Scoreboard Jujitsu in Boston

The Celtics used an opponent’s words against them in a risky dare that paid off handsomely.

Yesterday we looked at taking some chances in your selection of an anthem singer (Taking Chances: National Anthem Edition) and today we look at a chance the (now) World Champion Boston Celtics took on their scoreboard.

After Kyrie’s falling out with the Celtics and free-agent move to Brooklyn he started a bit of feud with Boston fans, at one point sybollically stomping on the logo and giving the finger to Boston fans.  Since that fateful stomp Kyrie’s success against the green has taken a turn.

After Kyrie Irving departed a stunned Celtics franchise for the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in 2019, he enjoyed some initial success against his former team. That included a 2021 first-round playoff win, punctuated by Irving purposefully stomping on the Celtics’ center-court logo after a Game 4 win before wrapping the series in five.

Boston has stomped on Irving’s teams since, beating him 13 straight times in a stretch that includes a 2022 first-round sweep and the first three games of this fated Finals rematch with his former franchise and teammates.

Irving and the Mavericks halted that streak in emphatic fashion on Friday, routing Dallas 122-84 to force a Game 5 back in Boston on Monday.

Following Game One of the 2024 Finals, Kyrie said to the medie he thought the booing in Boston was not as loud as he expected. This reflection on Boston fans booing him every time he touched the ball was then used by the Celtics on their scoreboard to trigger even more noise from Celtic fans.

Using a player’s own words against them isn’t new, but it’s risk.  Daring a star to up their game can have disastrous consequences.  I’m assuming you watched the Last Dance where Michael Jordan routinely used small slights to fuel his intense competitive fire.

Thankfully for the Celtics, Kyrie is no Michael.  The use of his own words sparked a big reaction from the Boston faithful and helped propel them to an 18th Championship.

Minor League Mascot, Major League Talent

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