Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Entitlement Part II

This year marks the worst NBA Finals of my lifetime. Never have two teams met in a championship game -- I think in any sport -- where I would be very upset if either team won.

There was the 1999 World Series between the John Rocker Atlanta Braves and the Roger Clemens Yankees.

There was this past Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the despicable New England Patriots. [Note: I gained a bit of respect and just a shred of admiration for that Giants team after that game.]

There was the 1991 NCAA Championship between the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and the Puke Blue Devils. However Duke wasn't as nauseating at the time as they have become since.

But I can't stand either of the teams that are in this NBA Finals, and both for completely different reasons.

I know I know, it sounds classic: Lakers vs. Celtics. It conjures up images of Russell vs. Chamberlain, Magic vs. Bird, etc. But the current incarnations of these storied franchises are not ones which I can support.

Because if you forget the laundry that these teams wear, there is really no connection. Red and Jerry West are both gone, and none of the same players from the last time they met (the 1987 Finals) still remain as players. Amazingly, this will be the 11th time they will meet in the finals, but the franchises have evolved since the Showtime/Big Three days.

First, the case against the Lakers.

Honestly, what is there to like about this team? They have the most arrogant, aloof, condescending coach in the history of sports. The fact that he would tie former Celtics coach Red Auerbach with a win here makes this matchup that much more intriguing, I suppose. But though Jackson is one of the most successful coaches in the history of sports, that doesn't make him any more likeable. He is a great coach, no doubt. But he has always been in the right place at the right time, and in each one of his championship seasons, he has had two of the five best players in the league at that time (Jordan/Pippen, though I think Pippen is the most overrated athlete of the 1990s, and Kobe/Shaq). Watching Jackson win another ring with a smug, self-satisfied look will make me very unhappy.

How about that guy Kobe? How come everyone is forgetting that this guy was accused of rape just a few years ago? He is a moody, selfish asshole. He already has three rings, but has any great athlete ever played with less joy? Kobe's had his time, let's move along.

Oh, and let's not forget those fans, who got so spoiled with winning during the Lakers' three-peat years that they began to take it for granted. They don't need another O'Brien trophy.

Which brings me to the Celtics...

At face value, I actually kinda like this team. I like the new Big Three of KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. But there is one reason why I find it hard to root for this Celtics team. And that reason is ....

...of course ....


There are few things that Boston fans need less than another sports championship. They already have a World Series last October, and Super Bowl win appearance this past January. But just as that Patriots loss did wonders for putting Boston fans back in their place for a while, a Celtics win here could raise the region's douchebag quotient back up to 2004 levels. We don't need that.

In fact, I would have to say that my dislike for the Boston sports constituency (not the city, mind you) is such that if this Celtics team played in any other city, I would go out and buy a t-shirt. There is really no reason that I shouldn't love the Celts here: they represent Irish people, they have cool looking uniforms (especially with the gold lining), they are fun to watch, their coach is named Doc! But I'm afraid that this win could make the entire region of New England toxic with chowderheads spouting even more Yahdood false-superiority than ever. (I love you Willie-Moe; this isn't about you, babycakes.)

So what can I do? I have to make a decision. I won't be rooting for anyone, but rather against one of these teams. But who do I root against? A few hundred purple-and-gold clad employees? Or an entire region of the United States?

So it is with a heavy heart and my nose firmly held that I make it official.

I'm going for the Boston Celtics. Boston may yet redeem itself by winning this one with some class, dignity and humility. Boston, you have a chance to right the wrongs you've created. Cherish it.

Cherish it.


Toastie said...

I hate Kobe almost as much as I hate quarterbacks that aren't pocket passers. You know what I mean.

Oddly enough, whenever I say his name all that I can think about is the Chappelle Show skit with the love contract and that makes me smile.


Willie Moe said...

Only one venue serves the perfect pint, and I'm guessing that was the deciding factor. That or the somewhat homo-erotic undertones of our relationship. Tough to say.