Celtics Fans Must Brace Themselves for the NBA's Manny Ramirez

Daniel LyonsContributor IFebruary 25, 2009

At different points throughout his tenure, he refused to play. His defense is, at best, faulty, mostly due to lack of passion. He feels getting out of his current contract and helping another team for three months will help with his next contract.

Are we talking about Manny Ramirez or Stephon Marbury?


The similarities are uncanny.

When Manny Ramirez left the confines of Fenway Park last July, Red Sox ownership and fans said good riddance. Similarly, Marbury's distractions in New York will not be missed.

Manny transformed Hollywood into Mannywood—dread-locked wigs and No. 99 jerseys sold separately.

Oh, and he raked along the way, hitting .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games wearing Dodger blue.

For many Red Sox fans, seeing his transformation from a guy who routinely quit on his team, rested his bat on his shoulders while watching three Mariano Rivera strikes, and refused to play on July 25, 2008 against Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees into a base-swiping, everyday-playing force with the Dodgers was sickening.

Ironically, many of those same New Englanders are hoping the same type of transformation occurs when Stephon Marbury packs up his gym bag and heads to a different Garden.

Well, I hope those fans consumed their fair dose of Maalox, because they must now be ready to welcome a similarly sickening character to Boston.

Yes, an overpaid, highly criticized athlete is switching jerseys, and if he’s able to help his new team the same way Manny helped the Dodgers, you can expect big things for the Celtics, a team featuring a fairly thin bench.

The roles are reversed, and this time around, the Celtics are playing the role of the Los Angeles Dodgers. But, as Mitch Lawrence said in his Daily News article, “Doc Rivers, buyer beware…Marbury is no winner.”

And that brings us to the one main difference between Marbury and Ramirez: the latter was a pivotal piece in the winning of two championships.

Marbury had it all, a big contract, a starting job, and a workplace just a borough away from his Coney Island roots. He had every opportunity to write himself into Knicks lore. In a way, he did—just not the way Hollywood, or Knicks fans, would have scripted it.

Marbury probably would have liked to have an ending with him bringing a title home, too.

With this in the back of his mind, it is reasonable to think Marbury will fit in with his news team, if only for two reasons—a title and another payday.  Celtics fans are only concerned about him obtaining one of the two.

Where Manny was able to hoist the crown before leaving his team, it is the hope of all Celtics fans that Marbury will do it after his departure from the team he’s robbed of both money and image.

Yes, another Manny Ramirez is coming to Boston, if only for a short time. 

Red Sox fans never had the chance to meet up with Mannywood Ramirez after the deadline deal took place.  Unfortunately for the Knicks, a different scenario could play out on the hardwood—they could see Marbury, smiling in Celtics green, come playoff time.

This time, you've harbored the bad guy, Boston; use it to your advantage.