The only reason I'm blogging is because one of the fans said to me while we were losing losing to Boston of Friday night, "Since you're getting your butt kicked by 20, you should blog about it."
So here I am.
Let's be honest: I've never seen anything like that before. It caught us off guard. We were so hyped coming into the locker room and then when you go on that floor … whoo!
Right now it is great to be a Boston fan. You have the Patriots, you have Boston College, you have the Celtics, you have the Boston Red Sox who just won a championship. Right now it's great to be a Boston fan and I think it's the most excited the city has been for a long time. And it showed on Friday.
The whole atmosphere was unbelievable.
The Celtics did a great job. They made shots and KG performed – 22 and 20, you can't complain about that – plus Paul Pierce is going to do what Paul Pierce does and Ray Allen is going to hit open shots and make plays. Right now, by first glance, their continuity is there. That was the thing that people were worried about and what I was trying to bank on. You know they're going to be a good team, but I was trying to bank on that hopefully they wouldn't have their chemistry …
… Oh, they had it!
They had it and I had to eat my words on national television. 0-1 on predictions is not the way you want to start out the season, especially me with my mouth.
But I did have two fans sitting on the front row wearing No. 0. They sat right next to the bench. They were two really good fans.
I've been going to Boston for many years now and I've never seen anything like that. I know most of you were watching it on TV, but if you were there you could hear them just chanting my name which was beautiful because I don't think even Michael Jordan got his name chanted in another arena like that.
Even though mine was chanted for hatred, it felt good. Now there's a bond between me and the Boston fans.
What Went Wrong
We were 0-for-16 from the 3-point line. When we broke down the play-by-play, the first period we were down three points, the third period we were up one and the fourth period we were up two. So it's a tie game if you take away that second period when they took their starters out and we took our starters out and you had Paul Pierce still in and he just went to work on us. They went on like a quick 12-0 run within two minutes and we could never get that back. Other than that, it was tied through the first, third and fourth periods.
That second period is when you think they're taking their stars out and you're going to take advantage and we had to take our starters out to get some rest too. That lone wolf, Paul Pierce, has been doing it for many years by himself and he showed he still can.
Early Season Struggles
You got to win. We know this was going to be a difficult task with the teams we were playing early. We just have to focus. We play better from behind. In all the years I've been here, we play better as a team coming up from behind.
It's the NBA. Some teams are going to win and some teams that are supposed to win are going to lose. It's early. Some teams are going to dominate once they get their rhythm 20 games into the season. Dallas, who won 67 games, started off the season 0-4 last year. The beginning of the season is messy. You just have to feel it out and make sure your chemistry gets together.
I know a couple of people were concerned about how I was going to perform because I didn't play too much in the preseason and didn't really show any signs of explosiveness. The thing you fear is that you work out so hard in the summer to rehab and then come in to preseason or training camp and get hurt again and you never get to touch that NBA floor. That was my biggest concern so that's why I kind of played possum when I played in the preseason, used it to get in shape and be careful of what I did.
Allow Me to Clarify
I didn't realize when you do interviews for articles and stuff and when people read it, especially articles with me, they're ready to nitpick. I didn't know you have to talk in interviews like you're talking to idiots and explain every little detail. I didn't realize that.
The biggest things that stood out to people about my interview with SI.com:
"I've been doing it my whole career -- when I had Larry [Hughes], who averaged 22 points in 2004-05 alongside Jamison's 19.6); Antawn, Caron," Arenas said. "I don't see Dwyane [Wade] doing that. I don't see Kobe doing that. I didn't see AI doing that. I don't see LeBron [James] doing it -- there's not another scorer with him scoring 20."Go back and look at the stat sheets from over the years and you'll see that what I was saying was really correct. You think that I was just a guy who took a lot of shots, but I've played team basketball with guys who have been big scorers. Look at the stats. It's right there.
"'D-Wade had Caron [with the Heat in 2003-04]. Kobe had Caron [with the Lakers in 2004-05]. I have Caron. What's the difference?'
Butler never averaged more than 15.5 points before he came to Washington."I want to take that back because that's not fair to Dwyane because Caron was only in his second year. He didn't have a feel for the game like he has now. If he played with Dwyane now he'd be in the same boat. Maybe even better. Who knows.
"If you want to make everybody happy, you've got to get opportunities. You can't slow the ball up. I understand truthfully how Larry feels over there at Cleveland because, as athletic as they are, they slow the ball up so that if LeBron takes 25 shots and they only took 60 [as a team], it looks like he's dominating. But if you're running and he takes 25 shots and you got your 19 and somebody else got their 19, you don't know the difference."This is the NBA. Everybody wants to be scorers. If you're supplying that demand and the only way you're supplying that demand is pushing that ball, you're feeding everybody's egos.
There are a lot of people who look better in certain systems because that's what type of player they are. People said, "You threw Larry under the bus." No, I didn't throw Larry under the bus, and this is why I want to clarify. I'm trying to tell you that you want to utilize him. You paid Larry money because Larry did something well: he scored. You can't have a guy who averaged 22 points one year and then go somewhere new and not get the same average and then you bash him. No, if you want him to be what he was, you need to change the tempo of your game. Besides Ilgauskas, you have runners. You have a team that wants to run. A team like Cleveland can run up and down and still bog down on defense. Their leader is one of the top athletes in the world. When we used to play them they always had us down 20 in the first period because they just ran and you couldn't stop them on the break.
That's why I mentioned when LeBron first got there when he had Ricky Davis and Darius Miles, they were just flying up and down. I know Mike Brown came in and tweaked the defense and stuff like that, but if you want to utilize what Larry Hughes is, you need to open the floor and let them run more. With that team, your defense isn't going to go anywhere. But you want to bring the tempo up. You keep hearing his name in trade rumors and fans going, "We want him out of here, he doesn't fit the system." Well, sometimes you have to change the system for your players. I know a lot of coaches say the players need to fit their systems, but sometimes you have to tweak the system a little too. It's a 50-50 thing.
"When I mentioned the trade requests of Kobe Bryant, with whom Arenas was linked in a recently rumored proposal that was instantly shot down by the Wizards, he shut his eyes and shook his head, tsk, tsk.
'I don't understand that,' Arenas said. 'I don't understand a player like him sometimes.'"What I meant by understand him, I meant "understand greatness." It's easy for me to say, "Why do you want to leave?" For me looking at the situation as a fan, it's like, you're dominant. You're a dominant player. You wanted your own team. You wanted to be the man and carry your team to the Promised Land by yourself. You wanted to show the world you can do it. Now you've had three bad years. I shouldn't say that. Truthfully, I didn't consider them bad. For what you had, you brought a team that everybody had in last place to the playoffs in 2005-06 and that should have been your MVP. I counted him as my MVP because he took a team that everybody said wasn't going to make the playoffs and he took them to the playoffs and almost beat a great Suns team that had something like 55 wins that year.
That's why I say, I don't understand because as a player, you're going to go through years like that. In Boston, Paul Pierce said the other day, "I've been here for 10 years and some of them have been grueling, rebuilding years. Years you want to give it up. But I hung in there and look what I have now." I understand you want to get another ring but, come on. You are the Lakers. You are L.A. Why leave a city that everybody identifies you with just to go somewhere else. It's like what I was saying when Reggie Miller was talking about coming back. I don't want to see you come back and put on another uniform. Come on, you're a Pacer. Everyone can't win a championship. Not everyone is that blessed. You left this league and gave us memories. You did your job.
Sometimes I talk as a fan and I don't realize it sometimes when I attack things because I attack them like a fan. I attack them how I think a fan is saying instead of thinking as a player, "Uh oh, I might have to pay for this later."
"I told Arenas that I imagined at his best he could be like Isiah Thomas, who won two championships as a scoring point guard. He nodded in agreement and said, 'I'm much stronger and a better shooter than he was.'"I was like, yeah, "I'm a little stronger and I can shoot the ball better so if I remind you of Isiah Thomas and he's a Hall of Famer, I'm on the right track." He's a legend. If I'm stronger and shoot the ball better and you're comparing me to him, I'm doing something good.
When people read my stuff now, they're ready for controversy. But sometimes I just like to have a conversation. I didn't know I had to explain everything afterwards.