The Boston Celtics won a thrilling Game 1 over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon on a Jayson Tatum buzzer-beater. It was awesome. Not just because it was a great team effort to get the basket and an aesthetically pleasing freestyle play that featured multiple players act as willing passers instead of one person settling for the usual iso-hero-ball final shot we've become so used to. But also because I was rooting for the Boston Celtics. Gross.
I'm not sure when I started hating Boston sports teams. A psychiatrist or anyone who follows me on Twitter would probably try to trace it back to Bill Simmons, but he's simply an avatar for an annoying fanbase that viewers of every major sport have had reason to be annoyed by over the last couple decades.
In the 21st century that area of the country as won six Super Bowls, four World Series, one Stanley Cup and an NBA Championship. It's obnoxious and unnecessary. So like many people, I've grown to despise those teams and those fans who are seemingly overrepresented online.
Enter Kyrie Irving, the flat-Earth, anti-vax point guard of the Brooklyn Nets. A guy who has thumbed his nose at his teammates and society over the last year by refusing to do the bare minimum to help anyone and get vaccinated. And then tried to pass it off as being the voice of the voiceless. He then never actually voiced anything and immediately abandoned the voiceless when NYC mayor Eric Adams cleared athletes and entertainers to go back to work. The other people who were affected by the private sector vaccine mandate are still out of luck, but Irving doesn't seem to care. Not that he cared in the first place, it was just a thing to say so people would stop asking him questions.
This was something he tried again on Sunday as he tried to brush off questions about the hostile environment in Boston that caused him to flip off fans multiple times. It's not big deal. It's part of the game. I always do that, but you've never noticed.
Irving's success in the postseason would be deeply unsatisfying in the same way that Aaron Rodgers' would have been earlier this year. Two guys smarter than fans and doctors. Look at the joy the Internet took in Rodgers struggling in a divisional round loss to the 49ers in January.
That's the feeling we're chasing right now. Except spread out over a week or so. All we have to do is root for Boston. An unthinkable proposition, but our only true chance at basketball happiness. So go Celtics. For a couple weeks at least. Then we can try to wash off the undeniable Boston stench.