With a victory over the Bobcats last night sans The Big Three, my beloved Celtics clinched the NBA's best ever turnaround in a single season. To put things in perspective, Paul Pierce (I'm deliberately not even mentioning the team) won 24 games last season. So far this year, the squad has won 61 games with a few more left on the schedule. Yeah, I guess you can say the additions of KG and Ray Allen had a lot to do with that, not to mention the team's best offensive threat: Scot "Dopeman" Pollard.
I really love this whole winning thing, but honestly, my inner basketball emotions are a bit ambivalent. On one hand, I legitimately begin to tear up at the very possible possibility of the Celtics winning it all (and I'm bawling if it's against the Lakers in the finals), but at the same time, I kind of miss *gulp* sucking. It's kind of like Bill Simmons explained a few seasons after the Red Sox finally broke the curse: sports are just so much more personal when you're desperate. Yes, I love watching The Big Three dominate the league, but it was always captivating watching Pierce and a handful of D-Leaguers just praying for a victory.
The good ol' days
And when it came to pride, losing made it so much more worth it. This past decade has been arguably the worst of franchise history, yet I fell in love with the Celtics just about seven years ago. This means almost seven years of having to defend my love for a team that temporarily became the 21st century's Clippers. So, there was always a sense of truthful honor whenever a friend asked me how the Celtics enjoyed being killed by the Bobcats. Or looking at Rajon Rondo's alien face and imagining Brandon Roy teaming up with Pierce. Or just hoping that one day, just one day, that Sebastian Telfair might actually do something. Or putting a noose around my neck when we didn't even get the 2nd pick of the draft (I'm serious, you can thank KG for saving my life). Or wondering what the hell we were gonna win with Jiri Welsh starting. Or peeing my pants when I heard Allen Iverson was a Celtic, and then shitting my pants when I found out he wasn't.
And despite all these low, low points, Celtics fans endured Danny Ainge's dubious promises and still stayed committed to the hope of "maybe next season." In a sense, we were sort of like the Spartans from 300, who knew they couldn't win but still fought on. Except in our case, we ultimately beat the Persians.
But sometimes the bad ending is just more appropriate. So, I guess that means I'm an Oklahoma City Sonics fan now.
- K.H. (Kidding about that last sentence)