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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Rick Pitino is not walking through that door! Thankfully.

It's been way too long and way too much heartache but the Celtics are back where they belong -- after a team performance that exemplified Celtics Pride.

I admit it. There where times in the Atlanta and Cleveland series where I didn't think they would get it done. But the heart of this team is immense -- and the accomplishment magnificent.

There are three people who should celebrate a little louder and longer. Because they took the brunt of the bad years.

Let's start with the MVP. What can you say about Paul Pierce other than his number belongs up there in the rafters. Nine long and mostly bad years. Nearly dying. Losing his temper in unfortunate situations.

But Pierce was the glue this year. The Celtics would never have won without KG and Ray Allen but Pierce assumed the leadership role he had always been uncomfortable with. He carried the team through much of the season -- but especially during the playoffs.

Then there's Doc. The number of doubters were legion. He didn't get his coaching record over .500 until deep into this season. He clashed early with Pierce.

But Doc always played with Celtics Pride -- even when he played for the other guys. He instilled a championship mentality -- and a killer defense -- that carried them to victory.

And finally, let's hear it for Danny Ainge. This ring no doubt is the sweetest. The team he put together this year -- building on just Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins -- was a fabulous collection of team players.

There's also some credit to Kevin McHale -- for agreeing to a deal that brought KG to Boston.

One year ago, the Celtics were 24-58 and dreaming of Greg Oden. When the ping-pong balls let us down, Danny concocted the trade with Seattle that brought Ray Allen. Good, but not enough. So he pulled the trigger on the Timberwolves deal.

In other words, he swapped Al Jefferson for No. 17. It was tough to give up Big Al, but it was worth it.

And closing it out with the Lakers made it all worthwhile. The Boys from the Left Coast may be among the most over-hyped bunch of players I've seen in awhile. Kobe disappeared for large stretches of the games -- and he was head and shoulders their best player.

The Lakers had no heart and no soul. The Game Six humiliation was appropriate for a series that will always be exemplified by Sasha Vujacic's matador defense on Allen in that improbable Game Four comeback.

So light one up for Red! And Reggie. And maybe even Len Bias.

(Boston.com photo)

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Blogger Suldog said...

Damn straight. Doc (who I've maligned more than once) deserves big-time props. He outcoached Jackson, all the way. Danny did a great job, too, of course. I'm loving this as much as any of the other 16 (and I've been around for all of them, although I was just a month old when the first one was won :-) )

June 18, 2008 11:04 AM  

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