Trailing the Los Angeles Lakers two games to one heading into tonight's pivotal Game 4 in the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics need all the help they can get, on the court, in the stands and from the basketball gods.
Unfortunately, during a dedication ceremony at the Tobin Community Center in the city's Roxbury neighborhood, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino made a faux pas that might have angered the NBA's answer to Zeus, fumbling the name of Commissioner David Stern. See for yourself after the jump:
"Donald Sterns"? Oof. In an unrelated story, the league office just announced a change to tonight's officiating crew. Replacing Eddie F. Rush, Scott Foster and Greg Willard will be a trio making their Finals debut: Andrew Dewey, Brian Cheatem and Billy Howe. As we speak, Doc Rivers is practicing his deep-breathing techniques and listening to Enya.
My favorite part is how Ahmad Rashad and Celtics Managing Partner Steve Pagliuca immediately react to Menino's mistake, cutting up like kids in the back of the classroom while the teacher has his back turned. Of course they did; that's the only way to react in that situation.
Boston residents have long cherished the pastime of poking fun at Menino's, um, unique vocal implementation of the English language -- maybe you heard about his recollection last month of the "ionic" moment when Jason Varitek, not Adam Vinatieri, kicked a game-winner? Menino's penchant for swallowing up words and improperly using colloquial references has led some to refer to him as "Mumbles Menino." Sure, that's kind of mean, but the persistent malapropisms lend Menino a warm, familial quality that's helped him become the longest-serving mayor in Boston's history; he began an unprecedented fifth four-year term at the Hub's helm back in January.
But hey, look on the bright side, Boston fans: It could be worse. Given the mayor's track record, he could've called the commish more ridiculous names, like "Darling Sherm," "DaneCook Stone" or, heaven forfend, even "Daniel Stern." You have no idea how much the boss hated "City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold."
Video courtesy of Comcast Sports New England; hat-tip to Boston.com's Celtics Blog.