Fast forward to 2010. The Boston Celtics, the biggest punk champions ever, had been exposed. And when you’re arrogant on top, people will swarm you when you fall. And make no mistake, the Boston Celtics were routinely punked throughout the season. They signed the likes of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, and traded for Nate Robinson. More me-first, as long as I get my stats, guys. Rasheed Wallace didn’t even break a sweat this year. In fact, I still have yet to see him break a sweat in the play-offs. He approached regular season games like I approach a pick-up basketball game. And that’s unacceptable when you make millions of dollars.
And so here we are. Game 7, which is appropriately in Los Angeles. You see, the Lakers appreciated the regular season and understood locking down home-court is a crucial step to locking down the title. They never mailed in games–Kobe Bryant wouldn’t allow it. Sure, they didn’t execute at times, but the effort was always there. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics loafed, played the injury card, and found various ways to mail in the regular season. And once again, their chickens have come home to roost.
During Game 5, when Nate Robinson was making baskets, and Big Baby was getting rebounds (you know, the things they get paid millions of dollars to do), there they were–embodying new-age Celtics basketball… slobbering and show-boating all the way to the post-game pressers. There was “Shrek and Donkey”, laughing it up, while Kobe Bryant and Co. were picking themselves off the canvas. It was a game, where the Lakers shot 39% from the field, with the Celtics shooting 56%, and almost stole the game from them. (We saw how the Celtics quit when the shooting fortunes were somewhat reversed in Game 6). But, hey, you had some big plays, Shrek and Donkey, so clearly, you should enjoy the limelight. After all, that’s what you guys are playing for, the limelight.
I wasn’t surprised that the Celtics got beat like they did in Game 6. And I’m not surprised that Big Baby had as many points as I did, or that Nate Robinson played less than terrible. These guys are clowns, part of a circus that justly deserves every ounce of the harvest they’re about to reap tonight. Championship caliber basketball isn’t made for people that name themselves after animated cartoon characters based off one solid performance.
The Basketball Gods have set the Celtics up. They gave them the 2008 title, so they could feel what the top of the mountain felt like, knowing their clownish and borish ways would do them in. I have no doubt they egged Quentin Richardson on to meander over to the bench during the first round and awake the 2010 Celtics. Even their own fans had written them off–the TD Banknorth Garden turning into the mausoleum that it had been for the past 20 years. While it would have been fun to watch them get dumped in the second round… this is the fate that Boston has earned. This is the fate that their fans have earned. And tonight, the Boston Celtics will get exactly what they have coming to them. No more and no less.
After 2008, next to their championship banner, they hung an empty banner, as a way of motivating their players during practice. You know, because guys that make millions of dollars to play a game need motivation to strive to be the best.
I don’t know how long it will hang empty. Hell, it could be reading “2010 World Champions” by the end of the month, and the joke will be on me.
Next: Claiming Immortality…