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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Let's Go Celtics

Rick Pitino was right about one thing: Larry, Kevin and Robert aren't walking through that door.

But Paul, Kevin and Ray are very much a sight for sore eyes.

It's been long time since the Men in Green have been relevant around here. Some have suggested it started downhill the day Len Bias died. The slide really accelerated when Reggie Lewis passed away. Years of misery -- highlighted by M.L. Carr tanking a season for the rights to Tim Duncan; the on-again, off-again presence of Antoine Walker.

And oh yeah, Pitino walking in and then out the door.

Then "The Pest" decided to shake things up.

Readers may have noted my sports loves tend toward Cleveland. Except when it comes to basketball. The Cavaliers did not exist when I discovered the pro game and anyway, for too many years they were the simply the Cleveland Cadavers.

Nope, when I discovered the NBA, the men playing the game were named Russell, Havlichek, Nelson, and Jones, all held together by a man named Arnold.

I bled Green during the '80s when the TRUE Big Three walked the parquet. I've just bled the last few years. So the arrival of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett is a true cause of celebration (although I still keep wondering about Big Al's upside).

From the safe confines of the couch, last night restored a little of the magic. Unveiling the Red Auerbach Parquet. Paul Pierce's unusual "thanks for hanging in all these years" pre-game speech. And of course, the game.

Garnett is all he was advertised to be (as if there were any doubts). Allen is truly a dead-eye shooter. But it was Pierce who really caught my attention. It's amazing what can happen when the weight of a legacy gone sour is lifted from someone's shoulders (not to mention the end of triple-teams).

Pierce is not the first Celtic I think of when I consider the message offered by a smile. Let's face it, when The Chief finally showed his dazzling smile it was as he was lifted the championship trophy high.

But Pierce's intense glower has been the symbol of frustration the last too many years. That's why the picture in today's Globe -- an intense Garnett and a smiling Pierce -- is really a hopeful sign.

Let's Go Celtics.

(Boston Globe photo)

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