Saturday, March 26, 2011

So this is extremely delayed, but Rondo was on the Pre-Game meal with Shannon Allen

It looks like they made some really yummy food. And I also learned that one of his nicknames is Johnny, and that's what his mother calls him. Too cute!

Chris Bosh had a really expensive 27th birthday party.

All images C/O the ever fabulous YBF.

I guess when you're really rich this is what invitations look like:
This might not be an invitation. I may just be too poor to even know what that is, but seeing as the party was called, "The Chris Bosh Distinguished Gentlemen Birthday Party Dinner," I'd say it's a safe guess. 

Chris posed with his fiance, Adrienne. Here's an astute observation: He is tall and she is short. I like her shoes. 

More pics of Chris and his teammates after the jump.

What's wrong with the Celtics?

So I was just looking at the traffic sources for my blog.... And shout out to the person who googled, "What's happening to my Celtics?" and ended up at my page. I, too, would like to know, and I'm sorry that you didn't get any kind of substantive answer after your visit here. But here's my latest theory as to what's plaguing the Celtics. Go with me here. Not to toot my own horn, but in school I was always the really smart kid who was bored because everything was too easy. It was my theory that I need not complete my homework in a timely manner, because I could fool around in class, not put any effort in outside of class, and still get a good grade on tests. That meant my report cards all came home saying stuff like, "Bright student... Further effort required." Or, "Smart child... Why doesn't she try?" Stuff like that. It drove my parents crazy. Unfortunately, I didn't really care. I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that this attitude stuck with me until midway through college. In fact, I'd say it got a little worse in college. I majored in sociology, so a lot of my classes were discussion heavy, and we talked a lot about people and the way they act. I was under the impression that I was smarter and more enlightened than the majority of people in my classes, so I would debate endlessly with them in class until I was blue in the face. I would leave class all worked up at the stuff people said in class... And then I wouldn't do the work. So they'd get a better grade than me, and I'd get mad because I knew I was smarter than them, but they still ended up with a higher grade. Pretty stupid of me.

This, my friends, is what is plaguing the Celtics. I thought I was smarter than everyone, and they think they're better than everyone. And it's actually true- they are better than the majority of other teams in the league. The problem is that it doesn't matter how much talent you have or how good you are if you don't apply yourself. That's why I got B's and even C's (barf), while more dedicated but maybe less intellectually gifted students (teeheehee) got better grades than me, and it's why teams like Charlotte can come in and beat the Celtics. I believe that they're under the impression that they can exert minimal effort and still win. It doesn't work like that. This isn't a new theory. It's what many people thought was going on last year- that they think there's a switch they can flip, to go from playing like doo doo to playing like champs. Except I think it's worse than last year. I think that there's some kind of emotional residue from the Perkins trade. I don't know if it's hostility towards management that he's gone, general sadness in the face of his absence... or even some kind of doubt that they're not as good as they were without him. Let's just hope that they figure it out and flip that switch to champion mode for good. No more back and forth.

And P.S.: I no longer believe I'm smarter than everyone else. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I got it :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

5 Questions with Shaq.

Via Marc Stein:

Q: How much do you look forward to the opportunity to go up against guys like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum in the playoffs?

Excuse me? Don't ask me a question like that.

Q: But that's what people want to know. Those guys are playing so well and everyone wants to see if you can match up with them one-on-one.

First of all, they won't dare play me one-on-one, even at the tender age of 39. And you know what? Playin' those teams, it ain't gonna be about the [center] matchup, so I don't really worry about that.

Q: So there's not more pressure on you now because the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins?
A: No. Because I've just got to rebound and play good defense. And I can do that. If I was getting the ball and taking all the shots, it'd be a lot of pressure at 39. But I've just got to rebound and play D.

Q: However you feel health-wise right now, you're convinced that you're going to be healthy enough to be a factor in the playoffs?

Yeah. Gotta be.

Q: How much thought have you given to playing beyond this season? Is there a chance that this is the last season for you?

I don't know yet. Probably not.
Oh Shaq. I love that he says games with the Magic and the Lakers aren't about the center match ups. We're lucky to have him at a point in his career when it doesn't have to be about that match up. He knows that it's about winning games, and that's it. All Shaq has to be is 39 years old, 7'1" tall and 325 pounds.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Celtics are allegedly optimistic that Shaq could return next week.

Chris Forsberg reports that the Big Shamrock got a cortisone shot to his right foot and strapped that protective boot back on, to prevent swelling.

Yet, despite all of that, the Celtics remain hopeful that he could be back in action next week. He has not played since February 1st... And he has been projected to return back to action so many times since then that I won't believe it until I see him back on the floor, wearing the #36.

Tell em Jigga! You don't need to lie to me, Danny Ainge. Being a fanatic of this club requires patience and a thick skin. 

Lala says that Carmelo doesn't have a secret love child.

She visited "The Breakfast Club," on Power 105.1 in New York City and addressed the pesky rumor, saying that she wouldn't be married to him anymore if it were true. She also said that she sends him naked pictures (to keep the romance alive) and that she doesn't have a nanny or any other kind of live in help. I can't figure out how to link the video of her interview in, so if you want to check it out, click here. I think Lala seems pretty cool and down to earth... Except I'm ready for this whole reality TV craze to end, so I wish she wasn't filming some silly show about her marriage. Just be happy in your marriage and live your life! We don't need to watch it... Just as long as the blogs cover what she wears on the side lines.

The Celtics lose to the Grizz. Left their execution in New York.

This was not the same team we saw in New York. The passion was not there, and execution was awful... Especially down the stretch. They got off to another slow start, and played an off-key game to hang in there for the whole night... Only to fall short at the end. Wamp.

I've been thinking about that seemingly ill timed Rondo floater. Doc Rivers now says he should have called a timeout... But it's easy to say that in hindsight, and so much harder to do while it's happening. Rondo is generally very trustworthy, and as we all know, he is the general of the offense... So we trust his judgement. I was surprised to see him throw that floater up- and not because there was so much time left on the shot clock and replays show that Paul Pierce was open in transition. I was surprised because he took that shot at the juncture in the game. He may be off his game as of late, but he has not lost his cajones and that is a good thing.

I leave you with a song from one of the baddest chicks on the planet, Nicki Minaj. It's called, "Dear old Nicki." It's basically a letter of reflection to herself, wondering where her old self went, and trying to get that person back. The Celtics could use the fight, grit, pride and passion that they had just last month, so I thought it was a good pick.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bill Simmons likes to make fun of the WNBA.

Here's what it is: I like Bill Simmons. I read the Book of Basketball. The man knows a heck of a lot about the game and it's history, so I would never, ever take shots at him in that regard. I generally enjoy reading his columns, because along with being knowledgeable, he's a good writer and he's pretty funny. But here's a quick example of what I don't like, and what I can't get down with:

For those of you who don't know, Bruce Pearl is the now former head coach of the mens basketball team at the University of Tennessee. He got the axe today. Me being the nosy person that I am, and knowing that Bill Simmons has a nice, dry sense of humor that I can appreciate, I click on the link... And it brought me to the homepage for the WNBA. It made me realize that this was not the first time that Mr. Simmons has taken shots at womens' basketball, so I took the liberty of finding other examples from his twitter page: 

Love that we're trying to pique England's interest in NBA basketball with 2 Nets-Raptors games. Plan B: WNBApalooza.

Come on, UConn women! One half to go!

I fail to understand why behavior like this is still acceptable. First of all- that winning streak that he so sarcastically pretended to care about? That was 90 games. That is incredible. And now, about the jabs to the WNBA. The WNBA is only thirteen years old. It is not the established league that the NBA is, but in its young life, it has already had its fair share of stars. The women who play in the WNBA do so because they love the game. They are not the fame chasing, money hungry egomaniacs that some of their counterparts in the NBA so sadly are. You have to play for the love of the game, because the money simply isn't there for female ballers in America. Rookies get paid a minimum of $35,190... which is enough to support yourself, but not a family. On the other end of the spectrum, the maximum salary for veterans in the WNBA is $101,000. It's not chump change, but let's think of what a vet in the NBA makes. Let's take Erick Dampier for example, because I just happened to randomly think of him: $713,666. So Erick Dampier is sitting pretty, while female ballers play the WNBA season in America and then the majority of them play abroad in the off season, so that they can make enough money to support themselves. 

When I clicked on the link from the tweet that lead me to the WNBA homepage, a large picture of Diana Taurasi greeted me. If she does not qualify as a bonafide basketball powerhouse, than I don't know who does. She lead the University of Connecticut to three consecutive national titles, and over the course of her years at UConn, averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. After leaving UConn, she was the number one pick in the 2004 WNBA draft and was eventually named the Rookie of the Year. She has won two WNBA titles over the course of her career. She has also won 4 gold medals with the US National Basketball Team, along with 2 bronze. 

Diana Taurasi is not just a good female basketball player. She is a phenomenal basketball player, period, gender aside. Bill Simmons does not belittle male basketball players with similar credentials. You know why? Because they're hailed as superstars. They're Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Mr. Simmons might slip them the occasional snide remark, but he does not take shots at their manhood, or question the authenticity or validity of their careers. Can you imagine the outrage if he made fun of an NBA player for being black? The outrage would be deserved, and he would also justly lose his job... But he doesn't do it, because it's wrong and it's racist and he's not a fascist. Yet it's okay to make fun of a whole gender of people. Sadly, Bill Simmons is not alone in this ignorant, misogynistic way of thinking. It is the general attitude and mindset adopted by the majority of people in American mainstream culture today. 

Bill Russell became the first African American basketball player to achieve superstar status. Over the course of his 13 year career, he endured brutal racism. He played in the pinnacle of the American civil rights movement. The resistance to change and attitudes of hate held by white Americans all around the country manifested itself in NBA fans: there were fans that didn't want black people to be in the NBA, proprietors who didn't want him to eat in their restaurant, or sleep in their hotels. Bill Russell so heroically persevered through all of that, and blazed the trail for generations of Black basketball stars to follow in his path. Women have fought a similar fight, and have luckily progressed a long way from being second class citizens. But sexism is still alive (just like racism). It may be more disguised, but it's alive and kicking. Female basketball has a history of crusaders as well. The female game is not like the male game. It has it's own grace, it's own beauty and charisma. Nancy Lieberman and Pat Summitt have been champions of womens basketball for years. Cheryl Miller, Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Lesley gracefully followed in their footsteps. Candace Parker is a superstar now... And she dunks! Do you dunk, Bill Simmons? 
Maya Moore is a rising superstar. My point is that we're not going away! 

At the end of the day, I know Bill Simmons was joking. I do not personally know him, but I'm willing to bet that he doesn't walk around actively thinking misogynistic thoughts, and that is is not his intention to insult women... But there is an abundance of female basketball talent, and it deserves to be recognized and taken seriously, in a way that it currently is not.   

The celebs were out at Celtics v Knicks

Whoopi Goldberg and Lala were sighted chatting it up. An interesting pair...
Too bad Ciara couldn't make it last night. She usually sits with Lala... And wears the most amazing things. And shout out to Mike Gormon... When he and Tommy were talking about the celebrities present and they showed Whoopi and Lala... Mike Gormon had no idea who Lala was and only pointed out Whoopi. There's absolutely no reason why Mike Gormon should know who Lala is... But still, how refreshing! You go Mike. 

And you already know Spike Lee was in the building. He was seated next to Flo Allen. I can only imagine how that conversation went. Hilarious! Also, when Mike and Tommy talked about Flo and Spike, Tommy goes, "Nice hat! Where did he get that? Marthas Vineyard?" I'm not sure why that screams Cape Cod to Tommy... But hey. Whatever he says. 

Doc Rivers: "It was a good win, a bloodbath. But I thought it was beautiful." Celtics beat Knicks 96-86.

I talked about it before and Bill Simmons talked about it with Steve Kerr in his BS report: did the Kendrick Perkins trade take the fight out of the Celtics? Have the Celtics lost their fight? Are they less physically intimidating post-trade? 

These questions have arisen because, frankly, the team has played like the wind had been taken out of its sails. That wasn't so last night, and it was such a relief to see. After getting their butts handed to them in Houston and playing the worst that they have in years, they traveled to New Orleans and squeezed out a win against a much inferior team. In the face of these less than impressive last two games, I was nervous about the match up with New York. The Knicks are a team dealing with identity issues of their own, but the prospect of facing Amare and Carmelo was daunting. The Celtics did nothing to quell these fears in the first half, scoring just 37 points while allowing the Knicks to put 51 up on the board. There were some signs of life in the third... But they really turned it up in the 4th. 

Paul Pierce had THE LOOK on his face, and it was so good to see it back. He was a man possessed: The Celtics were going to win that game, no matter what. He scored 13 points in the final frame. And his teammates were right there with him. They displayed hustle and passion that has been missing in recent history. KG out hustled Amare, sprinting and wrestling with him for loose balls. Ray Allen got clocked and blood gushed out of his head, but he returned to action and spread the floor just by being there. And Rondo.... People were saying Rondo was "back" after that game in New Orleans. He wasn't. He was back last night. Shots falling for him around the basket (13 points), and he broke double digits in assists, with 12. But it wasn't about the numbers- it was about his hustle. He stifled Chauncey Billups. He fought for loose balls- most notably tracking down a long offensive rebound in the fourth, out-running Amare and hitting it off of him out of bounds to regain Celtics possession. Oh and he inadvertently elbowed Carmelo in the face ('Melo later got 6 stitches)... But he did that because he was fighting for control over a wild inbounds pass, and wrestled the ball away from Mr. Anthony. Yes! Carmelo started off on a roll, and it looked like he was going to score at least 40. He ended up with just 22 points, and only scored 5 points in the second half. 

It was the kind of win that the Celtics needed. They played together, they didn't waver and they out toughed a team boasting one of the most physically imposing guys in the league (Amare). And mostly, they showed that they're still a team that possess the will to win. And they imposed it in New York last night. Sorry Spike!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rondo has a right pinkie injury.

A. Sherrod Blakely reports that Rondo has been nursing an injury to his right pinkie for the past couple of weeks. As we all saw last night, he aggravated this injury (a mystery to us at the time) and had to come out of the game. We learned after the game that he had actually lost feeling in his hand and finger for a couple of minutes. He iced the hand and returned to action with the finger taped. Rondo actually got it going last night on the offensive end a little bit, going 4-8 from the field and ending up with 9 points over 29 minutes of play.

Chris Forseberg captured this shot of Rajon icing on the bench.

Is this some kind of male-macho pride thing? Why walk around insisting you're not hurt, while everyone stands around speculating and questioning you? The good news is that the injury is not expected to cause him to miss any games. It does seem to have Doc Rivers wanting to reduce Rondo's minutes... And that's a good thing, he was playing too much. 29 minutes is an awesome number for him. Shout out to Delonte West for continuing to play phenomenal basketball and lightning the load a little bit on Rondo. *Fingers crossed* hoping that he can avoid any further injuries.

It should be pointed out that a right pinkie injury doesn't really explain why Rondo has been sluggish and a step behind. But hey. It's an 82 game season, and these guys didn't have much of a summer, after they played in to May. Hopefully these reduced minutes for Rondo continue, so that he can rest up, if not heal some of these nagging maladies. My faith in #9 remains steadfast.