|Posted by GinosJungle on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM|
Written by: J.M. Eisenman -- A long time Celtics fan living in LA
It's tough for a lifelong Celtics' fan in L.A. Yes, I was born in Boston and had my Celtics' Pride imbedded in me at a young age but, after all, I have spent 51 of my 57 years here in L.A. yet always remained devoted to the Celtics. I bleed green! I've been battling the Laker fans since Russell kept taking it away from them in the late 60's, since Bird and company battled every inch of the parquet with them in the 80's and now again in the 2000's. Lakers' fans never change. Generation after generation is bred without basketball knowledge and denying what is clear before their very faces, because they won't see it.
The Celtics play defense like demons and the Lakers fans transform them into the McFilthy and McNasty Pistons. The Celtics play defense and they blame themselves for giving the games away to the Celtics because, of course, it is simply a failure of their offense and not the Celtics' defense that is causing the problem. The Lakers play no defense, giving up open shot after open shot, but they refuse to acknowledge it. Phil Jackson literally retired from coaching on the bench and adjusting to what is actually happening on the court and yet they speak of him as a genius. Yes, he did nothing to adjust in the first half when Ray Allen hit 7 3-pointers or in 2008 when he hit 7 of them in game 6, but he was just lulling the Celtics into a false sense of accomplishment. Right! Doc Rivers out-coached him then and is doing the same thing now, but they would never admit any such thing.
Paul Pierce gets carried out on a stretcher in the 2008 series, when he hurts his knee and then returns several minutes later. In L.A., because of that, they call Pierce a cry-baby and a faker and actually insist that he took himself out of an NBA finals game, so that he could boldly return to the music from Rocky! They believe this. Point out that Kobe Bryant complains every time he gets called for a foul and every time he shoots and a foul isn't called on the defender and they look at you like you're crazy.
I went to game 2 here in L.A. The surrounding fans were not too happy when I kept standing up, shouting, "Somebody Better Guard That Guy!" every time Ray Allen hit a 3. When the Lakers brought the game close, a beer-swilling fella in a Kobe Bryant tank top kept screaming at me and poking me. When the Lakers were behind by 7 with 33.5 seconds left, I looked over for him. He was gone. I guess he had to get home because the Staples Center had run out of beer.
Whenever, we talk about basketball, I'm treated like anything I say is just the ramblings of a rabid fan but what they say is simply the truth. Artest will stop Pierce. Right! The Lakers' "length" is too much for the Celtics. Except when Nate Robinson and Rondo jump over their bigs! Since Pierce is totally unable to score off of Artest and KG is "gone", all you have to do to beat the Celtics is to keep Rondo and Ray Allen from scoring. Except for Rasheed, Baby and Nate scoring game-after-game and the Big-4 all getting off in game 5. It goes on and on. And it's always, always, always WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Then, when the Celtics prove them wrong and almost always win, they still believe that they were the better team but lost because they "played down" to the level of the Celtics. I'm not even allowed to puff when they win because that would mean rubbing it in.
But, just before game 6 starts, I simply say, I'm proud to be a lifelong fan of the greatest team in basketball. A team where defense, rebounding and team offense is what wins games and series. Sometimes, I feel like Holly Hunter's character in Broadcast News. A news producer sarcastically says to her "It must be difficult knowing that you're the only person who's right every time you're in a room!" Hunter replies, like someone finally understands her, "Yes, it is." The Celtics must take game 6 and I'm pretty sure they will. I know that they'll fall on their swords to win this game. I couldn't ask for more. I couldn't be prouder. I'm the guy with a 29 year old son, an 11 year old son and an 18-month old grandson whose first words were all, "Beat L.A.!" Beat L.A. boys and bring a 50-something a nice 18th!