For the sure-definite second time this season, my father is smiling widely from heaven. The Boston Celtics are Eastern Conference Champions, for the first time in 22 seasons.
The Detroit Pistons, aka the Philadelphia Eagles/Atlanta Braves (comparisons; Braves’ reference credited to SportsAttitude for calling it)) of the NBA, have just been ousted in their third straight Eastern Conference Finals series, losing those three in six games each, by the score of 89-81.
I wrote a Celtics Blog last year. The Celtics only won 24 games. I still stuck true to the team and wrote a recap after every game (or every other game). I only had three readers. I continued writing the blog up until late October in 2007, when the blog was spammed by thousands of sports fans who bandwagoned the Celtics. I ended up shutting down the blog and writing primarily for RealGM.com and kept a longstanding running thread. I continued writing opinion pieces on the Celtics. And now, I still post my occasional opinion on the Celtics in my 300 word semi-column on SLAM Online called “In a Perfect Green World. . .”
James Posey gets the MVP for the Celtics tonight. But that’s debatable. The whole bench gets the MVP (I’m turning into Bill Walton). Before the season, I said the Celtics had no bench to contend for the title. I stood corrected in the regular season. And now, tonight, I stand corrected as the Celtics are heading to the NBA Finals.
One more thought: Paul Pierce has been my favorite Celtic ever since he entered the league in ’99. He was my father’s favorite player up until his death in ’03. Pierce has gone through up’s and down’s. He’s gone through Antoine Walker (in my opinion, the most overrated player in Celtic history — I’m probably the only Celtics fan in the world that hated him), he’s gone through Doc Rivers (and going), he’s gone through people saying he’s overrated. But tonight, he proved his worth. When actually, he’s proved it the whole season. But now he’s receiving the recognition, from most people anyway.
I haven’t been the same Spurs/Celtics fan since ’03. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been able to watch a basketball game with my dad. No more high five’s; no more “yeah’s!”; no more history lessons about the Celtics; no more arguing/debating over games. It’s all gone. But this season has been special up until now. The fact that the Celtics/Spurs were SO CLOSE to playing each other tells me there’s more in store, or at least I hope.
I didn’t get the Celtics/Spurs series I wanted, but I damn well got a Celtics NBA Finals, and it’s a renewal of something special (and a ratings booster). The Lakers and the Celtics, Bird and Mag– Whoops, I mean, Pierce and Kobe, Garnett and Gasol! It’s the Finals on ABC!