We have been spending some time looking back over the Boston Celtics championship season… in an effort to truly appreciate the efforts of those involved. In the first three installments, we’ve appreciated Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge, and the Team Owners. We then spent time appreciating our key bench players, like PJ Brown, Leon Powe, Glen Davis, Eddie House, and James Posey. Over the past week, we’ve appreciated our starters: Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. Yesterday, we appreciated the patriarch of our franchise, Red Auerbach. In the final installment of our fifteen part series, its time to appreciate the most important part of this team… the fans.
The Celtics were 13-1 at home. They were 3-9 on the road.
Same players. Same coaches. Same plays. One difference.
Mike Bibby called you out, and you responded in full force. And not just by being loud… by taking him on directly in an organized, calculated attempt to prove him wrong to the world. We realize that he was probably just trying to take pressure off his teammates by taking the heat himself… but it proved how little it really takes for Celtics fans to galvanize.
Sure, there are some “bandwagon” fans out there… and that’s fine. I’m fine with the new blood. Every fan starts sometime. But once you’re in… you’re in. You’re free to leave whenever you want… but once you do… don’t ever come back. We don’t need that kind of person around. The good thing is… very few of them exist.
Just ask James Posey about how great our fans are. The look in his eyes as he gazed into the crowd on parade day was one of pure amazement. He’s been there before… celebrating a title in front of his fans. But he had no clue what it was like to do it in front of Celtics fans.
Doc Rivers saw it too. He was at a loss for words when asked during the parade to describe what he was seeing. He knew it would be nuts, but not that nuts.
See… the Celtics only see 18,000 people at a time during a home game. They don’t know about ALL of you. The fans who can’t make it to the games, but who follow the game religiously. The fans who might have been born in the 80′s but who made the effort to watch those classic teams on video so they could see what it was all about. The fans who would go just as weak-kneed meeting Cousey or Russell as they would meeting KG or Pierce.
All of us… we’re part of a tradition. We chose the name “Red’s Army” for a very specific reason. Every day we pick up new members who have decided to march lock-step in the tradition set forth by our patriarch, Red Auerbach. We wear our Green and White follow without fail. Bad times have come just like they have with other franchises… but we’re still there. We are the most loyal of the loyal. We judge harshly, but we don’t abandon anyone. We are Celtics fans.
And all of you out there who cheered… be it at the Garden, at home, at The Palace at Auburn Hills, or at some random sports bar in middle America… you all played a role in this. The owners knew they had a rabid fan base to satisfy. So without you, the fans, the owners would never know that failure is simply not an option. It is you, the fans, that make players say “so THIS is what its like to play in Boston.” That makes them push just a little harder. Maybe it’s the difference between a couple of loose balls. Maybe it’s a rebound. Maybe it’s that extra lift on a 4th quarter jumper that makes it go in. Make no mistake about it… you the fans played a tremendous role. And for that, we all appreciate the job you’ve done in helping us achieve the ultimate goal… an NBA title.
There’s absolutely zero new to report on free agency… although HoopsWorld has an informative blurb in its morning report about how the Clippers hold the key to a lot in free agency.