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Dumb and dumber

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  April 19, 2010 02:19 PM

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The NBA did what it had to do with Kevin Garnett. (In fact, it can be argued that one game is pretty light.) The truly aggravating thing about the whole business is that the emotional leader of the Boston Celtics couldn't keep a cork in it for 40 more seconds. Getting suspended for something you did when the game was practically over, and with your team winning, is tripling down on the stupid.

That being said, the incident seems to have liberated a number of people -- from NBA jrole players to tiresome radio-/TV contrarians who seem to measure every event in every sport by their own testosterone count -- to unlimber themselves on the subjects of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the Celtics in general. ( For reasons I've never understood, this is generally done by comparing the Celtics unfavorably to the workaday Boston Bruins who, having won a playoff game, are no longer the heartless, gutless omadhauns that their fans thought they were for five months. Well, I understand some of the reasons.)  Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, for one. Noah, who was last seen on Saturday, playing crash-test dummy for a rejuvenated Shaquille O'Neal, decided to tell people that Garnett was "a dirty player." Thank you, Joakim, for reminding us exactly why every player on your team despised you as a rookie. Nobody asked you, foof. Go to the thrift shop and find another jump shot.

Also, it appears that some of the local punditocracy is mightily offended by what they perceive to be Paul Pierce's on-court dramatics. Lost in the hooting, of course, is that Pierce played brilliantly and was one of the primary reasons -- along with Rajon Rondo -- why the Celtics came back to win the game at all. What Garnett did, and what Pierce did, are essential parts of what has made them both great players. You take what comes with the package. If you took the 2008 title, you have to take the other night, too.

Besides, if O'Neal keeps playing like he did Saturday, nobody's beating Cleveland anyway.


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