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After the Boston Celtics' 92-86 win over the New York Knicks wrapped up Wednesday night, there was a minor scuffle around the scorer's table.

I'm not going to get into what one player said to another about so and so. That isn't the point.

This isn't even about a deep bench sub who can't crack the rotation, possibly insulting one of the greatest basketball players on the planet. That isn't the point, either.

The point is, this is what children do.

Look at the faces in the picture or the video. See who was involved? Children. Not by age or by years of NBA service, or even by talent. They are children by personality and decision-making.


Notice who isn't present. Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry are seen around the 19-second mark of the video, off to the side handling their postgame responsibilities. Those are adult men. Sure, those two have some of the biggest mouths in the league, but they handle their business on the court.

It is a matter of respectability. Names like Jason Kidd and Paul Pierce aren't bothering themselves with the minutia of childish barbs in front of world.

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That stuff is for Jordan Crawford, Raymond Felton, Fab Melo and even Carmelo Anthony. They see nothing wrong with soiling a great game of basketball with childish antics at mid-court during postgame.

The only good that came out of this minor dust-up, is that we can now have even more appreciation and respect for some of the veterans in this series. Tyson Chandler wasn't out there embarrassing himself, he was probably back in the locker room icing his knees with a championship ring on.

Pierce was on the radio with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell of WEEI. When asked about the postgame mischief and pregame funeral procession, Pierce simply laughed it off in his trademark gravelly voice and moved on.

Kidd has had to wrangle in his teammates on numerous occasions during the series. He has visibly been yelling at Felton to stop complaining to the referees and play the game.

Watch Chris Wilcox, himself in his first postseason, carrying the involved teammates away towards the locker room. Wilcox won't be combative after a win like that, but if his number is called during Game 6 to go out and throw his size around, you can bet he'll be ready.

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Guys like Chandler and Kidd will take care of business between the lines and during the game. They aren't going to allow themselves to be taped entering the arena in all black for some kind of insulting funeral joke. Kenyon Martin is 35 years old, but his "leadership" in that case shows he still has childish tendencies.

Instead of the real storylines that were acted out for 48 minutes Wednesday night, the talk of the day is tainted, though slightly, by those postgame actions. As if the local Boston radio programming needed more ammo to fill airtime with mere basketball shtick instead of substantial analysis.

WEEI.com's Featured Blog is about a Crawford-Anthony feud, not how Brandon Bass put the team on his back for the first half.

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CBS Boston Sports (98.5 The Sports Hub), not generally known for their Celtics coverage, has one of their top Sports Headlines about tempers flaring after the game. Little is featured, however, about Kevin Garnett's 16 points and 18 rebounds.


The New York papers now have something else to write about with their flashy
headlines. Instead of putting pressure onto the Knicks and making Game 6 about a career-making or breaking night for Anthony, they're making fun of Jordan Crawford.

How does that help the Celtics? It is merely an attempt, and a good one, to nullify the Game 5 loss and alleviate pressure.

This could work out to be just an overreaction to a minor incident. The bigger concern is will this team be likeable after the eventual departure of trend setters like Pierce and Garnett?

Obviously Pierce, Garnett and others are respectable players. However, I would bet some serious peanuts/chores/baked goods, that Rajon Rondo would have been front and center of that altercation, had he been active.

Though I have yet to see the ratings for last night's Boston sports trifecta, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the Celtics finished behind the Red Sox and Bruins. It is a simple fact around these parts. The farther you appear from a championship, the farther you are from the public conscious.

Events like the mid-court argument Wednesday night don't help the Celtics maintain relevancy. They hurt it, as the media picks up only the joke that it was, instead of the game.

This is all a story for another day, though. A day when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can no longer carry the Celtics to a road playoff win in the face of all adversity.

For now, enjoy the run.

And try to ignore the ferocious Crawford-Anthony feud.
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Mike Walsh is a columnist for CelticsLife.com. You can find him on Twitter @3rdStringWalsh.

Walsh 5/02/2013 01:55:00 PM Edit
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