Wednesday , Apr , 25 , 2007 Oly Sandor

The Take: Celtics Too Quick To Judge Sebastian Telfair

The Boston Celtics have apparently washed their hands of Sebastian Telfair after his recent arrest. Forget judicial process or the idea of innocent until proven guilty-this is the NBA. The Celtics have no right to cut Telfair based on this incident. And we all should avoid passing a moral judgment on such a young kid.

I don’t condone it. , the ’ guard and NYC hoops legend, allegedly broke the law and was arrested. He was holding an unregistered gun, speeding, and driving with a suspended license.

But I don’t judge it. I don’t judge someone who was anointed the point guard that would bring New York City back. I don’t judge someone who has an entourage of yes-men hanging off him. I don’t judge someone’s loyalty to the neighborhood that raised him-even if it is the projects. I don’t judge someone who’s nuclear and extended family depends on his salary as a basketball player.

And I certainly don’t judge someone when the facts have yet to be established.

Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics have placed a moral judgment on Sebastian Telfair. A day after his arrest, the green-and-white essentially cut their point guard. He has no locker or nameplate. And he doesn’t figure in the team’s long-term plans.

"The facts and circumstances of his case have not been determined, but he does not have a Celtics locker and we do not anticipate that he will," Syc Groesbeck, Boston’s managing partner said in an e-mail.

Clearly, Groesbeck has been drinking David Stern’s Kool Aid and attending the commissioner’s school on how to rule like an unenlightened dictator.

Forget about innocent until proven guilty-although the Celtics clearly have not extended this right to Telfair. Boston should not be so quick to assume the role of judge, jury, and executioner. And they should not pass a moral or legal judgment without the facts of the case.

After all, the assault charges against Celtic were just dropped-TODAY. He got to stay with the Celtics throughout the judicial process. And he was assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. And guess what? He was found not guilty. The case didn’t even see the courts.

So why does Allen get special treatment over Telfair? Why does Allen get the right to clear his name and not Telfair?

The Celtics have every right to cut Telfair. Just not for moral purposes. They could argue that any player, who is truly dedicated to his craft, should not be out at 4am in the morning.

That’s absolutely fair. You’ll get no argument from me.

The Celtics could also cut Telfair because he wasn’t in their long term plans. After all, Delonte West and Rajon Rondo, Boston’s other two young point guards, outplayed Telfair. They’re probably not out at 4am either.

That’s also fair. Once again, you’ll get no argument from me.

But the Celtics can’t cop the high-and-mighty routine. It doesn’t wash. They’ve established precedence with Allen.

And the Celtics knew exactly what they were getting when they acquired Telfair in a summertime trade. Telfair’s not a bad guy. But he’s not the Brady Bunch. He never will be the Brady Brunch. And, frankly, he was never given a chance to be the Brady Bunch.

Still confused Syc Grousbeck? Forward me your email address, I’ll paypal you five dollars Canadian and you can rent the documentary Through the Fire. This should provide some insight into Telfair’s life. His upbringing’s not normal-even for a professional athlete.

The Celtics could have done more to help. If they were so concerned with Telfair’s character, then sign a veteran point guard. Yes, bring in an older, experienced player to mentor Telfair and all the young players on Boston’s roster. In Toronto, Darrick Martin helps the Raptors two young point guards. A few years back, Avery Johnson, when he was playing for the Spurs, took under his wing. Daniels, a few years later in Seattle, fostered the same relationship with Luke Ridnour.

And don’t say Coach Doc Rivers acted as a mentor. Rivers is a head coach. He doesn’t have the time to act like a big brother and nor should he be expected to.

The Celtics can absolutely cut Telfair based on last year’s lackluster performance. However, they can not cut him for moral reasons. Let the facts come to light.

Nobody should rush to judge a 20-year old kid. Take a moment and consider Telfair’s life and circumstances.

By Oly Sandor. Contact Oly at olysandor@hoopsvibe.com. Click here to read more of his NBA blog.