You ALWAYS pushed us to be more competitive!!! I’m grateful to be in a position to make players voices heard and honor you as a fierce competitor. We’re ALL fans of the game after all!!! 🙏🏾 #MambaMentalitypic.twitter.com/dNzLXKoBIp
Back in Orange County, John Altobelli was hard at work, preparing for the season opener of the Orange Coast College baseball team. He had coached the team since 1992, winning more than 700 games and four state junior-college championships, including in 2019. A scrimmage and fund-raiser on Saturday kept him away from his daughter Alyssa’s basketball games that day. But he planned to go on Sunday, dreading the drive that took 90 minutes, but often much longer in the city’s notorious traffic. Then his phone buzzed. It was Bryant. “Sweet,” Altobelli told an assistant coach. “Kobe’s taking us in the chopper.”
Some Celtics fans will not want to hear this, but Isaiah Thomas, who was waived by the Clippers, is not an option. Evan Turner, who is expected to have his contract bought out by the Timberwolves, struggled in limited minutes for Atlanta this year. But he could be a good break-glass-in-case-of-emergency possibility for the Celtics if there are multiple injuries during the playoffs, because he has shown he can play well in Stevens’s system.