Eddie House vs. the Orlando Magic is becoming one of the more entertaining rivalries in the NBA.
It all began last December when House called the Magic "garbage" after Boston's loss to Orlando. When the Magic beat the C's again a couple of days later, several of their players posted GIFs of Magic guard Rafer Alston slapping House in the head during the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
That prompted House to go off on the franchise during NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Postgame Live.
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"They're in the Goofy Club, because they're so hype over two wins," House said at the time. "... Guess what, guys: You're the fifth-worst team in the NBA. With those two wins, you're still the fifth-worst team in the NBA, and we're still at the top of the league."
House had a point. After its back-to-back wins over Boston, Orlando had an 11-20 record. It finished the season 34-48 and missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons.
This season, however, the Magic sit second in the Eastern Conference standings at 14-6. They beat the C's again on Nov. 24, 113-96.
Magic guard Cole Anthony recently credited House's comments for Orlando's recent success vs. the Celtics. House issued a response to Anthony during Monday's Celtics Pregame Live.
"Let me pull my receipt out real quick. I said, 'They got 10 wins. They're still garbage. They're still not a good basketball team. They won't make the playoffs, they won't make the play-in game.' Tell me where I was wrong. Everything I said was true. They are one of the top teams in the East and whoever's at the bottom of the NBA right now, I promise you they're looking at them like, 'They're garbage. They ain't even good.' Period. We're talking like how we talk in the locker room. They're sensitive for that one. ...
"If I'm the one that's motivating you and I haven't been played since 2011, then there's an issue there. I shouldn't be the motivating factor to play the Boston Celtics. I should be on loop every single game y'all play if y'all get that type of motivation, because it seemed like I brought out the best. You should be thanking me. You should be dapping me off, giving me congratulations. Maybe giving me a percentage of your contract because y'all playing a little bit better than y'all have been with them."
Anthony said the Magic took House's comments personally, particularly the part in which he called Orlando a "garbage" team. House emphasized that it was never meant to be a personal attack on the players.
"And now, let me say this. It's really not about the players. It's not, because I think they got really, really, really good players," he said. "I like their coach Jamahl Mosley. I truly believe they believe in him, and they go out there and lay it on the line every night for him and for each other.
"But what I said, there was nothing wrong with what I said. It was the truth. I played on a garbage team with the Clippers. Now, would you say Elton Brand was garbage? No, you wouldn't. Would you say Corey Maggette was garbage? No, you wouldn't. Would you say Quentin Richardson was garbage? No, you wouldn't. But we was a garbage team. We couldn't make it come together and mesh, and that's what I was speaking about."
House ended his rant with a direct message to Anthony.
"It wasn't nothing personal to Cole Anthony," he said. "I love the number, by the way, 50. I love the way it looks on you, baby.
"But at the end of the day, I'm just saying nothing I said was wrong. They didn't make the playoffs. They were the fifth-worst team last year. And last year is last year. But this year, they're a good team. They play fast, they compete, and if I'm the motivating factor for them, they should be giving me a dap every time I see 'em."
Celtics-Magic matchups probably weren't circled on many calendars before the season, but it's safe to say that has changed given all that has transpired between House and Orlando. There could be some fireworks -- and Eastern Conference standings implications -- when the Celtics host the Magic on Dec. 15.