I don't write as much about the Celtics as I do about my beloved Patriots, but this season has really been something magical. Having grown up watching Larry Bird and the original Big Three, I have to admit I was a bit spoiled when it came to basketball. The teams of the 1980s played the sport the way it was meant to be played, with teamwork and passion.
This year's Celtics reminded me a lot of those old teams I grew up cheering for. They, like the Patriots and Red Sox before them, put team ahead of personal accolades. Also like their Boston counterparts, the Celtics made sure everyone was ready to contribute; in the Finals alone they used 12 players, something unheard of on most teams and certainly unheard of on even the best Celtics teams.
I feel especially happy for Paul Pierce, who originally came in as second fiddle to Antoine Walker and then nearly lost his life after being stabbed 11 times. He's spent the past 10 years in Boston on mostly lousy teams (save for one that went to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the Nets) and never demanded to be traded. He played his hardest with what amounted to a high school team around him the past couple of years. It's great to see him on top of the world.
This year's playoffs were a great ride. I agonized as the Celtics struggled on the road, but that's exactly why having the best record pays off. They earned the right to home court advantage during the regular season and it paid dividends in the playoffs. I got to wear my "Beat LA" t-shirt and now I'll get to wear a championship one. Man, what a great year to be from Boston.