Celtics Choke Again.

DATELINE: Once More With Feeling

Boston Celtics used to be a subject we could write about with amusement. Not now.

Since the Great Bubble Experiment of the NBA where home court is a myth, you have the Celtics not playing home games on their notorious parquet floor. It used to give them a superstitious advantage.

Nowadays, home court is somewhere in Florida where alligators await being made in a sow’s ear. The Boston Celtics have fisticuffs in the locker room, and their vaunted stars (Kemba, Smart, Brown) are proving to be lesser lights.

Long live the Celtics. The team is dead for this year. There is one word you never hear in the Boston media: choke.

 We hear the strangulation gasps for air. We hear the air leaving the bubble.

The Celtics have epitomized the concept of choking under the pressures in big games during a series against the Miami Heat.

There is no other way to describe a team that is fighting amongst itself more than against the opposing team.

You have the great Kemba Walker not exactly performing well. Maybe there is a reason why he never played in playoffs all these years. Now in the playoffs, he is choking. He does not know how to play big games, with no experience.

Marcus Smart is dumb, and his insanity now is the noose choking the team. Jaylen Brown is playing chopsticks on his piano most of the game.

Jayson Tatum, Bird in waiting, is now proving that he knows not what a dagger to the heart means.

Bird did.

So, we have a team in disarray, in stress, playing poorly when they need to be their best. Something’s gotta give, folks.

Wait till next year may mean more than the Curse of Kyrie Irving.

Nobody gives squat about the Celtics anymore.

 

 

 

 

On the Death of Kobe

DATELINE: Another Legend’s Reaction?

On the heels of one horrific and unexpected death of a sports legend, all too soon, we were left wondering about immortality and life here and now.

We were not alone in this philosophical moment. Among the many testimonials to the life and energy of Kobe Bryant, we were struck by the heart-felt message of Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum. He posted a picture of himself, as a mere six-year-old with Kobe. His latest mentoring came only before the season began.

He is devastated and perhaps will be for the remainder of his days.

The second figure who jumped out of the plethora of sad comments were those by Tom Brady.

Perhaps they never met, but in all likelihood, they did. Legends have a way of crossing paths—even for a moment.

Brady now 42 is a year older than Kobe. He is still playing and Kobe had retired to spend time with his family.

Talk has centered on Brady’s free agency—leaving New England, finding big money, and starting anew and renewed. Yet, now, we wonder if he saw photos of Kobe with his daughter who also died in that senseless crash.

If any incident can alter the future, this one may have an impact on Brady. He had dismissed retirement—but now it looms as the omen, augur, and warning. He too has a small daughter. He too is sacrificing time with them to play his game.

Now, he may have come to the crossroads with Kobe again. Should Brady retire and spend time with his children, not knowing what the future will offer him?

That serious and sobering thought may now be weighing heavily on another legendary sports star.

Pink at Heart for Grant Williams

DATELINE: In Romeo’s ‘do?

At least one Celtic player in the NBA wants his three teammates to be on the All-Star team.

There is some doubt that the Celtics will be able to muster Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, on the team. It seems a glut of wealth may be the Celtics counterweight.

There is a great disbelief that the Celtics will have enough support to see their three hot stars in the All-Star lineup. It seems especially so since Tacko Fall holds more votes than almost anyone else.

Much to our amusement, fellow Celtic, the intriguing Renaissance Man off the court, Grant Williams, is making an offer we can’t refuse. No, this is not the Incredible Shrinking Man: this is the incredible, smart Celtic.

Grant is quite a genius, in case you are wondering, with a nerdy photographic memory, the ability to speak several languages, and play several instruments of music. His specialty de la Maison is the piano, but we have yet to demand a duet with the other piano player on Celtics: Jalen Brown.

But we are ahead of ourselves: Grant made a deal that if fans vote the three starters on the All-Star team, he will dye his hair pink for one month. Now, this is not so earth-shattering and may not be much of a stretch for the non-traditional Grant. We’d like to see Grant with pink hair regardless of the all-star vote.

So, vote often for the trio of Celtics. We love Grant in Pink. No, not Cary, and not Ulysses. We mean #12.

Boston Celtics Dynamic Duo

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.

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Yes, Tom Brady Wants Out of New England

DATELINE: Update on the Skids

Mask of the Amontillado

Now Tom Brady has dumped his 16-year charity work at Best Buddies, where he usually hosts races and football games every year. He is turning the reins over to Jayson Tatum and Julian Edelman.

Do you think Tom’s bags are already packed? 

If you listen to the experts in Boston sports, apart from us, you have learned this week that Tom Brady is greasing the skids to slide out of town at season’s end.

Tom knows which way the wind blows:  and it is blowing westward toward the San Andreas fault, where Tom can shake the earth on his own terms. Perhaps he sees Miami as the retirement home of his dreams!

We must agree with the details that Tom Brady is done in Boston, though the bigger picture may be smaller.

It seems that Tom has two reasons to leave: and they are Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, both of whom have left him stranded without a receiving corps in an annual denuding of first-rate players. Whenever Tom finds someone to his liking, that player is sent packing for reasons usually salary-related.

And Tom remains among the lowest paid superstars at QB position. Taking a hit for the team has grown tiresome for Tom.

It may be that Tom wants to prove, finally, in his golden years, that it is he, not Belichick, who won six Super Bowls.  If New England wants a seventh, he may provide it on the way out. The door may slam on someone’s ass—but it won’t be Tom. Bill Belichick will stay on. Perhaps Josh McDaniel, beloved Babe, will follow out west.

Tom can win two or three more Super Bowls playing for the Raiders in his hometown. Fifty may be the new retirement goal.

Then again, Tommy—and Belichick too—want to show they never needed the other to win the next SB. Unfortunately, they both do need each other—and only will a final separation prove it to them and to the world. Belichick will hold on until his son can become the new King of the Patriots coaching corps.

For fans it will be too late.

In the meantime, Tom snipes at the Boston press—whom he has grown to dislike more than ever—and he and his best friend-trainer, the Svengali of TB12 methodology—have put their Massachusetts homes up for sale in prep for the next season in Oakland.

Yes, you can go home, Tom. And Boston was never home, even after 20 years of suffering through fame and fortune, bad weather and a hundred-fold of receivers.

 

 

 

 

 

Celtics Usurp Patriots in Season Finale

 DATELINE: Sunny Tzu in Boston

Tatum, Gronk, Kyrie

In one of the great anticlimaxes of Patriot history, the Tom Brady team defeated the New York Jets in less than impressive fashion than your usual worthless score numbers.

The really exciting moment was a TV commercial in the middle of the game.

If anyone enjoyed playing in one of the coldest games in Foxboro in a generation, they did not show it. The game was a job for players, and a task for fans who stayed away because it was New Year’s Eve and about ten degrees on the field.

Brady was the smartest man on the field, wearing a Navy Seal scuba outfit under his uniform, while some dumb-bells went out shirtless in pre-game to show their manhood is a match for pneumonia.

It didn’t matter, as the Patriots would win the home field advantage, despite Gronk’s notable absence during the game. He never caught a pass and made a few blocks—and seemed gone to the sidelines for nearly all the second half.

If Gronk made any impression during the game, it was his participation in a most intriguing commercial ad for Nike. The highlight of the game was the one-minute spot that brought together three key sports personalities in Boston sports culture:  Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, and Gronk.

It certainly explained Gronk’s presence courtside at a Celtics game this week. The three stars shared the stage for a commercial debut during the Patriots’ game.

Gronk read Sun Tzu, the great philosopher of warfare, and Irving indicated his philosophical bent was more on a cartoon level.

Jayson Tatum was around to look pretty.

Ah, Boston culture.  Irving misidentified some musical group behind him as the “Boston Philharmonic,” meaning the Pops or Boston Symphony wouldn’t participate.

It put a shoddy, last regular season game into perspective: it’s time for a New Year, and a new chapter.

 

 

Monday Night Football, Basketball, and Ancient Aliens

 DATELINE: Boston’s Conundrum

Green Hornet & Lantern 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.

 

 

 

 

Best and Worst in Boston Sports History!

DATELINE:  Great Rivalry about to be Born

                         Jayson  Curry

                                                    Jayson Tatum & Steph Curry

Are we talking a new major rivalry? Boston and New England has had its fair share of giants in sports history. We have seen loyal opposition, and red coats.

In Boston, some fans believe it is happening again.

We are looking at something special on the famous Garden parquet floor under the green banners.

We can remember Bird & Magic. We know about Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Recently there was Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Some oldsters even remember Bobby Orr & Brad Park. How can we forget Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk?

We aren’t sure if David wore a Boston jersey when he took on Goliath on the Boston Common.

Yes, Yankees and Red Sox. Lakers and Celtics. Patriots and Broncos. Bruins and Rangers.

Tonight, we add Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics for this generation. We hope Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving can elevate us to sports Nirvana, even if Kyrie looks like the Masked Marvel for this game.

No doubt about it, the thought of a new Boston rivalry makes us giddy.

Throw in Kevin Durant, the man who didn’t like Green shorts. Throw in Jason Tatum, a phenom teenager who is the new Larry Bird.

We cannot emphasize that hyperbole is an understatement in anticipation of this benchmark game in legendary lore.

Yes, Charles Dickens said it best: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We had Trump; we had Brady. We had black lives mattering; we had white supremacist dolts. The times are a mess.

We pray that the worst of times will transform this sports moment into the best of times during one little basketball game, Golden State Warriors versus the Boston Celtics. Yummy.

 

 

Casting Celtics around Batman Kyrie Irving

DATELINE:  Colorblind Mask

 Masked Kyrie Kyrie, Eleison

Kyrie Irving, now playing the Masked Marvel, led the Celtics to their 13th victory in a row. It qualified them to meet the reigning dynasty next in the matchup of the year.

Yes, Golden Boys from California are next on the list to become the Golden Fleece to the Celtics.

Irving won national attention for wearing a mask to his game in New York, not a late Halloween gag, but a medical necessity after a small bone in his face was cracked by a teammate’s elbow. He told Aaron Baynes not to send a fruit basket.

Everyone awaited to see the black mask he wore several years back with Cleveland—but Irving wasn’t in the mood to play the Lone Ranger. Black was out, which seemed ironic, but he explained that the black mask limited his peripheral vision.

Even teammates had to relent: they want a victory and a happy camper in Kyrie, even if he failed the Bruce Wayne as Batman contest.

Fake news expert commentator Brian Scalabrine, redundant in his new fake hair from Dr. Leonard, made the off-hand comment that the NBA had stopped Kyrie from becoming the man in the black iron mask. But, that was untrue. Nor did he wear a high yellow mask for racist Boston fans.

Instead, Irving wore clear plastic with thick black bands. It was not a look or feel he enjoyed, constantly adjusting it and removing it. He even left it on the table before Scalabrine during the game.

Like it or not, Kyrie is the Boston Batman. His Robin is clearly Jayson Tatum, and his Alfred the Butler is the tall drink of water known as Al Horford. Commissioner Gordon Hayward is out with a broken ankle, and Jalen Brown may take on the role as the team joker.

Whatever the facial remedy, short of Tom Brady’s Botox mask, the Celtics went on to victory: setting up the hoop dream as their best team in a decade goes after Steph Curry and Kevin ‘I Don’t Look Good in Green’ Durant.

Ten Little Celtics—and Then There Were None!

DATELINE:  A Disappearing Act

whats not to like?

Like the proverbial Ten Little Indians of Agatha Christie, the Boston Celtics seem to be in reduction mode. Another has bit the dust, leaving only the minor benchwarmers to step up, like the other Boston team, the Patriots.

One after another, their new Big Three has gone away. First, there was a gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward. Next, Al Horford suffered a concussion, and now a few games later, Kyrie Irving, the lynchpin of the renewed Celtics has gone out with a concussion. Return unknown.

This has happened with the background of an amazing winning streak, surely one of the great starts of any Celtics team (which is impressive). They have now won 11 straight games after two initial defeats.

Theirs is the best record in the NBA—and their players are disappearing faster than on a 2017 Patriots team. In that case, we can trace the bad luck of the New England team to the arrogant breaking of a mirror, deliberately, by superstar GOAT Tom Brady.

We aren’t sure who broke the mirror on the Celtics team. Even one of their vaunted rookies, Jayson Tatum, went out for a game with a mysterious ankle injury. However, Tatum remains the new Larry Bird, or are we cursing him too?

Superstars come out of nowhere and instantly stay bright for a career. Tatum has shown no rookie insecurity and plays like a veteran—thus, the Celtics have managed to survive their string of bad luck.

Throw in Jalen Brown, the other intriguing young star, and you have Destiny with a capital D running away from Fate with a capital F.

 

We watch in awe.