Funny how the Celtics went from everybody’s new favorite team (this side of the Lakers) two years ago, to the most hated team in the League today (this side of the Lakers).
After KG, Pierce and Ray got their championship in ’08, it seemed all of a sudden people were turned off by KG’s so-called bully tactics, Pierce’s arrogant swagger, Ray’s sneaky-dirty moments, Rajon Rondo‘s blatantly dirty moments, Eddie House‘s sense of entitlement, and everything about Brian Scalabrine. (OK, so that was nothing new.) When Boston signed Rasheed Wallace over the summer and added Duke alum Shelden Williams, the Hate Meter was in danger of shutting down due to overload.
And then there’s Kendrick Perkins. I’ve been over Perk and his inexplicable mean-mugging before. He might be the one player who models this shift in Celtics’ perception the most; before the ‘chip he was just another guy in the League, then after the ‘chip he seemed to flip a switch into this ornery instigator with a huge chip on his shoulder for no reason. The other day I was watching the Celtics destroy the Bobcats when Charlotte announcer Dell Curry said, “Perkins always looks like somebody did something to him.”
Last night, Perkins provided another example of why this Boston team is so easy to dislike.
Late in the fourth quarter, as the Spurs were trying to cut into Boston’s lead, Perkins was whistled for a foul on Tim Duncan. It wasn’t even that bad of a call, and you are playing in Duncan’s house, so what do you expect? But that didn’t stop Perk from getting bent out of shape. He yelled at the ref, then immediately made a beeline for the scorer’s table. When he got over there, he purposely knocked some papers off the table and sent them flying onto the court before resuming the game.
The announcers didn’t say anything about it, and I only noticed it because I watched Perkins specifically to see how he’d react to the foul. His act wasn’t even comparable to when a baseball player strikes out and starts breaking stuff when he gets back to the dugout. Perkins didn’t have to go to the scorer’s table — in fact, he made a point to walk all the way across the court to the table and then make somebody else’s job harder who had nothing to do with what he was mad about. And it looked like that was his only intention.
It was a dick move, simple and plain, and if it were a more high-profile player involved it would probably be a big story this morning. As it stands, it’s just another reason to wish for the Celtics’ downfall. And I’m not even a Boston hater like that.