- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
CONFIDENCE LOST When Michael Jordan went on the injured list, the Wizards not only lost their best player, but in the opinion of coach Doug Collins, the team's confidence suffered a major blow.
"One of the things that sustained us all year was our confidence. We believed we could win," Collins said. "My concerns now are that all of a sudden in close games we don't believe that. Confidence is very important for our guys. If we lose that then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP Celtics coach Jim O'Brien is from Philadelphia, played for St. Joseph's University and grew up hating the Boston Celtics.
Paul Pierce is a product of Inglewood, Calif., and grew up not too far from the fabulous Forum, the one-time home of the team he worshiped, the Los Angeles Lakers. He, too, hated the Celtics, who are in the middle of a renaissance with these two now at the center of it.
In the April issue of Esquire magazine, which will hit the newsstands soon, both coach and player revisit that disdain for the green and white.
"Man, you have to respect what those [legendary Celtics squads] did all those championships … but where I grew up, these guys were like the enemy, you know?" Pierce said.
Said O'Brien: "I really loathed the Celtics … Growing up in Philadelphia, having those guys break our hearts every spring."
However, they are leading the Celtics to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, which, incidentally, was the last year the team played at Boston Garden.
Pierce speaks for the both of them later in the article.
"You got to respect the fact that you come into an organization where it means something to put on the jersey. … You know, to come in here and see these banners, and see how they ran a decade or two, that's unbelievable."
John N. Mitchell



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