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Why Celtics Fans Should Love “The Decision,” Part II

LeBron James (Photo from FOXSports.com)

I’ve showed you five of the 10 reasons Celtics fans should love LeBron’s decision to sign with the Miami Heat. I’m crazy, right?

Wrong. Well…right. But wrong in this case.

Here’s the final five reasons Celtics fans will be happy to have a big rival in south Florida.

6. Pat Riley continues to cast a shadow

Pat Riley doesn’t exactly look like a forgiving man. He actually looks more like an stereotypical mob boss from an action movie. So the idea of being able to come back and take yet ANOTHER loaded team to the promised land must have its appeal. Heck, he brought these guys together, so instead of stealing only some of Erik Spolestra’s fire, why not just take it all.

Stan Van Gundy had a 21-game leash in 2006, where he went 11-10 to kick off the new season after acquiring Shaquille O’Neal. This, just after one season of getting all the way to Game 7 with the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals with Lamar Odom as his secondary scorer. So for a young coach, who has never really done anything in his coaching career, to instantly make an upgrade from a Toyota Carolla which needed a recall, to a Lamborgini Mercielago, I can’t see his margin for error being too big.

Worshiping oneself seems to be becoming a theme for this Miami club so doesn’t it just make sense for Pat Riley to be the head of this congregation?

7. Are there enough free throws to go around?

One of the most frustrating parts about watching the Miami Heat next season may be seeing how the NBA’s officials are going to handle the free throw situation.

You must be wondering why this is possibly something to look forward to come next season.

Well last season, James (3rd), Wade (4th) and Bosh (7th) were all in the top ten in free throws attempted. This season, of players who were in the top five of free throws attempted, the closest teammates were Kevin Durant (top 5) and his point guard, Russell Westbrook (22nd). My point is, there’s no way the officials are going to allow all three of these guys to drive every possession looking for free throws, which is probably the greatest strength of all three.

Combined, these three players alone shot an average of 26 free throws a game. Add in some of the supporting players free-throws and you’ve got a team shooting 35 free throws a night? I just don’t see that happening. The most physically impressive, and exciting team in the NBA would be a complete bore to watch.

They’re going to have to earn there points this season, and earn them shooting, which of course they can get hot doing, but we’ve all seen that if you limit Wade and James to jump shots, they’re prone to off nights. All three of these guys are going to see a dip in their free-throw numbers. Most noticeably, I would imagine Chris Bosh taking the biggest hit. Surprisingly of all three of the Kings, he actually shot the best percentage (79%).

So of the good that can come from just three players totaling more than 20 points a night from the charity stripe, we’re bound to see that number drop, and in my opinion, somewhat dramatically.

8. How the Heat actually take on the role of the most hated in the NBA

Say LeBron James quietly went about his business last week, and just decided to join the Bulls, the Knicks, the Nets, or even the Heat. Is he still universally hated by a lot of people today? Probably not.

He’s not used to that stamp, nor should he be. I think in Boston we’ve come to despise the guy over the years for all of his bitching and whining to officials, but outside of that he’s never really given anyone a reason to hate him.

“The Decision” was the lit disregarded cigarette in the fireworks factory. So not only Boston now hates this guy, but the state of Ohio has officially declared the last seven years a mirage, the entire metropolitan area of New York/New Jersey hates him for leading their fan bases on, and the Bulls fans hate this guy for even pretending he’s as good as Michael Jordan.

And the victims in all of this: Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

These guys would’ve been a wildly popular duo to go see and to marvel. Instead, with James jumping on the bandwagon, they’ll be targets just as much as LeBron everywhere they go.

Kobe relishes it, he lives for that role. All of the successful Yankee players in recent history welcome it with open arms. Does LeBron actually have the intestinal fortitude to deal with being booed on a nightly basis? Probably not. We’ve always seen him being taunted by guys like Spike Lee at MSG, and he loves throwing it back in Spike’s face, but that was all in fun. I can’t see Spike being too happy with his decision to forgo a stay in New York. Where has this guy actually ever been booed?

It’s gonna be fun to have a couple other cities in our corner.

9. The Bandwagon Phenomenon

In October of 2003, the greater Massachusetts area was hit with a massive hurricane of pink hats, over-inflated ticket prices and gusts of the word NOMAHHH. Yes, Massachusetts, the reigning heavyweight champion of the crowded bandwagon is in danger of losing its title, and in all likelihood, will be lost to the Miami Heat.

As many fans who will be driven away by the Heat this season, the pink jersey sales will be ten-fold around the country. Only in a town as entrenched in passion for it’s teams could the Miami Heat, four years removed from a championship, be irrelevant in a town.

During the Heat’s narcissistic pep-rally this past weekend LeBron came with one thing to say, “The Heat is back.” I’ll skip harping on the grammatical errors of it, but tell me LeBron, where did they go? They won in 2006, and since then, outside of 2008 when they were lucky enough to receive the No. 1 pick in the draft, they’ve finished no worse than fifth in the Eastern Conference, with one of the most exciting players in basketball doing it by himself.

Again this is just another frustration-driven tangent, but the main point to be had here is, there can be entertainment in this for us all in Boston. As in rubbernecking a ten-car pileup on the freeway, you have to slow down and watch. Instead of being a part of the pileup, this time, I urge you to slow down and pity the bandwagoning fan and his brand new LeBron James jersey.

10. October really can’t come soon enough

I have to admit. I’m excited, as if you couldn’t have already guessed that by the 3000 previous words. Next year’s going to be a lot of fun. We have a re-enrolled Big Three ready to take on Miami, ready to show these young guys what’s what. You know Paul Pierce and the rest of the team are gonna get up out of the rocking chair for those games, and boy will they be fun to watch.

So the notion that this “super team” down in Miami is going to steamroll everyone on thier way to,”Not one. Not two. Not three. Not four. Not five. Not Six…..” just simply isn’t true.

As far as I can tell, if it wasn’t for the Garnett injury it 2009, the Boston Celtics would have three straight Eastern Conference titles. They may be old, but what they lack in youth, they more than make up for it in experience.

Sleep well Boston, next year’s gonna be fun.

About Robert McLeod

Robert McLeod Stats: Age: 22 Gender: Male Favorite Sports: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, Fantasy Sports Favorite Boston Players: Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Wes Welker, Jerod Mayo, Tuuka Rask, Rajon Rondo Other Hobbies: School, Wiffleball, Snowboarding, Madden, Call of Duty, Movies, Sports Radio Contact: robert at sportsofboston.com Bob Rodgers made me the man I am today. Hopefully I'm the first, and the last to ever utter those words. Before jumping on the bus to school, watching the old SportsDesk hosted by Bob was as necessary as brushing my teeth and eating breakfast. Since those early mornings, I've loved everything about Boston sports. Currently, I'm a senior Journalism major at UMass-Amherst and hope to be graduating this May. I began my college career as a business major at UMass Dartmouth, and realized I hated everything about accounting, debits, credits, my professors bow-tie, and everything inbetween. So I decided to pursue my passion, and write about sports for a living.

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Discussion

One comment for “Why Celtics Fans Should Love “The Decision,” Part II”

  1. I’m not so sure saying “The Heat is back” is grammatically incorrect. When referring to “The Heat” as a single team, it is a singular collective noun which commands the singular “is” rather than the plural “are.”

    I am confident my boy Lebron brushed up on “The Elements of Style” prior to making that statement and did not just get that right by coincidence.

    Posted by Wayne | July 16, 2010, 11:24 pm

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