Celtics Fight Each Other!

DATELINE: ‘Former Celtic’ is Always a Dirty Term

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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.

Kevin Durant Conquers Boston’s Fans

DATELINE:  Boston’s Newest Crush

What’s with these guys named Kevin?

In the NBA, they all come to Boston and fall in love with the basketball franchise. Well, Kevin Love came to Boston and met Rajon Rondo, which is as close to a cure for a love potion as you might find.

Kevin McHale came here to live in fame. So did Kevin Garnett.

And, now the Thunderous Kevin Durant came, saw, and conquered the fans. They didn’t care if he beat the home town team. They loved his stuff.

Celtics fans were squealing under the notion he is a free agent—and they gave him love not usually bestowed so freely on those not in green, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

Durant will be a free agent, but there will be nothing free about him, but after his lovefest interview with the media, singing praises of Boston, its history, and its young coach, there is a sense that he may not be free, but he may be willing to dicker.

The idea of Kevin Durant in Celtics lore sends chills up the ying-yang of Bill Russell and Larry Bird. As a legitimate superstar, and well-spoken, intelligent, and demure, he would be a hit in Boston where sassy and crassy usually reign.

We may be losing David Ortiz this season with the Red Sox—and Chandler Jones has headed off to play for the “New England Cardinals” (his gaffe, not ours), but KD may be the new KG.

If this is summer love, then give us a long duration Durant.

 

Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett Enjoy a Night on Town

DATELINE: Nostalgic Celtics

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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.

Home Court Disadvantage: Kevin Garnett

DATELINE: HUMOR

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Kevin Garnett may have taken his last bath in Boston.

He sold his $4.6 million home for $3.6 million, which certainly qualifies as a bath. Of course, if he makes his expected $12m next season, he may need that loss as a tax deduction. We should not feel too much sadness for KG whose bankroll of Gs still could choke the proverbial horse.

Garnett’s palace was located on a pond not a stone’s throw from where Henry David Thoreau preached a Spartan lifestyle in Concord. With a gym, a wine cellar, and media room, we suspect this is not the kind of sparse living that Thoreau meant for Walden Pond types.

The house looks somewhat like a California Malibu playground somehow misplaced in a tiny New England hamlet.

Of course, the house is a spacious as a run on the beach near the Big Sur. With 11,000 square feet, it gives the standard Wal-Mart a run for shelf space.

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You can almost hear the Pacific waves when you stand outside the magnificence of the rather-non-New England style. If you want a little cottage on Cape Cod, don’t ask the people who designed the Getty House in California to put together your seasonal home.

Yes, KG only lived here when the lemmings were running, or the Celtics were winning. It has the look of a house that has not been lived in much. You can almost hear the Shot Heard Round the World over at the Lexington-Concord Green, not to be confused with Celtic Green.

No one would say how many toilets KG flushed while lord of his domain. We guess five baths, but that is a rough estimate. No self-respecting NBA star can live with fewer than six full-baths.

Alas, the real estate bubble has given KG his last bath.

Kevin Love Center of Boston Conspiracy!

DATELINE: CONSPIRACY THEORY

 Rondo Finds Love

When Kevin Love receives a game time meeting with Rajon Rondo at Fenway Park, a postgame meeting with Gronk of the Patriots, and receives an advice tweet on living in Boston from David Ortiz, you have the sense that a conspiracy is afoot.

Kevin Love was in Boston for one weekend, but he met with everyone except the Mayor. He didn’t get the key to the city, but he may have the keys to the kingdom—or at least a luxury condo next to Tom Brady’s digs on Commonwealth Ave.

Forget UFOs hidden by the U.S. government. The Boston Celtics are involved in one of the great conspiracies of our age. They intend to pull up the Brink’s truck next to the Timberwolves and steal Kevin Love.

Whitey Bulger may have been in cahoots with the FBI as an informant, but the Boston Celtics are in cahoots with Love’s agent.

If there is to be a conspiracy, you know that the Celtics will also sign the other major client of Love’s agent. His name happens to be Paul Pierce, and he is available for a return to Boston. His massive McMansion is on the market, but not yet sold. He could share it with Kevin Love if he doesn’t sell it to Love.OBAMA & ORTIZ

Last time the Celtics stole a Timberwolf off the endangered species listings, his name was Kevin Garnett. Danny Ainge is partial to signing men named Kevin.

As far as conspiracies go, when the New England weather cooperates with Love’s weekend visit by providing ideal conditions, you know that something big is happening behind the scenes.Gronky

Brooklyn: Home for Old Celtics

DATELINE: HUMORESQUE

GarnettKevin Garnett has not proposed to Big Baby Davis, nor to Jason Collins, but he wants them more than Uncle Sam wants you.

Valentine’s Day and NBA Trade Deadline Day often become confused because teams send flowers but eschew the fatty chocolates.

First openly gay basketball star Jason Collins has been left at the altar after making a modest proposal about playing on any team that would have him. And, overeater and underachiever Glen Davis has been bought out by the Orlando team, letting him ply his wares on any street corner of his choice.

Brooklyn unloaded Jason Terry, never a real Celtic, but now wants Davis and Collins to join Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as they make a push to avoid the lottery.

The only player Garnett would send flowers to is Rajon Rondo, but that bromance is off limits.

Garnett blew a gasket when the media hinted he had the hots for Big Baby. Garnett’s heart may be green, but not just for any former Celtic player.

You can bet your bottom dollar that KG does not want the Brooklyn Nets to let Ray Allen walk through that door.

Across the country in Los Angeles, former Celtics coach Doc Rivers also wants Glen Davis—and he wanted Garnett and Pierce too. The NBA does not like little green teams growing all over the country and put the kibosh on those reunions.

We like the idea of old Celtics becoming the new Andromeda Strain. Let them proliferate and congregate.

We will have another Celtic banner after all—it just won’t be in Boston.

Welcome Home, Garnett & Pierce

DATELINE: REUNIONS Rondo & Ray in Happier Times

The Boston Celtics fans at the TD Garden saved their strongest support of the season for a couple of Brooklyn Nets players.

Yes, even Kevin Garnett noted that the tribute paid to him was “over the top,” and the United States sent the Marines to stop this kind of thing in Tripoli. Not one cent for tribute.

Paul Pierce got his too.

Though Rondo wanted to ignore the shenanigans, he stopped to give a mild round of applause to his two former mates.

Kevin Garnett was so overcome that he forgot his mantra for game face and was broadly smiling. It was a hope to be devoutly wished. If Garnett was off his rituals, the Celtics had a chance to win the game.

Even Kendrick Perkins put out a tweet to recognize his former championship teammates for a well-deserved ovation. The lone missing link was Ray Allen who remained in the doghouse and bereft of love from Boston where he suffered the slings and arrows of disdain upon his return last year.

No such luck as to win the game, as Lucky the Leprechaun favored former Celtics over the present-day upstarts.

A few media members who have not watched a game all season called the young players unexciting and lackluster.

All were hoping that the lottery to come would provide vast riches and a superstar to make the Celtics contenders again.

In the meantime, we won’t see such love poured onto former players until they return in retirement for the ever-lasting honor of retired numbers.

Rondo Faces Another Reunion Without Sentiment

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DATELINE: THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Rajon Rondo hardly could contain himself. If he could have popped the media, he would. We expected eyerolling and snickering.

Someone dared to ask Rondo if he would be emotional to the point of sentimental crocodile tears.

“Have you ever seen me tear up?”

Well, er, hmmm, now that you mention it… not quite.

Rondo may have warm and fuzzy feelings for his former teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but that ragged old teddy bear of love has been locked away for better days.

Rondo promised it was his intention to “destroy” his opponents. Oops, someone should tell Garnett that the little brother he loves is a brat.

We suspect that Kevin and Paul already know Rondo intimately. There is no surprise for them. They knew him when they were superstars and he was an upstart point guard telling them what to do.

No wonder they love him, understand him, and smile knowingly at every Rondoism that comes from his lips.

On the other hand, when Doc Rivers came to Boston recently with his new team, Rondo went in his street clothes to the visitors’ locker room to meet his former nemesis out of the glare of media attention.

When Kendrick Perkins comes to town for a game, you can bet your bottom dollar, gourmet chef Rondo is cooking up a storm for a private dinner.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett know what Rondo is and what they mean to him. You can count on it.

Mercurial Rondo is as Rondo does, and don’t you forget it.

 

 For the whole story and nothing but the funny tale, read RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR or its equally bizarre sequel RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. Both books are available at Amazon.com.

 

Rondo Counts the Seconds to His Return

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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“29,233,380 secs” was Rajon’s Tweet.

Oh, that Rondo! He is quite a wag.

That’s why we love him.

He posted on his Twitter account the bizarre number of seconds, making sports reporters run to their calculators, and making humorists run to their joke books.

Yes, millions of seconds have passed since Rondo had surgery to repair his gimpy knee. And, if you count them all in hours and days, you end up at Tip Off time for Friday’s game.

No one dares to make a firm statement, as this is the Rondo Show and no one wants to be cornholed before Rondo makes his first point.

All that talk of minor league games to warm up his tired old bones may have been merely a distraction and disinformation to send those media morons scrambling to Red Claw games.

Rondo never played a minute in these D-League games. He will use the minor league style of the big league Celtics to hone his rusty skills.

The big game is one week after the Friday tip. That is the first Boston home appearance of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, leading the Brooklyn Nets to the TD Garden.

Rondo loves those two, and he wants to show off his style by playing against them. It will be heart-warming to see the old gang on the same court shooting their hearts out.

Rondo is so sentimental that he may pass an alley-oop to Garnett for old times’ sake.

Thirty million seconds to splash down.

MarShon Brooks: His Ship Sails

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Boston Celtics non-person MarShon Brooks has finally forded that stream. He has packed his bags and gone north to the Alaska of basketball, the D-League.

With a blizzard about to hit the TD Garden in Boston, Brooks is mushing his dogsled to the Siberia of lost souls.

Maine’s Red Claws team may be the closest spot to a gulag according to administrators of the Celtics. President Danny Putin Ainge even sent his son there to learn how to run a basketball pogrom.

Coach Brad Stevens puts a pleasant spin on building the confidence of Brooks. Disinformation should be made of sterner stuff.  It would have helped to build his confidence by playing him more than ten minutes during the entire season up to now. Indeed, MarShon may well ask why now even as the Celtics say why not.

Brooks looked miserable sitting on the bench and watching the Celtics routinely blowing 20-point leads. He was powerless to assist, to rebound, or to score. Coach Stevens has a blind spot, and it seemed that MarShon was always sitting in the midst of it.

Now he will play regularly in Maine. So, goes the team patter.

But, of course, his time in Maine will be severely limited because Rajon Rondo is heading up there to rehab his gimpy leg before taking over HMS Bounty and casting Captain Brad Bligh Stevens adrift.

Fans may note that both Jason Kidd and Brad Stevens are rookie coaches with a similar problem: how to relate to their players.

It’s beginning to look like the Nets and/or Celtics ought to have hired Kevin Garnett as player/coach. No player would lose confidence with KG at the helm, though a few might lose their heads.

 

 

Thanks, but No Tanks, Celtics

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In Days of Yore: Kevin Garnett

DATELINE: HUMOR!

A tree grows in Brooklyn, and Jason Kidd is looking to make sure it receives plenty of water. He has ordered cup holders for the Nets’ bench.

Gunga Din aside, the Celtics make their way to a reunion of sorts with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on this evening in Brooklyn. Win or lose, the sight of the former Celtics in Brooklyn uniform was heart-wrenching.

Since the Celtics roster is now almost totally different, the few players who actually know KG and Paul well are a handful: Rondo, Bass, Green, Bradley, and then some acquaintances and a few associates.

It is not much of a family reunion since the Prodigal Son is MIA and has played for the Miami Heat for the past few seasons. We wonder when the Big Three will once again be on the parquet floor of the TD Garden together. It may be a while.

In the meantime, Celtics fans will keep a hawk eye upon Jason Kidd as the concessionaire comes around with cold drinks. He may throw cold water on the Celtics’ little rally into first place. It would be like tossing water onto the Wicked Witch of the West.

In the meantime, Rondo wore a flashy robin red vest that attracted Kevin Garnett who came over to the Celtics bench to give the obligatory hug to his little buddy.

When Pierce and Garnett played, they didn’t seem old or worn out. They were juiced up for the encounter. Paul came into the game to stand on the free throw line next to Brandon Bass—and had Bass laughing immediately.

We miss KG and P.

What Ails the Celtics?

ImageThe Inimitable Kelly Olynyk

DATELINE: BITING IRONIES

True believers in the Celtics are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth. You can tell the rats are on a raft with Pi when the optimistic talk is the upcoming lottery and how many excellent franchise-changing players will be available.

Are you kidding yourself? Or are you just whistling that same old tune past the graveyard?  The lottery has never been a Celtic solution and more often than not the lottery is a crapshoot.

The die may be hard, may be cast, may be loaded, but that will not alter the hobgoblin living down at TD Garden. We used to call him Lucky the Leprechaun.

These Celtics are streaky: and we fear the next hill on the rollercoaster may cause us to fall out of the bumpy ride.

The Boston Celtics are turning us into Bette Davis, singing in character, “They’re either too young or too old. They’re either too gray or too green.”

In the case of our beloved basketball franchise, too green may be a detriment. Something is wrong along the Causeway. And, Kevin Garnett is not walking through that door, fans.

MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries looked on paper like they could help and make for exciting teammates, but they are not even on paper when they sit on the bench game after game. They must be sitting on flypaper.

The only way Kelly Olynyk will take a duckboat ride this season is if he buys a ticket with the rest of the tourists.

 Who are these strange birds sitting on the bench with Coach Brad Stevens? And we are talking about the assistant coaches, not the players.

After a few more games like the early road trip to Minnesota and we’ll be calling Brad Stevens the Ted Baxter of basketball. Like Lou Grant, we don’t care for spunk, Mary.

Yes, indeed, the pickings are poor, and the crop is lean. Fans are traveling down memory lane with grandpa, or we’re babysitting the bassinet crowd.

It’s no mistake that the fans sitting at TD Garden on the Jumbotron include mostly kids, young and full of exuberance for their team.  Young fans know only admiration and love for their players. Kids tolerate loveable losers.

We clearly fall into the “too old” category, Bette.

 

For more on the Celtics, you may want to read RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. It’s available in softcover and in ebook for smart readers.

Celtics Forever, or a Tree Grows in Brooklyn

ImageRondo and Ray in Happier Times (we think)

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Ray Allen is still mystified as to why his former Celtic teammates won’t speak to him. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce of the Brooklyn Nuts have shut the door on the three-point marvel and former member of the Big Three.

Allen, often thought to be the most intelligent of the three, now is running head and shoulders ahead in the obtuseness quotient.

He believes their trades from the Celtics should make Garnett and Pierce more amenable to his situation. Apparently it has not. They still refuse to acknowledge him and regard him as a traitor.

They were traded. He was a traitor. There is a difference, Ray.

The other point Ray seems oblivious to understand is that he broke up the trio by choice. He feared Trader Danny Ainge, his nemesis on the Celtics, was going to dump him anyhow. This may be a stretch when the Celtics offered Allen more money than the Heat. He chose to take his talents to South Beach. It is the last refuge of scoundrels in the NBA.

The real reason for the cold shoulder toward Ray was at the Miami Heat game with the Celtics, though he did not play.

Rajon Rondo was always the fourth member of the musketeers, and he and Musketeer Bathos Allen never seemed to hit it off.

Rodney King inquired of the Celtics, “Why can’t we all just get along?”  Some fans speculate that Rondo’s reaction was to punch him in the nose and push him into a swimming pool. That is nothing compared to what Rondo would like to do to Ray Allen.

Following in the footsteps of his Big Daddy Kevin Garnett, Rajon also ignored Ray Allen in pre-game rituals. The acorn does not fall far from the Brooklyn tree, but Rondo can throw it and hit Ray Allen on the noggin every time.

 

 

LeBron James Opens Mouth, Inserts Two Feet

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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LeBron James finds hypocrites everywhere except in the mirror.

LeBron James called Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce a couple of hypocrites for being mean to Ray Allen after he left the Boston Celtics. In LeBron’s twisted world, Garnett and Pierce left Boston too.

Now Doc Rivers has piped in to criticize the loudmouth, blabberhead, imbecile that is LeBron James. Once a Celtic, always a Celtic, Rivers noted that Garnett and Pierce were TRADED, and they did not choose to leave Boston—like Ray Allen.

Doc noted too he chose to leave Boston, but has not criticized Ray Allen.

All of this controversy sparked angry responses from Garnett who told James to mind his own business on South Beach. Pierce was dumbfounded by the notion that he left Boston or wanted to.

Instead of admitting he was wrong, James has told media sources he is done talking about other teams. He might add that he should be done talking about anything of which he is ignorant. Of course, that would mean LeBron could only talk about his mother Gloria and Delonte West.

LeBron famously dumped Cleveland for the warm cllimes of South Beach where his talents would be on ample display with his own version of the Big Three of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen.

Defenders of LeBron think he meant to protect his dear new teammate Ray Allen who has become D’Artagnan to the photocopy Big Three of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

All this goes to show that old Celtics die hard and they are not likely to fade away.

 

 

Boston Celtics Name Game

DATELINE: HUMOR!Rondo&GreenNebulacover

What’s in an NBA name for the Boston Celtics?

The NBA always thinks it has a better idea, but not this time. They want to allow players to put a nickname on the back of their jersey instead of their birthright.

Obviously this opens up a can of worms. Indeed, some nicknames are better left in the locker room. We doubt that “Stinky” will be popular–unless put to a fan vote.

If players are forced to come up with colorful nicknames, the handle market will face stiff competition when “Number One” wears number 73.

Ray Allen, formerly of many teams, would revert to his handle from his movie hit. “Shuttlesworth” is hardly a nick but more like an encyclopedia of letters. If he went by the character’s first name, it would only be blasphemy for those who remember the movie He Got Game.

Allen is in the forefront of those who want to ditch their birthnames and family ties. How many black men in the NBA would dump their roots?

When nicknames shorten the burden of long names, we would laud the effort. Kris Humphries-Kardashian before his divorce was a case in point.

We will enjoy seeing Kris running up and down the court with “Hump” on his back. Shades of Quasimodo.

Jared Sullinger’s troubles with girlfriends and the law will “Sully” his name for all time. Whether he will sully the Celtics only time will tell.

Already we miss Kevin Garnett whose jersey shall read “Big Ticket” and Paul Pierce whose backside reveals “The Truth.”

The plain fact is that Rajon Rondo has no nickname, as befits him. Rondo will always be Rondo, though the pressure will mount to put “Savior” on his back.

Prepare for NBA basketball by reading RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA, now available at Amazon.com in softcover or ebook.