Q & A: Boston's Big Three

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You've just been named commissioner of the NBA, starting tomorrow. What would you do differently?
Garnett: We're drug-tested too much. I'm not real big on that. We're very funny about our routines. The policy is set up now where, on game day, they can come get you, take you. If you can't go, you'll sit there— they'll hound you. It's just one more thing to think about.
Allen: I would cut the games back, so each game is more important. You're going to see a level of intensity go up. People say, "The Patriots only play once a week. I'm going to take that one time, as opposed to the Celtics. I can get them once the Patriots' season is over with." You indulge in people's fantasies more if they know they're not getting it every time.

Two recent books, both written by African-American journalists, have argued that today's black athletes should be more socially active. Do you agree with that?
Garnett: If that's not you to stand up for something, then that's not you. I can't be Paul. I can't be Ray. I have to be who I am.
Allen: Also, making a million dollars does not make you a leader.
Garnett: True.
Allen: You could have made money picking up roadkill. Now you have this big company where you've got people all over the world picking up roadkill. You've got $70 million in the bank. That doesn't make you knowledgeable about world hunger.
Pierce: We don't have to deal with a lot of racism. It's not as open and as broad as it was back in the day. And that's why there's not as many of us who step in that position.

One of the most refreshing developments in sports has been the rise of Stephon Marbury's $15 basketball shoe. You guys are all affiliated with big shoe companies. Are those shoes overpriced?
Pierce: The cheap shoes are going to look just like the $100 shoes.
Allen: In a lot of households, people say, "I am not buying my child those shoes, because if I do, they're going to go to school and kids will pick on 'em."
Pierce: There's a thin line too. You get the nice shoes, and people have been killed over them.
Allen: I got a question for you guys. What do you think about kids wearing uniforms to school? You don't have to worry about the issue of "He's got better shoes than me" or "His pants look better than mine."
Pierce: As kids, that's the time when your clothes say a lot about you. By you choosing what you wear every day, it creates in a kid's mind some type of creativity. It opens their mind.
Garnett: Part of being a kid is being joked on.
Allen: Kids are so sensitive now, if you laugh at somebody, they want to shoot the whole class up.
Garnett: It's a whole other level of stuff, just like it was a whole other level for our parents, to us, and then our kids.
Allen: The funny thing is, if somebody shoots up an office building or something and he's on the run, why do they put his face at the post office? He's not coming to get his mail.
Garnett: See, only Ray would think of something like that.

You guys have exceeded expectations so far. But these buddy movies sometimes end badly. People will say, "This can't last forever" or "The supporting cast isn't that great." Make your case for why this is going to last.
Pierce: Ubuntu.
Garnett: Just because you haven't heard of someone doesn't mean they're not effective. You have three noticeable names that overshadow other names. I love this team. I've never been on a team, A through Z, everybody understands not only the objective, the goal, but everybody has sacrificed their own to that. Yeah, you might not know [point guard Rajon] Rondo. You might not know Perk [center Kendrick Perkins].
Allen: That's how you get beat.
Garnett: That's exactly how you get beat.

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