Tony Gaffney: Boston's Secret Weapon?
That would be forward Tony Gaffney. He played in three preseason games with the Lakers before spending most of the season in Israel and signing April 13 with Boston. No doubt he's now offering a fountain of tips as the Celtics prepare to meet the Lakers in the NBA Finals, starting Thursday.
"Tony Gaffney was in the Lakers training camp?'' said Celtics forward Glen Davis after being told that. "So Tony Gaffney knows the offense (of the Lakers)? I didn't even know that.''
OK, so maybe the Celtics are playing it coy about the knowledge Gaffney, an undrafted rookie who never has appeared in an NBA game, possesses about the Lakers. But the Lakers have to be shaking in their high tops over him, right?
"Are you serious? I didn't even know that (Gaffney had signed with Boston),'' said Lakers center Andrew Bynum. "That's cool.''
Now that he knows, isn't Bynum worried Gaffney might have stolen the Lakers' playbook?
"He might have,'' Bynum said. "That's what he's supposed to do.''
Gaffney insists he didn't pilfer a Lakers playbook, but he did walk off with plenty of other stuff from his four-week stint in Los Angeles. Gaffney said he still has some Lakers clothing, but insisted it's in his closet "way behind the Celtics gear.''
As it turns out, Lakers guard Shannon Brown said the team doesn't even have a playbook. But wouldn't there be some other way Gaffney could provide tips to his new team?
"Only if he has a good memory,'' said Brown, who said the complexities of the triangle taught by Lakers coach Phil Jackson are done orally. "He'd have to have one of those super memories.''
Actually, Gaffney, who averaged 3.3 points in 4.7 minutes in his preseason stint, claims he did have good retention on what the Lakers went over with him from when training camp started Sept. 29 to when he was cut Oct. 25.
"It seemed to click fairly well with it, and I picked up on it pretty quick,'' Gaffney said.
All in all, the Lakers at least publicly aren't expressing concern about Gaffney now being in the enemy camp. Gaffney said Lakers forward Luke Walton went so far as to send him a congratulatory text when he signed with the Celtics.
But don't the Lakers know that Gaffney, who has been on the inactive list for every game during the playoffs and only would get into the Finals if numerous Boston players were injured or suspended, is admitting to having provided inside information about the Lakers?
"We watch film and guys will throw comments out there, and I'll add my two cents,'' Gaffney said.
Gaffney was asked just what his two cents has been. Perhaps knowing the super secret nature of such information, he declined to offer anything.
Gaffney was then implored to at least give one cent of what he has provided.
"I just told them that Kobe (Bryant) is really, really good,'' Gaffney said of Lakers star guard.
However, there is a denial from at least one Boston teammate that Gaffney even has provided that about Bryant.
"He didn't give us anything,''said forward Brian Scalabrine. "He's given nothing to us yet.''
At least that's what the Celtics are saying publicly. It seems as if Gaffney befriended Bryant during his stint with the Lakers.
On the surface, that seems unusual. After all, Bryant is an established star while Gaffney arrived in camp undrafted from Massachusetts, where last season he was Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year.
"He had zero reason to be open with me or to kind of show me the ropes or to kind of try to lead me a little bit,'' Gaffney said. "But we just kind of clicked a little bit. He came up with a couple of nicknames early for me. He called me 'A-Ten,' 'Gaff,' obviously I got 'Rook.' I don't know if it's because I liked to work and maybe he saw that. But he definitely was very open. He was good to me.''
But would Bryant have done all that stuff had he known Gaffney would end up with the Celtics?
"He probably wouldn't have,'' Gaffney said.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson