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Dear Celtic Fans in Boston:
I am writing to you from the City of Los Angeles, where I suffer every day from having to see Laker fans in their hideous purple and gold T-shirts (and these stupid Laker flags that attach to their cars presidential style; yes, it’s disgusting, far more nauseating than the smog here).
Having grown up in Seattle, which no longer has a team, I have adopted your Celtics (as have many Seattelites) for two major reasons: I grew up hating the Lakers, while two of my favorite Sonics of all time ended up coming your way: Dennis Johnson and Ray Allen, two class acts who look good in green, whether on the West or East Coast.
Needless to say, there is huge difference between sports fans on the two coasts. East Coast fans (and their media) are far more demanding and critical of their players and coaches, something I never fully realized until living 0n the East Coast (New York and Philly to go to school).
Coming from Seattle, which is remarkably “soft” on its players (though we did boo the hell out of Alex Rodriguez when he came back to town in pinstripes) my best advice to Celtic fans in Boston is this:
GET IN SHAQ’S FACE STARTING NOW.
If we have any rich people reading this, please take out a full page ad in the Boston Globe or Herald that goes something like this:
WELCOME TO BOSTON SHAQ:
We are glad you did not get your first choice of playing with LeCon in Miami so that you can help us win a championship this year. We are not concerned with the constant speculation that you are too old when your real problem is being fat and lazy. With two months before the season begins, there is plenty of time to lose thirty pounds, which will have you moving downcourt and fighting through pick and rolls with the agility of a 30-year-old.
And while racing cars, filming movies/music videos, and making challenges for celebrity boxing matches are all highly entertaining, this is not Hollywood and you are no longer wearing purple and gold, my friend. If you truly want to win a championship, spend the time working on free throws. At the age of 38, it’s time to grow up and stop making excuses about your hands being too big. It may be funny on Jay Leno, but if you come to play in the Garden, nobody is going to be laughing at your waste of God-given size and ability.
You are not an entertainer. You are an athlete. If you come ready to play, the cheers will be louder than a Who concert, but if you want to be a bum, the boos may break your eardrums. We want to love you, Shaq, but this isn’t Florida or LA where convertibles and beaches can readily lighten the mood of losing. Here in Beantown, you must earn our love, and we are giving you the chance to retire as a champion.
Okay, that’s a little heavy handed, a first draft purging of emotion, but you get my point, right? I really hope the people and press in Boston put Shaq to the challenge instead of rolling out the red carpet for an oversized celebrity with funny one-liners after losses.
And if you guys are ever in LA, there is a great Celtics bar on 26th and Wilshire in Santa Monica (an Irish pub of course). It’s a great refuge from Laker fans. (Editor’s note: Those bastards.)