Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Association, Kendrick Perkins, Jeff Green and a new manicure.

It might be kind of weird, but I've avoided watching "The Association." I have a couple of reasons for this. One of them is that I'm very much bored with reality television and secondly, the Celtics are already incredibly all consuming in my life. I eat, sleep and breathe them. I don't need to watch any additional footage of them, because as you may have guessed, I'm borderline compulsive as is. But today I stumbled on these deleted scenes from Episode 5:
And after watching, and laughing, I decided to sit down, bite the bullet, and watch an episode. Big mistake! It opened up with this incredibly candid interview with Rondo, where he talked to the camera about how hard it's been for him to deal with Perk being gone. Me being the huge water head that I am, I was immediately inconsolable and weeping, so I turned the episode off. I was left with a great feeling of unease. I truly do believe that this team can win a banner and I have great faith in them. I also believe that, in Perks absence, people have built him in to something that he never was, due to the great emotional attachment   we all felt to him. Today I allowed myself to relapse in to missing him, so I got a manicure in his honor. I also included an homage to Jeff Green in this manicure, because I think it's important to embrace our new pieces and have faith in he team as it looks now... And what better way is their to express diplomacy, hope and optimism then through a manicure?

Shaq in action! Will he play in Game 1 or won't he?

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit (but not really) that I actually dreamed about this last night. I can't remember that much about it- just when I woke up this morning I thought to myself, "Did you really just dream about whether or not Shaq will be ready for the playoffs?" And yes, wonderful readers, I really did. Thanks to the ever diligent Chris Forsberg at ESPN Boston, we have footage of Shaq shooting around at practice. Not too much to gather from this video... Except the most important thing of all: he's wearing basketball clothes and he's on the floor. Chea! We can all sit around and talk about how the Knicks don't have a true big man, so that lessens the necessity of Shaq coming back in time, but I think we all know that we'd rather have him ready. We must walk before we run, and this seems to be walking. 

Kobe Bryant fined $100,000 for homophobic slur.

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, got upset about a call during April 12th's Lakers-Spurs game and was shown on camera on the bench saying "f*cking f*ggot." 

GLAAD had this to say:
"Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people around the world, but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate."

David Stern had this to say in response to the incident: 
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement "While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society."

GLAAD can be upset all they want. Kobe was wrong- he said something derogatory and hateful. But you know what, David Stern? I think you're full of crap on this one (what a surprise). NBA players are regularly candidly caught on camera using profanity. It happens dozens of times over the course of every game, because like David Stern pointed out in his statement, it's an emotional game. There's no doubt about it: 
Kobe was wrong- but he didn't know he was on camera at the time. I couldn't find a video of it to embed here, but it's widely available on the internet. If you watch it, Marv Albert even says the camera should be taken off of him because he was upset and swearing. It would be one thing if Kobe was being interviewed post game and made the conscious decision to use the phrase on live TV. But he didn't. He said it in a moment of anger that was unfortunately caught on camera and broadcast to millions. Whoever was working the camera at that instant knew that they would be catching Kobe swearing and they made a conscience decision to pan the camera on to him- probably because they wanted to get a cheap shot of Kobe throwing a temper tantrum. 
 I don't see players being hung out to dry when they use the "N-Word" or "b*tch," and both of those are hurtful, emotionally charged words, similar to "f*ggot." In an ideal world, the NBA would take a zero tolerance stance on the use of profanity and hate speech, but that's impossible. What the NBA can do is try to minimize the extent to which the use of profanity is broadcast to its viewers at home, and they could do this by encouraging cameramen to avoid purposefully catching players swearing on camera for cheap entertainment value. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And so it begins: Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM. Celtics-Knicks. Game 1.

There is definitely a shroud of uncertainty surrounding this team as they enter the postseason, but I remain confident that they can prevail. The starters will enter the postseason riding the most rest they've had since the season began, and the rest of the roster will be similarly well rested. Shaq and Delonte will presumably be back in action, but even if they're not immediately available, there is plenty for this team to feel confidently about.

The introduction of mass media to the sports world has done much to damper optimism and make all increasingly fickle. Every misstep, every injury and every losing streak is not only documented to a tee, but is analyzed, discussed, dissected and dwelt on infinitely longer than if Internet and television weren't such influential, strong forces. This fickleness has caused us all to become much more pessimistic than I think we should be. The NBA regular season is 82 games long. It is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be ebb and flow: winning streaks, losing streaks, injuries, team feuds, chemistry issues, great victories and head scratching losses. All of that is inevitable. Chicago's season has been painted as the most successful of the regular season, with San Antonio coming in at number two. Chicago undoubtedly experienced great success: Derrick Rose is a superstar and Tom Thibodeau a mastermind of a coach, but until Monday night, the number 1 seed in the East wasn't even firmly decided, that's how close the race for number one really was. 

This Celtics team endured the marathon. They may not have done it in the most graceful of manners, and they certainly didn't finish with the best time, but they made it to the end. Yes, at the onset they wanted to finish with grace and with the best time, but part of being successful is being realistic. They were not able to stay as healthy as they wanted, so adjustments had to be made and it became unrealistic to shoot for number one. That's why the starters sat against Washington. It's why the starters played limited minutes in the showdown against Chicago where they got their butts handed to them. Now, it is a sprint, and because of the adjustments that they made, they are poised to win the race. Now, they rely on their bread and butter. It's the time of year when experience, chemistry and poise are the deciding factors. It's no longer about flash or individual accomplishment, and teams that rely on those things will find themselves at home for summer quickly. 

The series against New York will likely be challenging, physical and tough, but it is a series the Celtics should win if they play their brand of basketball. That means controlling the pace, keeping Amare and Carmelo in check as much as possible, minimizing the impact of their role players and exploiting the Knicks weakness in the half court game and lack of team defense. 

P.S.: Not that you can take much from this regular season finale, but I do contest that it shows the Celtics feature more depth than the Knicks, and that is certainly a valuable asset. 

Lil Wayne loves Skylar Diggins

And so do I! I wanna to give Weezy a huge shout out for recognizing the dopeness that is Skylar Diggins. She is beautiful and she can BALL. She's also probably taller than Weezy, but that's okay. The fact that he walks around wearing a Diggins jersey is dope dope dope dope dope and I wish that more prominent male figures would walk around endorsing female athletics/athletes. 

Here's a video of him proclaiming his looooove: 

And here's a picture of him in the jersey: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Charlie Villanueva is no stranger to conflict.

I guess he got bored of his beef with KG and moved on to Ryan Hollis. Last night during Pistons-Cavs, Villanueva set a pick on Hollis and, if you watch the video below, you will see that he swiped at Hollis' "man region..." for lack of a better term. Then they get tangled up, broken up and eventually ejected. After he realizes he's getting ejected, Villanueva stormed full speed at Hollis again and had to be restrained by Rodney Stuckey. He was escorted to the Pistons locker room and it was at this point that he allegedly threatened to kill Hollis, (allegedly) stating, "I will kill that dude. I don't give a f*ck." He then tried to exit and go in to the Cavs locker room, but he was stopped by police.
I don't know what Hollis did to so royally piss him off, but seeing as it was one of the last games of a crappy season for Detroit (they're 29-52), I'm pretty sure he should calm down. I like to be fair, so let's remember that we don't know what Hollis did to make him so mad and we don't know if he actually threatened to kill him, but still. Calm down. And charging at him again only after you find out you've been ejected from the game? Wamp, wamp. False show of bravery, he already knew he'd be escorted off the court. It's just about time for him to go and sit on the beach somewhere for summer, so he can properly enjoy that 35 million dollar contract he signed with Detroit.

Swizz Beatz produced a Knicks anthem.

It's called "Go NY Go." He shot a video for the song at MSG with Carmelo and Amare:

And here's video of Swizz and Amare:

Here's what I have to say about this: so unfair!!! I love Swizzy!! He's all cool and fashion forward and the Celtics are over here playing cheesy 80's rock music and hip hop songs from last year. In any case, while Swizzy is one of my favorite producers, the Knicks can have all the cool, trendy fans. I'd rather send them packing with our corny music and solid team defense. Chea!