After the Celtics hyper-emotional run to victory in the 2008 finals, as a basketball neophyte, I was ready to fall in love with that team. Everything about it worked. The storylines were overblown but extremely engaging, and the way they played was similarly straight out of a hokey film. That voluble passion which manifested itself in odd ways, as the team snapped between lackadaisical periods before blitzing teams with a boundless intensity. The war cries of Garnett, Pierce’s eye for the theatrical and Allen’s quietly cerebral game – I loved them all.
And here I am, two years later, screaming at Miami for allowing them back into the game, telling my youngest daughter – not yet conceived during that dream season of ’07-08 – that she must never, ever cheer a Celtic. What happened? How did my love become loathing? I feel like to a large extent it came from the same place their current disaffection was born.
Put simply, the same factors which made them so selfless during that golden season have now come back to haunt them in the most infuriating way. The big three, once so committed to the team game, are mere shadows of their championship-winning selves, as if the mere act of getting a ring – proving to the world what they had always known of themselves – gave them free license to turn into the most selfish caricatures of that they had been prior. The movie stars: