The Big Brothers
- April 29: Statement on Commissioner Silver's Decision
- April 28: 2014 Awards Series Most Improved Player: Kelly Olynyk
- April 25: Green's an Ironman in More Ways Than One
- April 22: Celtics Finish Off Year 1 of Rebuild Process
- April 18: Ties Broken for NBA Draft 2014 Order of Selection
- April 17: Inside the Numbers: Draft Lottery Q&A
- April 17: Celts Should Be Proud of Their Final Chapter
- April 16: That's What He Said - Wizards at Celtics
- April 15: Boston Celtics Thank Fans for Support
- April 14: That's What He Said - Celtics at 76ers
- April 12: That's What He Said - Celtics at Cavaliers
- April 11: That's What He Said - Bobcats at Celtics
- April 09: That's What He Said - Celtics at Hawks
- April 08: Rondo, Celtics Still Have Much To Play For
- April 07: Stevens Gives Updates on AB, Sully, Hump
- April 05: That's What He Said - Celtics at Pistons
- April 04: That's What He Said - 76ers at Celtics
- April 03: Celts Moving Forward After Disappointing L
- April 02: That's What He Said - Celtics at Wizards
- April 02: Bradley Remains Questionable with Achilles
- April 01: Rondo Teams with Gorman as Color Analyst
- March 31: That's What He Said - Celtics at Bulls
- March 31: That's What He Said - Bulls at Celtics
- March 29: Stevens Debates New Lineup "Every Minute"
- March 29: That's What He Said - Celtics at Raptors
- March 26: That's What He Said - Raptors at Celtics
- March 25: C's Taste Playoffs Through Home-and-Homes
- March 24: Don't Sleep on NBA's Madness in March
- March 22: Bradley's New Routine: Tip, Tape, Torch
- March 21: That's What He Said - Celtics at Nets
- March 21: C's Talk Tourney, Downplay Notion of Upsets
- March 21: Stevens: C's Must Improve To Cut Down Nets
- March 21: Celtics Sign Babb to Multi-Year Contract
- March 20: Rondo, Celtics Take Season Series from Heat
- March 18: Bayless Sizzles in 4th To Lead Comeback Bid
- March 18: That's What He Said - Celtics at Mavericks
- March 17: Pelicans Outlast Celtics in Wild OT Thriller
- March 16: That's What He Said - Celtics at Pelicans
- March 14: That's What He Said - Suns at Celtics
- March 13: SportVu's Take on Rondo's First Two Months
- March 12: That's What He Said - Knicks at Celtics
- March 11: That's What He Said - Celtics at Pacers
- March 11: Celtics Sign Babb to Second 10-day Contract
- March 10: That's What He Said - Pistons at Celtics
- March 08: Stevens Excited To Enjoy Madness as a Fan
- March 08: Bradley Could Return as Early as Friday
- March 08: That's What He Said - Nets at Celtics
- March 07: Vitor Faverani Medical Update
- March 06: National Anthem Open Call Auditions
- March 06: Celts Lose, but Olynyk Continues To Evolve
- March 06: That's What He Said - Warriors at Celtics
- March 04: Post-ACL Rondo is Shooting the Lights Out
- March 04: C's Lose Wallace; Olynyk, Bradley Improve
- March 04: Gerald Wallace Injury Update
- March 03: Winter Warmth: Green Heats up in February
- March 02: That's What He Said - Pacers at Celtics
“You must be having fun.”
Five words I’ve heard in that order, more than any other combination of permutation of words in the English language over the last few weeks. From Toronto to Indiana, from Charlotte to Cleveland, from Fanuiel Hall to the Burlington Mall.
If my life were a question on Family Feud, that’d be the number one answer right now.
Show me “You must be having fun.” Ding!
Even Jim Ross, the Hall-of-Fame play-by-play voice of the WWE, said those five words to me during a chance encounter in Charlotte the other night. (As I write, I’m staring out the window of the Celtics team plane, at the WWE corporate jet on the tarmac. Waiting for Vince McMahon to emerge from the door, strut across the tarmac and try to fire someone.)
And I mean, yeah, of course this is fun.
Haven’t you been having fun?
Stomping through the first twelve games?
Watching the Steven A. Smiths and the Charles Barkleys and every national NBA voice that had lost the Celtics on their radar, gush about your team like their first high school crush?
Turning off the Pats game to watch Sugar Ray beat the Raptors in Toronto...then reprise the moment last weekend in the Queen City miracle in Charlotte?
Letting that thought enter your cautious mind that maybe, just maybe, this team is, gulp, better than you thought they’d be?
Humbling both Kobe Bryant and the governor of his state before yet another sell-out crowd at the Garden, carving up the Lakers like Dr. Meredith Grey? And doing it with the actual Dr. Grey, Ellen Pompeo watching courtside?
So sure, it’s fun. But I guess the thing is, it was always fun for me. I’m freaky that way. Maybe it’s because this is what I do. Maybe after years of watching the youngest team in the NBA night after night, I too had kind of forgotten what the NBA is supposed to be. Or maybe because I somehow, through yoga, or transcendental meditation or something, was actually able to convince myself that last year’s Gerald Green/Lynn Greer, Bassy Telfair/Salim Stoudamire matchups really did matter.
I’m not sure. But I suppose my idea of fun is better suited for a therapist's couch, or like divorce court, than Celtics.com.
But I can think of someone else, someone I can assure you is having fun.
For too many years now, his life has seemed like a bad re-run. Get to the arena, double teams off the bus, 30-point nights with no win to show for it, and that look.
The look you get in this league from the other stars when you’re on a losing team. The look that says “we know you’re one of us.” You’re one of us, but forgive me while we beat your team again, just doing my job.
An NBA career, a basketball life is too short. It goes by too fast to spend multiple years not getting into the playoffs, but instead getting that look.
Kobe and D-Wade have rings. So do Chauncey and Duncan. Dirk’s been to the finals, so has LeBron, and J-Kidd.
Pierce’s best year, 2006, the best by a Celtic since Max’s good friend Larry Bird’s ’87-’88 masterpiece, ended with the C’s missing the playoffs for the first time in five years. Even on the best night of his extraordinary basketball life, his 50-point game in February that year, it was LeBron James walking off the court with the win.
He’d go into some of the toughest NBA playgrounds, outmanned, put up the good fight and get his lunch money taken anyway. He didn’t complain in public, or in a blog, or on Jim Rome. He just did the job, every night. All he did, was ask for help.
What a difference a year makes.
This week, the captain faces LeBron and the Cavs, D-Wade, Shaq and the Heat and Steph and Knicks again.
But now, he’s not coming to the playground alone. He’s brought his big brothers with him. Brother Kevin, the league’s MVP through the first month, Brother Ray, with two-game winners already in his bag. And that doesn’t even cover the “other two”, Rajon Rondo flirting with the league lead in field goal percentage. Kendrick Perkins dropping a career high 21 against the oft-touted Andrew Bynum. Plus Brother James hitting fourth quarter threes and playing lockdown, late game defense, Brother Eddie dropping 25 foot bombs and Brother Scot showing us why his ten NBA teams have averaged better than 50 wins a year.
Paul Pierce has his smile back. He has his swagger back.
Now it’s time to get his lunch money back.
Now, he must be having fun.
FOR THE GEEK SIDE OF YOUR BRAIN...
** The Queen City Miracle in Charlotte November 24, Eddie House’s deflection, Paul Pierce’s dish and Ray Allen’s dead-eye three to beat the Bobcats at the buzzer, was the Celtics 11th win this November. Their 11th win last year came, wait for it, on New Year’s Day in Portland. It’s hardly out of the realm of possibility, hardly a romantic notion that the C’s could record their 13th win before the month ends in Miami. Their 13th win last year didn’t feel all that romantic...it happened, on Valentine’s Day.
** Success has come easy for the Celtics through the first twelve games, but not traditionally. The C’s rank third in the NBA in assists, and it comes not from the backcourt, but up front. But while Rajon Rondo may not be among the league leaders in assists, he’s stunned his critics by leading all guards (and small forwards for that matter) in shooting through the first four weeks.
** The November 24 game in Charlotte ended a strict trend from the first eleven games. The Celtics trailed most of the night before beating the Bobcats at the buzzer. In their first ten wins, the Celtics trailed for a total of 34:48, or 7.18 percent of the minutes they’d played. And in those ten wins, the Celtics trailed for a total of 27 seconds after halftime. Three of the ten wins hd been wire-to-wire, including the previous two. In their only loss at Orlando, the Celtics trailed for 46:55 of the 48:00. It’s also the only time this year they’ve trailed by double digits. The Charlotte game alaso featured 25 lead-changes. There had only been 49 lead changes in the first 11 games combined.