At 9:00 EST tonight, sports fans all over the world will be treated to a slugfest featuring two of the NBA’s most storied franchises. There is no gray area when the Celtics and Lakers face off, and, if you haven’t taken sides yet, you sure as hell better…..
THIS IS WHAT I CALL GOOD PARENTING!!!
There is no question or doubt I will be backing the Celtics in this series, just like I did two decades ago. When the “C’s” and “Showtime” face off, there is much more going on than simply basketball, and this is what makes the rivalry so fierce and relevant. EVERYTHING is at stake for EVERYONE.
The Celtics-Lakers rivalry is the sports equivalent of a middle vs. upper class war. You have the flamboyant Lakers from pretentious L.A., and their legions of celebrity “fans.” On the other side of the map, there are the die-hard, everyday eddie, Celtics faithful in gritty Boston. The two groups don’t like each other, and a train load of pride is at stake every time the implications are an NBA championship. Everyone can relate to either team mystique, and the battle lines are very distinct. Being from a blue-collar area of the Midwest, the Celtics have always been my niche in this infamous clash.
It is hard for me to dislike the Celtics. My grandfather, a lifer in the steel mills, was a Celtic fanatic. He loved Bird, McHale, Parish, DJ, and Ainge like they were his own kids, and would tell me to beat it anytime I said Michael Jordan was better than all of them. Gramps was the embodiment of 80’s Celtics fans: hard-working, loyal, and utterly stubborn. I enjoyed watching the Finals with him on the little rabbit-eared black and white TV in his living room, and even learned a few new creative ways to use the word “fuck” in a sentence.
Another reason this year’s Celtics-Lakers Final is as relevant as the previous volumes is that it certainly doesn’t lack star power. You have 3 future hall of famers (Garnett, Pierce, Gasol) and 2 potential ones (Allen, Odom) all fighting their asses off for that first NBA championship. These guys are vicious competitors, and it will be amazing to see them beat the shit out of each other for possibly 7 games.
I am guilty of picking with my heart, and not my head here, but I say Celtics in 6. Everyone has the Lakers running away with it, so I’m hoping that will fire up the C’s and give Boston the edge they need to topple Kobe and Co., ala the 2004 Pistons, who nobody had winning more than 2 games.
Of course this is a pipedream unless Garnett embraces his role as “The Man,” and steps up in the clutch. You can talk to yourself, pound your head, yell, and act crazy for only so long before it’s time to, as Nike would say, “Just fucking do it.” And for Boston, it’s time to, as Al Davis would say, “Just win baby…….”
I’m off to the bar to catch Game 1, until we meet again,
BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!
P.S. I’m looking for any videos/information about the Celtic fan who, in the 80’s, used to bring a giant pipe-wrench into the Old Boston Garden and pound the shit out of the overhead pipes all game long. That guy was so badass….
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