I do not live in the area, nor have I been an outspoken advocate, but I’ve always bled a little green.
Growing up, in the group of kids I ran with and played basketball with, we each had our favorite teams. One, Brett, was a Pistons & Isaiah Thomas fan. Another, Daniel, pulled for the Suns, and Tom Chambers (mostly due to them sharing the same last name, but still). James pulled for the Bulls, and some guy named Jordan, and Danny, well, I think Danny was a Lakers guy, and Magic.
I went green, with Boston and Bird. There’s just a great tradition with the Celtics franchise. When the right group of players are assembled, it’s a team that could never really be considered “beaten” until the last buzzer sounded. For a good 40 years, if anyone wanted to win the title, they had to go through Boston to do it. I didn’t know any of this at the time – I was all of 15 at the time, and just actually getting into the game.
Flash forward 16 years. Bird retired in 1992. The Celtics have only made it into the playoffs a handfull of times since, due in part to finding the right chemistry of players and coaches. I never rabidly followed the box scores, but would check periodically to see how the season was going.
Then, as the 2007-2008 season was progressing, and the Celtics were maintaining the true franchise tradition, I followed a little more closely – I had reason to. I have watched more basketball in the last few weeks than I have over the previous 10 years (also, to show how much of a geek was at the time – I taped the Drafts and All-Star weekends for a couple of years). And now, after the first two games have been played out, I can emphatically cry out, “Beat L.A.” for the first time, with Celtic Pride (instead of “just because it’s L.A.”).
I’m looking forward to the opportunity of seeing banner #17 raised, with those glorious words, “Boston Celtics: NBA Champions”, forthe first time since I started really following the franchise.