THAT’S WHAT I’M FUCKIN’ TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!! THAT’S THE FUCKING TRUTH!!!!!!!
If you’re rooting for the Miami Heat tonight, you’ve probably never been doubted, criticized or told you weren’t good enough. You’ve probably had someone present you with an easy way out of a tough situation, instead of working your way through it. You’ve probably never understood the difference between a group of individuals and a team.
And tonight, you’re probably going to lose.
LONG RAMBLING POST ABOUT HOW THESE NBA PLAYOFFS WILL AFFECT EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE TOP 100 NBA PLAYERS OF ALL TIME DISCUSSION
This is obviously premature, but what’s the point of speculating after the fact? That’s no fun. This is pretty self-explanatory; how does the legacy every player currently still playing in the 2012 NBA Playoffs change based on the outcome? For the record, here are the players “definitely already in” or “probably on their way in” to the Top 100 Players in NBA History:
Spurs: Tim Duncan (def.), Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker (on their way)
Clippers: Chris Paul (def.)
Thunder: Kevin Durant (on his way)
Lakers: Kobe (def.), Pao Gasol (on his way)
Celtics: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen (def.), Rajon Rondo (on his way)
Heat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade (def.)
(The Pacers have no one who sniffs this discussion right now but ironically are probably the favorites in the East with a 3-seed, home court, a 2-1 lead and Bosh out. Ironic)
Tim Duncan: If the Spurs win it all this year, and they look like the overwhelming favorites, we have to have the uncomfortable “Is Tim Duncan one of the 5 best players of all time?” conversation, which is also the uncomfortable “He is better than at least 2 of these 3: Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson” consequence. Look at what his resume would be:
- Best player on 5 championship teams (nobody besides Michael Jordan and Bill Russell can unequivocally boast that)
- Best player on championship teams 13 years apart (nobody besides Russell or Kareem has that longevity)
- An incredible stretch of durability that saw him miss more than 10 games only twice and more than 20 NEVER. WHAT????
- Offensive and defensive statistical dominance coupled with stable leadership that made him the best player of the NBA’s fourth dynasty (dynasty: team that won 5 titles within 15 years with the same nucleus; the other three? Russell’s Celtics, Magic/Kareem’s Lakers and Jordan’s Bulls. Wow.)
I think given these stats, it’s very hard to argue against Duncan as the #4 player of all time behind MJ (untouchable #1), Russell (greatest winner, leader and defensive player of all time) and Kareem (6 titles + MVPs, second best scorer of all time after MJ).
Manu Ginobili: With the way he’s playing and his career, a Spurs title would solidify him as the Kevin McHale of this generation, except a guard.
Tony Parker: Likewise, he’s not the leader of the Spurs but there’s a GIANT drop off in talent after him on the roster. I’d argue he’s more important to the Spurs than Parish was to the C’s or Worthy to the Showtime Lakers. He and Manu definitely make it into Top 100 all time with a title this year.
Chris Paul: I don’t think this season really helps or hurts CP3’s legacy much if the Clips keep getting smacked around by a superior Spurs team. However, he needs to play much better in Games 3 and 4 (and any others) to make people forget about the absolute shit sandwich he put up in San Antonio. His legacy will be defined by how far he and Blake can take the Clips with a decent coach and a more experienced team in the coming years.
Kevin Durant: If this dude wins a title this year, his career is already better than DWade’s right? IDK how you argue against that. He’s a better scorer, accomplished more at a younger age, was ALWAYS the best player on his team (unlike Wade, who never was except for those years between Shaq and LeBron when Miami SUCKED) and is much more durable. I’d bet good money that if he puts up similar regular season numbers next year after winning a title, he’s a lock for MVP. Even a Finals loss or a WCF defeat to the Spurs would solidify his place in the Top 100 already, and I’d argue ahead of CP3, especially with his evisceration of Kobe’s Lakers (speaking of which…)
Kobe Bryant: Shaq loves this. Kobe blew Game 2. Not the Lakers. Kobe. If they get swept out 2 years in a row (or even just 2 straight second round losses), Kobe looks shitty. Yeah he won back-to-back titles without Shaq, but you know who’s to thank for that? Kevin Garnett for getting injured in 2009 (before he went down, those Celtics were playing significantly better than the team that throttled Kobe the year before) and Kendrick Perkins for missing Game 7 of a game that saw the Lakers get about 20 offensive boards off Kobe’s misses alone (I exaggerate… slightly). Injuries are obviously a part of the game, but with new Western powers emerging and stomping a repeat-champs Lakers squad that was healthier than its two title seasons (Bynum anyone?), we have to reevaluate Kobe’s last 2 rings (and they will be his last 2 rings) more as a product of the best team in the NBA being hurt than Kobe being a great winner/champ/leader. Also, he’s not clutch. We have proof. By which I mean MORE proof.
Pao Gasol: Pao Gasol just played his way out of the Top 100 with a second-straight “OMG how do they pay him to play basketball? He looks TERRIFIED!” postseason unless this shit gets turned around pronto.
Kevin Garnett: If the Celtics make the Finals, it’s mainly because KG started playing as well as he did during his MVP season (well, almost). He and Rondo are definitely Co-MVPs for the C’s so far in these playoffs, and for KG to prove the doubters wrong and return to the Finals means we have to put him ahead of Dirk and LeBron (at least for now) on the “Greatest NBA Players of All Time Who Are Still Active” list, at #3 behind Duncan and (gulp) Kobe. If the C’s WIN the Finals and KG keeps up at this high level of play, he undoubtedly earns a Top 20 spot of all time, leapfrogging Charles Barkley and Karl Malone at the very least. He also has an excellent argument for “second greatest power of all time” behind Duncan, and depending on your feelings regarding Bob Pettit, it might not even be a discussion. (Yes I know he’s been playing center this whole time. But so has Duncan. So… yeah. You still think Malone and Barkley had better careers?)
Paul Pierce: Bill Simmons (who I base most of these rankings off of) recently wrote that we will remember Pierce as the 4th greatest Celtic of all time behind Russell, Bird and Havlicek. A 2nd title would obviously not give him as many as tons of other guys besides those 3, but he is The Captain and those 3 are the only “alpha dogs” to lead the Celtics to more titles. Considering that Simmons ranked Bob Cousy #21 greatest player of all time back in 2010, a second title with Pierce putting up a few more Atlanta Games 2 and 4’s (and not Philly Game 2’s) means he has a very good argument for top 25 players of all time, no? Sounds crazy, but in 2010 Simmons had Stockton #25, followed by Rick Barry, Bill Walton and (blech) Dwyane Wade. Pierce definitely belongs in that group if not above it.
Rajon Rondo: Rajon Rondo is playing like a fucking unbelievable animal and if they get back to the Finals, it’s the 2nd time in 3 years he’s led them there. I cannot overstate how happy I am he didn’t get traded for Chris Paul. IDK how high a Finals win with Rondo throwing up triple doubles at will puts him all time given that he’s only been a star since 2009, but he’s definitely in the top 100. Don’t think so? Simmons had Robert Horry, Arvydas Sabonis, Shawn Kemp and Chris Mullin in the 80’s. I rest my case.
Ray Allen: Reduced to a bench role, a good C’s run would help his legacy the way the 86 Celtics help Walton’s. A bit, but his place in history is pretty much set.
LeBron James: If the Heat go down to the Pacers, how is that on LeBron? Bosh is out, leaving this Heat team slightly more or slightly less talented than the shitty Cleveland teams LeBron bolted on for South Beach depending on your opinion of those teams and how Dwyane Wade plays each night (speaking of which…)
Dwyane Wade: Fucking Dwyane Wade. Just had one of the worst playoff games of all time against Indiana last night and LeBron is STILL getting blamed for the loss? WTF??? This guy gets the biggest double standard treatment of all time. Kobe’s legacy always suffered because he won those first 3 titles with Shaq. But Wade wins one with a not-quite-as-good-but-still-beastly Shaq and HE’S a born winner? Even though Shaq bolts and the Heat turn into a shit sandwich? Even though that title will always have an asterisk for some of the most fishy officiating of all time, where Wade basically just ran into Mavericks for four straight games and shot as many free throws as the whole Dallas team at some points? He’s Kobe Lite, but more fragile. There’s been this myth floating around that you can compete for a title with Wade on your team but not another top 5 NBA player - clearly not true. He’s killing the team. If he’s hurt, he shouldn’t play, but it would just contribute to his legacy as a dude who can’t stay healthy. If he isn’t, he’s sucking ass and killing his team when they need him to step up. Unless he turns it around NOW and starts shooting the fucking lights out, I think it’s absolutely insane that we consider him to have one of the 5 best careers among active players. Hell, wouldn’t an OKC title automatically give Kevin Durant a better stake to that claim?
To sum up, if things continue the way they look like they’re headed (Celtics-Pacers ECF and Spurs-Thunder WCF that’ll probably both go 7, with the C’s and Spurs being the 2 hottest teams in the NBA since the All-Star break and PROBABLY the most likely title opponents, here’s who the biggest winners and losers are individually):
- Ginobili/Parker (could be switched with Pierce)
- Dirk (more 1st round sweeps than titles??? weak)
- People who hate LeBron more than Kobe or Wade
I don’t know what Rajon Rondo is doing in this picture but 10-year-old me wouldn’t know what I was doing going to work a night shift during a Celtics game so I’m not gonna question it
I still believe
Well, obviously the C’s game was a bit of a disappointment, but there were definitely 2 positives to take away…
- Brandon Bass is WAAAAYYYYY better than Big Baby
- Rajon Rondo is a FUCKING BEAST. Seriously I was worried he was gonna play like shit this season cuz he was mad about almost getting traded but… damn he was unstoppable today. In fact, the only thing stopping him were his teammates missing open shots. And apparently he’s developed a jumper? DAYUM. If he keeps this shit up, missing out on CP3 will be the best thing that’s happened to the Celtics since the TWolves made Kevin McHale their GM
More C’s thoughts to come…
Yo people all worryin’ that Rajon Rondo is gonna play shit this season cause the Celtics hurt his feelings. I don’t see that shit happening. Motherfucker is all up in Danny Ainge’s office right now like Samuel Jackson’s first scene in Pulp Fiction referring to his ass in the third person and shit…
Rondo: Danny, have you ever seen Rajon Rondo?
Danny Ainge: Uhh, yeah obviously, you’re standing right-
Rondo: Does Rajon Rondo look like a bitch?
Danny Ainge: Uhh, wha-
Rondo: DOES RAJON RONDO LOOK LIKE A BITCH
Danny Ainge: *confused* No, you, I mean, he doesn’t, but-
Rondo: THEN WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO FUCK HIM LIKE A BITCH?
Danny Ainge: What?
Rondo: WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO FUCK RAJON RONDO LIKE A BITCH???
Danny Ainge: I’m not, I-
Rondo: NOBODY GETS TO FUCK RAJON RONDO EXCEPT FOR MRS. RONDO AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER FINE HOS GODDAMNIT *Pimp slap* *Walks out* *Develops jump shot* *Leads Celtics to championship*
Danny Ainge: *being fucking stupid as usual* I… am the greatest GM… ever… *Mormon dance*
So apparently the NBA lockout is over and the season is gonna start on Christmas. While I appreciate the league waiting for me to return to the US before starting the season, I think everyone who’s calling this “the best Christmas present ever” is either lying or retarded. Let’s be real here… the NBA regular season is 82 games that amount to jack shit. Like, as a Boston fan in the Garnett Era, I know the team is gonna make the playoffs, and as one of the top 4 seeds. Obviously the team’s going hard to win each night, but as a fan, this shit could not be more boring until April. Cause truth is, they’re playing 82 fucking games to determine whether Game 7 of their series against the Heat or Bulls is gonna be an away game or a home game. Like how am I supposed to pretend to give a fuck about 6 months of games that probably fall while I’m working or watching football anyway that’ll end up affecting my team’s chances of winning the championship by about 5%? As a Celtics fan, I’m hoping this deal falls through and games don’t start til like mid-February. Cause the only year that all 5 starters have been healthy in the playoffs (2008), the C’s won it all. The way I see it, the less games, the more likely the Celtics are to win it all. Call me an asshole, but I’ll be too busy watching the Patriots and like, doing shit to care.
Jermaine O’Neal said that the next season he plays is going to be his last. This is basically the third retirement announcement in two years from Celtics’ centers, after Rasheed Wallace last year and Shaq this year.
As much as it makes me wanna puke up my guts to say, it’s looking less and less likely than the C’s end the Big Three era (the Pierce-Garnett-Allen one… obviously) with more than one title. I’ve always said that from the first game the trio played together in 2007, that when the C’s were healthy they were the best team in the league.
- They proved me right in 2008 with a title in their first season.
- The 08-09 season was torpedoed by KG’s injury.
- They made it back to the Finals in 2010 even tho they were a 4 seed, which surprised the dumbasses on ESPN. But KG wasn’t completely back in the flow until spring, and once that happened they were unstoppable. The one and only reason they lost the Finals that year was because Perkins missed Game 7 with an injury. The Lakers shot about 3% from the floor and got like 6,000 offensive rebounds because Sheed was in there instead of Perk. If Perk played, he would’ve had at least 10 more boards than Sheed and the C’s would’ve gotten their second ring in three years.
- In 10-11, Ainge fucked everything up by trading Perk. No one realized it at the time (even tho KG literally started crying), but their chemistry was irreparably damaged. Jeff Green underwhelmed, and after it looked like they might stage a comeback starting with Game 3 against Miami, it was obvious they were fucked once Rondo’s elbow got destroyed by #3 on the Heat.
- I don’t think there’s a team that is hit harder by missing this season entirely to the lockout. Sportswriters have been proclaiming the end of the Big 3 era since 2009, and eventually they have to be right.
- Unless Ainge finds a suitable center for this team, the lockout ends, and the C’s regain their swag and win the 2012 NBA Finals, I think his legacy ends up as a guy who had no idea how to evaluate talent, made shitty and illogical moves for years praying he’d find a lotto ticket, struck gold when fellow ex-Celtic Kevin McHale unloaded KG onto the C’s for a pile of dogshit, then doomed the team by trading away its starting center in the middle of its most promising season since 2008.
I really hated writing that, and hopefully it’ll be 5-10 years and just as many Super Bowl titles until I say the same thing about the Pats, but can you REALLY say you look at this team the same way you did three or four years ago? The 2007-08 Celtics season was the best any team has had since the Shaq-and-Kobe Lakers 3-peated, but something DRASTIC has to happen regarding the roster outside the Big Four for the team to reach that pinnacle again.
Then again, with the progress Rajon Rondo has made since that title, the C’s could realistically field an even better squad this upcoming season
if when the lockout ends. One last shot for Danny Ainge to rewrite his legacy.
I was always Tom Brady confident that the NFL season was never in jeopardy. Like, everyone in the league was making enough money to roll their joints with 20’s. At the end of the day, if there’s money to go around, they’ll figure out how to split it. Plus, Tom Brady was involved: failure was never a possibility.
NBA lockout tho? Uh, this is bad shit. Basically the guys who crashed Wall Street in 2008 are the guys running basketball. They’re bleeding cash out their asses like Delonte West’s hemorrhoids. So there’s a good shot there’s either no season at all in 11-12, or a shortened one. Which SUCKS for Boston.
I don’t wanna be all Negative Nancy JD Drew over here, but after this season, only Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are under contract. Garnett and Allen are probably not coming back. And even if they do, they’re gonna be very very old and not nearly as good as when they first rolled into town (shit, Garnett’s already at that point). So really, this upcoming season is probably the Last Hurrah for the Big Three (and yes, I know that Bob Ryan has said this every year since Garnett got hurt in Year Two of the New Big Three era. But deep down, every old white sportswriter in Boston was terrified that the new Big Three would win more ships than Larry Bird, so they kept writing them off and hoping their shit-talking would come true. That’s why he said it).
The only realistic optimism I can squeeze out of this is that Allen and Garnett either retire or sign with teams that won’t affect the C’s chances for another title (like the Knicks. HA) and that frees up enough cash to sign Dwight Howard and launch the Big Three 3.0 with Rondo, Pierce and Dwight.
Or they both take massive pay cuts to stay with the team and get Dwight too. Then I’d just bust nuts all over the place like Tommy Heinsohn whenever Walter McCartey did anything back in the late 90’s. Mad swag points to anyone old enough to get that reference.
Also, if you think I’m talking crazy, please let me know. I don’t want the Big Three era to end with a season that doesn’t happen so I’m pretty easily persuaded.
The Heat sold their souls, Lebron would never get a Ring without The Devil's Help!
Back from my weekend :)
I’m OFFICIALLY going to Boston College! How exciting!
Sadly, in other news, I gave in to the temptations of food in Boston...
ON THAT 4-0 SWAG.. WE ARE FAR FROM DONE
lets go eagles
Sometimes I love my school.
AND SOMETIMES I FUCKING LOVE MY SCHOOL.
LMFAO SO I GUESS RIGHT NOW WE'LL GET ANOTHER DOUBLE PLAY