Wally Szczerbiak sure has taken a beating since he was traded from Minnesota to Boston. I mean, he was having a career year before joining the Celtics, but now his scoring average (20.1 to 16.6), field goal percentage (49.5 to 44.1), and three-point field goal percentage (40.6 to 32.4) are falling faster than Hulk Hogan's sagging man-boobs. And just last night he had to be carried off the court after colliding with Utah's Matt Palacio.

Wally hurt
Wally's fallen. And he can't get up.

The collision aggravated the mysterious injury to Wally's gimpy left knee, which apparently is held together by nothing more than some Scotch Tape and those foam packing peanuts. So...what happened? Why does Wally suck so much all of a sudden? The answer should be obvious to Celticologists everywhere. Wally's wearing Acie Earl's old number.

Earl
This signed pictured of Acie is only $0.99 on eBay. Get it while it's...hot.

Didn't anyone warn him? I know Red Auerbach isn't as involved with the team any more, and Danny Ainge is clearly engaged in a personal duel with Isiah Thomas and Kevin McHale for the title of "General Manger Most Likely To Inspire Mass Fan Suicides." But still, letting Wally don the Big Ace's old number is like standing by and wordlessly watching your drunk friend go home with the fat chick. It's textbook superdickery.

Earltastic Extra: When Kevin McHale retired after the 1992-1993 season, the Celtics felt they needed a big man to replace him. At least, I hope that's what they thought, because they chose Acie Earl in the first round of the 1993 Draft over more talented guards like Sam Cassell and Nick Van Exel. As bad a decision as that was -- and it was bad -- it still wasn't as terrible as when they chose Michael Smith with the 13th pick in the 1989 Draft. Smith was yet another in the long line of white shooters tagged as "The Next Larry Bird", but he barely played and was cut after just two seasons. Even worse, the Celtics passed up future All-Stars Tim Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, Vlade Divac, and Cliff Robinson to get him. They also passed up other not-quite-as-good-but-better-than-Smith players like B.J. Armstrong and Sherman Douglas (whom they would later trade for).
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