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Dub Nation Rooting Guide #2: Brooklyn Nets (2) vs Boston Celtics (7). & Open Thread.
Ainge’s hypothetical trades vs the mercenary JuggerNets
Kevin Durant. Honorary Warrior, but not quite Honorary Warrior For Life in the last election.
James Harden. We covered Harden’s case in detail before. in his election as Warriors Villain For Life. Rival and MVP obsessive, he blends supreme skill with the cheapest possible tactics, with his absurd talents getting overshadowed by dangerous hooks and constant foul-baiting and the general sense that he constantly exploits loopholes in the rulebook.
But, he also lost constantly to the Warriors providing them with many of their greatest victories. He also forced his way out of Houston in a very ugly fashion, virtually putting on a fat suit and partying in COVID clubs to tank his value as much as possible. And though it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving owner, it was damn disrespectful to his coach and teammates who seem to be pretty upright characters.
Blake Griffin. Essential part of the rival Lob City Clippers, as their most punchable face. We studied that rivalry before in detail, but by now feelings have cooled as Blake’s career took a nose-dive due to injuries and bad teams. Last year, a healthy plurality of Dub Nation still wished him ill, but even more just plain don’t care and so he does NOT officially qualify for Warriors Villain.
Kyrie Irving. Hit the Finals-winning shot in 2016, then forced his way out of Cleveland to get away from all the LeBron-stan reporters wanting him to appreciate LeBron’s being his father figure(?!?!), got more of a reputation as a team-killer by joining a strong Celtics team and dragging it down, perplexed everyone with his dedication/trolling about flat-earth crackpotism, conspired with KD to form a superteam with the Nets.
Jeff Green is like a supernova of neutrinos, eventually passing through every team and always just on the verge of a breakout season but being hard to detect. Naturally, he was a member of numerous Warriors playoff opponents. However, I don’t believe he ever had a game turning play, so how mad can we be at him?
DeAndre Jordan. Now in his declining years, he was part of the Lob City Clippers, but was the least annoying prominent face. We studied that rivalry throughly before and found Dub Nation mostly didn’t care about DAJ. Past efforts by the front office to get DAJ resulted in stupid cap moves including losing Jeremy Lin. He also encouraged KD to leave the path of light to form the Jugger-Nets.
Another mercenary grab bag of stars, setting up shop in a town, strip-mining it for resources, overwhelming the playoffs with accumulated talent. Following the LeBron playbook so far, will the stars soon leave town once the mine goes dry, leaving it a smoking toxic hellhole? Only time will tell.
Steph Curry and Jayson Tatum seem to have some mutual respect.
Tristan Thompson. I’m not sure he rises to the level of a villain? And important and underrated part of the Cavaliers who were the Eastern Conference’s best rival to the Dynasty Warriors. He did play a big role in the scuffle 2018 Finals Game 1. He’s involved in some personal drama soap opera involving Kardashians that you might care about.
Brad Stevens was for a while the poster boy for The Genius Coach Who Wins All If He Only Had Top Talent archetype. But now that he hasn’t managed to get anything out of Kyrie Irving and seems stuck in mediocrity with Tatum, Brown and Kemba Walker, that poster might be coming down if he doesn’t make playoff noise this year.
GM Danny Ainge announces after every big NBA trade that he offered a better package that was rejected.
UPDATE (5/27): Ainge also made the baffling and factually incorrect statement that he’d never heard of Celtics fans being racist in 26 years.
Jaylen Brown went to Cal if you care about that.
Isaiah Thomas played through his sister’s death and various injuries at the cost of his career and was immediately dumped by BOS for Kyrie Irving. Pretty shocking move even if the league’s motto is “It’s Just A Business”.
Celtics fans talk a lot about their many championships, omitting the fact that they’ve won 1 championship since 1986, and most of the previous ones came from Red Auerbach ripping off other hobbyist owners when the league was eight teams that could barely get a highlight on TV.
… so, who are you rooting for?
Give me the Celtics. Anything to discourage the trend of mercenary strip-mining superteams.