BOSTON — Mike Dunlap needs to work on giving compliments.
The Bobcats coach was apparently being flattering of Paul Pierce, the workmanlike star of the Celtics, when he praised Pierce is the weirdest way possible on Saturday. After saying a bunch of normal things about the way Pierce controls the game and always gets the shot he wants, Dunlap got really creative with his admiration.
At least, we think it was admiration.
“He just settled the entire team down,” Dunlap said after Pierce and the Celtics beat his Bobcats 105-88 on Saturday. “He has a calm disposition. He doesn’t get too high or too low, and that’s been his entire career. He’s just a salty dog warrior.”
If Pierce were to make up his own nicknames, a la Kobe Bryant, chances are “salty dog warrior” would not be one of his first choices. Only heaven knows where that combination of words came from. You can’t just open the dictionary, close your eyes and invent a compliment based on the first three words your finger lands on, Mike.
According to Wikipedia (which is always the best source), a “salty dog” is an experienced sailor who has increased credibility among his shipmates. That sort of make sense in Pierce’s case, except warriors usually are not seafaring, so Dunlap’s term would be sort of an oxymoron.
Maybe this is Dunlap’s way of getting into the Celtics’ heads. Next time they play the Bobcats, he figures, the Celtics will be so preoccupied with trying to figure out what he meant that his team will catch the Celtics unaware and score another upset. Maybe this is all part of his diabolical plot to confuse the heck out of everyone in Boston.
If so, he has already won. Bravo, sir.
Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.