We’ve always had a soft spot for modern-day-philosopher/know-it-all, Chuck Klosterman. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s one of the few writers willing to treat insane proclamations about Led Zeppelin and Kiss as serious journalism, but we digress.
His latest piece appears in today’s New York Times and focuses on my beloved Celtics and the intangible, but undeniable, ways that Kevin Garnett has improved the squad. More than that though, it peeks in on the Rajon Rondo/Leon Powe/Human Freckles of the team and how the jump from 24-win trainwreck to title contenders has affected them mentally.
As a longtime fan of the Cs, I can’t deny feeling a little conflicted about cheering for this particular team. I mean, the way they were assembled into title favorites almost overnight is just about unprecedented. To go from cheering that they win the draft lottery to cheering for nothing less than a title is a strange feeling. “Wait, THIS is my team now? What just happened?”
At the risk of sounding completely sexist and offensive, I have to liken this to the battered wife theory. Maybe Sebastian Telfair was air-balling 35 footers because he loved us so much, right? And maybe we brought in Gary Payton when he was 111 years old because we really thought it would make things better, right? And we kept coming back for more of this abuse for years, stuck in a vicious cycle, because we had no place else to go and were too afraid to leave.
But we’re more than just a poor, battered wife metaphor. If you’ll allow me to retread another boring, sexist cliche, we’re also a Cinderella story. We’re the battered Cinderella. Not only did we get to stay with the man we loved, but that no-good-alcoholic-face-puncher husband of ours somehow cleaned up his act and also became a multimillionaire in the process. How did this happen? How did Ike Turner transform himself into Tom Hanks?
Clearly, I’m still getting used to this team.