And I’ll never forget it.
Title number 17 on June 17, 2008.
It’s a memory I’ll always cherish. That year — along with 2009 — turned out to be an amazing one.
Growing up, my dad and I had an agreement — a pact — that if the Boston Celtics went back to another NBA Finals we’d go up to the TD Garden in Boston for the home games of the series. Of course, my dad passed away in December 2003, and the Celtics were largely a forgettable team for most of my life up until 2007, when they had that magical run that culminated with an NBA title after going 24-48 in 2006 and acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the 2007 offseason.
However, here’s a kind of unrelated — but at the same time related — thing: the last NBA Finals I ever watched with my father featured the New Jersey Nets and San Antonio Spurs and the series ended when the Spurs closed the Nets out in six games on Father’s Day.
That was June 15, 2003.
And the Spurs won their fifth title just a couple of days ago, 11 years after that ’03 title, on June 15, 2014. Father’s Day.
My dad’s all-time favorite player was Larry Bird, but the Spurs’ Tim Duncan was — I’m sure — a close second. We connected over the Spurs because, when we’d play basketball outside in the driveway, he’d always teach me about the fundamentals of the game. Tim Duncan’s nickname isn’t “The Big Fundamental” for no reason.
Now, you might say I went off on a side tangent about the Spurs when the post was originally about the Celtics, and you’d have a point, but the main premise of this post was (is) to keep a memory (or memories) alive, from two different but very much special times in my life.