I’m all in favor of an athlete celebrating a good play. If I were capable of high-flying dunks or a 400-foot homer, I’d definitely strut my stuff.
But what happens when the celebration is uncalled for? What happens when a talented rookie gets in the face of a six time All-Star? What happens when an underdog team steals one, meaningless win against a daunting powerhouse, and rubs it in their face?
I’m writing this article on Sunday, April 28th, one night after Atlanta Hawks rookie yelled at Celtics forward Paul Pierce in the waning seconds of the Hawks surprising Game 3 win.
I’m writing this one night before Paul Pierce and the Celtics get their revenge.
Pierce had just dove on the floor for a loose-ball, and narrowly missing a steal. Horford recovered the ball, hitting a mid-range jumper to seal the upset for the Hawks. He then bent down and got in the face of Pierce, screaming obscenities, calling Pierce “a bitch” among other things.
Al Horford, what the hell were you thinking?
This is a guy that was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck and chest, and played basketball just weeks later. This is the guy that Shaq nicknamed “The Truth”, for his amazing ability on the court.
Who are you, Al Horford? A rookie out of Florida who is used to winning? This is not the NCAA Tournament. You are not at University of Florida.
More importantly, this is a Celtics team that loves Pierce. Pierce has been on some awful Celtics teams in seasons past, so this year’s success has been an incredible and almost touching experience for him. This is also a Celtics team that had blown the Hawks out five consecutive times before their loss last night.
I won’t be surprised if Paul Pierce dropped 50 tomorrow night, and got in Horford’s face every time he scored. It took half the Celtics bench to restrain him on Saturday. The Hawks defense won’t be so successful in Game 4.
But whether Paul Pierce drops a boatload of points or not, revenge will be had. Do you really think Kevin Garnett, the most intense player in the league, will let this slide? I guarantee the Celtics will beat the Hawks in this series, and whenever Horford has to walk off the court in defeat, which he now will probably have to do in Boston, he’ll regret his mistake.
Why does Brandon Backe mouth off at Albert Pujols? Why does Brad Miller shove Shaq? Why does Anthony Smith piss off the Patriots?
Because they’re stupid and jelous. Nothing good can come of this.
Let me give all of you mediocre players, or promising youngsters some advice: shut up. Play hard. And don’t incite an All-Star. This never works out well.
You are making not only yourself, but your whole franchise look terrible. Josh Smith did nothing but working his ass off to be the most valuable player on the Hawks this season. Now he’s going to pay the price, and get demolished on the court for the rest of this series. Head coach Mike Woodson will get embarrassed, and has done nothing but been a quiet and brilliant leader to this young club.
They don’t deserve this. So Al Horford, next time you’re tempted to scream at one of the league’s best players after they almost made a big play…