Thursday, May 21, 2020

Kemba, Jaylen, Marcus & Jayson just wanted a meal out. They were denied service. Why is this positive?

Newly-acquired star guard, Kemba Walker, wanted to join his Celtics (and USA Basketball) teammates in a meal at a Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas, but they were refused service and were forced to eat elsewhere. So what happened with Kemba, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, and why is this good news?

Let me say that I avoid restaurants with strict dress codes like the plague, but that is what happened with the green quartet (<a href=””>per NESN staff</a>):

USA Basketball Men’s National Team training camp is ongoing in Las Vegas, Nev., with four Celtics participating in the practices. Boston’s Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown all are on the roster, so the group naturally is using this time to begin building some team chemistry. The foursome planned to go to Mizumi, a “high-end Japanese restaurant”, Sunday night, but according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the meal didn’t go as planned. The restaurant has a strict dress code, so the group was told they couldn’t be seated due to their shorts and flip flops. “We were in Vegas; we thought we’d be fine,” Brown told Windhorst with a smile. The Celtics teammates chose to go Italian instead, and, despite Walker’s fresh new contract, it was 21-year-old Tatum who grabbed the bill.</blockquote>

Flash back to October of 1961. Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, Sam Jones and the rest of the Celtics team headed to Lexington, Kentucky for an exhibition game. According to author Marc C. Bodanza in his book, 10 Times a Champion, Sam Jones and Satch Sanders were refused service at a hotel restaurant because of their color, and all of the black players went back to Boston without playing in the exhibition. Russ led the charge for the trip back to Bean Town. A true leader for his team and for racial equality.

That’s my point. Refusing service to patrons because of their attire is understandable (barely, though, by me). This time the Celtics players were refused service for a (semi) legitimate purpose. That is the way it should be. Our guys were out on the town and bonding, and the young guy (Tatum) picked up the bill. That is all positive. The service refusal? Partially-acceptable – sorry, I can’t let it go entirely. Just kidding – kind of.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center

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