If I had a dollar for every time I said that phrase, I would be rich today. Even in the worst of times for the Celtics, I just could never give up on them. It was always this year may have been bad, but wait until next year. The Celtics always bounce back.
Times were great in the 60's when I first started following the Celtics. Every year was a championship year. There were a few years in the 70's when the Celtics faltered, like the 1969-70 season where they finished out of the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. But 2 years later they were back in the playoffs and 2 years after that, they were champions again. After winning the championship again in 1976, the Celtics once again hit a dry spell that lasted until the 1979-80 season when Larry Bird joined the team. The 80's were a fun time to be a Celtics fan as they were contenders every season and won 3 more championships. Then, tragedy hit in 1986 just after their last championship and the Celtics would not recover.
Over the next 21 years, things went from bad to worse for the franchise. In the late 80's and early 90's, there was always hope because they had Larry Bird. When Larry was on the court, anything could happen. But, injuries had slowed even Larry Bird to the point where he couldn't work the magic that he once did. Then in 1992, Larry Bird retired, but Reggie Lewis had developed into a great player and so I could still say "Wait until next year" and believe that next year the Celtics would once again be contenders. But then, in 1993, tragedy once again struck as the Celtics lost their Captain. The 1993-94 Celtics finished 32-50 and out of the playoffs once again.
The most painful season I have endured as a Celtics fan was in 1996-1997 when the Celtics went 15-67. It was hard being a Celtics fan that season, but I could still say "Wait until next season" because we were expecting to get the top draft pick and that would turn the franchise around. We got Rick Pitino, but not the #1 pick and Pitino made even a worse mess of the team than it was previously, if at all possible. But, one thing he did right was pick Paul Pierce in the 1998 draft. With one player after another, the Celtics have tried to build around Paul Pierce and every year, it was "wait until next year." We will get new players...our young players would develop... I always had a lot of excuses but always, it rang hollow. I never really expected to win a championship. It had gotten so bad that I would get excited if we just made the playoffs, even if we never made it out of the first round.
And, now I find myself saying "Wait until next year" once again. But now it has taken on a whole new dimension. I REALLY can't wait until this season. It is very exciting waiting for this coming season because the Celtics are truly contenders again! I have waited over 20 years to say that!!
Word is Garnett's team did not lose one game on Wednesday. Several attendees raved about how he dominated easily. On one play, he caught an offensive rebound on the block and jumped and dunked without taking a step.
And that's not all. There is Ray Allen as well. Ray is one of the best shooters in the NBA. And then there is Paul Pierce who is one of the top all around players in the NBA. And we have Perk and Rondo who are going to break out this season. Both are very exciting young players who will greatly benefit by playing with 3 All Stars. Even though we still need a back up point guard and there are still some questions about the roster, it is all very exciting. All I can say is "Wait until this season!!!"