Celtics

Mayor Menino jumps the shark

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Mayor Menino jumps the shark

In this age of doped up, cancer-fighting, cycling pseudo-heroes and Samoan Mormon linebackers with fake dead girlfriends, it's getting harder and harder to take anything at face value. It's damn near impossible to believe that anything is real. And here in Boston, our faith is currently being tested by a 70-year-old man and his very loose grasp of the English language.

In case you missed it, Mayor Menino is back in the news after the latest in a long line of sports-related screw ups. This time, while participating in a public trash-talking session with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Menino referred to Vince Wilfork as "Vince Wilcock" (while wearing a Wilfork jersey) and Gronk as "Gonk," and as usual, these mistakes have resulted in an onslaught of media coverage.

"That silly Mayor's up to it again!"

LOLZ

Now before we go on, I should admit that perhaps no one in the entire world has obsessed over Mayor Menino's inability to speak more than I have. Over the years, I've gone to ridiculous lengths to mock him on this blog with numerous "State of Boston Sports" addresses, a tribute to the 10-year anniversary of Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe and most recently, a break down of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

But right around the time of that last one, I sensed that something was up, and preluded my post with this:

Before we get to his inspirational words, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that The Mayor's latest sports take has come with a little bit of controversy. Or more, one very interesting and important question: Is there any chance hes faking it?Is it possible that he's doing this on purpose? That he and his team subscribe to the theory that there's no such thing as bad press, and have determined that there's no better way to get Menino in the headlines than by having him repeatedly screw up the names of local athletes? Personally, I think that's giving the Mayor too much credit, but crazier things have obviously happened. Who knows? Maybe it's all a hoax. Maybe he's been playing us like puppets all these years. Maybe Mayor Menino is actually a British actor named Allen. But despite all the conspiracies, I can tell you this: I want to believe it's real. So until further notice, I will.

And with that, this special announcement:

FURTHER NOTICE!!!

I'm sorry, but there's no way this is real. Not anymore, at least. There's no way that he continues to genuinely screw this stuff up. I mean, damn, in this latest video he's even reading from a script! So what are we supposed to believe now, that he's not only a malaprop but also illiterate?

Nah, if anything he's just a miserable actor.

Check him out right before he screws up Wilfork's name. He literally stares down at his paper, then looks directly at the camera, like he's delivering a line in an infomercial for prostate medicine:

"Wilcock?"

No, Mr. Mayor. Not Wilcock. Just lies.

All lies!

Time to do some soul searching and make a call to Oprah.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

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Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in as many games, the Boston Celtics will field a different lineup.

It will have a domino effect on Boston’s usual starters, but no one more than Al Horford who will slide over to power forward with Aron Baynes inserted into the starting lineup where he’ll be charged with trying to defend Sixers 7-footer Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, Horford will be assigned to defend Robert Covington who is one of Philadelphia’s better perimeter scorers.

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“I feel like one of my strengths is being able to play multiple positions,” Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “It presents a different challenge for me, which is making sure I do a good job of covering him out on the perimeter, staying between him and the basket.”

In Philadelphia’s 120-115 season-opening loss to Washington, Covington led all Sixers with 29 points which included him going 7-for-11 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

While Covington will be Horford’s first defensive assignment, he knows he will also be called upon at times to defend Embiid who ranks among the best centers in the NBA despite having played just 32 games over the course of three NBA seasons.

In the loss to the Wizards, Embiid had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Horford’s defense will be critical for Boston (0-2) to get its first win of the season, but the Celtics will also need him to take advantage of scoring opportunities as well.

“We have some guys down, but that creates opportunities for other guys to step up and contribute,” Horford said. “It’s going to all of us, the veterans, the young players, all of us to get that first win.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“I think that’s how we have to look at it,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to make a few tweaks on how we do things, obviously. Hey, it’s gonna be something that we’re going to have to do really, really well on the fly.”

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