Do we have to read Dostoevsky's book Fathers and Sons to prep for the Celtics game between Doc Rivers and his son Austin of the New Orleans Hornets?
Maybe we can get by with the Cliff Notes version. And those weighty Russian tales are more suited to football than basketball.
Our literary focus should be on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman where Biff and Happy Loman are the disappointing young sons of Willy Loman. Biff is actually an athlete in that one-who goes wrong in life.
If we want a more racy father and son conflict, we could always turn to Tenneessee Williams and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. That tale between Big Daddy and Brick is related to football and not a good match.
We've already noted that Steinbeck's East of Eden about a father and his sons has echoes for Doc and Rondo-as we do not see Austin as a rebel out to destroy his parent.
Great literature may not have anything quite like Doc and Austin as most stories hinge on conflict and tragedy. Our story in Boston on a winter's night is not high comedy, but it surely is not Shakespearean.
In all our literary versions, Pop has screwed up-or at least has made a poor decision somewhere along the way. It could not be farther from the truth in the case of Doc Rivers and his son.
Perhaps the best thing that could have happened in this story is to have Austin play for another team. We would be writing a new epic had the season been burdened with Rivers versus Rivers on the Celtics roster.
It's hard to believe some people actually wanted to see such a catastrophe unfold on the Celtics this season.