Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hanh Hah!

For the title of this post, I tried to spell out the voice of the obnoxious kid from the Simpsons. It may not be perfect onomatopoeia, but that's all the time I'm giving it. That's because I'm too amused by the Boston Celtics getting crapped on by fate in the NBA draft lottery last night.

The Celts, along with the Grizzlies and the Suns, and to a far lesser extent, the Bucks, were the shaftees last night (that means the recipients of a general shafting by fate). The Blazers and the Sonics were the big winners, coming out with the top two picks in what everyone thinks is a draft that contains two dominant players.
In fact, the two player nature of this draft is why I don't think the Bucks were direct shaftees. That's because if the original, NFL-like order had held the Bucks would have picked third, and there's no clear-cut third best prospect. In fact, there's massive debate about who the best prospects are after Oden and Durant. Maybe it's Mike Conley, the smooth and frighteningly quick point guard who tortured UW last season. (Thank goodness he's leaving!) Maybe it's North Carolina's Brandan Wright, a Marvin Williams clone. Maybe it's the new enormous Chinese import, Yi Jianlian, who apparently has dominated solid college players at pre-draft workouts. The fact that there's such a dispute over who the best players are in the next tier of prospects means that the Bucks didn't lose that much by slipping back from third to sixth. They missed out on Oden and Durant, and that's disappointing, but they weren't the favorites to get either, and they'll have several very good options when they pick sixth. Hopefully, Conley will be there and they'll snatch him. They don't have a stud at point guard, and I think he's going to be pretty special.

What's hilarious about all this to me is the Celtics eating it. The whole hating Boston thing is new to me. I have good friends from the Boston area, and that region does a great job of supporting their pro teams, in stark contrast to the fair-weather fans you find in other major metropolitan areas, like L.A. But they've gotten annoying. The Patriots, under Tom Brady, have been too consistently good. Pat fans have become insanely spoiled, such that they think their management is nearly infallible. And the Randy Moss trade, put that team over the top in terms of obnoxiousness (see the video post of a few weeks back). In terms of baseball, the curse-breaking Red Sox were fun to root for in 2004, but the national media obsession with the team that's followed (Are they on ESPN every damn night?) has gotten tedious. There are other baseball teams out there folks! And if someone like myself, who only sort of follows baseball is irritated by the constant Red Sox fellatio, then I can only imagine how irritated fans of smaller market teams have become.

And then Bill Simmons made me dislike the Celtics. You all probably know who that guy is-- the "Sports Guy" on ESPN's commentary site, Page 2. (How the hell you get yourself labeled the "Sports Guy" when all you write about is the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Celtics is beyond me, but whatever. ) He's also suffered from the Red Sox phenomenon--what was once sympathetic (tortured longing for success) has become tedious and overplayed (e.g., Simmon's unoriginally named book, "Now I Can Die in Peace"). And, to be honest, even before this past year, I already disliked him. His occasional bursts of legitimate humor have always been far outweighed his tedious references to working for the utterly unfunny Jimmy Kimmel, and to his moronically named friends. Then he went and complained about the quality of the donuts in L.A., openly pining for the crap that is Dunkin' Donuts, and truly revealing himself as a parochial jackass. (Simmons, if you ever come across this post, read this, and get a clue--L.A. is the donut and cheeseburger capital of the universe.)

Now in a normal year I could ignore these transgressions, since I didn't care about Boston-area teams, or the Clippers, or whatever else he normally blathers on about. So I'd probably just ignore his columns. But unfortunately, this fall, once it became clear that his Celtics were a sorry team, he started turning an utterly ignorant eye towards college basketball. The idea appears to have been to scout the college ranks for the next hopeful infusion of Celtic talent, since their season was already lost. However, Simmons soon expanded his self-congratulatory column into a regular discussion of college basketball, something I legitimately care about. This led to silly, ignorant comments about how the Big Ten was a terrible league (because it plays at a slower pace), and how the Big 12, featuring his preferred pro prospects Acie Law and Kevin Durant, was so quacktastic (even though it was the weakest big conference by far). Even that sort of nonsense could have been tolerable if it weren't repeated, over and over and over again, every other friggin' day. But it was. Combine that with a certain sense of entitlement Simmons developed towards Kevin Durant (I don't know if he felt he "discovered" Durant or what), and by the end of the basketball season, I really was hoping that the Celtics would eat it in the draft lottery, and lose the chance to draft either of the big two.

And horraay! Eat it they have, in the sense that they've fallen as far as they could, to the the fifth spot overall, after entering with the second worst record in the league. Bwah ha ha! Of course, the Celtics could still find a great player with that selection. And I don't really care if they do--just about the only thing in the NBA that interests me is former UW players doing well. (Incidentally, Alando being projected as a second round pick is worrisome.) But they've missed out on the Big Two, and on Simmons' personally wet dream, that is, Kevin Durant. And for that, I get to laugh.

Update: Simmons' has published a typically self-obsessed recounting of his Tuesday, complete with references to moronically named "friends" (this time its "JackO" and "J-Bug"--apparently all of his friends are extras from the Jackass movies). You can find his wimpy, "why is my team cursed?" lament here.


Randy Moss said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks after sharing. Like at all times, on the money and strategic on target!