Notes from the front lines, or at least the back row…
By- Breckie McCollum
It was still dark when my alarm went off this morning; that probably had more to do with it being daylight savings time than me trying to get up early enough to beat traffic on my way up to LA, either way this would have normally been a struggle. Not today, today I went to my first NBA game. And I went alone because I am a Celtic living in southern California. I think San Diego has just hated professional ball ever since the Clippers left.
When I got to the Staples Center, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people in green. Who are these people? Where do they come from? How come I don’t know any of them? It was amusing how many times I got asked if I was a Celtics fan. Maybe Lakers fans are red-green colorblind, and illiterate? We all got heckled a good deal but I definitely saw more “Beat LA” shirts than “F*** the Celtics” shirts.
Inside, I stared longingly at the 100 level seats as I made my way up to the top. My section was over looking the C’s bench, but my back was against the wall, I sat in the very top row! It’s actually a pretty good seat though, as I could see everything and the court didn’t seem that far away. I got there just as the C’s finished warming up. The first Celtic I spotted was Avery Bradley, he is a good looking kid!
You all watched the game, so you know the first quarter started off ugly. That lack of offense made me a little nervous, but our defense looked pretty sharp. I even got a message from a friend in Miami about Steamer’s block on Gasol. There were a couple of clutch threes, Rondo’s buzzer beater for example, was even more beautiful then the sunrise on my drive up this morning. If only halftime hadn’t come so soon, I feel like that shot would have given us some great momentum.
During halftime, I was almost jealous of you all sitting at home watching Blake Griffin Kia commercials. We watched a full-grown woman who calls herself Red Panda ride around the court on a super tall unicycle while balancing things on her head. The first couple up on the “kiss-the-person-next-to-you” camera was holding sign that said “Opposites Attract!” one was in a Celtic’s jersey the other, a Laker’s. They got booed. But my row won $10 Staples gift cards, so time actually passed faster than it seems to during most halftime breaks.
I thought we had them in the 3rd, I thought we’d probably get them in the 4th, and in true Bostonian fashion I am a little worried that I jinxed them by yelling on a Ray Allen (my homeboy from the Sonics) 3-point attempt that I thought was for sure going in. It didn’t, so you can blame this loss on me if you want. Jack-in-the-box said they would give us all 2 free tacos if the Lakers won and held the Celtics under 100 points, but they ran out of coupons by the time I got to my exit. Talk about adding insult to injury. I got plenty of high fives and exclamations of “You guys fought well!” on the way back to my car. One drunk Cs fan tried to pick a fight with a bunch of Laker jerks who were chanting bad things about our Celtics as I walked by. I kept walking because I don’t condone violence, even in this situation, but if that was an attempt at chivalry, thanks dude.
Losses to the Lakers hurt more than most losses (except for maybe that Philly one), but overall LA treated me better than I expected. I got a sweet deal on a ticket, didn’t get mugged walking to or from Staples, won a gift card, they even had Sam Adams Boston Lager (yeah, it cost me $11.25 for a tall glass, but they still had it). I chose this as my first game because I am really worried about this trade deadline. We all know how screwed up this season is. I just hope Danny Ainge doesn’t do anything brash. We didn’t look old or worn out to me today (just that we needed a little more shooting practice). I don’t care what anyone says, Rondo is great. KG is still a beast. Ray and Paul come through (most of the time) when we need them to. Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley are and will continue to be huge assets to this team. Steamer has his moments. If only we had another 42 games to play instead of 26, I think we’d have a hell of a shot. Anyway, at least I can say I got to see the Big 3 play in an epic battle. If you haven’t, I suggest buy a ticket and fly out west, you’ve got a couple more days.
By- Breckie McCollum JR 3/12/2012 03:53:00 AM Tweet