Here are some excerpts from Geoffrey C. Arnold’s column in the Oregonian:
In the Dec. 5 game in Boston, the Celtics punked the Blazers — pushing and shoving them around like annoying pipsqueaks on the playground. To win tonight, Portland will need to find the mental strength to remain focused in the face of relentless defense — and trash talk.
The self-assured play of Rondo is indicative of the Celtics’ rapidly ballooning ego, which is drawing growing criticism.
Garnett’s trash talking — long a staple of his game — seems to have increased since the Celtics won the championship. He always has been one of the most pompous players in the league, and apparently he has decided that winning a championship has granted him license to flap those lips relentlessly.
The Celtics know that last season is last season and they have a target on their backs this season. They have recognized the challenge by playing better, but the arrogance? Based on one title? Please.
All the Celtics need to do to curb their arrogance is look within the city limits. The New England Patriots rolled through the 2007 NFL regular season, the haughtiness growing with every win.
Then the Super Bowl came along.
The problem isn’t with the Celtics trash-talking, it’s with the also-rans and wannabes trying to talk smack back to the defending champs. Just take your beating and enjoy it.
And if you think this Celtics team is a bunch of bullies, then you obviously didn’t watch the Pistons in the late 80s or the Heat and Knicks in the early to mid 90s
And finally, there isn’t anything more arrogant and self-serving than including your middle initial in your byline.