Saturday, May 16, 2009

41 comments Simmons Chat Wrap: The Most Annoying Comments

In typical Bill Simmons fashion, this was a loooooooooong chat with his SimmonsClones so I am just going to get into it and not have my typical epic rambling introduction.

Bill Simmons: Have to confess something that I have been meaning to confess for awhile...

Bill Simmons: I converted a two-car garage into an office last month. During the whole process, as I was figuring out where to put my TV, I realized that there was room for two smaller plasmas right next to it, and then a third on the far left of the wall.

Bill Simmons: What I'm trying to tell you is this: I have 4 TV's hooked up to separate DirecTV receivers.

How can you not love a man who starts off a chat in a struggling American economy with this group of sentences? He might as well start off with, "I am a rich douche. Need proof?"

Bill Simmons: Rondo should have made 3rd team All NBA... how did Shaq get on it? Put up an 18-8, team missed the playoffs, they couldn't give him away at the deadline, he got a coach fired. That's 3rd team All-NBA? And why were Gasol and Duncan considered forwards?

Bill complains they were considered forwards on the All-NBA team then he gives us his picks...

Bill Simmons: No way. I would have had LeBron, Wade, CP, Howard, Kobe (1st team), Billups, Roy, Dirk, PP, Duncan (2nd), Yao, Gasol, Melo, Parker, Rondo ((3rd). last time I checked defense and wins mattered.

I am not going to argue with the names, just that on his third team All-NBA he has two point guards (to fit in Rondo) and I thought he wanted the teams to be made up of the actual position they played. Maybe I was wrong.

Jamesa(ottawa): Do we consider you a bandwagoning Bruins fan?

What kind of question is that? Bill doesn't consider himself anything negative. He only thinks wonderful thoughts about himself.

He is perfection.

Bill Simmons: How dare you. I loved the B's as much as the Celts and Sox and Pats once upon a time. The owner pushed me away. Now we have a salary cap and he can't screw us anymore. I have been quietly easing back the past 2 years. It still hurts and I still hate him.

So yes, he does consider himself a bandwagon fan. It is all about the salary cap, though the salary cap was instituted in 2005, and Bill just started watching the Bruins over the last couple of years...which just happens to be when they became a good team again. Coincidences never stop happening!

Bill Simmons: Speaking of hate, did I mention that the NHL charged $79 to see both Game 7's tonight?

Good, quick change of subject off this topic with the next sentence. Great job Bill.

"Look everyone, something shiny!"

Bill Simmons: Papi just ended the inning with a 10-foot grounder. I will now light myself on fire.

He is threatening to actually light himself on fire out of anger at Big Papi. That's hilarious.

Why is it that ever since Manny got traded David Ortiz has struggled? I can't believe Manny made him that much better of a hitter. Or did he and it is just a coincidence Ortiz started struggling now?

Daryl Morey (Houston): OF COURSE IVE GOT THE STATS FOR YOU. IM A NERD! Howard: 16pts 16.4 rebounds 1.4 asts .6 stl 2.2 blk 2.8 TOs 4PFs -3.4 +/- Perk: 10 pts 11.2 rebounds 1.8 asts .4 stls 2.2 blks 1.6 TOs 4 Pfs -3 +/-

That was the difference in Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins after Game 5 of the series. Howard is outplaying him...but not by a whole lot. I don't when this became a blog that absolutely destroyed Dwight Howard, but it is getting there. Either Dwight Howard is not as good as everyone thinks he is or Kendrick Perkins is playing better than we thought he could. I think I know the answer to this riddle. I would also think if Dwight Howard was a great defensive player he could stop Kendrick Perkins' moves inside but apparently I am wrong about that as well.

If you haven't noticed I am having to choose the worst of the worst for Bill's chat because once I open the can of worms like this:

Bill Simmons: Danny Crawford just swing this game with the pushoff foul on Perk's followup. Seven point swing. Now it's tied. By the way, name a big guy who doesn't push off with their left arm when they dunk. The list is zero.

Other than the bad grammar, the problem I see is that Perkins did push off there, so it is a foul and I have seen other big men not use their arm to push off.

I have to lay off this type stuff so we don't have a post longer than the actual chat.

Roby D: Why do you care if your celts win the right to get swept by the Lebron's

Bill Simmons: because we're the champs! when you're the champs, you defend the title - that's what sports is all about. You don't roll over like the 1984 Sixers did.

Apparently I have not been given the chance to understand the difference in being eliminated in the second round of the NBA Playoffs and the Eastern Conference Finals and how one of those is considered "defending the title" and the other is considered rolling over. I guess making the Eastern Conference Finals infers the team put up a fight. Now that Garnett got hurt, it gives the opportunity for tons of excuses to come from Bill as to why the Celtics lost. Right now he is clinging to the "we were so tired" reasoning as if the Lakers (who are struggling as well) did not play as many games as the Celtics have over the past couple of years...they may have played 8 less games over the last 13 months...maybe.

Gary (Sacramento): Do you ever wonder how horrible it would be to be stranded on an island with one last pair of contacts, no solution and no glasses?

I thought about this when I was watching Lost. I would be the cast member who gets a flashback and it primarily consists of me searching for contact solution and the flashback story is how I forgot to put some extra contacts/contact solution in my carry-on bag and left some in the package hold at the bottom of the plane that fucking busted apart on impact probably...I actually don't remember if it did on the show, but the point is I am fucked without my contact solution.

I would say after 2 days stranded on the island when I am keeping my contacts in coconut shells with ocean water and then feeling the brutal pain when I put them back in, I am the one who swims out to sea to find a boat and ends up getting eaten by a shark that I never saw because I had no freaking contacts in. So yes, I have personally thought about this.

Erik (Toronto) [via mobile]: Anaheim-Carolina is the worst possible Stanley Cup matchup. Is there any doubt that it's destined to happen?

Bill Simmons: The NHL deserves it... maybe Versus could PPV it for another 79 dollars.

I know! What a horrible series, there would be no marquee teams in the Stanley Cup Finals. That's no fun to watch and who cares the Hurricanes would be on pace for their 2nd Stanley Cup in 4 years. They are not from Boston, Los Angeles, Detroit or wherever the fuck hockey is popular so no one cares.

Bill Simmons: Pierce for three!!! HEART OF A CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!

I am not kidding. He actually wrote that. It's like Drew from KSK just took over typing for Bill.

Nate (Des Moines, IA): Celtics are going to play their 5th game 7 in 13 months on Sunday, your theory that they're drained is warranted.

Yes, I realize the Celtics have played more games than any other team over the last 13 months but it is the playoffs so they should dig deep and they have guys playing big minutes like Scalabrine, Davis, and Marbury that did not exactly play incredibly heavy minutes last year. I just thought I would point this out...

Nick M. (Atlanta, GA): My wife of six months and I just bought a 52 inch LCD Samsung. We got the 120HZ because the salesguy said sports were incredible on it. So is this 2 hour Grey's Anatomy I'm being forced to watch. I love being married.

Hey whiny bitch, there are sports on other nights of the week as well and you can only watch one game at a time anyway. DVR the game you want to watch but more importantly shut up and get a divorce if you are that fucking unhappy.

tony - portland, me: bill, isnt it too early for this bruins team? they are extremely green and are facing an experienced carolina team. dont get me wrong, i think the bruins have some great years ahead of them, but this team is verrrrryyyy young.

Bill Simmons: Possible. You gotta sow your playoff oats so to speak... but a home Game 7?

The team is young and also a #2 seed if I am not wrong, playing a #6 seed at home in a Game 7. Youngness is not an excuse for losing in this situation.

I think I just made up the word "youngness."

Robert (Huntsville, Al): Do you feel any shame for saying you won't root for the B's until the owner is gone, and here you are rooting for them? I feel for you, I'm a Redskins fan. Every year I disown them because of Snyder but always end up rooting for them... Just wondering...

Bill Simmons: The salary cap has made him irrelevant though.

This excuse or reasoning, whatever you want to call it is getting very old. You can't publicly proclaim you are a hockey widow until something happens and then join the team back when the team is winning even though that "something" did not happen.

Rug (Yellowknife, NT, Canada): Seriously, as a sports fan and sports writer, how could you possibly have given up on this sport??? Other than because of Bettman's obvious attempt to alienate the league from the entire American population.


Look, if Bill's teams don't spend enough money to sign great free agents, are one of the top teams in the league, and make smart personnel moves he doesn't have to fucking cheer for them anymore. That's not being a fair weather fan. That's making sure you always cheer for winning teams. I just wanted to make sure we got this straight.

Salary cap or no salary cap, going back to one of your favorite sports teams because the owner doesn't spend enough money so the team is not good still strikes me as kind of fairweatherish.

Leigh san jose [via mobile]: The sports gal is an absolute saint. She watches two YOUNG children while you watch 4 tvs in the man cave and she brings you food?

Bill Simmons: She's an MVP.

I hope I am not the only one that thinks this, but is it possible that Bill is hallucinating the Sports Gal much like Dr. House was hallucinating Amber at the end of House this year and she does not exist? (I want to keep throwing pop culture references in my posts about Bill seems appropriate) Sorry, I just keep thinking of ways The Sports Gal does not exist because I find it hard to believe she could put up with a guy who appears to be absolutely self centered.

Hurka (Philly): Rocky is a Philly movie, I don't care how much you quote it. Boston doesn't get to use that. Not for their hockey team that no one cared about before this season.

Bill Simmons: Try to sell 10,00 tickets for a Sixers playoff game and you can give us crap.

Ouch, I hope the entire city of Philadelphia doesn't go crying into their World Series Champion trophy after Bill's comment.

(This is the part where the Bruins lose to the Hurricanes)

Bill Simmons: You gotta be kidding me.

Bill Simmons: Worst.

Bill Simmons: Case.

Bill Simmons: Scenario.

Bill Simmons: Time to go walking... thanks everybody.

Notice Bill doesn't stick around to talk about the game or even acknowledge what happened, he just leaves because he knows people are going to rag on him for the Bruins losing. Seriously, this guy doesn't want to face any criticism or have his face rubbed in losing. He is fine with writing a 5,000 word column about a loss or a Boston championship and picking and choosing reader response from a mailbag, but once his readers have a chance to give him some feedback that is semi-unfiltered, he pulls the plug quickly. At least that is my perception.


Chris W said...

coupla things:

God, how annoying, Simmons bitching about the fourth best player on his favorite team not making an "all-star"-esque team.

Bill Simmons=every obnoxious, underinformed-about-other-teams'-players homer you've ever fucking met.

The other thing: I agree with you 100% about your "fairweather fan" thing. What else is being a "fairweather fan" than

a.) refusing to root for you team when they're unsuccessful

b.) trying to make up any excuse for not rooting for them that isn't "but they're not winning"

c.) rooting for them again once they start winning.

Not saying it's an inherently bad thing to be a fairweather fan. I wouldn't blame a Bengals, Lions, or Pirates fan if they stopped rooting for their team at some point. In fact, some might say they're stupid if they DON'T eventually stop rooting for a loser-ass cheapo team (see: Any Cub fan ever)....but nevertheless it's being a "fairweather fan". And any claims to the contrary by Simmons will be poorly received.

Fred Trigger said...

"Bill Simmons: Pierce for three!!! HEART OF A CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!"

The only way that could have been better would be if he added "NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!!" I dont know why but that always makes me laugh.

and chris, at least the cubs try to put a good team on the field, unlike the Pirates who are ruined for at least the next 3 years.

Chris W said...

the cubs have only in the last 5 years (since they lucked into a division championship when prior and wood were healthy against all odds) tried to field a competitive team.

From like 1985-2002 they played it on the cheap and let the bleacher bums eat shit.

But yeah, at this point they're in a different league from Pittsburgh. They're kind of like Baltimore---big spenders, and yet still laughably inept.

Fred Trigger said...

well, at least they successfully colluded with other teams to get the Hawk on the cheap. They had that going for them, at least.

I think they made the playoffs in 98 with sosa hitting opposite field flat footed homers. I think that was what won him the MVP that year (too lazy to look up, but I think thats right). But yeah, point taken.

Fred Trigger said...

wow, I was actually right. I was pretty sure, but thought I could've been talking out my ass........NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!!!

oh yeah....friend with the flying elvis tat on his tricep. Get this, his favorite teams are the pats, celtics, bruins, and..........the yankees. what the fuck? I figured this out when he asked me what it felt like to have tainted championships. Of course, I beat him over the head with that 2000 yankees team. I've known the kid for 3 years and I just now found out hes a yankees fan. Epic fail.

Bengoodfella said...

For me those All-NBA teams are like All Star appearances and things like that. They are all ceremonial to me and don't really matter.

I can completely understand if a fan stops paying attention to a team because of how inept they are. To come out though and just proclaim you are not cheering for a team because of Factor X (being ownership in this case) and if Factor X does not change, you still go and cheer for them is disingenuous to me. I have been fortunate in that when my favorite teams have struggled the ownership was smart enough to hire the right people to turn it around. (Well, except for Duke basketball which looks to me like it is planning on slowly sinking until one day the alumni realize the head coach might want to focus on being the head coach and recruit a little bit) I know it sucks to have a team that stinks but they are your team and you are stuck with them.

The problem with Bill is that his request was basically that he wanted Boston ownership to go buy better players. It's a very Yankee-ish request. He did not want them to draft better or hire a new coach, he wanted them to spend more money. The salary cap forced them to do that, so now he cheers for them for the past two years...but not in 2006 or 2007 b/c they weren't as successful. The salary cap is an excuse. It just annoys me. I have some admittedly bizarre favorite teams from some people's point of view, and I can accept that, but I am not leaving those teams no matter what happens. No matter how many times the Braves insist on giving Tom Glavine $2 million to make rehab starts and they pay Garrett Anderson to slowly decompose in LF, I will still cheer for them. Ok, that's my inspirational speech for the day.

I hope none of my favorite teams struggle like those Chris just listed. That may test my fortitude. Seriously, Bill's reasoning did not start with the cap, it started with the success the Bruins had.

Fred, I thought he was joking when he wrote that. I thought about adding "No one denies this" but thought better of it. That always cracks me up.

The Cubs try hard to put together a great team but success has not been their friend. They have a loser mentality at this point it seems. They actually embrace it and don't have a Yankees type rival to pull them up by their collar and kick their ass in gear. The Red Sox were lucky because they had the Yankees whipping their ass while the Cubs just are sort of by themselves with inability to win a World Series. I think to an extent they like feeling like lovable losers.

You mean Sosa's MVP year where he was probably on steroids AND had a corked bat? I can't let anyone forget he also corked his bat.

Fair weather fandom destroys my will. It really does.

Bengoodfella said...

Pats, Celtics, Bruins...and the Yankees? I am not sure if that surprises me more or that you did not know he was a Yankees fan surprises me. That's a test for me when I met a new friend.

At least it doesn't seem like he is fair weather if he is sticking with the Yankees.

Seriously, I never knew how hard it was to stay a fan of a team until you go to two games when your favorite football team is 1-15 and Chris Weinke is your quarterback.

Fred Trigger said...

well, this is the 2nd time we have been stationed together. The first time we were both there for a few months and I got transferred. This time he came in the winter during football season, so I would have no reason to think he would be a yankees fan, being as he loves all other teams that are new england. It was just funny when he told me the red sox championships were tainted and I was like "excuse me?"

Fred Trigger said...

but yeah, he never mentioned it before. I have a sneaking suspicion that hes one of those yankees fans that thinks rivera closed out the 96 WS, when people that follow baseball know it was Wetteland.

Chris W said...

Here's what bothers me too: Bill Simmons is such a pussy he can't just admit that he doesn't think it's bad to be a fairweather fan.

Who cares about being a fairweather fan besides overly macho shitheads? Sports are supposed to be fun. Why torture yourself watching the 1998 Patriots just so you can act smug and superior when they finally become a dynasty? Why not just get "into" them when they start playing well.

It's like scenesters who go see shitty bands in the hopes that one day they might become real good and be the next Maroon 5 or Jonas Brothers. Why not just start listening to them once they start making awesome music like Maroon 5 and the Jonas Brothers? Who cares if you "stuck by them through the bad times"? I guarantee you the teams and the bands don't give a shit--mostly because EVERYONE claims to do that.

God, Simmons is a shitless fartbreath

Fred Trigger said...

fairweather fans dont really bother me. What bothers me is when they say stupid things like they know what they are talking about. Thats what pisses me off. For instance fans that think that getting rid of Nomar was the greatest thing ever. Yes, it worked out in the end but, for a solid 6 years nomar was one of the greatest offensive forces in baseball( oh yeah, NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!), and people tend to forget that. Its funny what a couple of titles will do to a persons memory. Thats when I get mad. Chris, I know you guys talk about it a lot on your site, but it really pisses me off how a lot of fans can make all new england sports teams fans look like idiots. (I will confess, I never get tired of TOMMY FRON QUINZEE, though.)

Chris W said...

Yeah--I mean if you haven't been watching for the last 5 years, don't pretend you have.

And for Red Sox fans to hop on the bandwagon 04 is pretty wack--after all they've been a team in contention pretty much every year for the last X years. Hell, if you were in Boston and you didn't like watching the Red Sox, you didn't really like baseball, you know? What more could you ask for (besides a WS championship, I guess) than to be in the hunt every single year.

I'm more talking about fans of teams that are in the crapper for whatever reason--I see a lot of Brewers fans from my hometown hopping on the bandwagon the last 3 years. I don't fucking blame them--what was there to cheer for before Melvin started building a competitive team. That doesn't make them "bad fans". It makes them "people who didn't have a team that was worth rooting for until 3 years ago"

If Bill wants to say "I didn't like the Bruins till this year because they weren't worth watching." that's fine. But he instead feels like he has to invent some excuses because he's too chickenshit to just say "I tend to enjoy watching my sports teams when they're fielding teams that are worth my time to watch."

What a pansy. I don't watch the Bucks but I will become a Bucks fan if they start becoming a competitive team. I don't have a rooting interest in basketball, except for when the Bucks are good. I don't have a rooting interest in the Big-10 (Except against Michigan and tOSU) but I do when the Badgers are good.

Big hairy deal, sports fans of the world.

Fred Trigger said...

dont forget: those sox teams from the late 90's were built on pedro, nomar, and.......yeah, thats it.

no one cares about the brewers. The only team worth watching is the sox. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS!!! Yeah, the brewers have a kickass core right now. If only they didnt do stupid things like signing an over the hill eric gagne and trevor hoffman.

I wish you good luck with Bill Simmons as your new Bucks GM.

Chris W said...

Red Sox finished 2nd in 2002, 2nd in 2001, 2nd in 2000, 2nd in 1999, 2nd in 1998--Here's a team that was in contention every year for the last 6 years even before 2004's playoff run...I mean a team like that, it seems like if you like the team, you should be watching, doesn't it? That's why I brought up the Brew Crew--they were just pathetically bad, like no playoff chances for years. Two years ago they had a nice run at the division and last year they made the playoffs.

I can understand why people would just now be getting into them. I have a lot less tolerance for Johnny Come Lately Red Sox fans who could have been watching a winning team for 6 years before 2004.

But in any case, it doesn't bother me too much when casual fans hop on the bandwagon. They're getting what they want out of sports so good for them!

Also: If Bill Simmons becomes Bucks GM, I will immediately start rooting for the Timberwolves :)

Fred Trigger said...

HAHA, come on man, I knew all that! Its just funny because during all those years, I was sitting behind homeplate because no one cared enough to come to the ballpark. It took a championship to bring all the "fans" out. So yes, again, your point is well taken.

If Bill Simmons is your new GM, I highly support your decision to switch allegiences.

Bengoodfella said...

For me personally there is a difference in the casual fan of a sport and a fair weather fan. I would take Bill out of the casual fan section because he literally jumped off the bandwagon of the Bruins. He wrote columns about how he can't cheer for them, and then they became good and he thought of some bullshit reason to cheer for them.

That's why I cheered for the Red Sox in the 2004 World Series because they had been to the playoffs or been a good team for a while and could not beat the stupid ass Yankees. I wanted them to get over the hump. Then those fans who were casual fans became die hards, which I know is human nature.

When my teams aren't good, I just don't make as much time to cheer for them. I don't go away or anything, I just try to avoid the pain of watching them I avoid the painful parts. Other times I go to the games and watch them stink so I can appreciate it when the team wins. I can handle casual fans of teams, but people who team hop drive me crazy and fair weather fans who don't cheer for the team when they are not successful. There is nothing wrong with not watching but openly coming out and saying I am not following the Bruins now that they suck is different for me. It's a bizarre thin line.

Seriously, if the Simmons becomes the GM of any team, I give the fans of said team permission to choose any team in the league to cheer for.

I do wish he would just admit he quit cheering for them because they weren't good...but he won't.

Bengoodfella said...

I would like to go to Fenway to watch a game sometime. I have friends who have been there and they say it is nice.

Just thought I would throw that in there.

Fred Trigger said...

I think you had it worse, ben. to have 3 HOF pitchers in their prime, and to get the run support they got during the playoffs should be a crime. Those teams were built pretty well. They just got killed by the small sample size of a 5 game series. Well, that and Jack Morris, and Jim Leyritz.

Fred Trigger said...

the stadium is nice but, the seats are really uncomfortable.

Chris W said...

Ben--that's what I'm saying. There should be no shame in saying "I lost interest in them when they became a lousy franchise".

But Bill has some sort of bullshit "superfan" hubris and is also a douchebag. So he won't just admit that

Bengoodfella said...

I have tried to block that fact out. That the Braves were so incompetent they could not win a World Series with three HoF pitchers. I would get too depressed over this fact.

My curse on Jim Leyritz continues to this day. Now he wants to kill himself. I don't want him to do it, but he ruined one championship for me, along with a patented Braves choke of course.

I have heard the seats are pretty uncomfortable at Fenway. I may not like that.

Bill could never admit he lost interest when they started losing. You are right, so we are stuck with his pathetic excuse about the ownership being bad. He should just say he lost interest because he did not like them losing.

Bengoodfella said...

I am currently trying to block the image of Dwight Howard's running jump hook that he threw at the basket out of my head. I have never seen a player throw a hook shot at the basket. It reminded me of our "Dwight Howard is limited offensively" discussion.

Fred Trigger said...

get ready for the Bill Simmons "The Celtics were tired and thats why they lost" columns. I know its not over yet, but down 17 with 9 min. left is awfully hard to overcome.

Fred Trigger said...


Honestly, I'm kinda glad. I was getting sick of people disecting every game on the radio. I'm ready for baseball. (people talking about it at least, I was ready once the WS ended last year)

Jeremy Conlin said...

Let me defend the Simmons argument that the Celtics were tired. The difference between the Lakers and Celtics, who have played just about the same amount of games over the last two years, is that the Lakers are (A) much deeper, and (B) much younger. Of the Lakers 10-man rotation, only three of those guys are over 30; Kobe, Fisher, and Odom, so their best guy, and their 3rd best guy. The Celtics, on the other hand, have been without their best player (Garnett) for the entire playoffs, and their two other best players (Pierce and Allen) are both over 32 and are each over 30000 career minutes. The Lakers can bring guys like Shannon Brown, Andrew Bynum, and Jordan Farmar off the bench, all young guys with young legs that are legitimately talented players. The Celtics, on the other hand, have to bring in guys like Brian Scalabrine (age 31, coming off three concussions this year) and Stephon Marbury (age 32, prior to signing, hadn't played in the NBA in over a year).

It would have been more than easy for the Celtics to roll over against either the Bulls or Magic, both series that they probably should have lost in 5 games. They had ready-made excuses. KG was hurt. They were tired. They didn't have the same depth they had last year. But they didn't make excuses. The Celtics had no business whatsoever making it this far into the playoffs. They won a series that they probably shouldn't have won, and the took a 3-2 lead in a series that they probably should have lost 4-1. The best team won this series (and Simmons admitted as much on his twitter page), but the Celtics made them work much harder than they probably needed to. That's what defending the title is. Look at all the previous title winners in the year after their title. All of those Spurs teams mailed in most of the regular season before turning it on in the playoffs. The '07 Heat rolled over and died in mid-February. Those Laker teams walked around looking for a challenger and had an understandable lack of urgency. This Celtics team walked into every road arena with their belts in the air and a bulls-eye on their backs, and they welcomed it. I mean this with 100% sincerity: I have been as impressed by this Celtics team as much as any other team of the past 10 years. By my count, they won 4 games that they really should not have won under any normal circumstances (games 2 and 5 of the Chicago series, games 4 and 5 of the Orlando series). I can't remember the last time I said that about a playoff team.

I consider myself one of the last 137 people on earth who really, truly give a crap about the NBA. Not just where it is now, but where it has been and where it's going. And this is going to sound incredibly corny, but simply as a fan of the NBA, and as someone who appreciates history, I feel truly blessed that I've been able to experience this playoff run that Boston put together. They exceeded any and all expectations, and what else could you ask from a team? They could have rolled over and given up without KG, but instead they decided, "screw it, let's go for broke." They refused to give up. It was legitimately inspiring. Anyone who disagrees either doesn't know anything about basketball or has a serious bias against Boston. It's as simple as that. As a fan of basketball, and really just sports in general, if you don't appreciate the heart and grittiness that the Celtics displayed over the last month, then seriously, I don't know what to tell you.

Chris W said...

Wait wait wait. I was with you until you said "people who don't think the Celtics are inspiring have a bias against Boston."

Look--it's nice that they managed not to lose to the 7 seed and take an overrated Magic team to 7 without KG--really it is. It's more than I thought they could pull off.

But inspiring? To a non-Celtics fan? Come on man...

Martin said...

They had no reason to roll over to the Bulls, who were without their best player Lou Al'Dang (I know it's not spelled like that, but with how Sportscenter guys pronounce it he could be the cousin of a guy who runs a mob chop shop in Queens). Like John Madden said "You get paid to play the game, might as well play since you're here anyway." They didn't display anymore heart or grittiness then the Bulls did, they just beat a team they were pretty evenly matched against.

They did out play, out wit, and out determine the Magic often enough to take what should have been a 5 or 6 game, at worst, series a 7 gamer. We are talking the Magic here though, just about as soft a team as their is in the Grit Arena. These guy need a full Eckstein Intervention to just reach "dirty uniform" levels of Grittiness. I'll give the Celts credit for putting up a good fight and giving it their best shot...but inspiring? Really? Not a chance.

If I was going to be inspired by any team it would be those cute little Rascals in Red, the Houston Rockets, who were playing a team that CLEARLY out-matched them, didn't have Two HoF caliber players STILL suiting up and playing for them ~cough Pierce and Allen~ and managed to put Scola and Brooks into casual fans minds for next year. This team played so well without McGrady and Yao that they have to serously think about getting rid of both those guys to rebuild the team to the strengths that the rest of the team has. They can't count on the Disabled List Duo any longer for when the chips are down the clowns are running the asylum. And heck, at least they didn't get blown out at home in their game 7 loss.

hehe ~lowaters~

AJ said...

Wow! A Boston fan defending his team's pathetic playoff run. At least I admit my team is pathetic for what they did this year, the Pistons (and for that matter, the last few years). How can someone be inspired over a team that wins a title then comes back the next year and completely folds to the Magic? Seriously, the Magic? Have you seen that team?

The excuse of being without their best player is just wrong. The Bulls and Magic were both missing some of their better players. Being tired, every team is tired. Its the playoffs! Being tired is an excuse. Which goes to show you how bad of a coach Rivers is. If you KNOW your players are so old that they are going to be tired, then you rest them in the regular season. Did Boston need to win all those games this year with their best players playing so much? Could they have finished with the 2nd seed and played their players less? Of course.

I think finally we won't have to watch ESPN and get another "If you are a Boston fan, check out whats on tonight..." They did that the other day, when the Bruins played, Celtics played, and Red Sox played all on the dame day. I'm not sure how many times Detroit teams have done that over the past 6 years, yet I have never seen a graphic pointing that out.

Since when does being on the All NBA team matter? Does anyone care? And when he says "last time i checked, defense and wins mattered"...does offense not matter? This isn't the defensive team we are talking about. And if wins mattered so much, Mo Williams would be 1st team All NBA. And where are all the Pistons at on the All NBA team the past 7 years if winning and defense matter so much? Did Bill complain about that?

And this whole not being a Bruins fan cuz the salery cap and the owner is cheap...well isn't Bill a Clippers fan? And doesn't the Clippers have the cheapest owner in all of sports? And doesn't the salery cap effect every single team? And hasn't it been proven that you don't need a high team salery to compete? If this was the case, would the Twins have any fans at all? Spending money doesn't mean you win more...nor does it mean you are a fan or not of that team.

Bengoodfella said...

I am not going to disagree with you about the Celtics overachieving a little bit without Garnett. Simply because he is the reason they won the championship last year, despite Paul Pierce's wheel chair antics he was the MVP in my mind. Boston did a great job trying to win the series. I fail to buy the argument though that they did a better job simply because they have an older team and don't have the youth the Lakers have. I don't think the Celtics should get extra credit for being gutsy simply because they built their team around a bunch of old guys. It would have been easy for the Celtics to give up against Chicago and Orlando and kudos they did not, but I am not going to think of them in a more gutsy light because they built the team to be older. They tried to defend their title very well but I can't give them credit for not building the team to be young like the Lakers did.

When you build a team around old guys, injuries are a risk you take. If I wanted inspirational I would watch a Hallmark movie, and though it was fun to watch them overachieve a bit without Garnett, I can't give them credit for building an old team.

I am more inspired about the Rockets run because they really played well without Ming, Mutumbo, and McGrady.

In response to Martin, I don't even know what kind of value McGrady has anymore and I don't think the Rockets would ever trade Ming. He may be worth too much in marketing dollars and all.

Jeremy, you are a Cavs fan right? I thought I remembered you saying that you were.

Obviously, I agree in a certain way with AJ about the makeup of the Boston team. I thought that was going to be a one year NBA Championship because of the makeup of the team and wish there had been ways to rest some of those guys for the playoffs. That did not happen.

I think an interesting point is that through 3 quarters last night, the Celtics had only given up 66 points and the Magic were shooting 66% or something from 3pt range. They were actually doing a decent job on defense, they could just not score.

Jeremy Conlin said...

I consider myself to be an NBA atheist. I have no one rooting interest that I hold above all others. I grew up in Boston, so I have some affinity for the Celtics, but my formative years were based around the team featuring the immortal Dino Radja and Rick Fox, and I moved away before Antoine and Pierce showed up, so I wouldn't say that I ever had a very strong connection to the team. Year to year, I end up rooting for certain storylines, hoping to see certain players (and teams) step up and go to the next level. Consequently, this year, I was rooting mostly for Cleveland, Portland, and New Orleans.

And I never said that the Celtics should be inspiring to everyone, I said that only this year's playoff run should be inspiring. And they did have every reason to roll over to the Bulls after Game 1. The Bulls were a younger, more talented team. They were. Downgrading from Kevin Garnett, probably one of the 5 best all-around defensive players in NBA history, to Glen "Big Baby" Davis would be like taking Al Pacino out of The Godfather and replacing him with Paulie Shore. The Bulls were without Luol Deng, an overpaid player that probably won't ever make an All-Star game. The Magic were without Jameer Nelson, whose ceiling is somewhere between "All-Star" and "All-NBA Third Team." The Celtics were without Kevin Garnett, one of the 25 greatest players ever. There's a difference.

And the Celtics HAD to play their best guys more often, because if they hadn't, they would have slipped to the #3 seed, and lost home-court advantage in the 2nd round. In hindsight, it wouldn't have mattered, but their ONLY chance to beat Orlando was if they had home-court advantage. I can count 5 games from mid-March to mid-April that they easily would have lost if they had decided to only play Pierce and Allen about 32 minutes. If the lose those, then they're losing in 5 games to Orlando and going home. The fact that the organization built the team around 3 older guys is irrelevant. I'm not saying you should be impressed by the Celtics front-office guys for savvy moves. I'm saying you should be impressed by the heart that the Celtics showed in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

ivn said...

Martin - the Bulls' best player? I think you misspelled "Derrick Rose". Deng is kind of a bum. I've also long thought that the Rockets were better off without McGrady. the way the rest of their roster was, it makes way more sense to run the offense through Yao with all the shooters/slashers around him and Scola and Landry doing work underneath (although I suppose they would need to pick up a new big man, especially with Mt. Mutombo riding off into the sunset) as opposed to runnin a bunch of isos for McGrady. he's far too similar to his cousin, the similarly apathetic Vince Carter, than to any other top-tier swingmen (Kobe, Bron, Wade, Pierce, Melo if he counts...I suppose it's too early to throw Roy on there as well)

re: the Celtics - speaking as a fan I'll fully say that they had no business pushing this series to seven games. you can talk about the KG and Powe injuries, and they do matter, but even so the playoffs proved that unless Eddie House is having one of his ridiculously on-fire nights there was no one on the Boston bench who could be trusted for any consistent production. and the whole inspirational story is bogged down in the fact that they did have home court in the first two rounds. whatever. I was out of town and didn't get to watch Game 7 except for the last 40 seconds or so. I have to say it didn't kill me the way the Bruins Game 7 loss did.

Bengoodfella said...

Jeremy, I understand the atheist fan thing. Does that mean you played with Dino Radja on NBA Jam Tournament Edition.

I think we should use the word "impressed" more at the Celtics run and not inspired. That may fit better. I thought the Bulls series was a great series and it was impressive how they pulled it out. I don't know if I would call the fact they built the team around 3 30-somethings irrelevant. If you build the team around older players I would say there is a greater chance those older players are going to get injured. Whatever, it doesn't matter really.

I am not even going to get into the comment about the Bulls being more talented than the Celtics when the Celtics had Perkins who held his own against Howard, two HoF in Pierce and Allen, and the best point guard in the world in Rajon Rondo. It's not like the cupboard was bare for the Celtics, they just made crappy moves to get bench support and it bit them in the ass. It was a great effort.

When McGrady came in the league, I was a huge fan of his. I said he would be better than Carter and everyone thought I was crazy. I do have to agree I think the Rockets may be better off without him...but what to do with him?

Ivn, that Boston bench did come to bite them in the ass at the end. It wasn't so bad, I did not expect them to win the next round anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm late to the party here, but I need to get two things off my chest about the Celts:

1) Here's something you won't hear from the Celts fans that are crying about Garnett -- 2 of the 3 games they won were essentially thanks to Big Baby. You put Garnett on that team, no way Big Baby is putting up 20+ points in two wins, shooting 60% and hitting the game winner. You can't just freeze Big Baby's performance and add Garnett to the mix; clearly his return would come at the expense of some of Big Baby's play.

2) All this pride over "defending the championship"...who exactly are all these teams that don't exhibit heart as a champion? The 2007 Heat with Wade hurt and the 1984 Sixers? They act like there's a long history of teams tanking games after they win, but it's happened what, 1.5 times in 25 years?

Bengoodfella said...

It's ok to be late to the party. Those are two great points you bring up that should be taken into account:

1. Davis probably would not have put those type of performances up if Garnett had been in the lineup. Though I would argue Davis is nowhere near the player Garnett is on the defensive end, offensively he did hold his own pretty well in the series. I can see the argument being made that Davis could replace Garnett offensively, though he did not seem much help on the boards and on defense. Without Davis' minutes and points, we don't really know what would have happened.

2. I understand this "pride" thing to the point where the Celtics did fight hard to win the games, but I don't really know how to measure having the heart of a champion and the will to win. To a certain point, I am impressed with the Celtics perservering but I am not necessarily inspired. I don't think any team has tanked games after they win the title, unless it was due to injuries or some other reason. Someone else may have better input than me on this though...

Jeremy Conlin said...

I wouldn't say that any team tanked the season after they won the title, but this specific Celtics team carried itself with a swagger that was distinctly different from every defending champ since the Bulls of the mid-90s. The '04, '06, and '08 Spurs in particular put themselves in cruise control for most of the regular season before really turning it on in March and April. The Heat did battle injuries, and the '99 Bulls don't really count because they lost their entire team. Also, the Lakers during their 3-peat (as well as the '05 Pistons) went around with an arrogance about them, as if they didn't have to try against bad teams. These Celtics (like the Bulls in '97) made a point of tearing the heart out of teams. All of these teams (with the exception of the '99 Bulls and '07 Heat) turned it on in the playoffs and unleashed holy hell for 2 months, but the Celtics carried themselves with that mentality for 7 months straight.

I guess it's subjective, and the casual fan probably wouldn't pick up on it, but if you look at an '09 Celtics game from late January, compared to a late January game of the '06 Spurs (just for example), you're going to see a much different level of intensity.

Bengoodfella said...

Someday I need someone to teach me how to be a diehard NBA fan. At this point it seems like the only criteria to not be that is to go around and call everyone everyone else a casual fan.

The Spurs did not try to defend the title, they were just dicking around on the court waiting for the season to end. I guess that's why they never repeated.

Bengoodfella said...

I only half meant that last comment. Sometimes the tone of a comment irritates me and I forget to take a 30 second break before I type. Sorry if it came out rude. I only half meant it.

Anonymous said...

In 2003 the Spurs win 60 games and the NBA championship. In 2004 they win 57 games and lose to the Lakers in the playoffs in part because Derek Fisher hits a ridiculous prayer at teh buzzer. Then in 2005 the Spurs win 59 games and an NBA championship. They follow that up in 2006 with 63 wins but lose a 4-3 series to Dallas that could have gone either way.

Seems like a pretty decent title defense to me. I mean, they put together great regular seasons and then had two tough playoff losses that could have gone either way. What more do you want?

Of course, you could also take a totally subjective measurement like swagger or mentality and say they weren't up to par.

Bengoodfella said...

I agree, I don't think you can measure swagger or the mentality of a team either. It's almost Ecksteinian to say that a team defended a title very bravely or that a team inspired you with how they defended the title.

Again, I will say I was impressed with how they played well even after losing Garnett, just like I was impressed with the Rockets after losing Yao...though he did not miss as much time as Garnett. I guess I am just not a big enough fan of the NBA to detect intensity. I guess it is like having "gay-dar."

Jeremy Conlin said...

Well, here's the difference between the '06 Spurs and the '09 Celtics. The league stunk in 2006. It was awful. Go look up the standings. There were only 6 teams that won 50+ games. This year, there were 9 (plus 4 more that finished with 46-49 wins). The Western Conference wasn't good. The Lakers stunk, the Kings got old, and teams like Utah, Denver, and New Orleans still hadn't fully arrived. Also, if you look at the rosters, Tim Duncan then was better than Garnett now. Parker and Ginobili both had breakout years. Michael Finley still had something left in the tank, their bench was fantastic with Robert Horry, Nick Van Exel, and Brent Barry (when they were still half-decent), and they had the best coach in the NBA. The Celtics, on the other hand, played in a much more competitive league with more good teams, had much less depth, overall was a much older team, and had a good-not-great coach. Yet for some reason, San Antonio in '06 only won 1 more game than the '09 Celtics. If you think baseball, what would be more impressive, a team in the AL East winning 100 games, or a team in the AL West winning 100 games? I'd say the AL East, because the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays are in that division. It's simply tougher to do. In '06, the Spurs ended up with a better record (although only by one game), but they had a much less impressive body of work. In '09, the Celtics pretty much maximized their potential, especially without a healthy Garnett for 2 months. My friend and I were discussing this once, and he pointed out that if I asked you who the best team of the post-Jordan era was, you'd probably say San Antonio. They've won 4 titles, they didn't really have a period of downtime (like the Lakers did between the Shaq and Gasol years). Yet, for some reason, in the 11 years since their first title back in '99, they've only finished with the best record in the league twice. They never had any sense of urgency during the regular season (and I'm not blaming them, they didn't exactly need it). I'm just saying that San Antonio, specifically, has had a history of staying in fourth gear for most of the season, only kicking it up for really important games. The Celtics pretty much stayed in 146th gear for 7 straight months. It's obviously subjective, and there is no specific statistic that can either prove or disprove my opinion, but at least that's the impression that I've gotten. Other NBA writers, such as Marc Stein and Ric Bucher, have also made similar observations. Taking everything into account, like the landscape of the league, Boston's struggles with age, injuries, and everything else, their year-after season was much more impressive than the year-afters of all the other title teams dating back to Jordan's Bulls. That's all I'm saying.

Bengoodfella said...

Well first off, I believe this is the longest thread of comments in this blog's history, so that means absolutely nothing, but I thougth I would mention it...

As far as the Spurs go, I do agree they put it in cruise control a little bit during the regular season and did not go all out. I still don't know how to measure swagger or anything obviously, but looking back at the records it did not seem like there were too many dominant teams. Someone could potentially make an argument that there was no dominant team because all the teams were good, but of equal strength. I don't know if I believe that.

Your argument is very persuasive in that the Celtics may have had a tougher road to the championship game, even though they did play a sub .500 team in the first round, though a quite talented team at that. I think I would say the Celtics may have had to defend the title against better teams but not include the swagger or use any type of their mentality in how they did it. It may be just semantics but I feel like the Spurs may have defended the title in their own low key way, just against lesser teams possibly.