NYTimes- Hawes said Reggie Theus, his coach during his rookie season eight years ago with the Sacramento Kings, banned phones from the locker room altogether and even outlawed them on the team bus. Al Jefferson, Hawes’s teammate on the Hornets, recalled being cursed out by Doc Rivers 11 years ago in his own rookie season with the Boston Celtics for daring to check his messages before tipoff.
“I’m still not a big fan of people checking their phones at halftime,” Jefferson said as he sat with his feet in a bucket of ice, fiddling with his phone, after a recent game. “But times change. Cellphones are people’s life now.”
Never change Doc, never change. I can almost guarantee that this incident occurred following a two game losing skid. Doc Rivers just marched into the locker room prior to the game and took all his frustrations out on the closest rookie. Nothing he hates more than young players. Al Jefferson was probably checking how much time until tipoff and Doc Rivers just unloaded a barrage of epithets at him. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce was on the other side of the locker room working diligently to pass the 17th level of 'Brick Breaker' on his Blackberry while the lights were turning off.
That's really all we learned here. Sure, we have become increasingly obsessed with our phones since 2004, but Doc Rivers outburst had nothing to do with locker room etiquette. It was about making sure the players that had yet to earn the right to do whatever they wanted pregame weren't doing whatever they wanted pregame. It's not that Al Jefferson wasn't allowed to check his phone, it was that he was expected to have enough respect to be secretive about it. That's not just an NBA thing, it' a society thing. I remember my first day at the office. I had my phone tucked in the bottom of the desk drawer like owning a cell phone was a fireable offense. That shit was on silent like one vibration was going to set off an alarm directly above my cubicle. I had that fucking thing hidden better than most high school teachers hide the vodka they use to temper the urge to strangle their students. Six months later I had that bad boy leaned up against the computer screen praying it would light up and wisp me away from whatever miserable spreadsheet I was pretending to work on. So no, Doc Rivers doesn't police phones in the locker room. Hell, I bet the whole damn team is internally recreating EmojiGate up until tip off. Just know that CJ Wilcox won't be participating, because he's intently paying attention to his coach while his phone keeps buzzing in the background.