HANG TIME, Texas — From Romans vs. Visigoths to Hatfields vs. McCoys to Nikki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey, there’s nothing that gets our juices flowing more than a good feud.
That’s especially true when, as the immortal Keith Jackson used to say, you have “a couple of teams that really don’t like each other.”
So here are the Heat and Celtics, still spitting like a divorcing couple across the conference table, days after Rajon Rondo took down Dwyane Wade like it was a calf-roping contest, drawing a flagrant foul and postgame charges of punkdom from D-Wade.
The fact that they only play four times a season until the playoffs doesn’t mean the venom ever stops dripping from fangs in Miami and Boston, as pointed out by our good friend Ira Winderman in the Sun Sentinel:
This time it was Celtics coach Doc Rivers getting his first opportunity to react to the flagrant foul called on Boston point guard Rajon Rondo against Heat guard Dwyane Wade late in Tuesday’s Celtics loss at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“I thought it was nondescript. I really did,” he said. “[Rondo] grabbed him around the shoulders, it wasn’t that hard. So I think it’s much ado about nothing, personally.”
Relating it to his playing days, Rivers, the former fiery point guard, said, “That would have been maybe a foul. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. But I guess it is.”
Earlier, on his weekly radio appearance on Boston’s WEEI, Rivers responded to Wade calling the foul a “punk play” by Rondo considering it came in the final seconds of a game that had been decided. Rivers cited a foul by Wade against Rondo during the 2011 playoffs.
“I didn’t think it was that hard. I argued against the flagrant,” Rivers said. “Listen, Wade has committed a lot of hard fouls on Rondo and we forget about the elbow injury that Rondo had. That was created by Dwyane Wade. I don’t think it was a punk move, unless his is, too.”
Of course, what was already antagonistic atmosphere between the two top dogs in the Eastern Conference only went to a new level of woofing when free agent guard Ray “Hatfield” Allen of Boston chose to climb over the fence to become Ray “McCoy” Allen of Miami over the summer, which triggered a sense of betrayal in the always sensitive and decorous Kevin Garnett.
The fact that K.G. had turned his back and snubbed Allen’s attempt at a high-five during Tuesday night’s game had already churned the bitter waters and raised the laughably over-inflated insult-and-anger level to Defcon 1.
Now it will be interesting to see if the spitball shooting match can continue all the way up when the Heat visit the Celtics on Jan. 27. Visigoths get in free.