What's up with the Celts, are the Pats for real and is the Independent Man in Florida yet?
It’s new coach Ime Udoka’s turn to point Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the right direction (Photo: USA Today Sports)
By BUNKY McCOY
• Is this what new Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka signed up for?
The season is only nine games old but Udoka has already seen and lived through plenty. From
horrific home losses to players calling each other out, to an alleged players-only meeting that
doubled as a dinner, the Celtics have put the “D” in dysfunctional.
The question is does Udoka have a grip on the situation? Will he be able to get young stars Jaylen Brown and
Jayson Tatum to work well with one another on the court? And what to make of Truth Teller Marcus Smart who
seems increasingly frustrated with his position as a 3rd or 4th wheel?
Time will tell, yet the early-season returns reek of a dumpster fire.
• RIP Jerry Remy, the beloved NESN broadcaster who became the de facto president of Red Sox
Nation through his unique brand of describing the action. Bunky always enjoyed the old RenDawg’s sweet establishment on Boylston Street, too.
• It’s dark times for former North Kingstown basketball head coach Aaron Thomas, who
apparently operated for many years by doing `fat tests’ that left many aspiring teenage hoopsters uncomfortable.
Kudos to WPRI Ch. 12 and Boston Globe for getting ahead of a story that definitely needs to be told.
• Maybe this won’t be a dud of a Patriots season after all.
• Then again, the Pats are facing old friend Stephon Gilmore Sunday in Charlotte, the same Gilmore
who made it quite clear that he wasn’t happy with the way his contract status was handled by
the Hoodie. No doubt good guy Steph would love a Pick 6.
• QUIZ OF THE WEEK: Michael Jordan has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated 50
times. Can you name who owns the second most appearances? Answer near the bottom of the
• College basketball season begins Tuesday with a new tradition – Friar fans stuck in traffic
listening to WPRO’s KevinMcSports Hour as they jockey for free parking spots.
• Is it a coincidence that URI’s football season went in the tank after Patriots owner Robert
Kraft allowed the Rams to borrow the team plane? Good thing Rhody fired up the bus for a trip to UMass Saturday where they snapped a 3-game losing skid.. Jaylen Smith, a frosh RB from Pawtucket Shea rolled for 111 yards.
• Kudos to the WooSox for continuing the tradition of sending two Pawtucket youngsters to the
World Series – a tradition that dates back to when Harry Truman was in the White House.
• Time-wise, the shortest game of the Astros-Braves World Series lasted three hours, 11
minutes. Two of the games went over the four-hour mark. And you don’t think baseball has a
problem growing the game?
• Speaking of baseball, it figures to be a dark winter if the looming threat of a lockout becomes
a reality. Call me stupid but striking/locking out after a pandemic strikes me as tone deaf.
• Anyone have a tally on how old pal KMac is faring in his weekly pigskin pick ‘em against Bags
Munman? Seems to me they both should consult more with Brent Musburger or Paulie from Pawtucket.
• LINE OF THE WEEK comes from Woonsocket Schools Supt. Patrick McGee via WNRI radio:
“We literally can only go up from where we are,” in response to student scores on the 2021
Rhode Island Common Assessment System (RICAS) tests. At 12.2 percent proficiency,
Woonsocket public schools finished with the poorest performance in the state in English
• Maybe it’s time to start a petition to name the route from Cranston Stadium to the Slater Park
tennis courts in honor of Rosie Langello, the Ch. 12 sports dynamo who on back-to-back nights
earlier this week made the not-so-easy trek to obtain highlights from state field hockey and
state tennis championships.
• QUIZ ANSWER: Muhammad Ali with 40 appearances on SI’s cover.
• BREAKING: Bunky knows what a podcast is. Yet I’ll take the podcast that lasts for no more than half an hour. Anything that goes beyond that and I’m clicking off.
• I usually don’t put a lot of stock in preseason college basketball games, yet I couldn’t help but
notice that Cumberland native Tyler Kolek buried five three-pointers and handed out seven
assists for Marquette the other night. As a reminder Friar fans, Kolek was deemed a major
priority when he elected to transfer from George Mason.
• Sticking with the Friars, did you see talented big man Nate Watson racked up nine fouls in the
closed scrimmage against Purdue? And that was with John Gaffney as one of the officials. By the way, Gaffney is at the Dunk so much he must qualify for free season tickets.
• On the subject of closed scrimmages, what’s the point of having them if you’re going to send
out full box scores, player interview clips, and highlights? How about holding a game with a
portion of the gate receipts going to charity?
• Daylight savings time doesn’t bother me like it does R.I. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. What
grinds my gears this time of year is raking leaves.
• Zen Question? Where has Bunky been lately? Miss his musings? Enjoying the spectacular September weather at the beach and the Indian Summer October galivanting from Woonsocket to Westerly.
• There’s no truth to the rumor that the Independent Man is looking for a ride to the airport so
he can jump on a plane to his Florida estate. It’s snowbird season, Bunky.