Originally posted on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 7/21/12

I have one memory from Sasha Pavlovic’s career with the Boston Celtics. It came this season in one of the last games of the season, and it will be forever seared into my brain.

The Celtics were playing the Heat in one of those end of the season, sit all your starters, tell the ball boy to stay warm type of games. I didn’t care because my Dad had gotten awesome tickets through a friend and we would be able to sit just about courtside. As I sat close enough to see Marv Albert’s thong poking up from his pants I noticed something – Sasha Pavlovic was going off.

Maybe it was because the game was so sloppy, but Sasha seemed to finally be playing with confidence. Conciously looking for his shot, he ended up with 16 points on 7-10 shooting.

Just after he hit his last shot, the capper of the best game of his career since 2009, the Celtics cheerleaders came out to throw some oversized  T-Shirts in to the stands. Being so close to the court I figured that one of these girls was bound to throw, well, like a girl, and I’d have a grand oppourtunity to snag myself a free shirt.

Well, sure enough, there it was. Floating towards me like a feather. A feather that I’d probably only wear once because it was so big, and then the next time I had to help a friend paint I’d have a good story about my limited edition tall T.

I was ready – mentally, physically, emotionally, and then something happened. Looking back now it was probably the strange energy that was emitting off of Sasha, but I jumped early. I’m talking really early. One of those jumps where you just hang there for what seems like forever and it’s still not long enough. No matter how much you try to go go Gadget your arms – you can’t catch it.

As I slowly descended to earth I was suddenly overcome with a feeling I’d only felt a few times before in my life – pure, unadulterated pain. The kind that makes your entire body break out in a cold sweat as you hold down the overwhelming feeling of puke.

You see, the Bruins play in the same building so the bottom part of the walls are always there. They sit about 3 feet off the ground, and I’ve been known to grab the rim on occasion, so it was the perfect height to have all of my weight come down on a bracket sticking off the side.

The worst part wasn’t even the fact that my knee felt like it had been shot. It was watching the loser behind me with the zero girlfriend who snatched the shirt and then gave me a smirk almost as if to say “Sorry, bro. My girl needs a new shirt to sleep in.” To which his girlfriend promptly kissed him in such a way that I could only imagine they proceeded to pro-create far too early later that night.

When I finally came out of my pain haze the first thing I saw was Sasha Pavlovic coming off the court and getting high fives and sharing some laughs with his teammates and coaches. At that moment our lives couldn’t have been at different ends of the spectrum. Sasha had just had his best night of the season and probably got himself some interest from other teams that need someone to sit at the end of their bench and look stoic. I had just looked like a fool in front of Marv Albert, the trashy couple and my poor Dad who just kind of stared at me blankly afterwards and asked plainly “Went a little early, huh?“ In that moment, I knew I would never like Sasha Pavlovic as a player or person.

Is that the rational way to approach the situation? Of course not. But I’m a sports fan. Rationality went out the window a long time ago.

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