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L.A. Times retracts Paul Pierce stabbing reference from "Guide to Hating the Celtics"

It was all over the 11 o'clock news tonight: LA Times blogger Ted Green's "YOUR GUIDE TO HATING THE CELTICS" -- not much to write home about, just another workmanlike piece of half-assed partisanship, of the sort cranked out by second-string reporters at third-rate daily newspapers during playoff downtime. 

The gist? The Celtics are crybabbies ("They cry more than Best Actress winners at the Oscars. They cry like every game is a wedding.") Also: the Celtics are bullies. ("They foul on every play. They foul everyone, from stars to scrubs. They foul as a strategy. They foul as a style. They foul as a tradition.")

The column also calls Paul Pierce a drama queen. Shocking! And yet, that's where the fun begins. Mr. Green (ironic name, no?) went on at great length about Mr. Pierce's propensity for drama, at one point suggesting that the near-fatal stabbing Pierce suffered in 2000 was the Celtics' captain's notion of a party: "By the way, Pierce's idea of a fun night is going clubbing and getting stabbed. Good times!"

Well, it doesn't say that anymore -- because the L.A. Times thought better of it and retracted the comment from the column. The segment now reads as follows: 

No. 34, Paul Pierce: He is their best scorer and a load for anyone to guard, including Ron Artest. But the Celtics' captain flops more than a large-mouthed bass taking his last breath while dangling from a fishing line at the end of a pier. Every time Pierce shoots, he acts like he's been hit by a train. Usually, he hasn't been touched. Two years ago, he fell during the Finals against the Lakers and went off in a wheelchair. An actual wheelchair! Five minutes later, he was dropping three-pointers all over TD Banknorth Garden. He actually came back into the game with the music from "Rocky" blaring over the public-address system. Yo, Paulie, that was such a bad con job, Sylvester Stallone is a better actor than your are.  If you'll be seeing him for the first time, you'll hate him before the first quarter of Game 1 is even close to over, guaranteed. And by the way, Pablo, your headband is usually crooked. [For the record: An earlier version of this post contained an inappropriate comment about Pierce relating to an incident in 2000 in which he was stabbed repeatedly. That comment should not have been published and has been removed.]

The italics are ours.

Cheap shot? Not really much of a shot, just kind of cheap. And not so much cheap as unimaginitive and dumb and most of all not particularly funny. Which the L.A. Times is obviously embarassed about -- even though they're probably aware that by taking the comment down they will quadruple the amount of attention the retracted line will receive. Because now it won't just be sports fans poking around, it'll be media critics. (Oh, and also about a zillion Celtics fans drinking Green's milkshake in the comments.) Have fun with that, L.A., while the Big Four are kicking your fucking asses all over the Staples Center this week. 

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