A busy Celtics day.

Where to begin? I had a very good stretch of sleep last night (eleven hours), so woke up feeling pretty refreshed and then, the news hit.

Rondo’s ACL tear basically kicked my corner of the internet into a frenzy, so the bulk of my day was spent talking with fellow fans on Twitter and Facebook, shoring up the media presence while feeling a little dejected at the way this season is going. (And of course, attending to work as well.)

I’d just finished a post on the Rondo-less Celtics, so this will go online tomorrow. A similar post will be online (hopefully soon) at US Sports Down Under, so we’ll see how much reach the content has.

Time for the Celtics to get their act together and make a final run. I’m not bearing high hopes on Banner 18, but let’s look for a good playoffs run at the least. Cautious optimism, that’s how I see it. One step at a time.

(And damn, it means I’m never going to be seeing Rondo on my trip in March.)

Get well soon Rondo, I’m looking forward to seeing you on the court once more.

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A reminder of school.

So I got an invitation from an ex-classmate to attend the secondary school’s Founders Day in March, which I had to decline because:

  1. I’m not in Singapore, and
  2. I’ll be in the States at that time.

A real pity, because I would absolutely kill to go. Okay, maybe not kill. Would you accept everything short of that? I really wanted an excuse to visit the place, and this sounded like a first-class reason. Hell, I’m being invited!

It’s been years since I last returned to Ngee Ann, and I know I’d absolutely enjoy walking around the place once more. The place that holds so many fond memories, those years that left an indelible impression in my life, and –of all the educational institutions I’ve attended– the one that’s had the most impact on my life. The teachers, the friends, the fun things we did, so much of it is still stuck in my mind on an endless loop.

Perhaps I’ll get another chance to get back to school. Until then, Ngee Ann lives in my fondest memories, along with all the dearly beloved people from way back.

I miss you all.

The one about the rotator cuff.

It sure seems like childcare is taking its toll on my body. Funny how various bits and pieces are breaking down after I began this stint. If you skip the tendonitis on my left knee (old injury), I’ve got my lower back, a wonky right knee (recovered), a shaky left ankle (sometimes) and now a possibly torn rotator cuff. It had been going on and off for a while (I kept thinking it was because of my sleeping posture), but it’s gotten pretty bad right now.

If I had to rate this pain on a 1 to 10 scale where 1 was an antbite and 10 was extreme kill-me-right-now pain, this would be a 5. I could probably grit my teeth and ignore it, but it is bad enough right now to cause noticeable discomfort.

Symptoms: Pain when moving right shoulder forwards and backwards. Pain when moving arm upwards. Did not lift heavy objects with sharp pains being felt. Did not lift heavy objects with right arm – weird no? I’m a left-hander, and I carry Elly with my left arm most of the time too.

Self-diagnosis: Degenerative rotator cuff partial tear. Probably not a full-tear.

Treatment: No effing idea. According to the unreliable internet, stimulating blood flow is a must. Physiotherapy is recommended, surgery in extreme cases.

End of basketball for the rest of the year, possibly? I would really hate for this to happen, but damn.

(I’ll play one-handed if I have to. With a shoulder brace dammit.)

(Unless I was ordered to stay off basketball or risk permanent injury.)

Baby steps: The fever continues.

So, fevers are common in the young. Which means I can look forward to days like these for a very long time.

It’s a good thing the children’s hospital (RCH) is pretty close if anything happens, all that’s left is to try and bring the temperature down while getting on with life. Like William said, it’s a part of life so I guess I just need to suck it up like the rest of them suffering parents out there.

Days like these make me wonder how my mum managed to get through it all. Like honestly, effing fevers on and off all the time, for years? FFS this is a ridiculous phase that gnaws on the nerves if nothing else.

The thermometer is going to be an unexpectedly good friend in the days ahead.

I am very thankful that I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, and that it stuck around in my head long enough to remember the golden mantra – when the baby is unsettled, take a step back and analyze the action/reaction instead of endlessly trying something in the hope that one would work.

V was getting upset with Elly because she kept squirming and crying in V’s arms. So I took over, tried the same tack (which of course did not work). I noticed she kept moving like she wanted to get out of my arms ASAP, so instead of getting offended I placed her on the beanbag to see what would happen. She turned on her side and immediately went into the sleep routine.

It turned out that she was feeling too hot, which made total sense. How would you like to be cuddled by someone when you’re feeling all too hot, and all you want to do is to sleep?

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=writininkeini-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0345479092&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Good book, plenty of very useful tips. Hopefully I’ll continue to keep this in mind, and observe with an objective mind rather than having preconceptions. (This applies to everything in life.)

Basketball: Towards new grounds! Part VI

Finally, back to the Sunday night game after skipping out last week – good thing housemoving is finally fixed. That being said, it was a trifle annoying having to drive thirty minutes to the court, when you actually consider the physical distance involved. That being said, I would happily drive further to play the damn game though.

Not much to be said about tonight’s game; it was James’ offense 80%, everyone else 20%. Nick did well on the boards (had a few nasty turnovers), Gary and Danny did good too. Emre as always put the correct perspective into the game, giving the right pep talk. I had two shot attempts, two steals and a block. The rest of the time, quite invisible. And yes, an embarrassing moment in the final seconds of the game, when I tried to block a layup without fouling – hadn’t realised I ended up jumping backwards instead of straight up. Safety first, overly first heh heh.

We lost the game mostly from free throws, and bad turnovers. Things are easily corrected, thankfully enough. The offense still doesn’t seem to be flowing though, it’s sticking in places here and there. And I’m still trying to figure out my place, something that still hasn’t materialised sufficiently yet.

What exactly is my niche? Life as always, is a journey of self-discovery. And I’m still learning about the basketballer bit, day by day.

The end of the Big 3 era, goodbye Ray.


via They Say A Picture’s Worth… on CelticsLife

I had a bad feeling when I saw this picture.

And it’s finally happened, Ray Allen has walked out of Boston.

And into Miami, home of the reigning 2011/2012 NBA champions.

And its if Adrian Woj has it right in his article, it was due to a mixture of:

  • trade bait dangles from Danny
  • bad vibes between him and Rondo
  • being kicked to the bench and supplanted by Bradley
  • feeling less loved by the organisation in terms of salary, contract (and trade talks)
  • and to top it all off, the super sales pitch from the HEAT, plus the great Miami environment

Check out the fiery thread in CelticsBlog, lots of un-love there.

I’m feeling rather disappointed in Ray, always thought he was a team player. That being said, I sort of felt this was coming and understand his unhappiness, especially all the shit with the trade bait. I reckon the chances of him staying would have been higher, had he not been continually strung along and made to feel like he did not have job security in Boston.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said of the scenario. “But I don’t want to go into this season, like I have in past seasons, worrying about whether I was going to be traded or not. At this point we want to ride it out, take this thing to the house, and not have the instability of not knowing whether today or tomorrow something is going to happen.

“For all of us, you deal with that over the course of your career, but wherever I end up after this summer, that has to be the No. 1 mandate. At this time I owe it to my family to be ultimately selfish, because I’ve been a very unselfish team player, and I’ll always do that. But when it comes to myself and my family, I have to make sure that I don’t rock their worlds or put them off kilter in any fashion.”

– via “Future still bright, if not Green for Ray Allen” on Boston Herald

Going off to any other team would have been fine really. Bulls, Sixers, Clippers even, take your pick. To go to the effing Miami HEAT who took us down repeatedly in the playoffs to chase a ring, is just.. sigh. Words fail me. I wonder how the rest of the team feels, especially KG and PP. Some fans are calling him a traitor, sellout, ring whore even. I’m not going to that level yet but boy does it really sting.

But according to a league source, Allen’s request from the Celtics went beyond the pale — reportedly a demand for a three-year, $27 million contract. The Celtics, according to the source, were in the process of attempting to talk Allen down from $9 million to $6 million per year.

– via “Ray Allen spurns Celtics, picks Heat” on The Boston Herald

And he was asking for a bigger package than the Celtics were willing to offer, so it made sense if the HEAT was giving a better deal to him. But no, they actually offered way less.

So had the Celtics actually buckled under and given that contract he wanted, does getting more money actually make up for all the earlier unhappiness about Rondo, trade bait, game minutes, bench lineup and all that? I’m always of the opinion that money does not equate to happiness. If he was thinking that way, I can only say he was way off (so bloody off), and I would be happy for him on this decision, since he wouldn’t need to take money and feel unhappy for another effing season.

And with that, the Big 3 era ends. Goodbye Ray, I have always loved your work ethic, your shots, your professionalism. Free agents are free to go anywhere, nothing’s owed. I just hate the fact that you walked off in the middle of a reload with the other guys still around, and went over to the HEAT for the chance at a ring and a bunch of sales talk.

“The one thing that bothers me the most is guys taking big pay cuts for a year to go down there and try to win a championship,” Bird said. “There’s a lot of guys who like to ride the coattails of the best, and they’ll take a pay cut just to have an opportunity to win that ring.”

– via “Bird weighs in on LeBron and the Heat” on the Miami HEAT Index

It’ll take a while for this irate anger and disappointment to wear off, but I’ll always remember #20 as the consummate sharpshooter in green with 2561 and numerous clutch shot moments, and the one worked his ass off despite having bone spurs, despite not having lift to shoot the usual jumper, and the one who was shedding tears in the recent postseason loss, about how he “wanted it so bad.”

Not as the one who went over to the red “to ride on the coattails”, as Larry so aptly put it. I just wish he could have made the decision to stick around until the Big 3 era ended, or even left in a classier fashion.

And on to the continued free agency, where we have limited options on the budget to get more guys into the team; vet minimum or bi-annual, take your pick. Fingers crossed.

and.. ECF G7 went the way Big 3 era games went.

Great start.

Bass was awesome and we had a 7 point lead. But like too many past games we have seen, you could see the engine sputtering and everything stalled in the fourth.

It was a great half, but the Heat just had their offense going on after that – talk about those Bosh corner 3s. It basically killed KG’s chances on help defense, and opened up the paint for drives. Props to the Heat for sinking shot after shot, and with the Celtics unable to get stops and score on offense it was just obvious how the game was going to end. Too many forced Ray treys in the fourth, KG unable to get the ball in paint, PP with too many stepbacks and threes that fell short. The Heat were clamping down well on most options, even Rondo. Although Rondo still did great, he wasn’t Game 5 Rondo and I guess the load was too much for one person to shoulder.


(via CelticsLife Facebook)

It’s been great following this Big Three era, full of emotional ups and downs. I like this season’s team the most, with their mental fortitude after all the setbacks. Green out, then JO and Wilcox. And Bradley’s amazing rise followed by a season ending operation on his shoulder, which was just tragic – he could’ve made the difference. The bench rotation (Pietrus, Quisy, Dooling, Hollins, Stiemsma) played hard, but it was just not enough. Add the injuries to PP (MCL), Ray (bone spurs in ankle), Stiemsma (sore foot), it’s just been a road full of perseverance and dogged determination.

Next season looks to be a rebuild, and it’s just full of question marks on how the years ahead will go. Nevertheless, thank you for coming together in ’08, and for giving me a reason to watch and appreciate the intricacies of team basketball, and to love the game more with every year.

To marvel at effortless jumpers off the curl (something I try to work at), respect for the jerky stepbacks that just swish into the basket perfectly, and admiration for the heart and hustle that #5 brings every night. It has just been a great journey. I’m hoping the three will return but one never knows.

For now, I’m just depressed the run ended imperfectly here, one game away from the Finals. Grit and balls, coupled with battered veteran bodies can only get you so far after all. Never a prouder moment to say that I’m a Celtics fan through and through, and not a “real basketball fan”. Screw Thunder-Heat, enough of the playoffs for me right now. I need to get this loss out of my head.

#iamaceltic