The Celtics are tanking the season. They’re packing it in.

Paul Pierce is officially done. Al Jefferson hasn’t played since April Fools Day. Brian Scalabrine hasn’t seen any garbage time in awhile, so you know Danny Ainge is really serious.

The Celtics are doing all they can to protect the second-worst record in the league and maintain their chances of obtaining Kevin Durant or, if he comes out, Greg Oden. They tried to be subtle about it for as long as they could, but when it became clear that fellow also-rans such as Memphis, Milwaukee, Atlanta and others were going to sit out some of their stars and veterans for the remainder of the season, Doc and Danny said “Screw it” and now Leon Powe and Allan Ray are getting minutes in crunch time.

Like most Celtic fans, I’m all in favor of sacrificing the rest of the season for a better shot at Durant or Oden. Winning right now serves little more than a cosmetic purpose.

Some would suggest I’d probably feel a little differently if I’d paid a few thousand clams for Celtics season tickets. I’d argue that if I planned on retaining those tickets, I’d rather do so while being able to look forward to seeing one of two potentially franchise-changing players acquired through the draft rather than yet another merely good, young player, the likes of which are already virtually suffocating the franchise.

Even though it’s fairly easy to justify it to myself, tanking is still something the NBA has to be concerned about. It is a bigger issue in the NBA than virtually any other league, even though it took a drastic step to end it more than 20 years ago in introducing the NBA lottery.

In the salary cap era, tanking is still one of the most viable options for rebuilding a team. The cap makes it virtually impossible to trade star players and makes it very difficult to sign impact free agents. Then there’s the recent trend of big-time free agents signing with teams in warm-weather cities such as LA or Miami. If you’re a Boston or a Milwaukee, you’re probably only going to get one shot at a Durant or Oden, and that’s through the draft.

So go ahead, tank the rest of the season, Celtics. As a token of my support, I’m going to mail in the rest of this column.

You know, this weather really sucks. That whole Curse of the Bambino thing, that was crazy. And what’s the deal with airline food?


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