Bouncing from one court to another, Shaw chooses parquet over pasta


BOSTON -- He was neither repentant nor uneasy, even under intense questioning. He admitted to nothing more than bad judgment and the callow unsophistication of youth. If there was any tinge of remorse, it was, he said, because he couldn't please everyone.

Brian Shaw finally surfaced yesterday to discuss how he spent his summer vacation. The answers at times were puzzling -- he contradicted his court deposition -- and confusing. But by the end of the hour-long grilling, Shaw expressed satisfaction that he was back in Boston (albeit a year too early), CEO Dave Gavitt was declaring Shaw off limits in any trade talks and coach Chris Ford was imploring the fans and media to be happy for the onetime refusenik.

The session came after the Celtics and Shaw's representatives finalized an agreement enabling the point guard to be comfortable enough to honor his NBA contract. The order filed with U.S. District Court Judge A. David Mazzone yesterday stipulated that Shaw pay $50,000 in contempt fees, that the Celtics drop litigation against Shaw, and that everyone pay their own attorneys' fees.

In addition, the Celtics agreed to drop their lawsuit against Il Messaggero, the Italian team for whom Shaw played last year and wanted to do so again this year. A source said both sides also agreed that there would be no litigation filed against Shaw's agent, Jerome Stanley.

The order, however, will not be official immediately, because Mazzone is in Washington at a Sentencing Commission meeting. He will not be back until Thursday. His clerk, however, said both sides agreed to terms last week and that the judge's approval was expected.

Flanked by Ford and Gavitt, who looked relieved to be finished with the ordeal, Shaw agreed to answer questions about his summer-long struggle with the team. After re-signing a five-year deal with Boston last January, he announced in June that he instead planned to honor the second year of his contract with Il Messaggero.

The Celtics went to arbitration and had their contract ratified. They went to Mazzone and he upheld the arbitration decision. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Mazzone. And all the while, Shaw refused to terminate his agreement with Il Messaggero, a decision that forced Mazzone to place him in contempt to the tune of $5,000 a day.

At times in the past three months, when the invective was flowing, a setting of satisfied coach/player/executive seemed implausible if not impossible. Several times, in fact, Shaw had said through his attorney that he did not intend to play for Boston this season and was considering sitting out.

"I'm sitting right here," he said yesterday, when asked about a preference. "That's my choice. I could be sitting out. I'm with the team I want to be with. I'm with the team that wants me to be with them. That's why I'm here today."

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