I suppose I have to write about this. Its kind of an unwritten rule that I have to write down what can’t be written. I fancy myself a writer (or at least a “blogger”) yet I have no words worthy for this.
In many ways I’ve been trying to write about this for at least three years. The end was coming one way or another, sooner or later, easy or painfully. Us Celtics fans didn’t know how it was coming exactly but it was coming.
Again, my head gets why it had to come to this. Logically I can see why a general manager would make this move for the future of the franchise. Like it or not, the Celtics are set up better for the future at this moment than they were two months ago. But don’t tell my heart that. Don’t tell my soul.
Perspective is always in order at times like these. These are the definition of “first world problems.” Rich men playing a boys’ game for our entertainment is not the stuff of Shakespearian tragedy. Yet, it is the best reality TV there is, and like any good show, it draws us in. We become invested in the characters and we come to know them as well as anyone can from thousands of miles away.
Paul Pierce is family in as much as you can stretch the aforementioned perspective to allow for that analogy. Kevin Garnett and even Doc Rivers were welcomed in and adopted as part of that same family, but Pierce was “born and raised”, pro basketball career wise, a Boston Celtic. There’s a real, palpable aching in the heart seeing all of them go. Sure, we will keep tuning into this program because it is great TV and the storylines are so compelling, but it will never really be the same without them.
So it was when Celtics fans moved on from Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. So it was when the greats before them moved on. We’ve been tremendously blessed to be so spoiled by our generational handing down of legacies. To the point where we take it as a given that sooner or later another generation will come along to pass the torch once again. As Bill Russell embraced Kevin Garnett in 2008, we can imagine a gray-haired Paul Pierce putting his arm around some future star that may as of now be pushing his number 2 pencil across scantron tests.
Or perhaps there’s already the seeds of greatness on the roster already. Rajon Rondo is already ripe and ready for harvest. It is up to Danny Ainge to make sure the rest of the crop is either cultivated organically or acquired via barter. Welcome to the next era, this is the new reality on TSTOS written by the Celtics fan Troy Sparks, and this is what I’ll be talking about over the next weeks, months, and years to come.
But not before we take one last long look backward. Not before we show these men our respect and admiration.
Words are wind but sometimes all we have is wind to offer. I can only hope that this humble gust will join with the countless other voices, showering appreciation down upon their heads. They should know that they are deeply appreciated. When Pierce and Garnett return to the Garden, the Jungle as they liked to call it, may there be a standing ovation to greet them.
Thank you Paul and Kevin. Take care. Miss you already.