Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Of Former Champs and Starburys

If there was ever a time to discuss Marbury to Boston, it would be now. Or maybe that's just what they want you to think. Who are they? Hell if I know. But I'm sure it's what they want. Either way, the rumors just won't die, and it seems as though the Celtics might actually consider such a move. Poppycock, I know. But really, it falls in line with everything we know about the Celtics. Not Ubuntu or Thib's defensive wizardry or any of that necessarily, but some greater truth about this mythical franchise that happens to rest its head in Boston.

Every team has a tragic flaw. The flaw might be exposed season after season, it might be catastrophic enough to destroy a franchise in one blow, or maybe it will simply lay dormant until the perfect storm. If you've watched the Celtics, particularly this season, it should be easy to identify their tragic flaw: a weak ass bench hubris. It's easy, it's cliche, and it probably manifests itself in more tragedies than any other flaw. But it's more than a player with an inflated sense of self worth. The entire team (with some exceptions) seems to ooze that confidence/pride/arrogance from every pore, as if it is the very fiber of their being. The Celtics are champions. They are deserving. They are confident, even to a fault. So I ask: is it possible that the Celtics are underestimating Marbury's homewrecking abilities because of their own collective sense of self value? Is this really a team with a subconscious that hums along with the thought that it is simply too good, too strong, and too tightly knit to succumb to the demands of a locker room terrorist like Steph?

As we know, these have been relatively hard times for the Celts. In Boston, that basically means that they're not winning every game. As a result, it's impossible to ignore the possibility that this team gets flat out desperate. I don't think the Celtics are in any kind of trouble, to be honest. Yes, the bench is weaksauce, and that could be an issue down the road. But for a league that is predicated on runs, be they 5 minutes or 5 games, voices from all sorts of media outlets seem a little too eager to whip out the doomsday scenarios. Obviously I'm fairly clueless as to the inner dialogues of the Celtics' brass, but for their sake one could only hope that those thoughts haven't even entered their minds. The Celtics aren't "finished" now, just like the Lakers weren't "finished" weeks ago. Still, I would not be the least bit surprised if Starbury finds himself seeing green in a matter of weeks. If not as a product of Celtic Pride (they need to remake that movie), then as a matter of sheer desperation. Just in case you haven't had enough Dark Knight around here lately: perhaps in their desperation, the Celtics turn to a man they don't fully understand.

Sorry, it was too easy. But the point is made. I'm not sure how any team with a firm head on their shoulders would entertain the idea of bringing this guy in. That even applies to Popovich, to whom standard player disclaimers typically do not apply. It's a terrible shame what has become of his career, and I still think that as long as the Knicks are paying him, he should be playing. We've beaten that horse to death, and so we move on down the line of horses. If you have any desire to win a championship this season, Stephon Marbury should not be on your team. It's that simple. There's a reason LeBron practically responded with "WTF? Are you kidding me?!" when asked about Steph suiting up in Cleveland last season. This guy is trouble. I don't mean in the bad boy mold that makes girls weak in the knees, either (though in all fairness, Steph wears a mean leather jacket). So for Celtics fans the world over: keep praying. For Lakers fans, and those of us who generally love to see the rich get poorer and the poor get relatively richer (unless they become the rich, of course): keep your fingers crossed.

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