Archive for category Boston Celtics

Boston + Shaq = ?

So LeBron is off to Miami, and to further take the Cavaliers apart, Shaq is headed to… Boston? Really? Admittedly, he can still be a problem for opponents in the paint, and he’s got the rings to prove he could still be an asset to the team. But there’s still a little echo from the past that’s been nagging me for years, and makes this idea that much harder to swallow without a bitter after taste.

“The Garden is closed.”

Shaq uttered that statement in a post-game interview after the Orlando Magic beat Boston in the first round, bouncing the Celtics from the playoffs, in the last year of the original Boston Garden. No sign of respect for the tradition, the history of professional basketball that had played in that building. Nothing.

I hope the team does well (and can put a little more distance between them and the Lakers for most titles), but it’s going to take a lot for me to come back around to being a Shaq fan, even if he is wearing green and white.

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On the Future of the NBA…

[This was started back in June, but now that it’s August 2010… the thought is partially incomplete, but since I’ve lost the mojo that conceived the initial inspiration, I’ll refrain from adding too much to what’s below… for now… jle/8-11-10]

I’m not a (trained) futurist, analyst, or market guru, but with some of the things I read earlier this week [on Espn.com, but I can’t find the article now, a couple of days later, so you’ll have to take my word for some of the references] about concerns over the future of the NBA (apparently, as a league they have had a year in the red), I have a couple of theories.

The article mentioned the idea of being more accepting of personality quirkyness [their example was Sir Charles, since he’s still getting endorsement deals over a decade after retirement]. There’s a kernel of validity there. The article also referenced the Free Agency issue, and how the “power balance” (for market share) could shift. I’m putting these two items together since I think they are different angles of the same picture: there are very few marquee leadership personalities right now, and most of those that ARE active are the ones being shopped around. There’s very little line-up consistency (that I can tell) – a lot of those marquee players sign short-term deals then move to another team that might give them one of two things: a better chance at a ring, or more money (especially if the team can do both).

The article also mentioned that there’s concern over the championship spread (citing only about seven teams that have won titles over the last 20-ish years). A quick history lesson for those that may question that: in the 80’s (I know, I’m stretching to 30 years here): Lakers & Celtics owned the decade, with the Sixers eaking out on ring for Dr. J. Transitioning into the 90’s, Detroit’s Bad Boys took two before the Bulls (Jordan) took over for the decade. Throw a couple of titles to Houston, then to San Antonio before and after the Admiral’s retirement and we’re moving into to 00’s. Miami wins some, another couple for Detroit, the Lakers & Celtics return to form. Eight, by my count, but there’s something that should be noticed by what I just did there.

The identities: The Lakers & Celtics are the institutions of the NBA, much like the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers of Baseball. But both teams were built around personalities and styles (in the 80’s for example: Lakers were “Showtime” with Magic & Kareem, while Boston was fueled by Bird’s blue-collar hustle and teamwork). Even more historically: check the Boston rafters for the number of championship banners and retired jerseys, or the number of Celtics in the Hall of Fame. A few great leaders, but a lot of great role-players – but collectively, a ruling theme of team first, ego second.

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General Stuff, and Other Things…

So, I’ve already mentioned that I’m stoked that Boston has won the NBA title… but there are other things going on, too…

I have signed up at GoodReads, after reading about it at Neil Gaiman’s site. I’m not sure how frequently I will be updating it… it would take me a loooooooong time to try and track through all of the books that I have read, and have in the collection to read, but I can definitely see updating for the “Have Read” section as I complete books.

The “script” writing group met last night, and things went well… we each selected a prompt idea to work with for one of our July meetings, and discussed a couple of short stories that were submitted. There is another group that I am going to be checking out late next week (which is why I use the “script” label – as we were all in a script class together).

Have I mentioned that Boston won…. title number 17?

And I have been making some steady progress towards “the 300 club”… which I plan on continuing this afternoon. I’m currently working on a script, inspired by a song that I like… more as an exercise for me, than anything else… I’m not quite sure about it being produced (rights, etc.)… not to mention the length may be a little off… on the shorter side… but it’s something that’s been rattling around (for a while, actually), so I feel it’s best to try and get it out… and I have a really big reason to, now.

Oh, and “the Boston Celtics are once again the world champions.”

On a serious turn… really… Today would be Jenn’s birthday… she would have been 28. I know her mom has really been having a bit of a rough patch for the past week…

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Mission: Accomplished

(I apologize for grainy videos, but that’s part of the downside of YouTube)

It has been 22 years since Boston last handled the spoils of victory…

But last night, the boys in green showed up to play, and swept the series into the history books, and won banner #17 so it can be raised to the rafters. Not only did they win, but they maintained for the entire game, leading at one point by as much as 43 points (ultimately winning by 39).

Yes, I am a Boston fan, and yes, I am happy that they have won the title again…

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One More Time…

I will admit, I was nervous last night, as I was watching the Boston-L.A. game… At one point, I even just turned it off and really did something else (explanation: I had the game on, and was doing other “menial” things – folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, etc with the game in the background…)… When I got frustrated watching the game, and at somepoint during halftime, I turned it off and went upstairs to work on some writing projects (didn’t happen… but that’s for another post).

Eventually I made my way back down, and turned the game back on near the end ofthe third quarter. What had started as a blowout (the Lakers had, at one point, a 24-point lead – hence the frustration), had turned into a real game. The Celtics had managed to get within striking distance…

And strike, they did, when they managedto take the lead (for the first time in the game) with four minutes left to play. The teams traded shots, with Boston making a shot, andthe Lakers answering, keeping things floating from a tie to a four-point Laker lead. Boston had cut the lead to one, and a missed Laker shot (rebounded by Boston), led to a 3-point basket that put Boston ahead by two points.

And the two points slowly grew, as they continued trading baskets (and bricks), with Boston eventually holding on to win by six. After four games, it is Boston leading, 3-1… One more game… one more, concerted effort, and there will be something else for Boston fans… One more championship…

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No More Sweep…

Gah! I didn’t watch any of the game last night (that whole East-West time difference just doesn’t work well for sleep patterns), but was not too surprised by the victory. The Lakers were at home, which should provide an adrenaline boost, especially at that level.

In looking at the final score, I did notice that the game was relatively close, a win by only a handful of points. Personally, while the idea of a sweep is great, I am actually happy that it isn’t going to happen. With the records that both teams have for the year (the fact that both were the respective # 1 seeds), it would be an embarassment to be swept.

I am all for a good rivalry, just as long as the leprechaun gets to perform a victory jig at the end of the series.

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Go Green! (or Beat LA!)

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.

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