Boston Celtics fans are supposed to be sophisticated. But they took it to another level in taunting Cleveland’s LeBron James during Thursday’s Game 6 of the Celtics’ series with the Cavaliers.
As the Celtics began to pull away midway through the fourth quarter of their 94-85 series-clinching victory, the chant “New York Knicks!” was aimed at James, who will be a free agent July 1.
Apparently, the idea for the derisive barb came from Bill Simmons, ESPN’s “Sports Guy” and unabashed Celtics fan. Simmons sent out a Tweet to his followers saying: “I think we should go with the ‘New York Knicks’ chant for LBJ’s free throws in the second half. Everything else = not enough momentum.”
Clever. Even cute. But hearing a Knicks chant at TD Garden, strange as that might have sounded, seems downright plausible in light of Spike Lee’s blasphemous rooting for the Celtics on Thursday night.
The Knicks superfan told ESPN New York: “For the first time in the history of mankind, I want a Boston team to win. It’s the first time ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. … We need LeBron. I feel we have a better chance to get LeBron James if Cleveland loses this series to the Celtics. The quicker Cleveland loses, the better our chances are of getting LeBron.”
■ LUCKY FOR LUKAS? — When trainer Bob Baffert opted to make a jockey switch on his 3-year-old Lookin At Lucky for today’s Preakness Stakes and take Garrett Gomez off, D. Wayne Lukas didn’t hesitate to make a move of his own.
The Hall of Fame trainer named Gomez to ride Dublin in the Preakness, replacing Terry Thompson, who was aboard Dublin when he finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby.
“If Peyton Manning is available, you don’t leave him in the locker room,” Lukas said of his decision to use Gomez, an Eclipse Award-winning jockey.
As for Thompson, he still will ride in the Preakness. He’ll be aboard Northern Giant, Lukas’ other entry.
■ JETS’ BIGGEST LOSER — New York Jets coach Rex Ryan’s lap-band surgery has allowed him to drop 40 pounds. Now, he has challenged some of his players to follow his lead.
Ryan, defensive lineman Kris Jenkins and offensive tackle Damien Woody are in a battle to see who can lose the most weight before training camp opens in July. In Jenkins’ case, he wants to get at least 30 pounds off his 390-pound frame.
“I would like to get to 45 (pounds lost) before I get to training camp so I can win the competition,” Jenkins said. “There have been a lot of things I’ve sacrificed, just to let you know that I’m serious: No traveling, which means no hotel eating, things like that. They’re out.”
The 30-year-old Jenkins, who is coming off knee surgery, said he is cutting out beer and carbohydrates, such as pasta, and has a “secret weapon” that he wouldn’t reveal.
“I’m not going to tell until after the fact,” he said. “I don’t want to have to get lap-band surgery — sorry, Rex, I just don’t want to do it that way.”
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL