The Sharing of the Green
Monday, Jun. 10, 1985 By TOM CALLAHAN
Michael Leon Carr is the best at his position in the history of the National Basketball Association. His position is the end of the bench, not far from the end of the line. "But it isn't just a bench," he insists. "It's the Boston Celtics' bench. It's a throne." To say the least, this attitude annoys opposing fans, who are used to brooders at the ends of benches. And the fans are right to be bothered by M.L. Carr, worrying his white towel at them like a red cloth at a bull. Even more than Larry Bird, Robert Parish or Danny Ainge, he represents what the Los Angeles Lakers ought to fear may be at work again this week. It is commonly called the Celtic Mystique.
Michael Leon Carr在NBA史上，是他那個位置的最佳球員。他的位置是板凳末端，距離底線不遠。「但是它不只是板凳啊。」他堅持：「那是波士頓塞爾蒂克板凳。那是個寶座。」至少，這個態度讓敵對球迷很不爽，他們習慣板凳末端坐的像在安靜地孵蛋一樣。球迷被M.L. Carr煩的很有道理，他手中的白毛巾簡直就像鬥牛前的紅布。超過Larry Bird，Robert Parish或Danny Ainge，他代表的是洛杉磯湖人這禮拜最該害怕的東西。它通常被稱作「塞爾蒂克奧秘」。
The final best-of-seven play-off -- entitled "What is so rare as a basketball game in June?" -- opened last week with a thunderous 148-114 Celtics victory in their malodorous North Station gym, where the air is as close as the players, and signs on the beer stands caution: SOBRIETY IS NO ACCIDENT. Neither is the Celtics' practical possession of this sport. Boston aside, no team has repeated an N.B.A. championship in over 30 seasons. Even the Celtics have not done it since 1969, the year that Lakers Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left UCLA. Now Jabbar leads the league in tenure and tonsure, but no longer rebounding. And despite his 109-102 rebound in Game 2, the Celtics were having an unusually hard time casting themselves as underdogs in pursuit of a second straight title, a 16th overall.
How they get to be the underdogs every year is a mystery on the order of how Trader Red Auerbach got Scott Wedman for Darren Tillis a couple of seasons ago, and how Coach K.C. Jones got a former All-Star like Wedman to play a character part. Wedman took eleven shots in the series opener, including four from 3-point range, and made them all. Then he returned to his seat next to Carr, who says, "It's amazing what everyone can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit." Carr was a star in the league once himself, but before that, literally years before putting on "these funny-looking green shoes," he was a Celtic.
他們怎麼每年都是underdogs還是一個謎，Red Auerbach怎麼在幾年前以Darren Tillis換來Scott Wedman也是，還有K.C. Jones教練如何讓Wedman這樣的前全明星，去打功能性角色也是。Wedman在第一戰出手11次，四次是從三分線上，全部都進。然後他回到他的位子上，隔壁就是Carr，後者說：「當沒有人在乎誰得到肯定時，大家可以完成的成就是很了不起的。」Carr以前在聯盟中也是個球星，在他穿上那些「看起來很好笑的綠鞋前」，他就是一個塞爾蒂克了。
"He just had a winning way about him," recalls Auerbach, who had no openings at forward in 1973, when Carr was drafted by Kansas City out of Guilford College in North Carolina and briskly cut. "Red called me a couple of days later and said, 'Hey, we don't have a space for you now, but you're going to be a Celtic someday.' I didn't want to spend a life, like so many others, chasing a dream. But that told me something was there. A little later Red placed me on a team in Israel, the Sabras, and I stayed one cherished year." Put less sentimentally by Auerbach, "I tried to hide M.L. in Israel, but the American Basketball Association found him."
Named to the A.B.A. All-Rookie team in St. Louis during the last premerger year, Carr next moved to Detroit. No Piston was more aptly surnamed, and none had a finer sense of mischief. Tweaking a fashion of the times, Carr announced that he was changing his name to Abdul Automobile. But after three years of only personal prosperity, he felt somberly incomplete. "I was second or third in minutes played, averaging 18 or 19 points a game. Statistically everything was right. But I wanted to be a winner. I went free agent and, though New York offered the most money, I guess I needed to be a Celtic." Boston had won only 29 of 82 games that year, but Bird was on the way. Since then, through six seasons of diminishing playing time, Carr has never known anything but fulfillment.
Many veterans have been smitten this way. Before Paul Silas reached Boston, he was the first solid brick in the foundation of the Phoenix Suns, and after Silas departed four years later, he helped Seattle win a World Championship. But in retirement he thinks of himself as a Celtic. Bailey Howell may have been a better player in Detroit and Baltimore, but he is a Celtic. Though Wayne Embry was just a momentary understudy for Bill Russell in Boston, it is as if he never cared about having started all those years in Cincinnati. Carr reasons, "Everybody in sports is on an ego trip to a certain degree. We all grew up being patted on the head and pampered and told how great we were. But when you get into that green shirt, even if you were a shooter, you become a passer.
很多老鳥都是這樣。在Paul Silas來波士頓之前，他是鳳凰城太陽隊的第一顆基石，他在四年後離開，幫助西雅圖贏得世界冠軍。但是退休時，他認為自己是個塞爾蒂克。Bailey Howell也許在底特律或巴爾的摩會是更好的球員，但是他是塞爾蒂克。雖然Wayne Embry在波士頓只是Bill Russell的短暫替補，但是他好像不在意那些在辛辛那提先發的歲月。Carr解釋說：「運動界裡的每個人，自尊心都高到一定的程度。我們一路的成長歲月裡，都是被人拍拍頭溺愛著，說著我們有多偉大。但是當你穿上那綠衫時，即便你是個射手，你都變成一個傳球者。」
"Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman passed it on to K.C. and Sam Jones, and they passed it on to John Havlicek and Jo Jo White, and some day Larry Bird and Kevin McHale will have to pass it on too. That's what I'm doing now. I'm 34, still competitive in practice, still running as hard as I can, pushing players from behind but without causing them to look over their shoulders. It's just my turn to pass it on."
Even Bird comes back to the bench sometimes and hears, "Hey, we don't need that shot." Celtics can talk to one another this way. Says Carr: "Someone might tell me, 'You're goofing around too much. Cool it.' O.K. But we're together slam-dunking the ball with Parish, together stealing it with Dennis Johnson. And when Bird goes off on one of his games, we're excited for ourselves."
「Bob Cousy和Bill Sharman傳給K.C.和Sam Jones，他們再傳給John Havlicek和Jo Jo White，某一天Larry Bird和Kevin Mchale也要傳下去。這就是我現在作的。我現在34歲，練習時還很有競爭力，仍然盡我可能地跑步，從後面推動球員，但是不會讓他們綁手綁腳。現在是我傳承下去的時候了。」即使Bird回到板凳區，有時候都會聽到：「嘿，我們不需要你投那球。」塞爾蒂克可以這樣對任何球員說話。Carr說：「有人可能會告訴我：『你再場上鬼混太久了。冷靜點。』沒問題。但是我們一起跟著Parish灌籃，一起和Dennis Johnson抄球。當Bird在某場比賽發火時，我們為了自己興奮。」
In eight championship finals against Boston, the Lakers have won none. Three middle games now in Los Angeles are a welcome scheduling innovation this year. When the surrounding is friendly, and most things go well, the Lakers can be a wonderful team. They tore through the Celtics there during the season, though Carr came off the bench at the end to throw in some 3-pointers that brought a smile to Bird even in defeat. He shook his head. "What a teammate," he said. Bird did not say player. "Boy, what a teammate." What a compliment.