Over the course of the last three years, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have become bitter rivals in the Eastern Conference. One team prides themselves on being recent champions and for having South Beach swagger. The other team prides themselves on having more championships than anyone else in league history, and for having swagger that is not South Beach (see the Celtics’ “I Am Not South Beach” campaign).
Playoff bouts, nationally televised slug-fests, and a guy named Ray have only added fuel to the fire. Now, Jeff Green wants to throw some other stuff to the fire. Perhaps more accurately, he wants to throw some things in the trash.
The Celtics’ forward bribed a third-grader to dispose of all of the fan’s Miami Heat gear in exchange for an autographed game-worn sneaker from Green. Nathan Barry met Green while wearing a Miami Heat hat. Green wasn’t too thrilled about the boy’s choice of basketball attire, so he made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. They shook hands and agreed the deal would start with the hat.
“I have to make sure you get rid of this hat,” said Green, going over the finer points of the swap. “And you’re going to have to mail all your Miami stuff back to me. I will then dispose of it. Is it a deal?”
Barry got his autographed Jeff Green shoe and swore off the possibility of wearing any Miami Heat attire for the rest of the season. Miami is an early favorite to win the NBA Finals again, and the Celtics are an early favorite to be lottery-bound. With the two franchises seemingly headed in opposite directions, the rivalry could fade this season. Don’t tell that to guys like Green though. A situation like this demonstrates that Green is as hungry as ever to beat the Heat.
Green definitely seems to buy into the rivalry. Last season, Green scored a career high of 43 points to go with seven rebounds and four blocks in a matchup against the Heat. This season, the seventh year forward looks to step into a leadership role with the Celtics and have a breakout year. It looks like he’s leading young fans in the right direction.