(About an hour before tipoff last night, reporters were informed Rajon Rondo would not play against the Indiana Pacers. Ten minutes or so later, Rondo’s status was changed.
Doc Rivers attributed the change of plans to a conversation he had with Rondo. “He came in and said ‘I feel great — my hand feels great, the swelling is all gone,’ ” said Rivers. But that’s not how the conversation really went, at least in my imagination.)
Rondo: Coach, my pinky finger feels so much better. Seriously, I can go tonight. I wouldn’t be risking any further injury. (Holds out a hockey stick in his right hand and rotates his wrist fully. Charlie Conway appears in the locker room and says, “He can have my spot. It’s what I can do for the team.”)
Doc: But Charlie, you play freaking hockey. For a fictional team. Which improbably went from being the laughingstock of a local league one year, to Junior Olympic champs the next, to a high school’s JV team the year after that.
Charlie: Yes, I was confused too. And no, I don’t know exactly what offering my spot on a fictional hockey team to Rondo did. But Ducks fly together, no?
Rondo: Yeah, coach. Ducks fly together! This one time, the Celtics and I were in class—err, film study—and we started fighting. KG called Ray Allen a coach’s pet, then Glen Davis said Ray Allen’s mom had the hots for you. Before we knew it, the whole team was fighting and the teacher—err, Lawrence Frank—came running into the classroom to tell us to sit down and ask what we had to say for ourselves. It was then that we all came together. “Quack, quack, quack, quack,” we chanted in unison, until we all got detention. The most rewarding detention I ever got.
Doc: Umm, okay. But where the hell are all these Mighty Ducks references coming from?
Charlie: Well, Rondo’s jumper definitely looks like the knucklepuck. Except it’s not nearly as accurate. Plus, your guys need to start flying together. Seriously, when’s the last time your team executed The Flying V?
Doc: Touche. But still. If we were going to have a Mighty Duck magically appear in our locker room, I wish it had been Felton Reed or Dean Portman. God knows we need some Bash Brothers. Nenad Krstic has the tenacity of a balled-up sock, and the O’Neals have the durability of dry twigs.
Glen Davis: What about me, Doc?
Doc: You’re more like Goldberg, Glen. You know, if Goldberg’s effective field goal percentage was far lower than the league’s average and had been for each of the last three seasons. I could also refer to you as “cake-eater,” even though I wouldn’t mean the term in the same way the Mighty Ducks used it.
Rondo: If we’re making comparisons to the Mighty Ducks, Sasha Pavlovic is like Averman—you don’t know whether you’re laughing at him or laughing with him. KG’s like Luis Mendoza, who only knows how to go full speed. And Krstic is like Kenny Wu, except less graceful, or Julie “The Cat” Gaffney, except less of a man.
Doc: I would love to hear these wonderful comparisons continue, but it’s almost game time. What the hell were we supposed to be talking about in the first place?
Rondo: My injury. I can play, coach. Really.
Doc: You were never injured in the first place. Your time off was just a punishment, remember?
Rondo: Oh, yeah. Well, umm, I’m sorry? I’ll play better? I promise?
Doc: Okay, go suit up. And Charlie, I just want you to know: I loved Dawson’s Creek.