1. In the post game coverage, right after the game was over, KG was yelling and started to fall back and Leon Powe was behind him and wrapped his arms around him and said, "I got you KG, I got you." That just seemed to summarize the season. The players all had each others backs all season.
2. In the final minutes of the game, Perk was standing on the sidelines holding his son. It was such a great moment to be able to share with his son. In years to come, they both will be able to look back on that as very special.
3. Along the same lines, it was great to see Ray Allen holding his son Walker during the celebration. Ray's performance in the final 2 games was even more special knowing that his son's illness was on his mind. Red always stressed that the Celtics were a family and loved it when they had their kids and families around. Red would have loved seeing these Celtics celebrating with their children.
4. It was great when Paul Pierce dumped the Gatorade over Doc. That is the first time an NBA coach was drenched with Gatorade after winning a championship. This team went against the grain all season so it was fitting that even in victory they were continuing to do things their own way.
5. KG hugging Bill Russell and telling him that he could keep his ring because now he had his own. The relationship between these two has been great and the videos with them chatting were enough to give you goosebumps. They have a genuine respect for each other and that embrace was very special.
6.KG kissing the floor during the celebration. Playing for the Celtics used to be something special. Players were proud to be Celtics before the lean years hit. For many years, players didn't want to come to Boston and the Celtic Pride of old was missing. But, this year the pride was back. KG mentioned several times that it was a privilege and responsibility to putting on a Celtics uniform. When he kissed the floor, you could see that it meant a lot to him to have won the title as a Celtic.
7. In the 4th quarter, there was a play where Gasol was trying to back down PJ Brown to get to the hoop. PJ just moved away and pulled the chair out from under Gasol who fell to the floor. It just looked so funny with Gasol sitting on the floor wondering what happened. PJ Brown was such a great pick up for the Celtics. I don't think anyone, even PJ, thought he would play that many minutes or be that important to the Championship drive.
8. Watching Ray Allen hit a record 7 threes in game 6. Ray's shot is a thing of beauty. In the first two rounds, Ray was almost given up for dead but in the Finals, he was huge. I don't know if it took him that long to finally find his place on the team since he had to change his game more than anyone to fit in, but whatever it was, it kicked in just in time. His performance in game 6 was one for the ages especially with all he had been through in the previous 48 hours.
9. Keeping Phil Jackson from passing Red in the number of championships won, beating the Lakers and beating Kobe Bryant. These are 3 of my least favorites in the NBA. I really dislike Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and winning this championship was even sweeter because we got to beat all three. And, it was even better to blow them out in game 6 so as to completely crush them, leaving no doubt who was the better team.
10. This picture says it all:
Sasha Vujacic was probably the most irritating player in the series, even more so than Kobe. He whined about everything and flopped all over the place. He played dirty in trying to use a scissor move to trip up Ray and then whined in the press that the Celtics were playing too rough. This picture brought some perverse sense of satisfaction.
Bonus Moment: When David Stern was booed at the trophy presentation ceremony. This man has done all he can to keep the Boston franchise down. I still remember, and I am sure most Celtics fans do also, David Stern refusing the Celtics any cap relief from Reggie's salary after the Captain's tragic death. Most of us also feel that he had something to do with the Celtics losing the lottery in '95 and '07 (although we should probably send him a thank you note for '07). And then there was the fine on Pierce for the so called gang sign. And most of us hate his heavy handed Napoleonic leadership of the league and the fact that HIS referees can't be questioned and most are incompetent or on the take. Stern hasn't done much to win the favor of Celtics fans over the years and they let him know it.
This is a great interview from ESPN with Paul Pierce and KG talking about Doc being the first NBA Coach to be doused in Gatorade, KG's intensity and talking to himself for 10 hours after the game 5 loss, taking one game and one ring at a time and living in Titletown. Good stuff!!!!
The World Champion Boston Celtics had a good time at Fenway Park as they were honored by the World Champion Boston Red Sox. It was raining as they were honored during a brief pregame ceremony. The NBA champs, riding on top of three duck boats, entered from center-field and circled Fenway Park to a standing ovation.
The Red Sox also had their grounds crew cut out a shamrock in the center-field grass before the game. The rain caused about an hour delay and then the champions were reintroduced as they came running in from center field. Pierce took the mound as the crowd chanted MVP and he threw out the first pitch. Doc yelled Play Ball and the Celtics rode out to We are the Champions playing in the background.
Wow! The draft just kind of snuck up on me this year. It is right around the corner and I haven't even thought about who is available and who we should think about drafting. There have been no trading up or down discussions. This time last year, we had already been discussing the draft for months. It sure is nice. Since I haven't really been following the workouts etc, I don't really have an opinion as to who Danny should or will draft so I just have some general draft thoughts as they relate to the Celtics.
First, Danny has been one of the best at finding gems in the late first round and in the second round so there is no reason to think that Danny won't find a good player who can make the roster and help this team defend its championship next year. The Celtics pick at #30 and #60. Perk was picked at #27 by Memphis and then traded to the Celtics on draft day with Marcus Banks for Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell. Banks was considered the centerpiece of that trade, but it turned out that Perk was the real deal in that draft. Danny Leon Powe slipped to #49 and even though Danny didn't have a pick, he worked a deal with Denver to get him in Boston.
Ryan Gomes was selected #50 and was one of the key players in the deal that brought KG to Boston. I really wouldn't mind seeing Ryan come back to Boston. Other late first round and second round picks include Delonte West at 24, Tony Allen at 25, Gabe Pruitt at 32, and Big Baby at 35. His biggest steal of the draft may have been getting Rondo at #21. As with Powe, the Celtics didn't have a pick but Danny traded a future draft pick for the rights to get Rondo. The bottom line is that we can expect Danny to find another gem in this season's draft. It sure has been nice to have other things to occupy our minds into June and not have to obsess over the draft, though.
Danny also picked Big Al Jefferson with the 15th pick and he has turned out to be one of the best young power forwards in the league today. He will be an all star for many years to come. Gerald Green was picked 18th and although he hasn't succeeded so far, I still believe that he will mature into a solid NBA player. The kid has such incredible athleticism and when he matures a bit more, he will be able to use it for a lot more than just dunking.
It seems as though none of the mock drafts know who Danny will take either as out of 7 mock drafts I looked at, there were 6 different players listed. Draft Express JJ Hickson 6'9" PF NC State CBS Devon Hardin 6'11" C California College Hoops Mario Chalmers PG 6'1" Kansas NBA Draft.net Nathan Jawai PF/C 6'10" Hoopshype JJ Hickson 6'9" PF NC State MSNBC Courthey Lee 6'5" SG Western Kentucky Scout.com Javale McGee 6'11" C Nevada
It seems as though most mocks have the Celtics taking a big man. I am sure Danny has worked out some guys already but with all the news surrounding the World Champion Celtics (that sounds soooooo good), there hasn't been much said about it.
The World Champion Boston Celtics have a total of 3 lottery picks on it. KG and Ray were both picked #5 and Paul Pierce was a steal at #10. Other than those 3, the other players on the team were picked 18th or lower. James Posey was the 18th pick. Scot Pollard was picked 19th. Rajon Rondo was the 21st pick. Sam Cassell was the 24th pick. Tony Allen was the 25th pick. And, Perk was the 27th pick.
There were also 6 players on the team who were picked in the second round: Eddie House (38), PJ Brown (32), Leon Powe (49), Big Baby Davis (35), Gabe Pruitt (32) and Brian Scalabrine (36). This all goes to prove that you don't need to have the #1 pick to build around and to win a championship.
The Celtics have never had a #1 pick in the draft. They had the best chance of getting the first pick back in 1995 and instead ended up picking 3rd. They had the second best chance last season and defying all odds, the Celtics ended up with the 5th pick. I still think David Stern fixes the lottery so that the Celtics never win it. Losing the lottery in 1995 really hurt the Celtics. But, we are all pretty happy that they didn't win it last year as this time it worked out pretty good.
KG was the 5th pick in the draft. The players picked before him were Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, and Rasheed Wallace. KG had the pleasure of out playing and three of the four in these playoffs and sending each one fishing. Hindsight is 20-20, and I think all 4 of those teams would rethink their pick if they had it to do over again.
Ray Allen was also taken with the 5th pick. Ahead of him, Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur Rahim, and Stephon Marbury were chosen with the 1-4 picks. I have to think that at least 2 of those would rethink their picks if they could do it over again.
Paul Pierce slipped all the way to #10. That year, one of the biggest busts in draft history was taken with the first pick, former Celtic, Michael Olowokandi. Mike Bibby went 2nd. Raef LaFrentz went 3rd. Antawn Jamison was 4th. Vince Carter went 5th. Robert (Tractor) Traylor was picked 6th. Jason Williams was picked 7th. Larry Hughes was picked 8th. and Dirk Nowitski was picked 9th. There are some solid players picked above Pierce, but several of these teams would also love to be able to go back and do this one over again.
The draft will be so much more fun to watch now that the Celtics aren't depending on a lottery pick to save the team.
Are you secure in your manhood enough to buy a pink shirt? Doc Rivers is auctioning off his shirt that was stained pink courtesy of a Gatorade shower administered by Paul Pierce. The shirt is being auctioned off through the weekend by WEEI 850AM Sports Radio team Dennis & Callahan. Signed by Doc and Paul, the shirts profits will be donated to the Shamrock Foundation which is a community outreach program for kids. According to the story on WBZTV.com's website, Doc had this to say,
"The guys who make my clothes, they called me and wanted it and I said 'No we're going to auction it off."
Bids started this morning at 6am and will last throughout the weekend. You can email or call the Dennis & Callahan show at 617-931-1850 to place bids. Hurry while supplies last!! source: WBZTV.com
I have been basking in the afterglow of the Celtics clinching banner 17. I have been watching and rewatching Celtics coverage non-stop. Today's parade was awesome. It would have been great to be there but it was also pretty special to watch the coverage on CSN. Good times, for sure!!
I loved how KG came in with the cigar in his mouth and the trophy in his arms. I bet he and Pierce both slept with the trophies.
Let's hope Big Baby works on diet and conditioning this summer. It has to be pretty surreal for Big Baby and Gabe Pruitt to have won a ring as rookies considering there are quite a few Hall of Famers who never won a ring.
Amazing that KG actually let PJ hold the trophy. This has to be pretty special for PJ. He was retired and had to be talked into joining this team. And it wasn't like he was just deadwood along for the ring. The guy really made a difference.
James Posey got his second ring. Posey is the player every title contender needs. He does everything. He is a lock down defender, can rebound, hit outside shots under pressure and hustles for loose balls. The guy is a winner. He has also increased his value a lot and several teams including the Lakers are looking to try to steal him from the Celtics. I really hope he likes this team and wants to come back to try to repeat with them. He would be hard to replace. I mean, who would give out hugs before each game?
Sam and KG failed to win the title when they were together in Minnesota, but they got it done in Boston. Sam didn't work out as well as we had hoped, but I think he helped more with his experience than he did with his play on the court. Maybe Sam will be one of our assistant coaches next season and get his fourth ring that way.
One of the best stories was the fact that Pierce had a cigar that Red had given him before he passed away and he kept it for the time when he would win the title and smoked it in the locker room after they clinched the title. Red would be touched by all the cigars floating around in his honor.
Ray Allen is one of the classiest guys in the NBA. He is just special. He played Sunday with his son in the hospital and that took a lot of focus on his part. He played more minutes than anyone else in the finals and he could very easily been picked a co-MVP with Pierce. He came up big when it counted.
Leon Powe is a champion. This guy has overcome more than most people can even imagine. He always stayed ready whether Doc gave him 3 minutes or 30 minutes. I was so happy that he had that huge game in game 2. I really hope that they keep this kid because he is a special player and is only going to get better.
Rondo faced doubts all season. Right from the beginning, critics said that the Celtics couldn't win a championship with a 2nd year point guard. Rondo couldn't shoot. Rondo couldn't lead a team of superstars and he answered every question and then some. As with Powe and Perk, he is still young and is just going to get better. Look out league next year! This kid is for real!
Last, but absolutely not least, is Perk. I have been telling people since his first season that Perk was going to be a solid center. There were doubts about him to start the season too. But, Perk was solid all season and proved that he could be the starting center for a championship team. His value to this team was very evident in the one game he missed. Gasol and Odom struggled throughout the series except in the game Perk missed. Without Perk to defend the paint, they both dominated on the glass and got to the hoop at will. KG said that Perk is the best post player in the league. I think I'll take KG's word on that one. And just like Powe and Rondo he is still just 23 years old and will continue to get better.
While I was watching the coverage of the rolling rally today, I saw the commercial where everyone is by the statue of Red Auerbach and the first 4 times I watched it, I burst into tears. It just really got to me. Even now, I tear up when I watch it. Red Auerbach has been on my mind a lot since the Celtics clinched the title. I know Red would have loved this team and he would have loved the way they played this season. I really wish he could have been here for this but I know he will always be here in spirit.
As with each of the previous 16 banners, this championship had Red's signature all over it. To begin with, he was a big part of keeping Paul Pierce here. Red loved Pierce. He chose him for the first Red Auerbach player award and I am sure encouraged Danny to try to keep him in Boston. Also, Red hand picked Danny Ainge to be the GM. Red very much believed in Danny and Danny went to him often for advice. Finally, Red liked Doc and a supported the decision to keep him head coach. Red would have loved the moves that Danny made this summer. They were Auerbachian. And, he would have loved this team and the way they won with old school teamwork and defense.
Well, according to Rajon Rondo, a drink called "Purple" is his current beverage of choice. At first, I was like why is he drinking something called "Purple"? Sounds like something the Lakers would endorse. And then I was like well, he did eat the Lakers up in game 6, so maybe he is using this "Purple" as some kind of metaphor. Then finally, I thought I am thinking way too much into this and lets just find out what the heck its all about. On his blog Rajon writes,
"Yo...I started drinking this new healthy drink called Purple - The bottle says it's the most powerful antioxidant beverage on the planet. Supposed to help the body recover so day after the NBA Finals I started drinking it."
Rondo is so taken by the drink, he has provided a link to the website. So, I decided to go the website and check out this drink called "Purple" and here's what I found. It's advertised as "The most powerful antioxidant beverage on the planet" and contains seven fruits. Blueberry, Blackcurrant, Pomegranate, Acai, Black Cherry, Purple Plum, and Cranberry (guaranteed to at least cure a urinary tract infection). Sounds pretty darn healthy and good! Rondo also goes on to mention,
One of their mottos is "It's all good" - I like that. Plus they are focused on social causes so it really is all good.
I like that too Rondo! Always good to be be all good for good causes. He seemed to be so into this new "wonder beverage", that he made a little video about it, which I provided here at Loy's Place for your enjoyment, even though you can just go to his blog and view it and I am sure you probably already did, but meh! Something to blog about...
I am still basking in the afterglow of the knowledge that the Celtics are once again World Champions. It still doesn't seem real. I have been absolutely enjoying all the media coverage and videos available from the celebration. Here are some of my favorites for your enjoyment. I absolutely love this picture of Doc with the cigar in front of Red's picture. Red would have loved this season so much! I know he would be proud of Danny because he put this team together in an Auerbachian way. Red had given Paul Pierce a cigar shortly before he passed away and Paul smoked it in the locker room during the celebration to honor Red and all he did for this franchise. His hand was still on this championship. I just watched the commercial with all the fans sitting by the statue of Red and at the end the statue raises his arm with the cigar and I burst into tears. It is true. This one's for you, Red.
I just love this picture. It is one of my favorites. The long season. The long playoffs. This is what it all for.
This was a great move by Paul Pierce. I don't think I have ever seen an NBA coach drenched in Gatorade. But it was a fitting tribute to this team and this season. Nothing was ordinary.
Is there anything sweeter than seeing Lakers looking dejected and defeated?
The relationship between Kevin Garnett and Bill Russell is so neat. There is a real mutual respect there. I am sure that Bill is happy that he doesn't have to give up one of his rings. Seeing these two together gives me goosebumps.
This kind of says it all: KG kissing the parquet floor after winning the championship. Awesome image.
It was interesting that Scal got to go to the podium for a press conference but it was definitely worth it. Scal has a great sense of humor and even though he doesn't have the greatest basketball skills, but he is a good teammate.
This video is great. From KG sounding like he is about to implode to the hug with Bill Russell to KG kissing the floor. Just great stuff!!
Tom Thibodeau is as much responsible for this championship as anyone. He was all set to go to Washington and was even working players out there before backing out for some reason. Signing Thibodeau was the final piece to the championship puzzle. During the playoffs, his name was floated around in regard to several head coaching vacancies but most of them have been filled now. As much as I know he deserves to be a head coach, I really hope he sticks with the Celtics. Maybe they can entice him to stay with the promise of the head coaching spot when Doc retires. However they do it, they need to try to keep this guy.
Through all the doubts and all the questions about this team, they stuck together and just kept proving people wrong. The song We are the Champions keeps ringing in my head. This shirt is definitely a classic. Out of 11 Boston-LA Finals, the Celtics have now won 9 of them. But the sweetest of them all was this one. After 22 years of "Wait until next year," Next year is here. We beat LA!
Finally, this photo has so many stories in it. KG holding the championship trophy that he has played for his whole career so far. The intensity that this guy brings every night and the spirit he brought to the Celtics franchise so important to this championship.... Paul Pierce holding the MVP trophy. He has been through so much in his career in Boston. He has been such a warrior for the Celtics. Coming to camp 3 weeks after almost losing his life in the stabbing, playing after 7 hours in the dentist chair to replace his teeth knocked out the previous night, playing through pain in his elbow and having it drained after every game, coming back from the foot fracture last season to try to help his young teammates end the 18 game losing streak, and so much more... Ray Allen holding his son, Walker, who 24 hours before was in the hospital and Ray played game 5 with that on his mind....PJ Brown who was talked out of retirement to play a big part in the Finals when Perk went down... Rajon Rondo who was doubted from day 1 but who silenced all critics in game 6... Perk who was also doubted from day 1 and who played solid and steady throughout the playoffs. His absence in game 5 proved just how valuable he was to this team and he came back in pain to help seal the victory in game 6... Leon Powe who all season made the most of his minutes and never complained and who came up huge in the game 2 victory... Eddie House and James Posey who were such a big part of this team... And Doc, who over the last two seasons took a lot of criticism in stride and out coached Phil Jackson to silence all critics as he led the Celtics to their first championship in 22 years. So many stories. One conclusion. Celtics are the 2008 NBA Champions. UBUNTU!!