This is so sweet. I was a Celtics fan for championships in the 60's, 70's and 80's but this one is just more special. Back then we were spoiled. We expected to win the championship back then. This one is sweeter because of all that we as fans have gone through over the past 22 years. This one is for the Pitino years. this one is for the ML Carr tanking year. This one is for losing Len Bias and Reggie. This one is for Red and DJ. This one is for the lottery balls that were fixed not to bounce our way. This one is for missing out on Duncan and Oden. This one is for Vin Baker and Chris Wallace. This one is for Paul Pierce who went through so much as a Celtic to get to this moment and never gave up on the team. This is for the 18 game losing streak and the depths of last season. This is for Perk and Pierce and Al playing hurt. This is for Bird's back and McHale's foot. This one is for the fans who have loved this team and stayed steadfast Celtics fans for the last 22 years. This one is sweet!!!!
I have been an emotional wreck this past couple weeks. I know the Celtics were the better team. I know they could win it but with the injury to Pierce, and the injuries to Perk and Rondo and then with the plane being late and Ray's son in the hospital, it seemed as though things were conspiring against us. And for them to come out last night and win like they did in spite of it all was just so special.
When I saw the clip of KG hugging Bill Russell and telling him that now he didn't need one of his rings because now he had one of his own, I burst into tears. The mantle has been passed. That moment was a very special one in the midst of many special moments.
For years I have preached defense. I have always loved the defensive side of basketball. I used to coach girl's basketball when I was teaching and my teams always put defense first. My son was the defensive player of the year on his high school team for 4 years in a row. I taught him that there are plenty of players who will play offense because that gets the attention. There aren't many who will play defense because it is hard and doesn't get the glory but it is what wins games. This team won all season with defense and that defensive effort in the final game will make it one I will watch over and over and over.
Perk is a beast. Perk is a warrior. Perk is one of my heroes. I love this kid. His value to this team was very evident when he wasn't there in game 5. Like I said above, defense is hard work and doesn't get the glory. There have been many, even this year, doubting the value of Perk's play. But, he was the one in the trenches night in and night out banging in the post and setting the tone on defense. KG said that Perk plays the post better than anyone in the league. I guess he would know. And remember, this kid is only 23 and is going to get better and better. So is Rondo. The present is sweet, but the future is also bright. It was also great that Leon had such a huge game in game 2. This kid is an inspiration both on and off the court. I hope they hang onto this kid because he is special.
I have to say I apologize to Doc for doubting him. Last season I just didn't think he could win because he didn't seem to put a premium on defense. But then again, he didn't exactly have the players to put out a strong defense either. Most young players have to learn defense. But this year from the start, Doc preached defense and let them know that it was defense that would win this championship. He went after Tom Thibodeau and turned the defense over to him and this team played the best defense in the league this season. Big kudos to Doc because he thoroughly out coached the Zen master in these finals and deserves a lot of credit and a lot of apologies from those of us who doubted him.
Tim Legler must be feeling pretty good today. He was the only one of ESPN's experts to pick the Celtics. No one gave us a chance going into this series. But, those of us who really knew this this team this season knew they could do it. It seemed as though only die hard Celtics fans were picking the Celtics. Here is my prediction to With Malice before the series:
FLCeltsfan from Loy’s Place gave… Celtics win in 6 games. Why? Defense. Defense wins Championships and the Celtics are the better defensive team.
Guess I was pretty much right on, huh? 23 picked the Lakers and 11 picked the Celtics. Of course, those 11 were all Celtics bloggers.
What makes this even sweeter is that we beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. For 40 years, the Lakers have been the enemy for me. My two favorite teams are the Celtics and anyone playing the Lakers and in this series, they were one in the same. Kobe was so smug coming into this series and removing that smug grin was almost as good as winning the championship. Even as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were both out playing Kobe on both ends of the floor, the announcers were still going on with the Kobe is the best player in the series and the best player on the planet. Even Rajon Rondo out played him in this game. He was not the best player in the series and maybe not even the best player in the league. Paul Pierce right now has that honor.
Here's to all my fellow Celtics fans and those who have read my ramblings here on LOY's Place all seaso. Thank you for letting me share this dream season with you. This championship is for all of us who stuck with this team and now we can enjoy it and savor it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Doing the trip around the Celtics blogs today. Far, far too good. Well done Celtics. My message to Celtics and all associated… “Boston Celtics, congratulations. Boston fans, enjoy your victory. It was hard-earned, and a long time in the coming. Savor it’s sweetness, especially given that it comes with the defeat of an old, old enemy.”