Thursday, June 02, 2005

Al Jefferson is my soulmate.

The conclusion might be arrived at that women shouldn't be sports fans. I agree, we shouldn't. Personally, I can't handle it. The emotional highs and lows it leads to are just too much. I get too attached to players, and am broken-hearted when they are traded. I cried when Antoine Walker was traded, and again when he came back. My boyfriend and I drove down to New Jersey, to see that last game with the Nets, I couldn't sit still on the way down from excitement, and I threw up on the car ride home from sheer misery. Going to Ikea helped a little, but not much. (I am female, after all. Home furnishing and chocolate are enough to blunt most major traumas) That game was hard for me. Doc Rivers (valiant! true! loyal defender of players! setter of high expectations!) was ejected in the first two minutes. Vince Carter had, I think, a career high for three-pointers, and a season high for points. I hate motherfucking Vince Carter, but I hate goddamned Jason Kidd more. And I hate the goddamned Nets.

People tell me that there is no Nets/Celtics rivalry. I don't care. I don't care at all. I hated the Nets first because they seemed soulless. Look at Jason Kidd and tell me there's something alive and ensouled behind those eyes. I don't believe it. Vince Carter admits that he played poorly in Canada in order to get traded. Doing that is slimy. Admitting it is worse. It's degrading to the sport. I was ready, briefly, to believe that the Nets had a reason to exist. Eric Williams, a player who did his best for the Celtics, was traded by the perfidious Danny Ainge. This trade had a bright spot, unlike most of Danny Ainge's other early trades, which seemed mostly designed to switch out talented black men for gawky white men*. It put Eric Williams, the 'Prince of Newark' on a path to go back to New Jersey, his home state. He just wanted to play at home. He just wanted a team that would match his tattoo. He wanted to be near family. Of course, because New Jersey is even more duplicitous, shameless, and unsympathetic than Danny Ainge (who is a Prince in his own right, by comparison) they swiftly traded him, even further away. So now I hate New Jersey even more. They're soulless, and inhumane, and traded away a player ready to accept the state, the meadowlands, the smell (there IS a smell) for what it was.

You know who I love, though? Al Jefferson. I love Al Jefferson. Al Jefferson, a rookie on the cusp of not being one, is amazing.

To prove that women should not be sports fans, I'll say how I really feel about Al Jefferson: I love him. I want to nurture him and give him pie, even though he shouldn't have pie because he needs to stay in shape. I want him to be happy and make friends and stay in Boston forever and ever and ever. I want to know that the Celtics love him. Sometimes I imagine him hugging his teammates, and it makes me happy. The story the Globe Magazine did on him in the spring pretty much made my year. He wants to drink regular coke! And eat Doritos! But he can't! He gave Antoine his number back, for nothing! He wears tall socks! He cried after the playoffs were over for the Celtics (so did I)!

On the court, he's fearless. He blocks like he was born doing it. He dunks. 265lbs, 6'10, gets up in the air like he was made of, well, Ricky Davis. He's barely twenty, and he's number 9 in the whole NBA in offensive rebounds. Offensive rebounds. Those are the hard ones. He's number 8 in the WHOLE NBA in field goal percentage. He's wicked great, and I love him. He's amazing to see. He's not afraid of Shaq. He's not afraid of Ben Wallace. I can't remember how he did against Yao, I just remember that Boston won. He plays like everything is on the line, every game, but you can still see him enjoying being there. Even when the sweat pours off him, even when you can see him realize he's made a mistake (I wouldn't know what a mistake looks like in the NBA, so I get boys to tell me), he still likes it.

I love him so much.

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