Shut Up, Fair-Weather Fans (And Game 7)
I am acting like a basketball snob, but I feel as if I have every right to be.
With my favorite team heading into a Game 7 of the NBA Finals, I have a right to expect that the best of the best of fans will do all three things:
- Root like hell for the Celtics
- Believe in the Celtics even if their level of play can be uninspiring
- Appreciate the fact that the Celtics are in the NBA Finals for the second time in three years and more importantly, find themselves in a winner take all series: go home with the title or go home asking what you could have done differently
But so many fair-weather fans are NOT doing this. My buddy Sean texted me during game 5 on Sunday and kept saying how aggravating it was watching this game at a bar. Fans were cheering as if we just won the series with every bucket, and sobbed with pure pissyness if it was a lost possession. Hey dumb-dumbs: it’s basketball. There are like 90+ possessions every game. You really expect each one to end with the two extra ticks on the scoreboard? Do you not realize that it’s the NBA Finals against arguably one of the best players/competitors/closers in all of basketball and the defending NBA champs? Do you not realize how old and hurt our team is? Do you not realize that it’s a 7-game series for a reason?
The name of the game is execution: everyone on the floor knows what their counterpart is going to do. It’s all about how well you do it, or how well you can stop the other guy from doing it.
I am getting tired of these new basketball fans that have caught the wave and excitement of this 2010 Celtics run telling me what they need to do to win. Here are the best of the comments:
- “I mean, just play better defense. Don’t let them get into the paint.”
- “They have to go to Pierce more. He’s the only guy that can score.”
- “Rondo has to take over from the tip.”
- “Just keep feeding Ray Allen. He’s one of the best shooters in the history of the NBA.”
- “Doc needs to use Shrek and Donkey more in the game: gives the team instant offense.”
My question back to you, fair-weather fan: how do you expect to do this? You don’t think the multi-million dollar coaching staff has thought maybe, just maybe, the only the Celtics can win is to play better defense and force Kobe to be a volume shooter and make him neglect his teammates? You don’t think Pierce knows that he has to be an efficient scorer? I think you’re right about the fact that Rondo doesn’t realize that he needs to control the tempo of the game. We should write on his Facebook wall quickly!! Maybe Doc should just play 7 on the floor: the starting 5 AND Davis and Nate-Rob. Yeah. Genius.
Shut up. Just please shut up.
This is a time for fans that have followed this team for more than the last 2 months to enjoy, and most importantly, for kids to catch the wave. This is when you start building the legacy of life-long fans of any sport. When a kid realizes how magical, inspiring, and disappointing it can be to love sports. Kids in middle school and elementary school are exempt from being fair-weather fans: this is their time to romanticize about growing up to be professional athletes and learn to watch a game from beginning to end. To think about how physical and mentally skillful these athlete are, and to simply marvel at the wonder of sports. This is the time for kids to learn there there is a storyline in every game, and to understand past stores makes the current one that much more exciting.
But you fair-weather fans, stay away from me. Stay away from me if the Celtics win or lose on Thursday night. I might be more prone to drop kicking a fair-weather fan after the Celtics lose before inducing the same treatment onto a Lakers fan if Kobe picks up number 5.
Perk’s knee has dramatically changed the landscape of this series. I am hoping that Bynum and Perk have simply canceled each other out, and we have removed the possible variable of #17 in a Laker uniform filling up the middle.
Why even go into analysis? The only thing I can say is the coaching staff and the players will have to earn their paychecks on Thursday night. Never has a team going into game 6 leading 3-2 looked like the underdog in game 7 like the Celtics do right now. But… This is why I love this 2010 team: they play their best ball with their backs against the wall and right now, their backs are nearly embossed into the wall.
I STILL BELIEVE.
Celtics in 7.