Usually when something bad happens in Boston sports, after my allergies stop making my eyes water, I try to be the voice of reason for my crazed friends and family. But after losing two Game 7s in a row, one to our hated rivals in the Finals, and then losing Games 4 and 5 the way we did to this collection of reprehensible a-holes, I need to air my grievances. So in the spirit of Christmas in July, this is Festivus in May. I’ve got a lot of problems with you people…
Paul Pierce. Why couldn’t you act more like the Captain? I had to get the toughest grievance out of the way first because Pierce is still my favorite player of all time. The dirty little secret of the Celtics of the last 4 years is that despite having the mythical “veteran presence” in Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, the team has not had a true leader since Sam Cassell, P.J. Brown and James Posey left. Pierce has grown up before our eyes and is no longer the brooding child he used to be, but I think he falls well short of being a true leader. Game 1 he gets a bone head technical to intimidate James Jones leaving him open to earn that second one and get booted from the game. Game 5 he and Rondo were running up court together and Rondo passed Pierce the ball to have him bring it up only to have Pierce throw it right back to him while making my trademark “are you a complete idiot?” face. This reminded me of how Pierce and the other veterans were freezing out Rondo and Perkins the last couple years because they were emerging talents and wouldn’t fall in line. Game 4 with the final possession, while it was not entirely Pierce’s fault, it was a clear reminder of Pierce’s tendency to go into hero mode at the end of the game, eschewing what has worked all game in order to get his. I’ll always love you Paul, but this series with Rondo hurt the team needed a leader and you failed to provide that.
Doc Rivers. Why couldn’t you figure out how to work with the new guys? I already touched on this so I’ll make it brief. You had 2 months of regular season play to figure out how to fit Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic and all the guys returning from injury into this team and you failed. Playing Green at the 2 and having him guard Wade last night was the last in a long line of terrible lineups you played this series. You say you are leaning heavily towards returning, but is that really best for this team? Maybe you are hoping we have a terrible year next year and we can draft your son in the first round the following year. You know, because that worked out so well for the Dunleavys.
Ray Allen. Why do you have to look the same as you did when you were 24? I’m 27 and I don’t look the same as I did when I was 24. Not only is this completely depressing, but it also makes people forget that you are an old shooting guard and that we can’t count on you to score 20 a night while also defending the best player on the Heat. Start drinking some Bud Heavy’s or something and look a little more like a 36 year old so we stop getting tricked.
Kevin Garnett. Why don’t you play down low for the whole game? You are 7 feet tall. I know you can hit a perimeter jumper, but why, knowing full well that you dominate down low, do you not set up shop on the block every time down the court? I’m scared of that weird predator looking mother f***** they've got guarding you too, but you are better than him. Cover your body in mud if you have to so he can't see your body heat, but get your ass down low.
Rajon Rondo. Why can’t you just develop a jumper? After getting hurt in Game 3 I can’t really be upset with the way you played in the subsequent games, but in the first 2 games you were terrible. When the league figures you out, great players evolve. Take some Charles Darwin pills, grow some legs and crawl out of the primordial ooze. With a jump shot.
Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal. Why were you each half of a good starting center this year? You were brought in to be part of a 3 headed monster at center once Perkins returned from injury and then last night I’m staring at the screen watching KG at center and Pierce at power forward. You each had your moments this year, but it was unfortunately these moments that led to Danny Ainge trading Perk thinking we could rely on you. Why couldn’t we just combine your two chubby bodies to form a super center like Station from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey?
Glenn Davis. Why are you here? You aren’t even worthy of my grieving.
Tom Thibodeau. Why you gotta be so selfish? This team was built on the defense that you taught and then you just left us for your own pursuits. Yes, the team was still great on defense this year, but it was because of the Core Four. The new guys definitely did not buy into the system the way the players the last three years did. The overall numbers were good, but slow rotations from new players left gaping holes in the defense on key possessions that ended up crippling this team. So now you are in your fancy new job, coaching the best team in the league and you have a good shot at going to the Finals. It’s just always gotta be about you, doesn’t it?
John Lackey. Why are you in my life? On a night where my favorite team suffers a heart breaking end of the season loss for the third year in a row, you still have to pop into my mind. In 7 starts you have given up at least 6 runs 4 times! Your ERA is above 8! At least you feel about yourself the way we all feel about you right now.
The Miami Heat. Why does your logo look like a nut sack? That comes courtesy of The Spot.
Chris “Alien Predator” Bosh. Why did you have to explode through Executive Officer Kane’s stomach and wreak havoc on the Nostromo? Why did you have to crash land in Guatemala and kill Carl Weathers? Why did you have to make a bunch of shitty sequels culminating in Alien Vs. Predator which should have been called Bosh Vs. Bosh? Why won’t you just die already?
Pat Riley. Why did you have to bring this unholy trinity together? Looking to follow the Celtics model, you inadvertently created a new landscape where star players feel the need to unite with 2 other stars in their primes if they hope to have any shot at a championship. The problem with this is that this model only works when you can either surround the players with complementary pieces (Celtics in '07) or if you have 2 of the best 5 players in the league among that group that can cover up for all the team’s glaring deficiencies (Heat now). With no due respect to Bosh, the Heat are nothing beyond Lebron and Wade, but they are so good that it clearly doesn’t matter. In bringing those 3 together though, other teams and players think they can replicate what they have in Miami, but I promise you they can’t. Amare and Carmelo in New York will not work. Deron Williams may be able to attract Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, but they won’t get a third star and the team is so depleted beyond them it won’t matter. The Heat are also distracting people from the beautiful collection of talent in Oklahoma City and Memphis, the one star surrounded by a great supporting cast in Dallas, and the defensive monster with one star in Chicago. There are a thousand ways to construct a roster in the NBA, but Pat Riley has created a copy cat environment that will make the league worse off.
Dwyane Wade. Why did you have to sell your soul to the devil? Until this year you were one of the most likeable players in the league. You drove the lane and went to the floor like Allen Iverson. You played defense like Gary Payton. You scored in bunches like Vinnie Johnson. You made humorous commercials with my favorite non-Celtic Charles Barkley. You owned your city and had already won a championship. With your talents I’m sure Riley could have built a more traditional team around you to get you back in contention, but you just couldn’t wait. You had to go out and recruit your two “friends” only to find out one of them is a giant predator alien who is scared of everything and the other is some immature d bag who only cares about his public image and (save for Games 4 and 5) cannot handle pressure situations. And since the moves left the rest of your team so depleted and because the predator alien is so scared, you had to become the team’s enforcer in addition to its best player. This led to a host of cheap shots in this series including the devastating injury to Rondo. And now I do not like you. So take that.
Lebron James. Why do you anger me so much? I used to defend you when morons like 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Mike Felger said that you weren’t that talented and were just a freak athlete that couldn’t win. I used to be in awe of watching you play and sorta enjoyed how much fun you had with it. Then you quit on your team last year against the Celtics and everything changed. The Decision. The preseason fireworks show. Throwing your coach under the bus. The terrible commercials. You have made me dislike you more than that guy who plays for the Lakers who was convicted of a sex crime. Do you know how confusing that is? Now when I watch you I start to think like Mike Felger. I see you as some more athletic version of Ron Artest. I love it when you shoot. I expect you to miss. Then you run off 10 points to close the game last night and I get pissed at myself for forgetting how good you are and pissed at you for crying after winning a second round series. Grow up. You could have gone down as the second greatest player of all time with tens of millions of adoring fans. Instead, people will continue to knock what you do on the court because they simply can’t stand you. And the only people who “love” you are a bunch of rich beach sluts that can’t be bothered to show up on time to your games and what’s worse is that they think it’s ok to wear white after labor day!
David Stern. Why are you screwing up the NBA right in the middle of its most successful season? The talent level is at an all time high. Ratings are through the roof. Rivalries are starting to build back up. The league has become truly international. We may finally have a brand new champion this year (Memphis/Dallas/OKC). The league is raking in tons of dough. But the owners can’t save them from themselves so they need big bad Mr. Stern to save them. If games are missed next year because a group of terrible owners didn’t know how to run their business, I will place a call to my mafia family and have them start a war with your mob. It’s your move Stern.
Thanks for reading my grievances. I think I feel a little better now. Hopefully those of you who like basketball in general will continue to watch the playoffs this year because there are still a lot of fun and entertaining teams that don't play in that sweaty taint of a city called Miami. Let's go Oklahoma City!