The Celtics are preparing to play the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. Here is a preview of the pregame locker room scene. Consider this tonight’s game preview.
Doc Rivers: Look, I know you guys are frustrated about last night’s loss. Ray, you Paul and Perk couldn’t hit a beachball with a tennis racket last night. We didn’t get any of the important rebounds, and Andrew Bogut put a Big Baby shrimp on the barbie. We even made John Salmons look good. But don’t worry, guys. I’ve got an inspirational speech to get us ready for tonight:
“We’re going inside of ‘em, we’re going outside of ‘em — inside of ‘em!outside of ‘em! — and when we get them on the run once, we’re going to keep ‘em on the run. And we’re not going to pass unless their secondary comes up too close. But don’t forget, men — we’re gonna get ‘em on the run, we’re gonna go, go, go, go! — and we aren’t going to stop until we go over that goal line! And don’t forget, men — today is the day we’re gonna win. They can’t lick us — and that’s how it goes … The first platoon men — go in there and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight! What do you say, men?”
Ray Allen: Come on, Coach. We’ve seen Rudy, too, just like you have. We all know he recited that speech. There isn’t even a goal line in basketball.
Tony Allen: Wait, we don’t have a goal line? Does that mean I’m not leading the team in touchdowns?
Doc Rivers: Oops, I thought I might have heard that speech before. Don’t worry, guys. I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve. Let’s try another one.
“I’ve got to go, Rock. It’s all right. I’m not afraid. Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock. But I’ll know about it, and I’ll be happy.”
Rajon Rondo: Nobody in here is named Rock, Coach. And who the hell’s the Gipper?
Ray Allen: Knute Rockne, Rajon. I thought you used to play football. But Coach, that speech has been used before too.
Rasheed Wallace: Nobody in here gives a damn about the Gipper.
Doc Rivers: Right. Well, I’m running out of material, but I’ve got a few ideas left. Don’t worry, guys. I’ll have you super motivated by the time this is all done. Oh! Let’s try this one:
“Great moments are born from great opportunity.
And that’s what you have here tonight, boys.
That’s what you’ve earned here, tonight.
If we played ‘em ten times, they might win nine.
But not this game. Not tonight.
Tonight, we skate with ‘em.
Tonight, we stay with ‘em, and we shut them down because we can!
Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.
You were born to be hockey players — every one of ya.
And you were meant to be here tonight.
This is your time.
Their time — is done. It’s over.
I’m sick and tired of hearin’ about what a great hockey team the Soviets have.
This is your time!!
Now go out there and take it!”
Nate Robinson: Coach, I’m not so sure I was born to be a hockey player. I’m really small and, well, Coach, I hate to break it to you, but there aren’t a lot of black guys in the NHL.
Tony Allen: We’re playing the Soviets tonight?
Ray Allen: Coach, that was from the Miracle on Ice.
Rasheed Wallace: You ain’t Herb Brooks, Coach. And this ain’t Miracle. Don’t you have any of your own words to tell us?
Doc Rivers: It was? Right. Of course I’ve got my own words. Just not right now.
“I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. All comes down to today, and either, we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play. Until we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me.
“And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell… one inch at a time. Now I can’t do it for ya, I’m too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I’ve made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I’ve pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.
“You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
“On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the f–king difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch.”
Tony Allen: Wait, we’re playing football again? Hand it off to me tonight, Coach! I’m getting three TD’s!
Paul Pierce: If we were playing football, you wouldn’t be doing anything but throwing interceptions, Tony.
Glen Davis: I was almost a football player in a movie. I could have been a big deal. Instead, I pretended to play soccer and Zidane’d the hell out of Brandon Jennings.
Ray Allen: You don’t think we know that’s from Any Given Sunday? Coach, I get that you’re trying to use sports flicks and old speeches as motivation. But we aren’t playing football, half of us already know that quote, and this motivation stuff is getting pretty old.
Doc Rivers: Sorry, guys. I’ve got one last speech. This one’s my own, really.
“There’s a tradition in tournament play to not talk about the next step until you’ve climbed the one in front of you. I’m sure going to the State finals is beyond your wildest dreams, so let’s just keep it right there.
“Forget about the crowds, the size of the school, their fancy uniforms, and remember what got you here. Focus on the fundamentals that we’ve gone over time and time again.
“And most important, don’t get caught up thinking about winning or losing this game. If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we’re gonna be winners!
Tony Allen: We’re in the state tournament? Damn, I knew last night’s game seemed intense! And we can win even if the scoreboard says differently? That’s what’s up!
Michael Finley: [Thinking to himself] This Tony Allen cat really isn’t too intelligent.
Glen Davis: Hey Nate, can I get some Kool-Aid?
Ray Allen: Doc, that was Norman Dale in Hoosiers. Do you think none of us have ever watched a movie before?
Doc Rivers: Umm, uhhh. Well, I can’t bring it out of you guys. You have to do it yourselves.
Kevin Garnet: Man, I’m sick of this [BLEEPING] [BLEEP]. Let’s just [BLEEPING] go out there and [BLEEPING] kick the [BLEEPING] [BLEEP] out of these mother-[BLEEPS]. Where’s that [BLEEPING] basket support? My [BLEEPING] head wants to [BLEEPING] pound something. [BLEEP]!!!
Doc Rivers: Yeah, what he said.
Kendrick Perkins: *scowls in agreement*
Tony Allen: Has anybody seen my cleats?