It’s hard not to be a sore loser when you’re a Boston fan living in Los Angeles. It’s no fair! Our team is done and theirs keeps going. That kid got ice cream and I didn’t get any!
But the thing about this season as opposed to last was – like Dante Hicks – we weren’t even supposed to be here.
We won our ring last year. And honestly, I thought that was it. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce were getting older. Our young guys were good, but not great. We beat the Damn Lakers and we did it handily. The Big Three did what they came to do. They did their job. Everything else is gravy.
And then we kicked off 2009 27-2 and won 19 in a row. Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis “arrived.” Paul, Kevin and Ray carried themselves with a panache that only a championship ring provides. We were now the Bad Guys. The team everybody loves to hate.
And then Kevin got injured and then Ray got tired and then Paul carried us into the postseason and then Rajon carried us through the 13-game series in Chicago and then Dwight Howard’s ‘roided-up shoulders were too much for us and then it was over. Funny how quickly that can happen. You’re just rolling along… nothing much is happening… minding your own business… and then BOOM everythinghappensatonce!
But despite the “In like a lion/out like a lamb” exit, this Celtics’ season was perhaps more remarkable than the last. Going into the 2008 postseason, I had no doubt we were gonna run the table. There were some hiccups along the way, but once the Lakers came around I was proudly donning my Boston green in a bar full of gold. This year I just didn’t have that same confidence (even during the franchise best 19-game winning streak) that we were gonna do it all over again. A man with nearly 1,200 games under his belt can only carry you so far.
So the Celtics’ season is no more. Leon Powe’s had his surgery and he expects to be back by the 2010 All-Star break. KG is about to go under the knife and the front office is expecting him to be ready for the preseason. Starbury and Mikki want back in. Eddie House, Brian Scalabrine, and Glen Davis are ready for contract negotiations. Danny Ainge is eating a lot more salads.
But that’s all far down the road. Right now, us Celtics fans have a much more important task: Rooting against the Lakers. I wouldn’t necessarily call it bad sportsmanship. It’s more, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” I think.. Or maybe it’s geese. Gooses? Regardless, the only thing that comes remotely close to watching the team you love win, is watching the team you hate lose. Not that I’ll actually be watching. Watching a Celtics playoff game is hard enough, with the endless ads for terrible TNT dramas that’ll get canceled after the pilot. Yeah TNT, you know what? You don’t know drama. A monkey knows drama better than you. Especially this monkey.
No, this series outcome wasn’t unexpected. No matter who won Game Seven, they were most likely to be swept by LeBron and His Band of Merry Men in the Conference Finals. It’s just tough to lose in a city that has no sympathy. If I was back in Maine, we’d all be sulking together. Out here, especially when the city’s troubled star is still rolling along; there is no sympathy. I’ve prepared myself for the gloating, the smug remarks, the gunshots fired into the air. And I’m sure by Tuesday or Wednesday I’ll be fully focused on the Sox anyway. But to come so close on half the team that won a ring not a year ago; that’s tough.
It’s a shame we won’t get our rematch with the purple and gold. It’s a bigger shame that it was probably our last great chance. The Lebron Dynasty has begun.
All hail LeBron.