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January 16, 2008 3:40 PM

Trash talk

Posted by Percy Allen

Percy Allen: We've been kicking around this idea for a while about exchanging some commentary on a range of issues, so we're going to start it today. First up, the Boston Celtics, who have clearly been top story in the NBA so far. Simple question, are they good for the league?

Jayda Evans: Yeah, we always seem to have some differing opinions regarding the NBA, so it will be fun to kick those thoughts around PTI-style and see what our readers think. As for the Celtics, it's great for the league to have such a historical powerhouse back on top. But it won't last and I'm already annoyed at their fans.

Allen: Why annoyed?

Evans: The whole "Celtics Nation" thing. I can't stand bandwagon jumpers. And one city shouldn't own the majority of the professional sports championships -- assuming the Pats can keep it together. I won't worry about that, though, because Detroit is going to be the NBA champion. Don't you agree?

Allen: What's Celtics Nation? Sounds like a rip-off of Red Sox Nation. I don't remember Celtics Nation back when Bird, McHale and Parish were playing. As for the Pistons, still can't get over the fact that LeBron hung 48 on them in Game 5 last year. FORTY-EIGHT! And I don't trust Flip Saunders. Not sure he's a big-game coach. I'll take the Big Three in a seven-game series. But I guess you're sticking with your homeys.

Evans: Oh, and you're not sticking with your homeys, Mr. Cleveland? LeBron is the MVP of the league, but the Pistons have a TEAM. And remind me, what did the Cavs do in the Finals? That's right, rolled over. I don't care what happened in the past, Detroit is not going to go down like that, again. Anyway, the C's "Nation" is a rip-off of their baseball team, that's what annoys me. Plus, KG, Ray Allen, and Pierce can't be compared to Bird, McHale and Parish. So, watch the "Big Three" references. The new Celtics are an exciting team, fun to watch. Allen finally is playing defense, and it's getting people energized about the NBA, but they won't win it all. Speaking of wins, the Hawks are still missing one, what do you think about the league replaying a game for the first time since 1982?

Allen: It's idiotic.

Evans: True, because it's a regular-season game with no significance as of now (although it could factor in for the Hawks later), but it's not unheard of in sports. There's a lot of money involved -- why not use every resource to get it right?

Wrong. There's a reason this hasn't happened in the NBA since 1982 and why no other major professional league would do anything like this today. It's because people want resolution. We're a nation obsessed with instant gratification. That's what sports gives us. (With the exception of soccer.) At the end of the game, set or match, there's a winner and a loser. This do-over stuff is bogus. Besides, Pat Riley and his staff are equally culpable. They should have known Shaquille O'Neal didn't have six fouls. And what happens if Shaq is unable to play when they resume this game? What then? This is sham. It's David Stern overreacting to the Tim Donaghy gambling scandal. It's Stern slapping the Hawks for their second game-operating violation in 14 months. But in the end, it's wrong.

Evans: Overreacting to the Tim Donaghy gambling scandal? I think Stern can find a better hook for his hat, if that's the case. Sports fans want the correct call, too, that's why there's instant replay, etc. The NFL brought Cleveland back on the field to finish a win against Baltimore. Yes, it was immediately after the game was supposedly done, but they wanted to get it right and did. This is no different. The logistics have to be worked out, especially considering Shaq's hip and all, but it's a flub the NBA is right in correcting. I'm just not sure about the timing of the move. Because there are so many games, this kind of decision would be better served in the playoffs.

Allen: You're making my point. I'm OK with limited use of replay in basketball, but once the refs make a decision, it's final. There's no turning back. Speaking of reversing a call, what do you make of the Chicago Bulls players UNANIMOUSLY voting to add another game to Joakim Noah's one-game suspension? You probably liked that idea, right?

Evans: I did at first because it shows team unity and a rookie shouldn't be able to get away with what Noah said to his assistant coach -- whether they're friends or not. But, then the Bulls went out and continued their unenthused play. What was that about? Instead of it looking like the team turned a corner, it's just another tidbit in a circus season that includes getting a coach fired and underachieving.

Allen: Exactly. I found it hilarious that Mr. Rebellion Ben Wallace was leading the charge on this. As if he never yelled at a coach. And why haven't the captains -- Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng -- spoken out on this issue? It undermines the authority of GM John Paxson and interim coach Jim Boylan. And this is the same team that quit on Scott Skiles and got him fired. They can't seem to play together and yet they act as a unit to discipline a rookie. Noah might be immature, but they could have added on another fine or -- here's a novel concept -- make the kid run laps after practice for a week. Imagine that.

Evans: I did read a quote from Hinrich about it, but it would have been stronger initially coming from a more credible player than Ben "Can't Live Without My Headband" Wallace. Wow. I think we just agreed on something. Better stop while we're ahead. Let's see where we stand next month. Peace.

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