At around midnight eastern time, Wednesday morning, a new meme was
born. Following the Boston Celtics' surprising road win over the Miami
Heat in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, a disgruntled young
fan voiced his sarcastic support for the Heat with a piercing (no pun
intended) cry of "Good job! Good effort!"
a town with a history loaded with heroes, legends and giants, paying
homage to each deserving demigod is a tall task. In that same town with a
horrendous history besmirched with racial conflicts and prejudice
practices, it is never to late for redemption. Such is Boston; a city
that can hold its head high on its heroes and hide its face from the
shame of yesteryear at the same time.
Surprising almost no one, the Herald reports that the Celtics and Paul Pierce have reached a preliminary agreement on a deal that will likely keep Pierce in Boston for the remainder of his career. CBS Sportsline says the deal is for four years and $61 million ($15.25 per year, or about $6 million less than his current contract would have guaranteed him).
Paul Pierce looked around, saw a free-agency market crowded with the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki and others (including his once-and-possibly-future teammate Ray Allen), and decided he wanted to join in today, opting out of the final year of his deal with the Celtics and becoming a free agent.
I'm an avid Brian Scalabrine fan, one of the few Celtics fans to sport
a #44 jersey (T-shirts are for wimps). Tonight will prove whether the
investment was worth it. Scalabrine is back in uniform, and
it’s up to him to prove he’s good for more than keeping Kevin Garnett’s
seat warm. (Check it out tonight: Garnett comes out, Scal “stretches”
or “cheers,” then walks to the other end of the bench.
Early during last night's shitstorm of a Game Six Lakers blowout, Kendrick Perkins went down in pain, clutching his knee. He would not return. Now we learn that he, indeed, will not play in the decisive Game Seven against Los Angeles. Kurt Helin of NBC's ProBasketballTalk describes the scene thusly:
Say what you will about best-selling author and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons - and I probably shouldn't say anything too critical until I've actually finished The Book of Basketball - but he's been on his game in the past few months (roughly dating back to the piece he wrote embracing sabremetrics) and both his column and his Twitter have been pretty good reads during the Celtics' somewhat unlikely (admit it, C's fans) run to this year's NBA Finals.
There is no more ubiquitous cliche in professional sports than the post-game shout-out to God. Our winners always seem to walk with Jesus. Which is why the most astonishing moment of the Celtics devastating OT victory over the Bulls in Game 5 may have come after Rajon Rondo knocked Brad Miller's toof out. Both teams had left the floor, and in the Celtics locker room, Glen "Big Baby" Davis had a bouquet of microphones up in his grill.
And now for something completely different. Just before Thanksgiving, the Celtics handed over control of the halftime festivities to the Boston Ballet, who opted not to come out with a straight-up preview of their annual cash cow but instead offered a newly-choreographed routine outside their comfort zone.
Strange as it may seem, this time last year, the Celtics were a big question mark. An intriguing one, sure, but nobody knew exactly what to expect -- Could a team's fortunes really turn around that quickly? Would the "Big Three" hold up over an 82-game season? Could they hang with the best of the Eastern Conference, to say nothing of the big boys out West? Is Rajon Rondo really going to be able to run this show? And can this much talent overcome bad coaching?
This is an AP photo.
There's not much more that needs to be said at this point: Paul Pierce had the game of his life at the best possible time, helping the Celtics withstand an amazing effort by LeBron James. You can read more about it here, here, here, and (at some point today, presumably) here and here.
- Ryan Stewart