:: So the Shah man and I took it to Central Square last night - for beer and Detroit playing the Lakes like harmonicas.
The Game, The Lakes and their cronies - pundits - "dynasty," are history, of course.
What had me picking up jaws off a dirty bar room floor was this, coming from the mouth of an ancient wino:
"I'm actually a Lakers' fan. I mean, I'm a Celtic fan first..."
I imagined a dude walking into Fenway in the middle of the September playoff push. The BoSox could be down, 2-1 say, to Toronto. Then this dude looks at the scores from around the league, sees the Yanks have a 4-2 lead on the ChiSox, and turns to his Fenway neighbor:
"I'm actually a Yankees fan. Well, a Sox fan first, but they're down, so..."
I imagine walking into any St. _ , James, John, Jude, whatever Cathedral, and turning to my neighbor Catholic and telling him: "I'm rooting for Satan tonight. I mean, I'm a fan of God, but the way the Devil took down Eve... I've been a fan since day freakin' one."
Rooting for the Lakes in Boston?
At the end of the game, there was applause, from the Shahster and me, and clumps of other drunkards.
Hatred of the Lakes, I suppose, can make us all feel the Pistons. Deep down, we all want hair and muscles like Big Ben, ... or we want a nickname like "Rip," or the Prince's bones-and-skin moves. We want the soul of Motown, of Lindsey Hunter. We'd dress in red, white, and blue jerseys if we could get away with it.
And who doesn't want the Temptations singing before we take the court...
In the end, the Shahman, Farbman, and I agreed that we haven't seen basketball played at the Pistons' level since...
Shah said the Bulls.
I said the Lakes - as much as I hate that - rolling off a 17-1 playoff record a couple of years ago.
But, I'm not sure that I've ever enjoyed watching basketball as much as I did this month.
Not only did the Lakes go down, which would have been enough for me to enjoy this series, but every Pistons player threw something at the Lakes. Even freakin' Elden Campbell. The defense beat the Lakes offense to positions. The offense took care of the ball, shot fairly well, and took advantage of offensive boards, long defensive rebounds, and turnovers. The Pistons (minus Ben Wallace) even kept the pressure on the Lakes by running things right at the charity stripe.
So there you go, the finer team, the finer coach, the finer D will hoist up a banner next year.
Here's to the Pistons.