More photos » Elise Amendola - AP
Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, right, doesn't quit just because he's injured. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
It has been often said, and often said by me and by a bearded bum-looking genius I know, that the best way to argue against something is to argue for it, but poorly.
I'm not particularly motivated by an interest to deny Phil Jackson ring number 11 nor appealing to some moralistic lobby that Kobe should not get number 5. Seth's 100% right about Kobe. I'm also not much into that "enemy of my enemy is my friend" philosophical mumbo jumbo either. I have plenty of room in my heart for 29 enemies.
However, after yesterday's serious offense on these pages, I felt compelled to shed my perennial disinterest in the NBA Finals and write about my Celtics.
Yes, my Celtics.
10. Losing to the chumps: If you lose to the NBA Champs, perhaps you don't really need to get much better. You are kidding yourself. You need to get a lot better. Sometimes you need to lose to the chumps to see that. I always lean towards taking some risk to get there rather than holding pat. I was a big fan of the Shaq trade for exactly that reason.
7. Western Conference Hos: The Spurs were dirty, but the Lakers are mean. I don't mean KG crazy-mean, I mean mean-mean. Phil Jackson is clever-mean. Phil Jackson enjoys abusing his own players egos like a sadist would enjoy torturing a caged, injured dog. Kobe is angry-mean with sprinkles of villainy on top. Artest is crazy-mean with a respect-hungry smile on top. Ok, Derek Fisher isn't really mean. He's dirty, sort of, in an elusive you-can't-see-my-dirt-clearly kind of way. Then the Lakers have had a long line of mean thugs: Rick Fox, Kwame Brown, Sasha Vujacic. That team has the kind of mean that they don't just share with their opponents, they share it with themselves.
6. Sasha Vujacic: I can accept Kobe Bryant as a force of nature. I can impassively admire those line-drive 30-foot chuckshots the way I can dissociatively admire the fine craftsmanship of the Henckel knife as my ex stabs me repeatedly with it. But Sasha Vujacic get another ring? I'd accept a trade Goran for Sasha just to get Goran a ring and to deny Sasha one. I'd suffer with Sasha on the Suns and Goran on the Lakers for that, although I'd hate for Goran to suffer with that bunch.
4. Lakers Fans Peed On My Rug: Seriously. They pee on my rug every year. The pee on it all over the internets. They pee on it when I watch TV and see their celebrity fans all over the place. They pee on it when I visit Phoenix. When are Lakers fans not peeing on my rug? That rug really held the room together.
2. Love KG: KG is like Chuck Norris, only better.
I love his schtick. So what if he taunts Jose Calderon? Did Jose even cry? Did KG knee Jose's groin? Or headbutt him? KG sells the Celtics to me. Sure I hate the Lakers, but that doesn't make me want to root for the Celtics. KG, and thinking of what might have been for the Suns, makes me want to root for the Celtics.
Every time I see KG, I see what could have been for this franchise. His neverending and overwhelmingly consistent passion is the antithesis of the enigmatic power forward on which the Suns fortunes rest. Yea, people get tired of his maniacal intensity, but I'd like knowing that he was cracking the whip for my team while I'm snoozing in my bed.
When I watch a Celtics game, I spend the whole time imagining how KG would play with the Suns. How things could work out. I get lost in my sideways universe.
With Kobe? I can't imagine Kobe in a Suns uniform. I simply can't, except perhaps at age 50, playing the way Jordan played for the Wizards.
I can watch Kevin Garnett commercials all day. You know this KG commercial in the youtube below. I feel this moment as strongly as any Suns moment, mainly because I imagined that this was us. Could have been us. Should have been us. In some sideways world, it was us. Instead, we got Lakers cast-off Shaq.
Shaq was a good citizen, but he didn't give me this moment:
And the number one reason to root for the Celtics?
1. Rooting for the Celtics is like rooting for Guinness. Who doesn't love Guinness?? Who doesn't love St. Patty's day?