Friday, February 16, 2007

Celtic Pride?

There has been a sharp decline in our basketball coverage this year on the hill. It’s obvious that leaving the Big Smoke and dropping the seasons Raps tickets means Shane and I don’t spend hours talking about hoops. I guess it also means we don't talk about the pair of fatties that used to sit in front of us nearly as much, but to completely ignore the NBA is bad form on both our parts.

While Shane is a big Raps fan (and fittingly, after he left they became enjoyable and somewhat competitive), I’ve been burdened with the curse of being a Celtics fan. While the years have not been kind to the C’s, this year has driven me to drink.

MP3:: Lil Ole Wine Drinker – Josh Ritter

My dad started my NBA journey in the 4th grade. It wasn’t intentional; he simply threw on the TV after a day at the hospital and fell asleep. He left the game on, and like most kids I decided to pick a team as a favorite. Now, unlike the sportsguy (who seems to be able to recall crystal clear memories of events as insignificant as Kevin McHale not rolling the right way on a crucial play despite his tender age), I can’t remember more than a few plays and a handful of players. Chances are I decided to like the Celtics because:
  • They were on
  • Larry Bird had a 10 pound moustache (Man Man)


That was around 25 years ago. Twenty five years. Think about it. Sure, I left the fold for a while (Sir Charles drew me in), but regardless, for the greater part of my life I’ve been rooting for the C’s. My stock portfolio includes exactly one corporate stock – a single share in the Celtics franchise that my dad got me back in the day.

MP3:: 25 years – The Go Find

It used to be so easy. The Celtics had skill, won most games in a romp and hosted a collection of some of the ugliest, awkward players alive. Think about Bill Walton’s flaming red hair and huge set of teeth or Jim Paxson running around dropping jumpers in the tightest of tight shorts and try not to laugh. Think about Robert Parish looking like a cigar store Indian; like he was carved from wood. Throw in the fact the Celtics had a collection of scrubby white guys that legit probably shouldn’t have been allowed to be in the NBA and even when they lost, you won.

Then things changed.

If you wanted to talk specifics, I guess you’d have to go with the moment Len Bias decided to snorts some rails as the exact moment the Celtics stopped being a credible franchise. It was following their last championship – and the Celts were on of the best teams of all time - and if you threw Bias into the mix it’s a given that we wouldn’t still be stuck on number sixteen. But in reality, the C’s were still a good team. Sure they were aging faster than Jon Favreau, but on any given night they could throw together a game that would totally overwhelm an opponent.

Maybe the problem was Larry B. He had too much pride to give up the rock in clutch situations. I still remember his last game. He missed a layup at crunch time, when if you asked any one in the building who should have got the ball, they would have said Reggie Lewis.

MP3:: Fly Away Bird – Pete Bush

Or maybe, when Reggie collapsed was the day the C’s did as well. Or maybe it was the year we should have won the pick to get Timmy D in the draft, and instead we got Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer. Who knows?

MP3:: Bad News - Owen

All I know is that throughout the 90’s, the Celtics assembled some of the worst players in the history of basketball. Just take a look at some of these names:
  • Andrew Declerq
  • Marty Conlin
  • Popeye Jones
  • Stacey King
  • Pervis Ellison
MP3:: Where are they now 90’s mix – Nas

I don’t think you’d be able to track down 75% of the starting lineups from the 90’s squads unless you were handing out free meals, but who cares? Sure, we had shitty drafts and a worse front office. The teams were terrible, but you always had a cast of characters you could laugh at.

For the first time that I can remember, the Celtics are beyond repair. Ainge and Doc Rivers are running the team into the ground. The team is littered with high school kids, shoot first PGs that can’t shoot, a party heavy superstar that doesn’t care about hoops, and overpaid scrubs that other teams have given up on. Top that with the fact any young player with talent was jettisoned like heavy cargo from a sinking ship and replaced with yet another unproven rookie and you start to sense the grimness of the situation. I think Ainge believe NBA players have the shelf life of container of milk. If they aren’t gone in a month, they will spoil.

MP3:: Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John

If I had to pick one play to sum up the team... well, obviously it would feature Tony Allen. Aleen - the same man who got in a brawl because someone claimed hs posse was bigger than Allen's blew out his knee trying to throw down a monster cram after the whistle. Not only was it ridiculous, he also boinked the dunk and essentially ruined his career.

Usually, I enjoy embracing the misery of a failing sports team. Complaining about something rather than accepting the decline shows you really care. Doesn’t it? But over the last two seasons, I’m become apathetic to my team. I’d actually rather watch the euro-tastic Raps, the Suns, or really any non-Spurs related team in the West.

So thank you Doc. Thank you Ainge. I’d like to pull a Robert Horry and toss a towel in your face for the decisions you've made. But, as always, music says things better than a few scribbled words:

MP3:: Loser Crew - Pablo

Posted at 12:37 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 1:07 PM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Here, here, a great post, the hill has een mighty light on the hoops coverage.

But that post is missing something, I think it was light on Sichting content.

 

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