January 31, 2011
Last season, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers famously hid $2,500 in the visitors' locker room at Staples Center for his team to collect upon its return for the NBA Finals. It was a motivational tool, and if it hadn't worked then I suppose Rivers would've just picked it up the next season and gone on his merry way. If it'd been lost in the offseason, well, Rivers has plenty of other money to keep him happy.
As you probably heard, the Celtics visited Los Angeles on Sunday to face the Lakers. Except, according to Rivers, he didn't do it this year. But that won't stop Luis Scola(notes) and his teammates from looking anyway when they visit Staples Center for Tueday's game against the Lakers. From Jonathan Feigen for the Houston Chronicle:
As the next team to use the Staples Center visitors' locker room, the Rockets said that if Rivers left buried treasure, it wouldn't be waiting for him this time.
"I'm going to be the one," said forward Luis Scola. "I'll find it. If there's money in there, I'm going to get it."
Others, however, thought rookie Ish Smith would be most likely to be enriched.
Note to Jonathan Feigen: please write a feature about the weird things that Ish Smith finds on road trips. Did he collect 17 arrowheads in Phoenix? Does he have a collection of bottle caps from regional beers? Maybe he should just quit basketball and become an archaeologist.
I'm not sure the Rockets will have much luck finding Doc Rivers' buried treasure, likely because it doesn't exist. But this seems like an added home-field advantage for the Lakers, because opponents will be too distracted by finding some extra walking-around money to focus on the game itself.
There is one potential issue, though. At Staples Center, the Lakers' and Clippers' opponents use the same locker room, and the Bucks play the Clips Monday night. Scola and Smith may be focused on the cash, but something tells me it might not be there on Tuesday night. Ersan Ilyasova(notes) just bought a new Wii and needs to replenish his bank account.