Friday, October 1, 2010
By Chris Forsberg
NEWPORT, R.I. -- When a coach takes his players to the movies, it's typically a flick with a moral. Think "Remember the Titans," which every athlete at every level of play might have been subjected to during the fall of 2000.
And while Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers is no stranger to using motivational films to inspire his team, he clearly decided this squad needed something that better fit their personality. And while an advance screening of "The Social Network" would seem appropriate for this social media-friendly squad, Rivers elected for an all-out comedy during the team's movie night on Thursday.
The Celtics put in a few phone calls and got an advance screening of "Due Date," which previews like a spinoff of "The Hangover," replete with a starring role for Zach Galifianakis, who's part of cast that includes Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx (see the trailer embedded above).
"Movie night was great, we saw a pretty good movie," said Rivers. "It will be out in November some time, but we have some pull... we know some guys."
Celtics players are no strangers to movies, with both Ray Allen ("He Got Game") and Shaquille O'Neal ("Blue Chips", "Kazam") having starred in their own films, while Rajon Rondo made a cameo in "Just Wright" earlier this year. But captain Paul Pierce said a trip to the theatre is just part of what helps bring this team together.
"That's where you build your chemistry," said Pierce. "After practice, guys get together in the lobby [of the team hotel], go play cards, or go to each other's rooms, or go out to eat. That's all part of building the chemistry and getting to know each other, on and off the court, and getting comfortable with each other. That goes a long way when you're trying to win a lot of games."
Pierce, who lobbied hard to take camp out of town, even if a return to Newport wasn't his first choice, admitted this is something the team would have missed out on if it had stuck with the original plan to camp in Waltham.
"We'd definitely be missing it," said Pierce. "Most guys live with their families, their wives and kids. Being that families aren't here, it's just us together at night. The time that you'd usually be putting your kid to bed, or eating dinner with the wife, this is the time we're using to bond with our teammates. It's been great."
And as his time in the NBA winds down, Pierce admits he's learned to savor these moments.
"One thing that me and [Kevin Garnett] always talk about knowing that we won't be in the NBA too much longer, we just say, 'Man, these years, we gotta enjoy it,'" said Pierce. "We know when to put our hard hats on and we know how to stay focused in practice. But we want to enjoy these years, man. You don't get the opportunity to play with these type of teammates, be these guys constantly. When we [joke around], that's just us enjoying one another, stuff we can talk about when we're done playing and look back."