By Jeff Girod
The NBA Finals start Thursday at 6 p.m.: The Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Boston Celtics. Good versus Evil. God versus the Devil. Bruce Willis as a roughneck oil driller versus a Texas-sized asteroid hurtling toward Earth. (I may be underselling it.)
To paraphrase five-star General Douglas MacArthur: It’s on like Donkey Kong.
I hate everything about Boston. I hate the way they talk. I hate their pasty white zombie faces like they’re afraid of the sun and they’re all dying of scurvy. I hate that they pronounce their “r’s” like “ah” so they say “cah” instead of “car” and every sentence sounds like it’s being mangled by a boozy Kennedy who’s been stung on the tongue.
I hate New Englanders Ben Affleck and Matt Damon who won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. Tell me, if those two chuckleheads penned an Oscar-winning script then why haven’t they written anything else instead of sitting on their increasingly fat wallets crapping out stillborns like Green Zone and . . . give me a second, I have to log on to imdb.com to see what Affleck’s been doing since 2003’s Gigli, a-a-and we’re back… The Company Men. (Incidentally, The Company Men co-stars Kevin Costner. Affleck and The Postman’s Costner in the same movie? I didn’t think it was possible, but apparently a movie can suck and blow at the same time.)
I hate that anything that happens in Boston is somehow 100 times more relevant than anything that happens in California. Like when the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years it was supposed to be bigger than baby’s first poop. Newsflash, you chowder-eating Chowds: They play the World Series every year but apparently nobody else has to immortalize it with a B-movie starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. At least I think that was Drew Barrymore. You Boston types all have triple chins, rosy cheeks and six sweatshirts on so it’s hard to tell the ladies from the men.
I hate that the Celtics’ two main superstars, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, aren’t from anywhere near Boston. Not even with a fistful of subway tokens. Garnett played his first 12 seasons in Minnesota and makes his off-season home in Malibu—2,000 miles away from Boston and a seashell’s throw from Staples Center. Pierce was born in Oakland and raised in Inglewood where he starred at Inglewood High School—less than a mile from the Fabulous Forum where the Lakers played 32 seasons.
I’ve hated the Celtics since I was old enough to give Larry the Bird. As an elementary school kid I rooted for the Showtime Lakers of Magic, Kareem and “Big Game” James. I pulled my white gym socks up to my knee caps like Michael Cooper, sat too close to the TV on game nights and secretly hoped that my 20-20 vision would get bad enough so that one day I could get X-ray specs like Kurt Rambis.
The 1980s Celtics on the other hand were easy to hate. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson? They may have been all-stars but they were also the all-ugly team. If the Showtime Lakers were Hollywood glitz and as smooth as a Magic wrap-around pass, the Boston Celtics were a bunch of plodding, pointy shouldered, big-booted Frankensteins. Of course I was going to root for the Lakers. How was the entire country not rooting for the Lakers over the dull, blockheaded, jump-shooting Celtics?
And luckily for me—and for that matter, democracy, spotted owls and world peace—the Lakers won five championships during 1980s, beating the Celtics two of three times in the NBA Finals. Three more championships followed in late ’90s and early 2000s with Shaq Diesel and Kobe and then in 2008 we finally got the rematch we’d all been waiting for, Lakers versus Celtics. Then the Celtics trounced the Lakers like they were playing basketball and we were playing tickle tag. And ever since I’ve been enduring commercials of that Velociraptor Kevin Garnett sweating cherry Gatorade.
So now it’s back on. Thursday night on ABC. Best of seven games. Heaven versus Hell. Rocky versus Ivan Drago. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon versus a thesaurus and spell check.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.