DATELINE: Hard Knocks?
Culprit caught red-handed.
Culprit caught red-handed.
DATELINE: Young Guns
The Boston Celtics have a problem: it is a nickname to be applied to their young tandem 30-points each in a game stars. We haven’t felt a giddy issue in the Celtic world since we heard Larry Bird isn’t walking through that door.
The Celtics are no longer looking to trade one or both: you can tell that from the new public relations spots in Boston that urge fans to vote them as teammates to the All-Star squad.
The big problem is their nickname: for past vainglorious stars like Bird and McHale or Russell and Heinsohn, nicknames were superfluous. But social media and youth must be served. Young fans want to label their new generation of superstars for the upcoming decade.
Originally Jalen Brown wanted to call themselves 7-11. Open all night, or something, but Jayson immediately changed his number from 11 to 0. Such are the results of testosterone and competition.
Jayson once said he would be Brown’s trainer for free if he no longer had an NBA career. His pay: a room in Jalen’s big house, which appalled Jalen.
Scary Terry Rozier thought they were simply two annoying youngsters.
They are not your average Batman and Robin.
To their teammates, they are simply JT and JB. And, they are a new version of Bird and McHale, who also never had nicknames, and also had a rather contentious intra-team rivalry: their mutual glue was Danny Ainge, which may be the same factor today.
When McHale scored 50 points one night, Bird said in laconic fashion, “It’s not enough,” and promptly went out and scored more points a week later, leaving McHale with a record setting for one week.
Some contend they have never seen Jayson pass the ball to Jalen. Perhaps that’s strictly a metaphor. They are two of the most unassuming, quiet, soft-spoken types you would ever meet. They are not flashy or overwhelming in any public way.
It’s difficult to come up with resonating naicknames for two who speak softly and carryi big balls.
We don’t like Triple Double 0-7, and we don’t like Green Jays.
They seem to accept Kid ‘n Play as something workable. They are too accommodating. We still don’t know who’s the kid sidekick.
DATELINE: No Salad Eating Chick
Queen & Commoner
We may be catching this about ten years too late, but better late! Hundreds of views on Amazon Prime say how much they love this movie. Queen Latifah is perfect, not Just Wright.
As one of the few oversize women in starring roles, unabashed, she steals every scene with her genuine sweetness in the face of life’s adversities.
She plays a physical therapist who has a chance encounter with an NBA star (Common). From there, the breaks seem to go every which way. Phylicia Rashaad plays Common’s mother, and Pam Grier plays Latifah’s mother. We have something going on here.
We were mostly bowled over and amused to find another Boston icon in the movie: Latifah starred with Tom Brady’s wife in one picture, and here in all the basketball scenes is former Celtic, Rajon Rondo.
This romantic comedy with a basketball setting has all the wrong turns and twists of fate you might expect that throw the crossed paths of Latifah and Common back together repeatedly.
Because Queen Latifah is not your standard trophy wife of a pro athlete type, this film takes on more gravitas. Common is a tad short for the NBA but is likeable and good-looking. But Rondo is a better actor, but Dwight Howard has a bigger scene.
The inevitable twist of fate brings the physical therapist into physical contact with the superstar in contract negotiations, and the big pay-off must satisfy the audience.
This is sheer fantasy, as any fan can tell you. Players are never thrown into a big game full-time after a career injury, but spend weeks acclimating. But this is a movie romance.
Queen Latifah even hums a few bars from “The More I See You,” in one scene as a throwaway to her old musical career. She’s billed as musical consultant. Don’t be fooled: this is still a jazzy gem.
DATELINE: NBA Twits
File Under Inept Waiters!
Now and then we follow NBA nitwits on and off the court. We seldom follow Miami Heat anywhere, but when Dion Waiters criticized coach Spoelstra and ingested designer drugs making for a panic attack whilst flying with the team, we took notice.
He’s coming to Boston to play after a suspension worth a couple of million bucks. Maybe he can earn the money back by waiting on tables and receiving tips. We offer our tip right here.
Dion sang an apology to teammates and coaching brain-trust that sounds all the world like a statement from his agent/attorney axis. After all, fines and suspension took money and food out of their wallets and open mouths.
We know from the spellcheck that Dion Waiters never wrote that apology. Some low-paid minion earned his keep.
No one wants to provide real details about imbeciles, lest they be accused of discriminating against drug users and people with bad judgment. We are fearless in that regard.
When we meet a body walking through the rye, we know it’s a kind of Scottish whiskey on his breath.
We doubt that Waiters would be a winner on a team that contained players Bron, Wade, and Bosh. When you put a fly in the oinment, you mainly change the chemistry.
The rain in Spain does not always fall on the plain, no matter what apology/tune Dion sings, and we think as an ordinary waiter Waiters would spill our wry rye all over our spellcheck. Especially at 37,000 feet above the court at American Airlines Arena. It’s no slam dunk from outside the arc/ark.
DATELINE: Tarnished Hero with Feats of Clay
Chump or Champ with Cousy?
On a night when when usually are talking about Ancient Aliens, we find ourselves facing a true abduction crisis and missing time. It seems that Boston Celtics legend, Bob Cousy, has been taken prisoner to the White House, turned back the clock to the years before the Civil Rights movement, and now he has become the voice of white racist America in the Oval Office.
Yes, Bob Cousy who reconciled whatever differences he had with fellow NBA legend Bill Russell has rekindled the fires.
He received a pat on the back from the President he most admires apparently in his lifetime. What happened to the Celtic legend?
Well, his Jesuit roots of Holy Cross conservatism emerged. Perhaps you can write him off as the aging hero outliving his standards of integrity. Growing old does not always mean you die of Alzheimer’s. Sometimes you simply become the epitome of everything you lived through and fought against.
Time makes us all doddering fools and blithering idiots. You can outlive your usefulness and your own personal values. It’s called betrayal by younger idealists, but it is far more powerful than that.
Cousy once teamed with Tommy Heinsohn on the parquet floor of the Boston Garden, and they were both brilliant and talented men beyond the game that made them famous. One season in retirement years they were even teamed up as fellow commentators for a season of Celtics games on TV. It was extraordinary to behold.
When they grew furious with each other, now and then, they simply called each other, “Thomas,” and “Robert.”
We wonder if Tom has started calling his friend of lifelong years, “Robert.” We know that William Russell may be doing so, if he is even speaking to his one-time nemesis in the locker room. Time wounds all heels and we have an Achilles heel ripped apart by the President Medal of Freedom.
Perhaps Couz showed his mettle by doing and saying whatever needed to receive his Medal.
He stood next to a man who wants to give himself the Congressional Medal of Honor. Heaven help our old heroes from their blithering end of days.
DATELINE: Go Away, NBA!
A few years ago we stopped writing our satiric, light-hearted blogs about sports in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.
If you want to know why, take a close look at the antics of the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA this weekend. A brawl of unimaginable hatreds broke out.
Former Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was at the epicenter if the blowup. However, we were not surprised that Rondo’s deep-rooted emotional problems have not abated with age or change of venue. We wrote three books on him while he played in Boston. He became increasingly dark, like a Darth Vader figure. He wasn’t funny or amusing by the end of the Boston tenure.
We were more appalled by the vocabulary and attitude of the official NBA investigation to this latest “spitting” on another player incident. The NBA has millions of dollars invested in presenting the players as cute, all-American boys who have made good.
The truth is far more disturbing. You have pampered, spoiled, egomaniacs with emotional problems, ghetto backgrounds, and gang-related ties. The NBA does not want to talk about that.
There is now a media cottage industry geared to protect these guilty parties from themselves. The cash cows are all around the sport—products, foods, endorsements, personality cults, and it is all a fraud perpetrated on the gullible public for their entertainment—and to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to unsuspecting fans amid fixes.
Are we surprised a brawl broke out based on ten-year old feuds and jealousies? Are we amused by the outmoded macho attitudes of these testosterone-drenched idiots?
The answer is simply we don’t write about them anymore, and that should be our final response to those who ask why we don’t present those funny, double-entendre drenched blogs nowadays.
DATELINE: ‘Former Celtic’ is Always a Dirty Term
Two of our favorite Celtics characters were sent packing to other teams some time ago. However, that does not mean they are not still Celtics.
Case in point, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas. They bleed Green.
Both men were lively point guards, fun to watch and delightful off-beat souls. Rondo had a temperament that helped win a banner over seven years. Thomas never won a banner but played like a wounded warrior through dark days and dark events in his personal life.
This weekend was supposed to be a video tribute to Thomas’s few years in Boston, but it was not meant to be.
It was Paul Pierce’s retirement ceremony. His 34 went to the rafters, and it was not a moment to be shared. The video tribute to Isaiah Thomas (then of the Cavaliers) was postponed indefinitely.
Before it happened, Rondo said Isaiah didn’t deserve a tribute because he never won a championship. Rondo insisted he knew Boston better than Thomas. That might’ve meant an interesting game, watching Rondo sitting right near the Cavaliers bench waiting for a turn to honor Paul Pierce.
Oh yes, though he plays for the Chicago Bulls, Rondo returned to Boston for Pierce’s retirement. That in itself was marvelous. He joined his former coach Doc Rivers and his best friend Kevin Garnett. Once a Celtic, always the Celtic.
Abruptly traded to the Lakers, Isaiah Thomas faced Rondo within the week as opposing players Laker versus Bull.
If you were surprised by the next part, you never watched a Celtics game. The two former Celtics went at each other in the first quarter several times, nasty words and physical pushes nearly turning into a brawl. They both were ejected from the game.
Thomas insisted that Rondo was giving him a hard time for the tribute video that never happened and likely accused him of being a fake Celtic.
A true Celtic comes back to the Boston TD Garden even when he plays for another team for a ceremony because he has never shed the Celtic Green inside.
We love our former Celtics. They are never former.
DATELINE: Small Fry
Let’s face it: Little Isaiah Thomas is the biggest star to play for the shortest time in the harsh Boston sports club. Cousin ITT returned with the Cleveland Cavaliers for his post-vindictive revenge tour at the Boston Garden.
It was not LeBron James who impressed the delirious Boston fans, but a variety of former Celtics players who represented failure over the past decade to bring a banner to Boston. They were jettisoned by Celtics operations man, Danny Ainge, when they failed to raise banner-time.
So after vitriol and ugly words, Isaiah returned to Boston. Not only was there a Isaiah Thomas wearing his Harvard red uniform, now a Cavalier Cleveland lackey, we saw Jay Crowder whose defense once won plaudits from the fans for his defensive prowess.
We also saw Jeff Green, who’s coming back from severe injury, as life-threatening as anything Isiah faced with broken jaw, missing teeth, and ripped hip from socket.
Now, on the notable parquet floor, all the harsh words had melted away. Time heals all wounds as well as wounds all heels. There was even a private reconciliation for Danny Ainge.
Little cousin ITT recognized how much he appreciated the Boston fans and the opportunities he had in Boston’s sports bastion to become a star, with a chance to play with LeBron for a championship.
Former Celtic assistant coach Ty Lue now runs the Cavaliers. And present for the game were the new Patriot diminutive star Dion Lewis, the former Patriot diminutive star Troy Brown, and the diminutive new manager of the Red Sox, Alex Cora.
Tiny Alice was missing in the big celebration of the return of tiny Isaiah Thomas and the miniature Boston corps of would-be stars.
Well, if these shenanigans strike you as a kind of hypocrisy, or worse, a public relations manipulation, you are welcome to join Boston sports in the 21st-century.
The stars of the game were of a new world order: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Cousin ITT’s protégé, Terry Rozier.
DATELINE: Jaylen’s Wear Daily Reports
Jaylen Brown’s eyes don’t have it. Goggles don’t make his brown eyes blue. Goggles have given him a headache and a black eye in the fashion world.
Brown’s fashionplate goggles have bitten the dust in Jaylen’s locker. We are back to contact lenses, limited to two to three hours per day. Jaylen has decided those hours are game time.
Apparently the intellectual look is not the best way to see eye to eye with the basketball. The Brown Green Lantern has tried three options now, and finds he prefers contact lenses, no matter how encrusted his eyelids may become after inflammation.
We first recommended cleaning the lenses regularly, or perhaps wearing a new, fresh pair of eyeballs. That can only occur after the infection heals.
Jaylen, a 21 year old smarty pants, is worried about the windows to his soul. If you look at those those big brown panes, you may see a young man in pains.
At first he claimed the goggles were constrictive, or perhaps he simply was intolerant about giving them a chance. Then he had a second pair made, that were too tight around his egghead. Loose straps mean more traps.
He ripped off the goggles and played with bad eyesight for most of his worst game of the season. It seems he could not see much—his vision being a big blur without corrective lenses.
Yes, we recommend playing with corrected vision, Jaylen. He barely could see the hoop the other day when he threw out all lens assistance.
Old habits die hard, and contact lenses are here to stay. If Jaylen cannot accept goggles, we won’t judge him too harshly. Even the Celtics Yoda, Tommy Heinsohn, said that Jaylen Brown played better without goggles.
The Green Lantern of Brown has bats in his belfry and a pointed noggin when it comes to the notions counter of goggles-to-wear. He has batted his big beautiful eyes once too often.
Fashion and taste are all important in basketball, if you ask the young man who likes to wear short shorts against the grain of fellow players. Jaylen has so far resisted the urge to ask the advice of Jayson Tatum, his nemesis.
DATELINE: Twilight Zone Meets Jaws
With an ice storm on the horizon in Boston, the two championship franchises, the Celtics and the Patriots, were also out of town and out of luck. Every great team has its up and downs.
After our ill-timed braggadocio, life gave us a cold slap in the face with ice pellets. Alas, it was too cold to make lemonade out of the fiasco that befell the Patriots and Celtics on Monday night.
We could not imagine these were the same teams that had been so impressive game after game. What on earth happened to the bright lights?
Miami and Chicago laid the expected victors a harsh dose of reality. No one is perfect, not even Bill Belichick or Brad Stevens.
If ever there was a night for Tom Brady to yell at Josh McDaniels this was it. If ever there was a night for Jaylen Brown to keep wearing his goggles, this was it.
Alas, Brown discarded his glasses and Tom Brady made nice with Josh.
When Jayson Tatum is unable to hit three-pointers and Tom Brady throws an interception and only has a handful of passing yards in the first half, you have crossed through the looking glass. In this case, it’s the mirror Tom Brady broke.
The Chicago Bulls are the worst team in the NBA, and the Miami Dolphins are the toughest opponents the Pats ever face in Miami. Brady has his worst record in 18 years against the Dolphins.
We have to admit the Patriots were without Gronk, who was suspended, and the Celts were without Kyrie Irving who needed some rest.
No matter where Boston fans turned, they were on the edge of the Outer Limits.
Both teams, known for their defensive finesse, showed it wasn’t their night. It was reminiscent of On the Waterfront, when Brando’s boxer complained his brother told him to lose, “It wasn’t my night!”
At half-time we were ready to become fair weather fans for our two teams.
Monday Night Football, Basketball, and Ancient Aliens
DATELINE: Boston’s Conundrum
Greens: Hornet & Lantern
For the better part of a decade, there has been no such creature as a head-to-head match-up of the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots.
It was no contest. We could plead nolo contendre with gay abandon.
If the two franchises were playing in the same small timeframe, without question, the attention went directly to Belichick, Brady, and their imitation of 1950s-60s Celtics as a football franchise.
Perhaps in some future date the Patriots will have 17 championships and Bill Belichick and Red Auerbach will march, arm in arm, into New England mythology. You will see Tom Brady and Bill Russell matching ring for ring on their fingers.
However, this week in Boston, the conundrum rises anew: the Pats are playing on Monday night, and so are the newly rejuvenated Celtics. Normally, Patriots are sitting court-side at the Celtics game—but both teams are on the road and playing simultaneously.
Nineteen-year old shooter Jayson Tatum is leading the league in three-point shooting. We haven’t seen a 19-year old with this kind of dead eye since Billy the Kid shot up the New Mexico league in 1880.
Brady is twice as old as Tatum, but together they could be an epoch of victors lasting half a century. If Jayson Tatum plays until the mid-2040s, he may be retiring at the same age as Tom.
We are not sure whether we will be around for the accolades and retirement ceremony, but it is possible.
Hardly a man is now alive who saw Babe Ruth pitch for the Red Sox, but we are the recipient of modern medical miracles already.
So, whom will you watch on Monday night?
Fortunately, the new age of technology allows us to put the Patriots on our tablet and the Celtics on our smartphone—and leave our other attention to a new movie on UFOs on cable.
Life is grand nowadays. We are riding in the chariots of the gods.
DATELINE: Celtics Find Clark Kent in Green Lantern
Don the Goggles! He doesn’t need a cape. And you can no longer spit in his eye.
Jaylen Brown may have had an eye infection from his contact lenses this week. However, his solution is not just sterilized: it’s made of plexiglass.
Yes, Jaylen has found his personality. He will henceforth wear goggles. This gives him an edge as an all-star and Celtics legend.
The man who wouldn’t be photographed in glasses will now appear in wrap-around goggles. Brown insists he can see better than ever. In fact, the goggles give him “3-D vision,” in his own words.
Heavens, and we thought all of us had 3-D vision, born with at least one superhuman quality.
This new asset of Jaylen may not be confused with X-ray vision or infra-red vision, or other superhero attributes.
Whatever, Jaylen played like Superman in his new regalia. If Kyrie can wear a clear mask, then Jaylen does one better than superstars of yore in basketball.
Yes, Brown has channeled his inner Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
In his new personae as The Celtics Green Lantern, it would seem that Brown may look more like Sponge Bob than Kareem. He may have more ability to see than Madame Acardi facing Blithe Spirit.
Whether the goggles give him a true extra set of eyes remains to be seen.
Move over, Clark Kent. The intellectual Brown now appears to be smarter than Smart and flashier than Beyonce.
Will the bespectacled Brown take the permanent role of superhero with the brown eyes under glass?
Trump, Moore Chased by Frankenstein Monster
DATELINE: No Attitude Glasses for Jaylen
Marcus Smart in Attitude Glasses
Boys who wear glasses seldom make passes in the NBA.
We’re not sure if we should tip our cap to Dorothy Parker or Ogden Nash.
The Green Lantern of the Boston Celtics, also known as Jaylen Brown, was unable to play basketball last night because he didn’t clean his contact lens properly. He can’t wear goggles like Kyrie.
It can happen to anyone, but sometimes your lens cleaning falls awry and the lens can result in redness and other problems. You will have to take out the lens and not wear it until the eye clears up.
The young Celtic superstar in the making has found that he must revert to his Clark Kent eyeglasses for the foreseeable future.
Jaylen Brown couldn’t play wearing glasses, knowing the last person to do that with some Los Angeles Laker 30 years ago.
So, Jaylen had to stay in the locker room and tend to his red eye. As the resident intellectual of the team, we think he would look good in glasses on the court. Court
Jaylen, of course, reads voraciously, plays chess dress like a Grand Master, and plays a fortissimo piano.
We suspect that he uses eyeglasses when accomplishing great achievement in those fields. However, being a rock star celebrity of basketball is not in the field of vision.
Eyeglasses being anathema, Jaylen was unable to allow photographs of him with four eyes. We hope his eye clears up soon and he will be back out on the court with his fellow Hardy boy and basketball brother, Jayson Tatum.
Marcus Smart has worn fake eyeglasses to look smart, but Jaylen really is smart.