In today’s society, peace and love is something we need to advocate more for. It’s a messy and, often times, scary world. The least we can do is strive to be kind to one another. When it comes to sports however…
…the more toxic the better.
Does this take make me a toxic person? Possibly. Probably. I don’t care though. There is nothing better than rivalries in sports, it just simply makes the games that much better. When a rivalry is involved, you just feel the intensity and the passion, which elevates the stakes naturally.
This is something that I feel the NBA has been sorely lacking of late. Team and player rivalries alike have gone out the window. Gone are the days where the teams like the Pistons and Bulls would battle to the death. Now seemingly everyone is friends with everyone, and if there is any beef, it’s squashed almost instantly.
That’s why when a video of Kevin Garnett looking like he wants to beat up Ray Allen for dapping up LeBron James is released, you cherish it. I know I have. I’ve watched the video seemingly a thousand times in the past 24 hours. It’s a pure work of art.
Tired: Kanye and Pete Davidson is the top celeb beef— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 21, 2022
Wired: Kevin Garnett vs. Ray Allen in the same building
The pure look of disgust on Paul Pierce’s face is also perfect. All of Celtics fandom felt how those two looked when they saw what transpired. Make no mistake, there’s no love lost with these three. They can say they’ve made up, and they can take a cute “Big 3” picture backstage.
You can’t fool us though. This beef is still alive and well. That video is all the proof I needed. KG and Pierce are definitely not over the whole Ray Allen to South Beach thing, nor should they be.
I’ve still never forgiven Ray Allen to this very day for what he did. Is that totally healthy? Nope, but I don’t quite care. You don’t leave the Celtics to go join your largest adversary of the previous five years. To join the team that literally stopped the Celtics one game short of reaching the NBA Finals in 2012. Taking less money to team up with LEBRON, there’s no easier way to upset Celtics fan. He would have been more vilified had he joined the Lakers honestly.
Miami was our top rival of that period, and to jump ship to join them was despicable. It’s why Ray Allen went from Jesus Shuttlesworth to Judas Shuttlesworth. The hatred and resentment that was born from Allen’s departure just added way more depth and intensity to what was already a fun rivalry.
Like I said, the more toxic in sports the better. I’m not a fan of the soft, modern NBA where everyone practices with everyone in the offseason and hugs on the court. I miss the days where Larry Bird and Bill Laimbeer would literally kill each other if there were no consequences. Even with consequences you almost get the feeling they would.
It was just a great treat to know that no matter how soft the NBA may get, KG in particular will never change. It’s what made him one of my favorite athletes ever across any sport. That killer “Jordan-esque” mentality. It’s something that is clearly missing from today’s game, and I was just happy to see it back even if only for a short video clip.
Photo by Jim Davis/Boston Globe