every game with a large target on its back unlike any of Brad Stevens’ previous Celtics teams. 

And that means every game they play, even those like tonight’s matchup at Atlanta where they will be heavily favored, are dangerous matchups.

Because for some teams, the next best thing to competing against the champ (Golden State) is facing the team with the best record who just knocked off the champ. 

That will be one of the dynamics at work tonight when the Celtics (14-2) kick off a three-game road trip against a trio of sub-.500 teams beginning with the Hawks (3-12).

Boston has shown tremendous focus and attention to detail during their 14-game winning streak. But in that span, the Celtics have never had a trio of teams right behind each other that struggled as much as the Hawks, the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks have this season. 

Not including games played on Friday, Boston’s next three opponents are a combined 11-33. 

All three of those teams would love to be the one to knock off the Celtics, the kind of victory that could significantly shift the direction of their respective franchises from their current downward spin. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will look to continue to play with the kind of defensive temperament that has catapulted them to the top of the NBA’s defensive standings in several categories. 

“The way they’re beating teams it ain’t pretty,” a league executive texted NBC Sports Boston. “But they win. Last I checked, that’s what matters most.”

And that success has to a large degree, put a bigger bullseye on the Celtics than ever. 

“Now that we have a reputation, I think everyone is coming for us,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Now we have to come play even harder, and I think we can do that. I think we are more than capable.”

Especially if they continue to defend at a level we haven’t seen in years. 

Boston has a league-best defensive rating of 95.4. A key component in Boston’s strong play defensively has been their ability to win the battle of the boards. They come into tonight’s game with a .530 rebounding percentage which is second in the league to Portland (.539).

And that defense, while praised for how it functions collectively, it also consists of some pretty good individual defenders as well. 

Among guards averaging at least 20 minutes per game, Boston has four players ranked among the top 10 in defensive rating (Marcus Smart, 93.5 defensive rating, 2nd); Jaylen Brown (93.6, 3rd); Terry Rozier (95.0, 5th) and Kyrie Irving (96.4, 8th). 

When you look at forwards, Brown headlines a trio of forwards that includes himself, Al Horford (94.2, 3rd) and Jayson Tatum (96.1, 7th). 

Aron Baynes has the best defensive rating (90.6) among centers, followed by Horford (94.2).

“Our guys are locked in and really trying and again we can really play some pretty ugly basketball at times,” Stevens said. “But I do think that we are competing which is really good.”