Time Out For Sports Talk: Going…Going…Gone
Todd: What a week.
My thoughts and feelings have run the gamut over the last few days while my mind has tried to process all that I have read and witnessed in the world of Boston sports.
Let’s start with the light stuff. Yes, I realize the Bruins came up short against the Blackhawks in one of the more stunning finishes to a game and series that you’ll ever see (how many NHL games can you recall where both teams pulled their goaltenders for a sixth attacker in the final two minutes?). But taking an objective view and despite the series not going the full seven games that it deserved to, this was one of the most exciting and competitive Stanley Cup Finals in recent memory (at least since Carolina and Edmonton in 2006).
Performing with the heart of a champion, many of the B’s skaters left every last bit of themselves out on the Garden ice by the time the clock had struck zero on Game 6. Among the afflicted, Patrice Bergeron incredibly played with a multitude of significant injuries, and has been hospitalized since Monday night after suffering a punctured lung. After hearing that news, I’m glad that Bruins management plans on doing right by #37 by locking him up to a long-term contract extension.
Not only did the Bruins season come to an abrupt end, but so did the coaching era of Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers with the Celtics (at least it seems that way to me). Even after nine seasons in Boston and the New Big 3’s three-year window extended another three years, Doc’s Hollywood departure still feels somewhat sudden and lacking an opportunity to not only say farewell but thanks. Mike, I know you said last week that Rivers leaving for the Clippers hurts his legacy with the Celtics, but I think his hand in helping end a 22-year championship drought and in nearly winning a second Green banner will be fondly remembered, especially now that the franchise faces an uncertain future.
Finally, we conclude the week that was with yet another shocking dose of reality intruding on our little world of sports fan fiction. As more details are released about now former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and the senseless death of 27-year old Odin Lloyd, it is quite apparent that whatever we think we know about the professional athletes that entertain us is an exercise in pure folly.
A few nights ago one of the Boston television stations re-aired an interview with Hernandez shortly after he signed his $40 million extension last year, and he spoke of how the new contract was a life-changing experience, to the point that he made a $50,000.00 personal donation to the Myra Kraft Foundation. Not only was it chilling to watch this interview now juxtaposed with this week’s video of the 23-year old being arrested and removed from his home in handcuffs, but it was sickening to realize that Hernandez fooled everyone with the words he uttered just one short year ago. Or tragically he was right that his life and that of Lloyd’s family and friends has been changed forever.
Mike: Well said, Todd. It seems like this week has just been a crazy one, made crazier by the late breaking news that the Celtics have reached a deal to send Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets in a huge, blockbuster trade.
The Celtics will send Pierce, KG and Jason Terry to the Nets and get Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans and three first-round picks. In my opinion, this is a good deal for the Celtics. Not so much for the players they are getting from the Nets, but for the simple fact that they are getting something back for Pierce and Garnett, and hopefully those three picks will turn into something to help the Celtics rebuild.
This is a trade that didn’t happen when the original Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish got old and left the team, and that hurt the Celtics for years. It’s nice to see Danny Ainge learn from the mistakes of the past and kick start the rebuilding process by getting value for his older players instead of hanging on one year too long.
As for Aaron Hernandez, this story continues to get wilder and wilder. It was bad enough when it looked like he was involved in one killing, but now stories have started to come out that police are looking at him for a double murder last year. It is chilling to think that we as Patriot fans cheered for someone for his accomplishments on the football field while he was possibly involved in a double murder.
It really gives a new perspective on things.