Miami at Boston strikes me as a far more appropriate season starter: LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh against the reigning East champs, who also happen to be the NBA’s perennial champions of cockiness and — according to Rajon Rondo — not all that impressed by the glittering roster Pat Riley has assembled.
“The NBA’s perennial champions of cockiness.” You know what, I can’t argue with Stein on that one. Paul Pierce has routinely made cocky comments like, “I’m the best player in the league,” and, “we’re not coming back to Orlando,” or, we’re going to win the NBA championship.” Kevin Garnett is never one to back down from a challenge, and is hands down the biggest shit-talker in the NBA–he never shuts up. Even Rondo and Perkins have recently made comments about the Miami Heat, and how they still expect to win the damn thing.
The Celtics cockiness is actually one of the things I love most about the team, if you can believe it. They never doubt themselves. It’s what got them through last season. Most teams would have fallen apart during the last 54 games, when the Celtics went 27-27. But despite the poor play, the Celtics always collectively believed they would be back in the Finals. Only a supremely confident team (code for cocky) could have withstood that stretch and come out on the other side believing just as fully in their abilities.
It’s better to be cocky, than to lack confidence. And it’s hell of a lot more interesting to follow.