LOS ANGELES – The Celtics departed Staples Center on Sunday evening with their 109-96 victory over the Lakers, their pride restored following a bad showing a couple nights earlier in Phoenix and, not incidentally, all their money.
It was about this time last season — Feb. 18, 2010, Boston’s lone scheduled road game against the Lakers — that Doc Rivers collected $100 from players, the coaches and the support staff, $2,600 in all. He insists it is true, that he took the money, put it in an envelope, stashed the dough overhead by moving a ceiling panel in the visitor’s locker room, and told the Celtics they would reclaim the money the next meeting with the Lakers in L.A. The implication was clear: Make it back in June for the Finals, rather than wait until 2010-11.
They did, of course, and made the withdrawal. Lost the series, but got the money.
Sunday, with the Celtics again in their only scheduled road meeting with the Lakers, Rivers said there would be no similar motivational ploy.
“No,” he said. “I don’t trust the security here anymore. San Antonio? Well, we’re going to see.”
Sure, that’s what Rivers claimed. But just to be safe, Mark Heisler wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “This time, we’re going over their dressing room with pickaxes and sensory gear as soon as they’re on the bus.”