The Knicks, The Celtics And Why Bad Blood Could Heal All


Monday night, while Notre Dame was getting its teeth kicked in by Alabama, there was a basketball game taking place in Madison Square Garden. A game which was important off the strength that it pitted two hopeful NBA Finals contenders against one another. Yet, leave it to Kevin Garnett - the man who once damn near took Fancy from Jamie on an episode of The Jamie Foxx Show - to ignite the NBA's renewed and restored rivalry with Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.

Shit hit the fan allegedly all over a lady: Carmelo's beautiful wife, LaLa, to be exact. In fact, it seems the running trend in the sports universe this week has been ladies' night. There's this situation, then there's Katherine Webb who unknowingly had Brent Musberger ready to pop a Viagra calling the Bama/ND game and the Nets' part owner Jay-Z wife's, Beyonce, IMMACULATE GQ cover.

Focusing on the topic at hand, Boston walked out of MSG with a 102-96 victory. More important than the win itself, however, were the verbal (and near) fisticuffs between Garnett and Anthony. Some words were exchanged. A man-code violation was crossed and something about somebody's wife and an iconic cereal were reportedly tossed around.* I can't say the words allegedly, reportedly or supposedly enough based off the sensitivity of the issue at hand, but let's keep moving along. And someone waited outside of somebody's team bus in classic middle school style, which would have only been better had J.R. Smith and Rasheed Wallace been there chanting, "Fight! Fight!"

That leads to this. The NBA may not be as authentic as it was in decades' past with its rivalries, but this one is real. Made even more believable given their close proximity, a list of three potential events have been etched into stone. If all three pan out the way they're described here, the ride through the Eastern Conference the next five months or so will be one for the ages. Or at least fun as hell. Or somewhere in between.

* - For the record, I'm of the belief a man's family - especially his wife and kid(s) - are off limits.


1. Round 2 In Boston. The awesome aspect about the NBA schedule is the fact the Knicks and Celtics square off again in 15 days. In Boston on TNT, at that. Coaches and players on both sides will do their best to diffuse the situation as just another divisional game between two teams with aspirations set for June. But look, everyone saw, read and tweeted about what happened, and while two weeks is an eternity in this social media world of today, bad blood will remain.

Also take into account by then both squads could boast the luxury of having nearly all of their primary weapons on tap. Amar'e should be rounding into game shape by then, and Iman Shumpert will probably be available as well. The only missing piece - albeit an important one - is Raymond Felton. For Boston, Avery Bradley's legs will be underneath him pitting two of the game's better defensive guards (he and Shump) on the court at the same time. Also, Rajon Rondo will suit up pending he doesn't do this to a referee between now and then.

Then there's the crowd. Boston's crazies - traditionally one of the louder groups in the league - should have no problem feeding into the frenzy. Expect chants of a certain cereal. Expect Spike to be there. Expect a lot of everything. Pray for everything, too, as long as there aren't suspensions and/or serious injuries.

You know what, on second thought, Rondo probably will fight a ref between now and the 24th.


2. The All Star Game In Houston. The 2013 Eastern All Stars have the opportunity to be the greatest, most poisonous, yet remarkably entertaining All Star Game starting five of the past 30 years. Taking a shot in the dark, let's say the starters pan out to be: Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo, LeBron James and Garnett. Here's what we know.

  • LeBron and D-Wade aren't exactly fond of  Rondo and KG. Remember this? And this? And this? And this? And most recently this?
  • Well, Rondo and KG aren't exactly buddy-buddy with LeBron and D-Wade either, evident by Rajon's fashion statement.
  • Despite their apparent "ironing out" of issues, Carmelo won't ever forget KG allegedy bringing an entirely new meaning to the term "cereal box."
  • KG may not have anything personal against Melo, but he hates everyone not in Celtic green.

So yeah, the East's starting lineup could be one of the more socially awkward moments ever. And. It. Would. Be. Great. I can already picture them attempting to act chummy with each other during introductions while conveniently forgetting to call out screens and picks once the game starts. It'd be like Isiah Thomas freezing out Michael Jordan in the 1985 ASG, but five times worse. Before we know it, the East would be down 30 heading into the fourth.

From there, the three-man brigade of LeBron, Carmelo and Kyrie Irving would save the day unleashing a series of dunks, jumpers and jumpers-that-look-like-jumpers-but-are-really-alley-oops. With two minutes left in regulation, it's a one-possession ball game and what happens then is truly anybody's guess. Yes, I've  already mapped this out in my head 746 times.


3. A Second-Round Classic. For hypothetical purposes, let's say Miami ends with the top seed in the East. New York finishes second and Boston the third or sixth seed. Or if you're a Knicks fan who will settle with nothing but the top spot: NY at 1, Miami at 2 and Boston 4 or 5. Regardless, this guarantees two very critical events in the battle for Eastern supremacy.

  1. It could solidify a Knicks/Celtics second-round match-up happens. The likes of which could produce a seven-game series stocked with so many egos, talents and future Hall of Fame speeches that it almost has to happen so lowly scribes like myself can have nerd-gasms. Plus, imagine this: Game 7 in the Garden with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line. Exactly. Ex-f*cking-actly. Spike Lee couldn't pen a better script.
  2. It guarantees one hell of an ECF with either one squaring off against (presumably) the Heat.

God bless Kevin Garnett for this. Love him or hate him, this possible scenario is exactly what's awesome about basketball. Grab team gear. Support your team. Convince everyone losing to a rival is "just one regular season loss." Then convince them it's the closest thing to the NBA Finals when you win.

That's what great about sports, more so basketball and basketball rivalries. None of it has to make sense.

Who said breakfast wasn't the most important meal of the day?

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