Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hey, a Non-Sports Related Post!

So I stumbled on this random bit on Yahoo “Buzz!” about certain celebrities “real” names. The list included the top 20 searches for real names over the last past week.

Let’s see if you can spot the one that makes no fucking sense.

1. Tiger Woods (Eldrick Woods)
2.
Madonna (Madonna Ciccone)
3.
Lil' Wayne (Dwayne Carter Jr.)
4.
Miley Cyrus (Destiny Hope Cyrus)
5.
Coco Crisp (Covelli Crisp)
6.
Hilary Banks (played by Karyn Parsons)
7.
Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz)
8.
Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea)
9.
Larry the Cable Guy (Daniel Lawrence Whitney)
10.
Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale)
11.
Bow Wow (Shad Gregory Moss)
12.
Soulja Boy (DeAndre Ramone Way)
13.
Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque)
14.
Bono (Paul Hewson)
15.
Sting (Gordon Sumner)
16.
Jay-Z (Shawn Carter)
17.
Tila Tequila (Tila Nguyen)
18.
Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner)
19.
John Wayne (Marion Morrison)
20.
Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson)

If you said “6”, congratulations, you’re correct. Let’s run down why this is retarded.

1. Hilary Banks isn’t a “stage name” or nickname, as all the other names are – it’s the name of a character on a mildly successful TV show (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).
2. The last new episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired in 1996.
She wasn’t even the main character?!?!?
3. After her stint on Fresh Prince, she was in exactly 1 movie (The Ladies Man) and did 1-2 episodes of a few TV shows, the last being in 2002 (Static Shock was the show).
4. More searched than “Bono”??!??!?!??!

Maybe this is why Yahoo is getting its ass kicked by Google; its search data is crap. Other than Yahoo being fucked up, my guess is that Karyn Parsons has a stalker who looks her up online non-stop but can only remember her as “Hilary Banks”.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Was Magic Injured in the 1991 Playoffs?

I didn't think so. I mean, I suppose he could have been HIV positive, but it's tough to say that impacted his play (see numbers below). Also, it's not an injury. Bill Simmons felt the need to throw his "injury" into his on-the-fly list of the 10 biggest playoff injuries in the past 25 years:

(The 10 biggest playoff injuries of the past 25 years, in no particular order: Manu in '08; Isiah in '88; McHale and Walton in '87; D-Wade in '05; Duncan in '00; Malone in '04; Worthy in '83; Pippen in '98; Magic in '91; Doc Rivers in '94. All of those injuries potentially swung the Finals except for Pippen's back injury in '98 -- that was the year when Pippen played at 50 percent and MJ said, "Screw it, we're winning anyway.")

I don’t recall Magic being injured in the 1991 playoffs. In the 1991 finals, Magic Johnson played 43, 43, 50 (OT), 44, and 48 minutes. In the 1991 playoffs, Magic averaged 43.3 minutes, 21.8 points, 12.6 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. That’s, you know, pretty good.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Colin Cowherd, That's Not What he Meant

On yesterday's radio show, Colin Cowherd discussed how he believed European players can't really be relied on to win an NBA championship.

It was a long (felt long) and painful discussion that included the following:

NBA General Managers love drafting European guys over American kids, not because they’re better, but because of the mystery or the unknown. That’s what I always say about Yoga. Do you know why Yoga is so popular? Because it’s so popular in India. If it was from Nashville, they’d call it stretching. But it’s from India – and they don’t have bathrooms, there’s rubble, and it’s different and most people haven’t been there – it’s mysterious – and we like what we can’t have.

If you've heard Cowherd you realize this kind of stuff is the norm. He basically puts down the general work ethic of the entire continent of Europe and implies that their basketball players are sort of lazy and soft. It was pretty stupid, but I don't have the energy to parse through it.

Anyway, this was near the end of his discussion:

Look at what Sasha Vujacic said about Ray Allen… "He got me. I was afraid to foul him – he just got me."

Afraid? You don’t hear a kid from Chicago say that. And I know I’ll get soccer fans or a guy listening on the web overseas. “Colin, you’re such an ugly American”. What…eva.
(yeah, he said it like that).

Vujacic was not literally fearful of the physical contact that comes with fouling a player, dipshit. He didn't want to send the seventh best FT shooter in NBA history to the free throw line.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kobe v. Jordan Again

Well well well look what we've found here. So Jemele Hill has her own website, and she recently revived the Jordan/Bryant argument that she made here. She obviously used an obscure blog post on her website, instead of ESPN, to hide these words from me. I see right through it all. But here we are anyway. Nice try, Ms. Hill.

She actually acknowledges that she did a bad job supporting her opinion….

To be honest, I didn’t do a good job of really explaining why I feel that way (Kobe better than Jordan) in that initial ESPN column.

Yeah I caught that. Unfortunately, her blog is not very reader/blogger friendly. I have no idea how to copy/paste content out of it. Because there’s no way I’ll be transcribing all the content, I’ll have to just grab her main points.

The game evolves and so does the skill level. It’s obvious that Kobe has studied MJ’s every move. He’s not only perfected those moves, but developed particular skill sets faster than Jordan did. For example, Jordan was never as good a long-range shooter as Kobe. Over time, Jordan added that element of his game, but it came along for Kobe much faster – as did Kobe’s fadeaway, post-up game, and mid-range shooting. Kobe ceased strictly being an above-the-rim player a lot quicker than Jordan.

There’s nothing very egregious here. Skills do evolve over time, however I just can’t be so definitive in separating their time periods in the way that she can. But can I just point this out:

For example, Jordan was never as good a long-range shooter as Kobe.

Keep in mind that these two players play a very similar style game, and Kobe plays in a more stringent era in terms of defensive hand checking rules.

Career 3-point %’s:

Regular Season:
Jordan - .327
Bryant - .340

Playoffs:
Jordan - .332
Bryant - .324

Virtually the same. I would love to see a career shot chart that parsed their shooting percentages based on the location of their shots – Jordan would beat Kobe inside the 3-point line (virtually the same outside). Jordan was a career 49.7 % FG shooter – Kobe is at 45.3%. To be fair, you should remove three’s from that % - when you do Jordan is 51% and Kobe is 48%. Their playoff non-3 % has a Jordan edge of 50.4% to 47.3%. Jordan's percentages during his Washington years were particularly bad, as well, but I've left them in there. We'll call that a dramatic decline phase that Kobe has not experienced.

If he’s such a better shooter, he must be worse at shot selection, because he makes less of them.

Quick sidebar - Charles Barkley was one of my favorite players to watch. One of his downfalls was he liked to take 3's. He took almost 2 a game for his career (as a power forward). Had Barkley never taken a 3-pointer, his career FG % would have been 58.13%, good for 3rd all-time behind Andris Beidrins (in only 4 seasons) and Artis Gilmore. Barkley was more efficient with his field goals, inside the three-point line, than Shaquille O'Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kevin McHale. Add that to the fact that he was a 6'6" (at best) power forward who led the league in rebounding and could handle the ball pretty well and he's one of the most uniquely talented offensive players in NBA history.

But here are some of the things that people always fail to consider in the never ending Kobe vs. Jordan debate.

1. Jordan is possibly the most magnetic sports figure of all time.

She goes on for a while on each point, but I’ll stick to the main points because it shows why she’s not going to convince me that Kobe is better. What the fuck does this have to do with anything?

2. Revisionist history has turned Jordan into the perfect human being.

What the fuck does this (that I disagree with anyway) have to do with anything?

3. Jordan didn’t have the Internets, and he missed out on a time in sports media where athletes personal lives are covered just as much as their on court performances.

Am I the only one that remembers the non-stop media frenzy that was Michael Jordan? Also, what the fuck does this have to do with anything?

4. We don’t seem to realize how the size - or lack thereof - during Jordan’s days contributed to his dominance.

That’s true, since Michael Jordan played most of his professional ball in China in the 1950’s. Seriously, this is what you’re spending your time on? Well, if only we had some sort of chart put out by a reputable source that showed us the average size of the NBA players through the years....hmmmmm. Wait, look what I found:



The average height of an NBA player over the last 20 years has stayed remarkably (expectedly?) consistent. The average weight is up a whopping 7 pounds, but you’ll notice it’s virtually unchanged since 1994. The point is, there’s not much of a difference. Are the players stronger, and more athletic? Yes - at least compared to the early stage of Jordan's career - but I would dispute this point with regards to the the later stage. Is Kobe's competition just plain "bigger"? Not really. The players Michael Jordan played against did not resemble the starting five from Hickory High, which is what Jemele seems to want you to envision. In fact, to be nitpicky and turn this non-point around on Jemele - the average player in ’98 was slightly taller and heavier than in ’08, and Jordan seemed to do okay that year, when (at age 35) he was the regular season MVP and the Finals MVP and he led the league in scoring. He also worked Kobe Bryant pretty good in the All-Star game too, in route to winning the MVP of the game. Not meaningful for this argument, but interesting.

She goes into more depth here, and actually talks about basketball and stuff (hey, it is the 4th point), so I’ll transcribe the section.

The players today are bigger, faster and stronger than they were when Jordan played. Granted, the players from Jordan’s era were more skilled and had a higher basketball IQ, but it’s a lot different having to shoot over Craig Ehlo versus someone like Tracy McGrady, who is 6-foot-9 and just as quick. Of course, I realize that assumes McGrady would be interested in playing defense.

She’s made this point before. Players today are better athletes, but players during Jordan’s era were more skilled and had a better basketball IQ. Do you see how pointless and difficult to argue this point is? It’s not like Jordan played in the 60’s. Jordan played through ’98 (ignoring the Washington years). Kobe’s first year was ’96-’97 – NBA players didn’t become superhuman after ’98. Of course, there’s an evolution in the capabilities of athletes, but I have a tough time identifying this separation in athletic prowess between the mid-‘90’s and the mid-‘00s. Does Allen Iverson have a tougher time scoring now than he did in ’97? Was Karl Malone way out of his element playing in this decade? Christ, Jordan had 40 point games playing at almost 40 years of age in 2003. This is not a good point to make. It’s virtually impossible to establish and she concedes that better athletes does not mean better players.

Why bring up McGrady if you’re acknowledging that he’s not that great a defender? Craig Ehlo DID play good defense. Just because he was white and he couldn’t jump out of the gym doesn’t mean he couldn’t play D. Also, wouldn’t a better point of reference be a guy like Dennis Rodman? I’d much rather have McGrady (or Bruce Bowen) on me than Rodman.

Anyway, guys on the wing are huge. You got a guy like 6-11 Lamar Odom, who is able to play four different positions.

Really? Jordan is going to be worried about Lamar Fucking Odom?

You have a 7-footer like Dirk Nowitzki playing the two (and by the way, foreign players were largely irrelevant during the Jordan era).

He does? He’s listed at power forward. He plays the two….once in a while? This is a big deal? Does he guard Kobe Bryant much? Does Kobe guard him? No? You know who could play 4 positions - ex-Blazer Cliff Robinson. Riveting, right?

I agree that the influx of foreign players has added to the talent level of the league. Congratulations, you’ve made a valid point.

You got Deron Williams playing the point at 6-5.

Wow, 6-5. We are truly in an age of superhuman basketball players. Magic was 6’9”. Jordan played against Kidd and Payton, who were taller than Williams (if this mattered, which it doesn't).

Also, Deron Williams is 6-3. I know this because the NBA, Jemele's employer, and Deron's website tell me this.

But, you know, good point otherwise.

Now, this is not to say that Jordan wouldn’t have averaged 30 a game. He would.

Since that's his career average, doesn't that make this manner of comparison a little pointless.

But we wouldn’t look at his athleticism in a vacuum if there were other players with just as much physical ability. Compared to Larry, Zeke and Magic, Jordan looked like a freak.

Did he look like an athletic freak next to Dominique Wilkins, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler? Oh, those guys aren't good examples, so just ignore them.

He wouldn’t look like a freak to us today with Kobe, Chris Paul, and LeBron James and others on the floor.

Sooo? Is anyone’s assertion anywhere that Jordan is better than Bryant because he’s a better athlete? Does anyone think this? That’s the point you’re making.

Which brings me to this: What would Jordan have done against LBJ, who is built like Julius Peppers and taller?

I don’t know, probably the same thing as Kobe Bryant? What would James have done against Jordan? He’d get smoked, that’s what. James had a tough enough time with Paul Pierce.

5. That Jordan never had to go through a dominating big man was a huge bonus. And no, I don’t count Shaq because he had diapers on. Olajuwon won his two when Jordan was out of the league. I MIGHT give you Patrick Ewing. Maybe even Karl Malone.

Comparing guards in sequential generations by analyzing the centers they played against is unbelievably stupid. But if you want to go there…

Jordan played against Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Alonzo Mourning in their primes. He played against Shaquille O’Neal from ’93-’98. Fuck that diapers shit, Shaq lead a 60 win Orlando team when he was 24 years old – his 4th year in the league. The year after he led them to the finals. Jordan’s Bulls destroyed them in ’96. ’96 – when the Bulls went through Mourning, Ewing and Shaq in sequential playoff series.

I guess what I’m saying is…..Jordan saw the best of a lot more big men the Kobe did, and (oh by the way), he didn’t have an all-time great like Shaq on his team for 8 years to handle those big men, as Kobe did. I love how it's to Kobe's credit to play against Shaq and Duncan when Shaq's prime was spent as Kobe's teammate.

That's like me saying..."There were great defenders during Jordan's day - like Scottie Pippen!"

But could in-his-prime Jordan have defeated in-his-prime Shaq in a seven-game series? Or what about Duncan? I have my doubts.

Kobe was Shaq’s teammate during Shaq’s prime??!??!?!?!??!!??!!???!?!??!?!? That’s a huge advantage. HE didn’t go through him. Jordan had many more battles (ahem, on court) with Shaq than Kobe has. What a stupid point.

Yes, Jordan missed Duncan. I think the big men he faced more than offset Duncan. Give me a break. What an inane way to compare shooting guards….by comparing the big men who they didn’t guard and weren’t guarded by. How many more titles would Jordan have won if he was able to play with a dominating big man like Shaq in the early stage of HIS career? I'll give him the rings in '89 and '90 right now.

She then goes on to point out that Kobe did some things Jordan wouldn’t do – like pouting and fucking up the Phoenix series a couple years ago. She also tells us that the “Shaq situation” would have turned out the same with Jordan. She’s a psychic! Anyway, it’s meaningless when discussing their respective games anyway. I also have to disagree.

If the Lakers win the championship we'll be met with a lot of "Kobe Bryant is as good as Jordan" type columns. I personally love this stuff - comparing players in NBA history. Hopefully, it's more well thought out than this. In Jemele's defense, it was just a blog post on her site, but it's not much different than her column on ESPN.com.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Deadspin’s ESPN’s Featured Comment of the Day

Every day Deadspin picks on the ESPN comment of the day (rightfully so), and the commenters mock the ESPN comment.

I’m not a Deadspin commenter – and my fear of rejection has scared me away from the audition process (well, mostly it’s my fear of killing more than 15 minutes a day on the site). I really tense up and start pulling a Chris Farley and slapping myself upside the head and calling myself an idiot. Anyway, I may occasionally do my own comment here, for you, the readers of this blog. So basically Deadspin, which is a great site if you live under a rock and have never been, has done something clever, and instead of burying my comment in with the dozens or hundreds of theirs, I’ll just post it here instead.

Here’s today’s Featured Comment:

"I would only watch golf if it was full contact."exposrangers

Here’s what I would post in the comment section if I was funny enough to be a Deadspin commenter:

“I would only watch gay animal porn if it was bull contact”

Or

“I only watch vintage Atlanta Hawks highlights if it’s full Koncak”

Wicked hilarious, right? See, Jon Koncak was a dorky looking stiff.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Some Sanity and Some Jibberish

I skimmed ESPN Page 2 today and noted that Tim Keown had a brief write-up on Robert Horry not being a Hall of Famer. It’ll be interesting to see how many posts I have up on this site after Horry retires responding to writers who argue for Horry to make the Hall, so I figured I’d link this now.

Then there’s Scoop Jackson.

There's a term used in the community called "thirsty."

“The community”. How about “the world”. There’s a term in the world of English speaking people. Why be so exclusionary, buddy?

It means what you think it means, but it's now being used in different contexts. Only to make a point of the extremes to which some people will go to get what they want. More severely, what they need.

Nooo…that’s pretty much what I figured you meant. You're not writing about nutrition on ESPN.com.

Kobe Bryant, for lack of more sophisticated terminology, is thirsty.

Gotcha. So what else are we going to talk about? Matchups? Some Lakers-Celtics history?
Oh, much much much more on Kobe Bryant’s thirst?

His thirst for another NBA title is that of an amplitude we may not have ever seen before. Not in sports, business, crime, corruption or politics.

Kobe Bryant, a 3-time NBA champion, is not more thirsty than John Elway was to end his career as the guy who kept losing the big game. He’s not more thirsty than Jordan, Isiah, or Shaq were to break through and win a championship. He’s not more thirsty than Andy Fastow was to siphon money out of Enron or than Bill Gates was when he started Microsoft.

Keeping it community: He's thirsty like a fiend.

Scoop, I’m just going to come out and ask you this. Do you not want me reading this? I’m white. Is “community” supposed to be “the black community”? Are you just talking to people in that community? Can you “keep it” in a more inclusionary manner please? Is this why I never understand you? Because you don’t want me to?

Now I understand how Bill Maher it is to use a dependency as an analogy to describe Kobe's mental range, scope and capacity and how wrong it probably is to compare "the greatest player of his generation" (as TNT labeled him to promote the Western Conference finals) to Ashy Larry or Bubbles, but it fits. Like disloyalty and Scott McClellan. In technical terms, Kobe is an obligate anti-carnivore.

I have no fucking idea what that paragraph means. None. Is Dennis Miller ghost-writing Scoop Jackson columns now? That doesn’t jibe with the “community” talk but it’s the only explanation.

This thirst -- whether he admits or denies or realizes it -- comes from a needing to do this without Shaquille O'Neal. It's a needing to come as close to Jordan and Jordan's legacy as any other basketball player alive right now … and maybe in the future. It's a needing to prove to himself what he's known and told himself ever since he challenged Brian Shaw to play one-on-one at age 11.

I agree – Kobe Bryant wants to win. Do we need a column for this? I say no.

Redemption, chip on his shoulder, edge, anger. None apply. There's a fiend-like component inside Kobe that exceeds all of the above labels that no athlete in any other sport possesses,

Not Tiger Woods?

and the closer he gets to attaining another championship ring, the more impossible it is going to be for anyone -- or any one team -- to deny him. His want has gone into an almost dependence stage of validation, of recognition, of being the last man standing.

You sir, are just making stuff up to fill up a column. You are offering nothing. No examples, no analysis – just jibberish.

There is no player or collection of players on Boston's squad -- no player(s) on any team that the Lakers have faced throughout the playoffs, no entire 12-man roster in the league, to be honest -- that can match his need to win this championship.

The Lakers are a good, young team. They will be awesome for the next few years. The Celtics have maybe 2 shots at a Championship. Garnett has never won. Kobe has won 3. I think Garnett’s “need” is on par with Bryant’s.

A compulsion to prove to himself -- and us -- that he's been right all along is what's at the center of this. Right that he's not a bad guy, a prima donna, arrogant, aloof or antisocial. Right that he is engaging and personable. Right that he might be the best basketball player your kids will ever see.

Look – only a grade A-moron would confuse basketball brilliance with not being a bad guy or a prima donna. He’ll diffuse very little of that by winning this championship.

Just as he was right about publicly forcing the Lakers to make some roster moves, in every fabric of his being he has to be right about how he sees himself and what he sees himself as. Even though he said in the ESPN Sunday Conversation that he was comfortable being the No. 2 guy while winning rings with Shaq, and in so many words to please stop the Jordan comparisons because there will never be another ("He's a different person … the greatest ever … let me do me …. Thank you!"), those who have watched his evolution -- his ascendance -- know better. He tries to cover it up in interviews and private conversations, but once he gets in "black" Jack Bauer mode it becomes clear as Claritin. He's on something extra. Something that once he calls it quits about five years and three more rings from now, he's going to need some serious form of detox to get out of his system.

He’s competitive. We know this.

Hopefully he has the sense that Jordan did not and just quietly ascends into retirement instead of botching the personnel thing, trying a comeback, and then doing whatever Jordan is doing now (I know his title, but I don’t know what he actually does, other than piss off people in Charlotte).

To everyone else, this is about basketball. To him … this is about survival.

Whose?

His.

Deep.

No it’s not, it’s about basketball. Basketball is about throwing a ball into a hole. If I was actually going through any real drama in my life, like if I had cancer or something, I'd probably be offended by this column.

It's the life of a fiend. Trapped inside the shell of a basketball player who almost had the game taken from him. The fact that he could have been responsible for not being able to show the world this stage of his life probably still eats at his mind. It might be what ultimately drives him.

Did Kobe Bryant botch a suicide attempt at some point?

Maybe it's something deeper, something that revealed itself at birth. Who knows? And the beauty, he'll never -- not even in Spike Lee's documentary about him -- be the one to tell.

Do you think Scoop’s editor reads this and actually knows what the hell he is talking about?
What’s “it”. The fiendish thirst?

The Celtics are thirsty for that ring, too, but they aren't dying of thirst.

Well that clear’s that up.

Which essentially is the difference between Kobe and them -- maybe Kobe and maybe all other human beings. And until KG, Truth and Jesus (anyone: Tiger, Roger, Peyton, LeBron, Kimbo, etc.) can equate death with what it will mean to not win a championship on these terms, until they can make themselves believe -- as Kobe has -- that their survival depends on getting this ring, then their collective and collaborative effort may not be enough.

We’re lumping Kimbo Slice in with Tiger Woods at this point? This column is redefining the sports column as we know it. It literally is about nothing. It’s just a bunch of poetic-like sentences about absolutely nothing of substance. It’s terrible.

Winning is the difference between a mission and an addiction. The Celtics are on a season-long mission against a dude that for the last five years has forced an addiction on himself to win. Winning substantiates this dude.

Dude, is Paulie Shore writing this thing? Back to back sentences referring to Kobe as "dude"?

It eliminates every doubt that may have somehow crept into his ├╝berconfident mind about his ability to carry and lead a team at the highest level of this sport. He has tasted something his competition (outside of Sam Cassell and James Posey) has never tasted, is hooked on something they've yet to sample. Addiction does not come by osmosis, whether it's meth, crack, coke, chocolate, caffeine, nicotine, sex, gambling, drinking or body art. To feel what it feels like to want to experience that same feeling again, you would have had to have it in your system before. The power of that feeling always makes those who reach that level of necessity more powerful than those who wish they knew what it felt like.

For a guy so hell bent on winning, he sure hasn’t been very good at it the last few years. Funny how the addiction is driving him this year, when he’s playing with better teammates. Last year? Not so addicted.

Kobe has that feeling. The others don't. And he is still thirsty.

That sentence strikes me to the core of my being and leaves me with the undying desire to want to experience the feeling that Kobe Bryant is living and breathing……drinking, if you will.

As those who are close to the game and those who still hate him despite what he's done since the playoffs started will testify, you can't beat a fiend at his own game when his game is basketball and basketball is all he has.

Is that sort of like “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”?

Which leaves only one thing left that Kobe Bryant can do: Obey his thirst.

(pukes).

Monday, June 2, 2008

History Lessen for Bill Plaschke

Bill Plaschke has a Hi-Larious preview of the NBA finals, which could have been written by Bill Simmons if he had the restraint to be brief and not explain anything in tons of detail. In other words, it's not real analysis - it's just comparing peripheral stuff. One of the sections was in regards to which team's fanbase had the better "chant". Too funny right? That Plaschke.

Chant vs. Chant

In the early days of this championship rivalry, the Celtics fans invented the "Beat L.A." chant.

The Lakers will respond this week with a simple, "M-V-P, M-V-P."

The Boston chant is wish.

The Lakers chant is a reality.

The early days of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry were in the 1960’s. The “Beat LA” chant started in 1982. The chant was not directed at the Lakers, but instead at the Philadelphia 76ers, who were in the process of finishing off game 7 in Boston in the conference finals. The Lakers had already clinched the West.

The Boston fans had conceded defeat and sent the Philly players off with the message…. "Beat LA”. The Lakers beat Philadelphia, but Philly got them back in ’83.

Anyway – I think the Celtics fans should chant “DPOY!” and “EOY!” (Executive of the Year). That would totally rile people up. Knowing the Celtics fans, they’ll probably chant something about Kobe’s alleged hook-up with a Laker cheerleader, or even go into the vault and chant something about the rape trial. But that opens them up to some serious Paul Pierce stabbing, Ray Allen OCD, or Sam Cassell looking like Admiral Akbar chants in retaliation.