Friday, October 18, 2002

I was at the Celtics game last night in Manchester. I'll start by giving some praise to the designers of the arena up there. It's a very nice building and a good place to watch basketball. Even the worst seats way up at the top I think are closer than the front row seats of the balcony at the Fleetcenter. That's a good design figuring that there are 10,000 seats in the place. The only two issues I came across were the concourses and also the entrances. There's only about 10 doors in the front of the building to get in the place. The line was backed up way down the street. Could be a problem in bad weather. As for the concourses, they are very narrow. Almost impossible to get through where there are concession stands. Besides those two minor issues, they did a great job on the place.

As for the Celtics, that's another story. I know all the cliches about it only being pre-season, but this team does not look good. They may have the most pitiful looking offense that I have ever seen. There is no semblance of any rhyme, reason, or rhythm out there. It is literally just 5 guys running around with no idea what they are doing. I have seen more organized offenses in the pickup games at the gym I go to. This will turn into a major problem. I don't buy the 'they're masking the offense' excuse. Even when teams do that, they typically still look like an NBA team.
Baker is horrible. Sprained ankle or not, an NBA player at close to 7 feet should be able to score more than 2 points and get at least 1 rebound. He looks completely lost and I can hear the laughter all the way from Seattle.
At this rate, the team will struggle to beat anyone good. With Walker and Pierce, they will win their fair share of games, but few will come against quality teams.

My buddy and I left the building through the back door hoping to avoid all the people. As we were walking around, we saw the team busses so we figured we'd wait for the players to come out. Rodney Rogers and Kenyon Martin walked out together first. I yelled over to Kenyon and when he looked over I mentioned to him that it would help us out if he were to break both his legs this year rather than just one like a few years ago. Showing his true colors and showing the thug that he is, he proceeded to hit me with an expletive laced tirade. "F*** You, you little Punk A** B****!!" I wished Rodney well but I guess Kenyon hadn't had enough. After a few more F bombs, he invited me to come over and he would "break something on me." The chain link fence prevented that from happening. After giving me the finger and throwing in some more expletives, he got on the bus.
Called over to a few more of the Nets but they must know better than to talk to fans at opposing arenas. Most did not look over. Mutumbo waved and I told him to be careful throwing those elbows around. I don't know if he didn't hear me or just doesn't have a good mastery of English, because he said, "Yes, thank you, thank you."

(There was a kid who we saw sneak into the lot where the busses were and he hid between the 2 team busses. We figured he was waiting for autographs, but he just waited as player after player went by. Pierce, Kidd, Waltah... most players you would assume he was waiting for went by without him making his move. It turns out he was waiting for Mutumbo. Got his autograph and then ran out of the lot. Strange. Of everyone he could have been waiting for.....)

Had a quick conversation with Tony Battie. Asked him about his knee which he said "it's good, it's good." He had no noticeable limp. I've met Tony a few other times and he seems like a really nice guy. There is such a noticable difference in the demeanor of players on the Celtics as opposed to the Nets. I don't think it is just bias because of being a Celtic fan. The Nets just have guys that are easy to hate. Guys that beat their wives, guys that berate fans, they are all so pompous and arrogant...... you just don't see that on the C's. The contrast is stunning.

Had some brief banter with Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson as well. I told Greg to do everyone a favor and smack Felger upside the head. He just laughed. Talked a little bit about Pete Shepard which revealed some funny comments. Gary looked as if he was trying to think of something funny to say but couldn't think of anything. Seemed eerily similar to his TV show. Greg had some pretty funny things to say about Shepard but I don't want to reveal them here. E-mail me and I'll fill you in.