I wasn’t going to write a post today about the Celtics because some of my co-bloggers are much more into the NBA than I am. But, after logging on to Facebook this morning and seeing countless statuses all saying the same general, “It’s ok that Boston lost because they weren’t expected to go that far anyway,” I felt a rant coming on.
The now “Mediocrely sized three” (MST) were brought to Boston for one purpose and one purpose only, to win championships. They certainly lived up to those lofty expectations in 2008, but have failed to regain that same form since then. Granted they are two years older, but their all-star point guard is two years smarter, their bench is two years more experienced, and they have added Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson. So, maybe the MST aren’t what they were in 2008, but I would argue that the talent level of the two teams (2008 vs. 2010) is similar. That being said, to accept anything less than a championship as being a good season is an irrational act. Since 2004, the Boston Red Sox are expected to compete for a World Series on a yearly basis. Anything less that getting those rings would be considered a disappointment. Since 2001, the New England Patriots are expected to compete for a Super Bowl on a yearly basis. They went 18-1 in 2007 and people were pissed that they didn’t win the title. Anything less than a Super Bowl is a disappointment. Since 2008, the Celtics are expected to compete for an NBA Championship, and until Garnett, Pierce, and/or Allen are no longer a member(s) of the team, anything less than a championship IS a disappointment. I don’t want to hear any more of this shit about how we are still happy for the Celtics that they just made it to the Championship game. I don’t want to hear how we are happy that the “old guys” mustered up the courage to push the series to seven games. And I certainly don’t want to hear how it’s ok that the Celtics lost because they still beat Dwight Howard and Lebron James. You know last night you were pissed that the Celtics lost. You know that their lack of offensive production in the 4th quarter was the sole reason they lost. You know that they looked old last night. But, you know they could have easily won that game. So, cut the shit…anything less than a championship is unacceptable…and as we all know, the second place finisher is the first place loser.
Another thing that is pissing me off this morning is people complaining that the NBA fixes games. The referees blatantly made calls all series to force a seventh game. Cut the shit! David Stern knows that if word ever got out that he was fixing games, the NBA would cease to exist. On the court last night was probably 13 of the 100 best players in the world (may be a bit bold, but not too far from the truth). To expect the series, with that level of talent, to not go to at least six, if not seven games, is pretty outrageous. The so-called experts were even saying all along that it would be tough for teams to win back to back games, many predicting a seven game series. On top of the level of talent, NBA referees have by far the toughest officiating job in all of sports. NBA officials are forced to be very subjective. In the MLB, a strike is a strike, an out is an out, a homerun is a homerun. Granted there is a little wiggle room with strike zone size, or the occasional missed call, but the duties/job of an umpire is pretty clear cut. In the NFL a hold is a hold, a fumble is a fumble, and a personal foul is a personal foul. Again, there is a little wiggle room with what is and is not allowed, but it again is pretty cut and dry. Not to mention that the MLB started implementing replay, and the NFL has been doing it for several seasons now. In the NBA, 75% of whistles (if not more) are dedicated to fouls. Your idea of a foul is much different from my idea of a foul, which is even more different than Joey Crawford’s idea of a foul. These referees are put in a position where they need to make an instantaneous judgment call in front of 25,000 screaming fans, where undoubtedly they are going to get one fan base pissed off at a call. So, to even entertain the idea that the referees blew the game for the Celtics is outrageous. To even entertain the idea that the NBA rigged game to force the series into seven games is ridiculous. To even entertain the idea that David Stern told Joey Crawford that the Lakers should win the series in game seven is downright stupid. The referees made as many bad calls against the Celtics as they did against the Lakers. The series was lost by the Boston Celtics and their inability to capitalize on the Lakers’ mistakes, and their unwillingness to show up in the fourth quarter. Any explanation other than that is a true display for your inability to accept defeat and innate desire to create an excuse to lessen the pain that failure brings.