Lamentations on the Loss of Gordon Hayward

DATELINE:  Hard Break for Celtics

 GH

Gordon Hayward came to Boston to play for the Celtics. He was a superstar ready to write his Destiny today in big letters. Instead, five minutes into his Celtics career, Destiny wrote him off.

If ever you wanted a lesson in how ephemeral are the superstars of sports, this abject lesson is a horror story. Gordon Hayward went down in a senseless act of the cosmos and its mystery waves.

But as terrible, gruesome, and awful is the injury to Gordon Hayward, it’s not as bad as what happened to Len Bias, the Celtics hope of the future so many years ago in the aftermath of the Bird years.

Bias died of a drug overdose that caused a heart attack. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Does it matter? He was an unproven talent.

Unlike Len Bias, Hayward is an established star, not some vague potential. Gordon Hayward will live to play another day.  However, we don’t know how this injury may affect his ability to play at the same level that made him a superstar.

Boston hardly knows him and now may never know him as the new centerpiece of a Big Three to bring more championships to Boston. That dream may have just evaporated five minutes into a new season.

The season will go on for the Celtics. But the heart of players may have gone out with Hayward’s injury. The stomach to move on will settle down.

Grizzled old vets like Al Horford may take the injury of a teammate in such a devastating fashion in stride. It is the nature of the obvious horror that has an impact on the younger players. The Celtics core is young and impressionable. It tells them a message of sobering fright: your days in the sun can be over in a blink, or a twist of an ankle: in the crack of a bone.

Bones can be fragile and can snap like twigs in the wind. There may be no reason that can be discerned as to whom it condemns—and who may escape. The quantum physics of the universe is cruel.

The psychological damage is immeasurable on the psyche of players—and even fans. The tragedy belongs to Gordon Hayward.

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Boston Celtics Unveil Third Big Three

DATELINE:  Here We Go Again, Hopefully

whats not to like?

Nouveau Celtics: Hayward and Irving, Alphabetically

After a long hiatus, we returned to watching The Boston Celtics again.

They do look rather exciting this season, which may take the sting off the stink of the Patriots.

On top of that, the Celtics don’t take a knee during the national anthem. They may be more interested in making the Celtics great again, not making Trump look good.

There is a new big three in town.  Kyrie Irving surprises us by being find less sour than we remembered him on the Cleveland team, and Gordon Hayward is far more muscular than we remembered him on the Utah team. Combine them with our new old favorite Al Horford, and we feel like Bird, McHale, and Parrish, have just walked through that door. Well, Bird has returned: oh, wait, it’s Jabari Bird, not Larry.

Or perhaps we see a new version of Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen, if only they provide us with such soap opera drama.

Indeed, 2/3 of the Celtics roster is totally new. We couldn’t recognize anyone. Trader Danny Ainge has brought back only four young players, but even they look like Celtics of the future. We refer to Jaylen Brown, the new number seven, and Jayson Tatum, the new big zero. Red Sox star Mookie Betts showed up to jump-start the inter-sports support.

These youngsters seem to be taking the places of memories we have of Rajon Rondeau and Avery Bradley.

The best came from announcer and Hall of Famer, always amusing, 83-year-old Tommy Heinsohn. He said he had seen the new center, bullish Aron Baynes in the shower, and he represented the big continent of Australia in sheer size.

Heavens, can things be looking up from Down Under?

Trump Takes on Superstars of Sport

 DATELINE:  Trump Begins to Rival Dumb & Dumber

Dumb America    King Trump Wears the Crown Well

As one of the Deplorables who voted for President Trump to be our leader, we are frankly becoming more alarmed and embarrassed by our selection.  

Once again at one of the Nazi-style Putsch rallies, Mr. Trump called out and called for firing of any NFL athlete who takes a knee during the National Anthem.  He also slandered private sector workers by calling the knee-jerk protester:  “a son of a bitch.”
 

We are not fans of this particular choice of protest at professional sports events, and certainly not a fan of Mr. Colin Kaepernick, the main instigator. However, we do tend to believe that people have a right to vote and speak freely.
 

If you’re keeping track, this is yet again another case of Mr. Trump calling for a private citizen to be fired from his job for political speech. Not coincidentally, all of these people are black or people of color. That strikes us as disturbing. That does tend to put a dark hue on the President’s darker feelings. Whether you work for ESPN, or the NFL, you have a right to express yourself. 

Trump also denigrated basketball champion superstar Steph Curry by rescinding an invitation given to visit the White House. Curry is what you might call “high-yellow,” the lightest form of being a person of color. Trump did not rescind an invitation to Tom Brady who also did not attend the White House rally. 

Trump’s tirade has caused strange bedfellows to join hands: Roger Goodell has called the President divisive and ignoring all the good done by NFL players. And LeBron James, on the NBA, had more choice words for the leader of the world. 

We are beginning to become worried that the President of the United States wants to dismantle the US Constitution.  

And, as someone who claims he is against white supremacy is he certainly is the pin a boy for that philosophy. 

We suspect we’re not the only ones who were horrified when the president of the United States refers to American citizens as “sons of bitches.”  while advocating firing these concussed people of color who work outside the government. 

Pardon us for saying “yikes.” 

Going, Going, Gone in Boston Sports and Trump Politics

DATELINE:  Time to Outline a New Book? 

In the immortal words of Don Corleone in Godfather 3, “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.”

Yes, Boston sports humor is like that.

We want to say, “Book’em, Dan-o,” but is there really another book here? Celtics or Pats?

Now, we feel sucked back into calling Trump the cause of turning the Patriots into the most despised team in the NFL, and now we are sucked back into the Celtics who have sent another oddball point guard into the LeBron Twilight Zone. Move over, Rajon Rondo.

Word has filtered out after the fact now that Isaiah Thomas, our dear little cousin IT, was actually not liked on the Celtics team by his mates. What???

Yes, his martyrdom status as midget wrestler and tiny tot grew thin on the nerves of many fellow players. His ego seems to have been bigger than his player status. Hence, he is now playing on the all-ego team with LeBron James, another character we try to avoid in any humor discussion.

Cousin IT was doomed when his closest friend and longtime Celtic player, Avery Bradley, was sent packing earlier in the summer.

Head honcho Danny Ainge was not about to pay big bucks to secondarily big stars. It did not matter that Tom Brady liked IT. Tom Brady likes Donald Trump. In the end, Tom only can save himself in Boston. In Boston, Trump is a lost cause.

We told various sports fans there would be no book this year on the Celtics or on the Patriots, which seemed to bring much relief when it was not greeted with a yawn. But, now, we are cast into the depths of indecision.

We could do a book on Donald Trump’s season in hell, but Bobby Valentine already did it for us. On the other hand, we suspect Mr. Trump will quit in the middle of our book—leaving us with a Charlottesville Web conundrum on whether it’s crypto-Nazi or neo-Nazi. It could be ether, or eye-ther.

Should we just call the whole thing off?

We are offering up a trial balloon on Trump to see if the media shoots it down as more fakery from the news bakery.

Is Trump the newest sports satire?

We know Trump’s on third, because he is going down yet again, but always rises anew like a rally in Phoenix.

Ossurworld has done a series of books of humor on the Celtics and Patriots. He may or may not do another one. His latest is NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS MOST OFF OFF-SEASON EVER. It’s available for smart readers. Just put it on your tab.

 

 

Knives and Stabbings at the Celtics Game

DATELINE: Slice and Dice

Jack & the Sleep Apnea Knife

We have sort of given up on the Celtics this season—and now it appears in a nick of time. A fan was nicked last night at the game by a knife-wielding semi-fan.

Fans with knives are New York Knicking each other like we were in a dogfight with gang members in Rebel Without a Cause.

Leave it to those Celtics fans to be reliving the glorious 1950s when they won all those championships. That’s when switchblade fights were all the rage.

Yep, the fans at TD Garden are lacking a cause. Their team of nobodies may be headed to a first-round loss in the playoffs. But they have hundreds of draft picks for the future.

Someone ought to tell the Celtics that the future was yesterday.

The Boston Celtics play like they believe in string theory. We need Stephen Hawking to coach this group. In an alternate universe, only the players are stabbed. Ask Paul Pierce about that one. He used to play with the Celtics in those days.

We expect shootings in basketball, usually from the three-point arc. A stabbing in the mezzanine makes the tickets a little pricey for most of us.

We noticed recently the Celtics no longer feature players in their sales promotions. They talk only about the fans. Well, soon, we’ll need a rap sheet to understand the rap music in the commercial.

Nowadays on the Boston Celtics, the thugs are in the stands, not on the court. Only the Patriots provide players in the court.

Nothing to Laugh At in Boston Sports

DATELINE: HUMORLESS

Dumb America

With a dearth of Boston sports humor lately, we are asked by fans: is there anything even remotely funny about the Boston sports teams?

In a word, no.

We are facing Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial in Fall River, a locale where Lizzie Borden also reached the heights of infamy. There have been precious few sit-coms about Lizzie in the past hundred years. We have had a few chuckles over Hernandez the Chucklehead.

We did like the ditty kids used to sing about Lizzie, but there has been no song for Hernandez, though we saw him do a pregame dance on videotape before killing Odin Lloyd.

Also, the Boston Marathon bomber hardly garners any laughs lately. We have found his endless requests to change venue fairly laughable. Four times now and counting.

He claims he cannot have a fair trial in the city that is Boston Strong. Then, during opening arguments, his lawyer admits he did it. So, why are we having this charade of a trial? Oh, it’s to see if he deserves the Timothy McVeigh treatment.

That too is a no-brainer.

After those sports stories, you hardly feel like guffawing over the pale shadow of Celtics or the off-season antics of Gronk in Vegas.

Apart from the hairdos of Cuban players, is there anything remotely funny about the Red Sox in Spring Training?

We have been working on our next book on the Titanic, another knee-slapper. So, forgive us if we haven’t been looking at the whimsical world lately in a funny way.

And, oh, yeah, it’s tax time. LOL.

Awaiting on the Partnership of Sullinger & Olynyk

 DATELINE: Return of Jelly O’Sully

sullinger devil in a black dress

 

With the departure of Rajon Rondo, the Celtics have a gaping hole in their conundrum syndrome.

Enter Jared Sullinger.

While not as Garboesque as Rondo, he is proving that he can be Rondoesque. The affable, social, friendly Sullinger will talk to the media—or anyone else who waylays him on the way to a game.

As consequence, he was the Late Mr. Sullinger for two games in one week. This resulted in the team benching him from the starting lineup. Coach Brad Stevens may have thought he was done with Advil moments when #9 hit the road, but think again.

Sullinger plays hot and cold. Gosh, does that remind you of anyone recently traded to Dallas?

And now the media is circling Jared Sullinger like he is the reincarnation of Rondo Past.

Who can blame the insider contingent? There is little precious to write about the Celtics nowadays.

Sullinger’s better half, Kelly Olynyk, seems injury prone this season and the tandem has not been on the floor together nearly as much as fate would allow. Once we have the exciting combo of Jelly O’Sully back in form, we know we are on the way to another championship (when Danny Ainge cashes in all those draft chips).

Olynyk may be a good partner for Sullinger now that Phil Pressey has been sent to the gulag in Maine. He needs a new number one go-to-supper on the road pal.

Sullinger could do worse than befriend Kelly who often calls his teammate “Mr. Hard Foul in Practice.”

Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett Enjoy a Night on Town

DATELINE: Nostalgic Celtics

getty images

Not too long ago Rajon Rondo took Kobe Bryant out for breakfast, which raised a few eyebrows. Short of recruiting each other, it seemed like the morning after pill might be called for.

Now comes a report that former Boston Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett went out for a fancy seafood dinner together before their respective teams went out on the basketball court for a meaningless game.

It was like a divorced couple reigniting the flame. Pierce and Garnett now toil separately on ignominious teams. Their glory days of the ménage a trois are long gone with the memory of soon-to-be retired Jesus Shuttleworth Ray Allen.

Two old friends sharing a meal may seem heresy in the world of head-butting NBA superstars.

Witnesses swore Garnett and Pierce did not hold hands during the dinner—and the meal was not intimately lit with candles.

There were no paparazzi there to snap shocking photos for TMZ. This was not like the days when Elizabeth Taylor would wine and dine a former husband with crowds of gawkers.

If the two players had retired yesterday, this would be yesterday’s news—and no one would have reported their intimate meal. You could have wrapped the restaurant leftovers in a newspaper meant for fish & chips.

But, we love our former Celtic heroes, and we couldn’t resist reading they shared a moment to reminisce about the great days when Rondo used to drive them crazy.

It seems like only yesterday when we were young.

Celtics Future Clear: Considerations & Draft Picks

DATELINE: Stockpiling the Future Asset

Randy Scott

Danny Ainge’s cockamamie plan is now clear.

He intends to trade every player on the team for future draft picks.

If another NBA team wants a player on the Celtics roster, Ainge will do what he can to accommodate a trade. Nothing will come back to Boston in return—only future considerations.

Like ghosts on the Outward Bound ship to the afterlife, the new Celtics will feature empty spots on the bench.

You may think the Celtics will be short-handed, having sent everyone who can score (or even play) to another team. That’s a mere technicality. All that would remain on the bench would be injured players and fans who think they can play better than the present roster.

If the Celtics have no players, there will be great cost savings on salary for the next two years. Ainge has discovered that future considerations do not require a monthly paycheck.

This could save the team about $75 million each season.

Since the Celtics play to lose just about every game on the schedule, this fits right in with a plan to divest the Celtics organization of everyone except Brad Stevens.

As a groundbreaking strategy, the Celtics would become the first team in the history of professional sports to have no one on the roster.

They would have plenty of speculation and fan input for what players would eventually don the green uniform in two or three years. The team could open the TD Garden doors every night for a guest high school team to come to play an NBA game.

Fans might not see much difference from what has been on the parquet so far this season.

Boston Celtics: Going, Going, Gone

DATELINE: Tragedy Meets Comedy

 

Dumb America

Uh-oh. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

This seems to be the motivation speech of Coach Brad Stevens at game time. Boston Celtics were ready for another night of hickory-dickory dock.

We now have a greater appreciation for Doc Rivers leaving Boston.

Bob Dylan once sang out the proverbial question: “Something is happening around here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”

Mr. Stevens doesn’t have a clue.

Brad Stevens (the present and future young coach of the now even more miserable Boston Celtics) admitted in a way that Bill Belichick, Terry Francona, and Doc Rivers never spoke in a postgame press conference. By his own admission Brad Stevens doesn’t have a clue.

He likened his coaching to tossing darts. Blind-folded, we might add.

Well, now we know that Red Auerbach isn’t walking through that door, fans. We have sitting before us the new Rick Pitino.

As Celtics fans know, the long-ago alleged savior of the Celtics, actually came in and turned out to be one of the zombies bringing the team down. Rick Pitino, meet Brad Stevens.

We grant you this: Trading Rajon Rondo for some chips and a corndog is not the fault of Coach Stevens.

Uh-oh. You mean the team is now, more than ever, heading down to lottery land?

Having youth was supposed to serve us well.

Apparently Danny Ainge did not send the memo down the chain of command. Instead, we hear the unchained melody of Bob Dylan, “knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door.”

Forget anyone walking through that door. It’s locked.

Yes, it’s all over this season, fans. Coach Stevens has not been given the keys to the kingdom, or to the front door.

Rondo & the Bean Town Stalk

DATELINE: Return of the Native

Rondo & the Bean Town

Rajon Rondo has never been happier. He is playing again for a championship-bound group where press and media are insignificant. He has truth and beauty in his life again. He surrounds his assist-machine mentality with superstar veterans. He dreams of sugar plum fairies and an NBA banner again.

Now, a mere fortnight since the trade that may leave him quizzical in the middle of the night, he returns to the Boston TD Garden. He shall score at will, make his gaudy triple double stand out like a dagger gleaming in the moonlight as it plunges into the heart of an artichoke.

Returning to Boston too soon, he will endure what he despises: a video tribute to his talent (that got him traded for a bag of chips and two candy bars).

Rondo is about to enter a Twilight Zone—and the victims of this nightmare will be the Boston media, fans, Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens, and all doubters.

Baked bean counters are about to be cooked in their own juices.

Ainge, like Jack Beanstalk’s mother, threw the magic beans out the window—rejecting the prodigal son as a foolish luxury.

Now the giant stalk will drop a giant on Boston’s quaint basketball village.

 

Boston media now sit in a fantasyland that resembles an enchanted Brigadoon, awaiting another banner. They may as well look for water at Timbuktu.

Rondo is bound for glory and greatness again. The little men who once thrived around him may believe they are destiny’s leprechauns, but they will always be the little men who lost a big dream.

Smarty Pants in a Celtics Uniform

DATELINE: Smarty Pants

how smart is this guy?

Marcus Smart has already begun the process of replacing Rajon Rondo. He certainly has overtaken Rondo’s sense of fashion as his first step.

It is not hubris, nor is it premature to arrive at the conclusion that Rondo has indeed been replaced. Smart will not be another Maxwell—no, not Cedric—but rather, we mean the inept secret agent. Agent 36 seems to be his own best friend.

Our theory for years has centered on the reality of instant stardom. The real stars, the genuine article, the super impact player, arrive on the scene and show no need to grow, to develop, or to acclimate. He may do all of those, but the factors would be secondary to his star qualities.

Marcus Smart is a star in the order of Larry Bird. Like Bird, he will be the centerpiece of a new Big Three or however many it takes to return Celtic greatness.

If we were to guess, he already has his Kevin McHale in the body of Kelly Olynyk. It could also be that Jared Sullinger is the other missing link. They will ape the original big three and the second coming of the big three, and will inspire a third helping of Divine Three.

The team may not be much right now, but it could be playoff ready by end of season. And, Smart will lead them through the desert to find another banner. He is carrying stone tablets in his front smarty pants pocket.

As for our beloved target of many years, Rajon Rondo was seen smiling on the court while playing for the Mavericks. He has gone to a better place—and we think he will be happier than toiling where he was despised by so many “purists.”

Smart, like Bird, seems to have that basic gift that will render critics silent. Fasten your seatbelts, Green Teamers, the ride may be bumpy—but we are off on a decade-long adventure with Mr. Smart. He is no 86. Call him Agent 36.

Rondo RIP

DATELINE: Death to the Infidel

lumpy

Rajon Rondo said trade rumors were a “way of life,” after some of the most giddy media reports. It wasn’t the rumors of a trade so much as the delight in the notion that Rondo was a dead duck that struck observers.

Trade rumors appeared to be less than a way of life, but more akin to a death knell.

The bell has tolled for Rondo enough times to be a unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

Insiders who claim knowledge usually reserved for the Mahdi or clairvoyants were jumping on the bandwagon with tar and feathers for Rondo as his travel outfit.

Old Ainge pal Kevin McHale figured in some rumors. He was the man who gave Ainge his NBA title seven years ago with Kevin Garnett. Could McHale do it again?

Since the names floated as return investment for Rondo seem rather pale riders, we know that someone has decided Rondo is expendable. His slumping ways in recent weeks may have signaled vulnerability, or just a good time to dump the future salary choke in the Celtics gullet.

There seemed no good match coming to Boston in return for Rondo, but detractors, as always, noted the heavy burden of Rondo lifted from our back was freedom itself.

If Rondo ever felt unwanted, he was experiencing the horror that befell Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce before him.

To be the last dinosaur standing while the asteroid’s impact devastated all that you loved and knew may be enough to send Rondo packing with eager desire.

Rumors had Rondo going West, where young men could find a championship team faster than waiting for the sun to rise in the east.

As for us, we see Rondo’s departure as the onset of a famine and the epitome of a plague on our house. A curse may fall upon the Boston Celtics for their hubris.

King James Never Met Royalty He Didn’t Like

DATELINE: Royal Pain in the Chamberpot

 cryin'jag

 

Not since President Jimmy Carter kissed Jackie O at a public ceremony at the Kennedy Library has there been such a faux pas. She visibly blanched.

King James must think he is really royalty. He laid his paws on the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Willie’s preggers wife.

King James never read the chapter and verse in the Bible that stops him from doing whatever he feels like doing.

We want to give Lebron James the benefit of the doubt, but every time we try, we start laughing. You have to remember he was raised by Queen Gloria who pawed everyone young King James brought home to the ghetto.

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape—and mortals don’t touch royals.

It has been thus since the days of the guillotine. And, if this were still the days of the guillotine, Lebron would be missing the part of his body that some people believe contains his pea-brain. How else can you describe this encounter between the princess and the pea-brain?

Arrogance of NBA thugs knows no bounds. Being out of bounds is no excuse to think you can bow down to royalty sitting courtside.

It’s bad enough that NBA players will spray the courtside jesters with their profuse sweat, but that just flies when you shake your mangy mange after running up and down the court for a few minutes.

Lebron still must believe that democracy reigns in England, or that he has risen high above the democrats. After all, once you have accepted the crown, you never feel uneasy about stretching the tentacles toward every beautiful princess. Just ask Bill Cosby.

Zullard Unites with Rondo

DATELINE: FOLLOW THE YELLOWBRICK ROAD

ZULLARDMeet Zullard

 

Zullard replaces Jelly O’Sully for Celtics? Say it ain’t so!

If you want to know what Kelly Olynyk feels like, sitting on the bench, you only have to look at Will Middlebrooks sitting on the bench.

But, we know it won’t be for much longer. Will Middlebrooks has become a staple of injury and failed potential in Boston, and he will likely take that talent to a new venue soon. He has a better chance of changing his venue than Aaron Hernandez.

And, much as we hate to see our golddust twin to Jared Sullinger be sent packing, there are fans aplenty calling for his head to be rolled down the highway next to the head of Jonas Gray.

Kelly Olynyk may be the next Andrew Miller. He will be traded unceremoniously, then discovered to be an under appreciated gem. When you want him back, he will sign with the Yankees and say, “Jacoby Ellsbury said it was all right.”

Jelly O’Sully has been replaced by Zullard, which is the tandem that makes Rajon Rondo salivate.

jelly O'Sully So Long, Jelly

When Tyler Zeller catches impossible passes from the impossibly chic Rondo, you know he is heading for double-doubles. And, when Rondo anoints you, can coach Brad Stevens be far behind?

There are players we cried to see leave town (please, don’t remind of us our crying jag over Greg Stiemsma).

Eventually all things will pass, especially if you can’t catch a Rondo pass.

Jelly O’Sully may be dead, but long live Zullard.