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Loyalties This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Sure, I'm worried. My idea of good marketing is a good basketball team ... I think we know our team stinks." This is a quote from Paul Gaston, the chairman and chief executive of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics for years have been one of the pre-eminent teams in professional basketball. Paul Gaston's comments highlight how fast it can take for the mighty to fall. It was only a few years ago that the Celtics had championship teams behind the leadership of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Unfortunately, the Celtics decided to keep their aging superstars even when it became apparent that their skills were eroding.

The question in this column is: "In today's sports world, with the incredibly high salaries, do the franchise owners owe their superstars loyalty even when their skills start to deteriorate?"

I believe that owners do owe them loyalty even if it means that for a few years, as Paul Gaston, says, "our team stinks." The superstars were the players who brought the owners (and the franchise) many championships and profits.

The owners of the Boston Celtics in the middle to late 1980's believed that they owed this loyalty to their players and fans. They kept their aging superstars, even though they knew it meant that their future would be at risk. In turn, I believe that the fans should support the team in both the good and bad years.

The Boston Celtics kept their older players so that they and their fans would have another last chance at a championship. In doing so, they pretty much assured themselves that they were doomed to the lower echelons of the league for at least a few years. If the franchise owners are legitimately trying to improve the team, the fans have an obligation to endure the bad times with the good. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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