The NBA playoffs have tossed up enough good matchups to keep the first round interesting, even though the NBA usually leans chalky around this time. There weren’t a lot of great games this weekend. The first two on Saturday weren’t bad as the Jazz and Timberwolves got road wins. The Bulls kept things closer on Sunday in Milwaukee than just about everyone thought, thanks to the Bucks having a wayward shooting night for the most part.
The unquestioned game of the weekend was in Boston, where the Celtics took Game 1 over the Nets 115-114 on Jayson Tatum’s buzzer beating layup. It had everything you’d want in a playoff game — lead changes, heroic performances, drama, everything that goes into the ad campaigns.
Sadly, it’s being overshadowed by Kyrie Irving flipping off the Boston crowd. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of pundits clucking their tongues at Irving in the coming days, citing “professionalism” or “maturity” or “part of the job.” Most of them haven’t had inebriated Bostonians yelling at them at close range…or they are inebriated Bostonians yelling at people at close range.
There is little doubt that Irving heard some awful shit from Celtics fans during Game 1, because we’ve been down this road before. Celtics fans, and Boston fans as a whole, have a reputation which they’ve thoroughly earned by crossing the line. Flipping the bird subtly isn’t charging into the stands, after all. Cue someone shrieking “Won’t someone think of the children?!”
On the other side, Irving has watched his brain turn into styrofoam from huffing enough of his own farts because of a thing he read once, and was afforded the opportunity to call himself some form of martyr. And became a symbol for every shithead out there who has confused “MAH FREEDOMS” for just being a selfish, lazy asshole who keeps the rest of us down. Honestly, people like Irving should be the ones yelled at vociferously everywhere they go, within reason, instead of the other way around where all the fuckwads who are grinding all the gears of society to a halt also happen to be the ones screaming at the rest of us when we’re just trying to get to work or the store.
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That doesn’t mean anyone should condone some of the stuff Irving likely heard on Sunday afternoon. Kyrie is one of the few anti-vax dipshits that is on display for us instead of hiding behind a Twitter profile or protected by a throng or a political press corps that is hellbent on both-sidesing everything. Kyrie has to face the music, which is somewhat refreshing I guess.
All of this gets around to basically we all lose in this fight. Kyrie didn’t really face anything for missing a swath of the season so he could get lost in the vacuous, empty convention center between his ears. The protocols in New York and the Nets’ willpower both bent toward him, not the other way around.
And we all want to see Kyrie eat shit, which makes the loudmouths near the Garden floor feel more emboldened, and then that’s where things generally turn ugly. And Nets fans will probably feel an urge to respond when the series shifts there. And no Boston fan has ever been a sympathetic figure or one you’d want to side with if you weren’t already part of the group.
Everyone gets booed in this dispute. Let’s hope Boston sweeps now so it’s over as quickly as possible.