It’s been rough going for the poor Boston Celtics lately. They’ve lost five of six since the break, they’ve made no headway in their pursuit of a top-four seed in the playoffs, and they got absolutely walloped at home by James Harden and the Houston Rockets two nights ago. Perhaps even more ominously, if the crescendo of self-pitying and/or -exonerating Kyrie Irving quotes and coy blogs implying he and his teammates despise each other are any indication, they seem to be teetering on the precipice of some even greater and more ruinous plunge. They’re in trouble!
They’re also in Oakland tonight, to face the West-leading, world-destroying Golden State Warriors. This can go two ways, as I see it. Either the Celtics can rally themselves to set aside their internal gripes and resentments, rediscover the winning traits that made them Eastern Conference finalists a season ago, and unite for an inspiring win that changes the course of their future and restores them to success (boring), or the Warriors can ball them up and football-spike them into the grave. (Or, I guess, maybe one team or the other could benefit from the small number of crucial plays and random lucky breaks that decide a close, competitive, and ultimately narratively meaningless regular-season game. Pfft.) My friends, I ask you to join me in calling upon the mighty Warriors to rain death and destruction upon the puny Irishmen.
Wait! This is not simple anti-Boston hateration. Or it is not only that. The only way the world will ever get to learn the actual story of what the fuck is so wrong with the Celtics is if their season goes all the way bad, if they get so poisoned and poisonous that the coaches, players, and front-office idiots start using their various media contacts to put out humiliating stories about each other. Up until now, all anybody’s been willing to run with is offhand innuendo—implying, say, that everybody on the Celtics resents Brad Stevens for continuing to give minutes and schematic favor to Gordon Hayward’s husk, or that Kyrie and Jayson Tatum have formed an exclusive Kobe Brain Club in the locker room and won’t let anybody else join it, or that Al Horford might opt out of the last year of his contract and the $30 million in salary that comes with it just to get away from Kyrie—but nobody has actually spilled the tea yet. I want the tea! What’s more, I want it now! I don’t want to wait until friggin’ July to know for sure exactly which Celtics hate each other, and how hotly, and why. I could get hit by a bus before then!
Truly I say to you that the absolute best thing that can happen to an already disappointing, dysfunctional nominal contender is for it to burst into flames and collapse in the most gruesome possible fashion. It’s too late for these fractious Celtics to achieve some sparkling new height of sustained basketball excellence. They already blew that chance. They had it, and they frickin’ blew it! The only way they can be truly special, now, is to be especially disastrous. And the soonest they can start being especially disastrous is tonight, if the Warriors do us all the tremendous favor of whomping them by 900 points on national television. (And/or if one of these plugged-in NBA reporters actually just types up and publishes what they already know, instead of just hinting at it.)
The Warriors are puke and they can eat my butt and go to hell. Their function in the NBA over the past two seasons has been to suck all the air and drama and potential out of everything. The best and maybe only good use for all their hilariously excessive firepower is for it to be trained upon the Boston Celtics and unleashed in all its nuclear fury, so that some weird and entertaining things—like for example anonymously sourced anecdotes about Terry Rozier leaving a crap in Gordon Hayward’s Cup-O’-Noodles—can grow in the radioactive ash left behind. This is what must happen. Amen.