Happy Media Day at the Boston Celtics.
Tropical Storm Ian is heading toward Florida and the rest of the Southeast.
Winds, rain, floods, storm surges, and yes, even hurricanes, are all forecasts for those unfortunate souls on their way.
Hurricane Ime hit Boston last week. It was a Category 5 storm (whistle) that tore through the Celtics, wreaking havoc on property in its wake while leaving visible and invisible destruction in its wake.
Among his primary victims are every woman who works for the Celtics. Especially the ones whose names were spread irresponsibly, childishly and pompously across social media by anonymous basement dwellers. The press has suffered a lot of self-inflicted wounds in recent years. But those who pretend they know what they are doing are as malicious as those who know what they are doing are wrong.
Unlike absolutely every weather event, Hurricane Aem is a man-made disaster.
Some kind of “Chernobyl basketball”. Complete with Udoka in full Homer Simpson mode at the controls.
Okuda’s actions could give the Celtics their first three losses since they lost eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. Three wrecks on the basketball court, across the public arena and in court.
Okuda’s personal life is just that. Personal. Whatever damage he has done to his long-term relationship with actress Nia Long, with whom they share a child, it is of a critical nature. We wrote in this space just two weeks ago that the biggest and oldest stories in the human experience are: “Who does he sleep with (fill in the blank)?” and “How much money does he earn (fill in the blank)?”
Human nature requires that we know how long we will deal with this metaphorical slap in the face.
She reportedly learned of her partner’s infidelity when the team stopped him.
Human nature also requires that we know the name of the woman with whom Yokoda had a notorious “consensual” relationship.
There is no way the Celtics team could or could publish that information. Nor should they.
The woman in this case did nothing wrong, at least from the point of view of the Celtics and their attorneys.
Sexual harassment is “sexual” in name only. A more appropriate description is ‘harassment of force’.
Although this relationship is considered “consensual” in the press, one wonders why just how “consensual” is any relationship when one person is the head coach of the NBA franchise and the other person involved works for the same organization and not the head coach, general manager, or Chairman or owner.
This power dynamic travels from the parquet court at TD Garden to the food court at Burlington Mall. If a restaurant manager offers an employee a better table in exchange for a date, or something more impressive, that’s theoretically the same situation that hit Udoka.
Wyc Grousbeck wore gray during Friday’s press conference. Brad Stevens used a bad word. Given concerns about privacy and the possibility of future litigation, the usually talkative Grousbeck admitted he needed a cheat sheet.
Meditative and subtle at the same time. Each answer generated more questions. Few of them have been answered.
Why didn’t the Celtics shoot Odoka? It’s not unreasonable to believe that the Celtics and Odoka are likely working on some kind of long-term settlement. Grosbeek said Odoka was punished “financially.”
Nor can the Celtics fire Udoka without giving a reason. It would have generated more questions. It would legally expose the team unless Udoka creates a similar situation with his next employer.
As more details emerge about what happened between Odoka and the woman in question, we are witnessing a situation that exemplifies the primary elements of the harassment case in textbooks. Having worked in legacy media management for 25 years, I have been fully educated/brainwashed about what to do and what not to do, as an employee and a manager.
As soon as someone feels that they are being harassed and expresses these feelings, the company must act. Here, the Celtics team brought in an outside consultant to investigate the matter. Grosbeek said the final decision was his.
Any relationship, especially one that involves a high-ranking manager and someone who is not a high-ranking director in the same company, is consensual only as long as both participants consider it.
Once the woman involved here no longer wishes to engage with Udoka, which seems to be the case, the “consent” is no longer valid.
It is baffling that many in the media and elsewhere refuse to accept Odoka’s punishment even after Oduka has accepted Odoka’s punishment.
The consequences of Odoka’s behavior on himself, his loved ones, and the Celtics are 100% Odoka’s fault. If pie was to blame, Odoka ate it all. Plus three tablespoons of ice cream.
Okuda brilliantly led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his rookie year as a coach. The one element the Celtics lacked in the finals (along with Steve Curry) was discipline. Play was sloppy (see 100 spins). Players are trapped by warrior head games. Three decades of Bill Belichick taught us that these malfunctions are rooted in a lack of training.
New coach Joe Mazzola and the Celtics will feel the outside blows of Hurricane Aem today during Media Day. Everyone within reach of the microphone would be inundated with questions about dear departed.
If washed out (temporarily), there would be no concern about how Jaylen Brown would respond after being figuratively traded 624 times in the off-season. Or how Jayson Tatum seems to be infatuated with every NBA star except those on his team.
During the finals, Tatum spoke glowingly about Mazola. State Run Media tells us that Mazzulla and the players have been associated with the club during his three years. The odds-makers still hold the Celtics 500+ favorite to win the Banner 18 next June.
The final purgatory win remains. For the Celtics, they can’t start cleaning up this mess anytime soon.
Bill Speros (RealOBF) can be reached at [email protected]
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