Sports Out West

Aaron Hernandez, Doc Rivers and a walk through Boston sports’ awful week

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

The West Coast and the rest of the nation will always have solidarity with our friends in the Northeast. Beneath the competitive banter lies mutual respect, and that’s unwavering regardless of how much we pile on at times. 

The tragic events of the Boston Marathon aside, the work week of June 24-28 may have been the worst yet when it comes to the major sports in the city.  

The New England Patriots’ impeccable reputation of being the class of the NFL took a nosedive when authorities on Wednesday arrested former tight end Aaron Hernandez on a first-degree murder charge. Since then, the details have only gotten worse as he is now the centerpiece of an investigation in a 2012 double murder. 

The more that comes out in this story, the worse it gets. Despite the Patriots’ noble effort to separate themselves from Hernandez, which included cutting him immediately and subsequently compensating fans for turning in his jerseys, the “Patriot way” has taken a serious hit. 

Hernandez’s story is the highlight of what’s been the worst week in Boston sports in recent memory. 

Where does the Pats’ blame lie? 

There’s no one to blame but Hernandez himself for the deplorable alleged acts he’s accused of, but the Patriots deserve some culpability for drafting him in the first place. 

Though his talent was never in question, Tim Tebow‘s former college roommate fell to the fourth round of the 2010 draft due to character issues stemming from a checkered past that included multiple positive drug tests while he played collegiately at the University of Florida. When other teams passed on him, the Pats were willing to take a shot. It came back to hurt them in the worst way imaginable. 

The Boston Bruins fail to deliver

On Monday, June 24, the Chicago Blackhawks took Game 7 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals as Bruins failed to capture the Cup after having a 2-1 series lead with home ice advantage and what appeared to be all the momentum. With the opportunity to win their second title in three years after defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games back in 2010, the Bruins lost in heartbreaking fashion at home. 

In typical Bostonian fashion, however, the fans at TD Garden showed respect and class in the face of defeat and gave the Blackhawks due praise for winning a gritty series. It was a great show of sportsmanship, but didn’t erase the sting of losing. 

Doc Rivers bolts for Southern California

Former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers led the C’s to a title in 2008 and is one of the most successful coaches in franchise history. Now, he’s going to coach in Los Angeles and potentially lead another team to new heights as announced on June 25. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers will enjoy his leadership and guidance as announced on Wednesday.  

What’s more is that ESPN columnist and outspoken Boston fanboy Bill Simmons used the 2013 NBA draft as a platform to exercise his personal agenda in degrading the Celtics’ moves. He came off looking like a super-fan (which he technically is), and made an otherwise-entertaining draft somewhat awkward.

He didn’t stop there, either, when he attacked Rivers for quitting on the Celtics, then went into an all-out assault: 

 

 

 

More legends skip town 

Legends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce bolted Beantown when general manager Danny Ainge orchestrated a trade with the New Jersey Nets that sent draft picks to Boston on Thursday and began what is now most certainly a rebuilding phase. For a team with the most franchise titles in the history of the NBA, the ‘R’ word is not a popular one among fans. 

Both players will likely have their jerseys hanging in the Garden’s rafters, so watching not one, but both finish their careers elsewhere after giving so much of themselves to the franchise adds insult to injury and caps the week of in the most ironic way imaginable. 

Does it all add up to the worst week in Boston sports history? Probably not. There have been some worse moments to be sure, but it’s hard to ignore the consistent flow of unfortunate events that took place from June 24-28, 2013.  

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.