First off--and totally at randow--hello to all my visitors from Sydney and Melbourne in Australia (or should I do the usual thing and make that, "G'day!"). I hope you enjoyed the blog. Keep coming back!
Congratulations to Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics on winning the NBA Championship! KG, as you probably know, played for the Minnesota Timberwolves all of his career until this past year. And for those that have forgotten, the T-Wolves were also the team that originally drafted Ray Allen--only to trade him minutes later for Stephon Marbury. (Yeah, that worked out well.....just another example of the shrewd trading moves the Minnesota franchise has made!)
You may wonder why a Minnesota guy like me would congratulate the Celtics--outside of the KG connection. The truth is that I followed the Celtics long before the Minnesota Timberwolves existed.
Back in the 60's, there wasn't much in the way of great programming on Sunday afternoon TV. 3 of the 4 available channels (there was no cable back then) would have their version of "Meet the Press" and the other channel was probably broadcasting something from Bishop Fulton Sheen. I'd come home from church, change out of my Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and turn on the TV and start to flip around the dial. (No remotes back then, either. You had to actually change the channel (gasp!) by hand! It's a wonder we survived.....)
The only thing that looked vaguely interesting was the basketball game on CBS. They usually did two games back-to-back on Sundays, so the first game would start fairly early and almost always featured an East Coast team. More often than not, that meant the Boston Celtics. I really wasn't a basketball fan, but for lack of anything better to do, I started to watch those games.
To my total amazement, whenever the Celtics had the ball, I could actually see the plays they were running, as if someone had sat down with a chalkboard and drawn up the X's and O's for me. A game is always more interesting when you understand it, and I started to understand it during those Sunday afternoons. I may not have known what a pick-and-roll was, or a give-and-go, but when the Celtics ran it, I could follow it. I became a Celtic fan then and there.
Over the years, I cheered for John Havlicek and Sam Jones and Bill Russell. Later, it was Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. When the Minnesota Timberwolves came into the league, Boston became my second favorite team and I didn't follow them as closely until this past season.
When the Timberwolves traded Kevin Garnett to Boston, the general consensus among the KG fans here was, "Sorry to see him go, but maybe now he has a chance to win a title, 'cause heaven knows it wasn't going to happen here in Minnesota". The T-Wolves management is not viewed with much favor in this town and seem to be known mostly for their bad drafting, bad trades, and for signing marginal players to huge salaries making it impossible to get rid of them via trade. I heard a song parody this past week on the local Sports Talk radio station. It was sung to the tune of "Hey there Delilah" by the Plain White Ts. In this case, it was "Hey there KG", congratulating him on the championship as well as taking some shots at the Timberwolves. One of the lines stated that, "We played last season with you" and likened it to watching your Grandmother sniffing glue and then sitting down to watch "The View". It also stated that Kevin McHale deserved to get a Celtics championship ring since he helped to build the team. Funny stuff.
So KG got his championship, and all his fans here in Minnesota got their wish for him, as well. I daresay he and his lovely wife, Brandi, will be celebrating for quite some time.
After he sleeps for a week, of course. :-)
No spanking in this post, obviously--unless you count the whuppin' the Celtics put on the Lakers in game 6. Boston spanked them like a naughty girlfriend and sent them crying for their Mama.
Anyway, to make up for it, here's a somewhat more on-topic shot of the Boston Celtics dancers.