21 years ago - I heard the chant of "Beat L.A., Beat L.A." ripping through the rafters of the Boston Garden. Listening to the Celtics players, led by a Californian, former Laker fan in Paul Pierce chant that in the locker following the Game 6 win in Detriot last night was exactly what every C's fan wanted to hear. We've waited a long time to hear it. What does this series mean to us C's fans? Paul said it best after the game "It means everything to Boston fans. To me, that's what pretty much got me started in basketball." Kevin Garrett, who finally gets to play in the NBA finals added "It's about to get crazy". I would agree.
21 years have past since the Boston Celtics had a shot a number 17. Nobody would have thought it would have taken this long after the C's won 3 titles in the 80's. The Celtics once went a decade where they won 9 titles in 10 years. But like the Red Sox and their 86 year drought, and the Patriots and their 41 year absence of a title - if the Celtics win this series it will be well worth the wait. This team was put together the "restore the order" in the NBA...and they have a shot to do so.
21 years since the Lakers and Celtics clashed in the NBA finals. This is the 11th time these two powers have met for the golden ball - by far the most in NBA history. The Lakers, with their Hollywood stars in the front row, stage lit basketball court, the purple and gold flash, and Hall of Fame Coach are easy to like and also very easy to hate. The Celtics have their history, the banners, Red, The Big 3 Part I, and now the Big 3 Part 2. David Stern has to be in heaven right now because the greatest basketball rivarly in the league is about to go at it again.
Let's not wait another 21 years for this to happen again. I can't wait to see the old grey T-Shirts that say "Beat Ln the front come out of hiding. I can't wait to hear the Garden crowd scream it during Games 1 and 2. Somewhere, Red is smiling and wishing good fortune to the boys of the shamrock. I was 10 years old the last time I saw the Green and White vs. Purple and Gold. I feel that old right now thinking about this series.
On a sidenote - I'm going to look this up but has there been a better year for any city in the HISTORY of sports in America? Let's just start with last fall: The Red Sox sweep the Rockies to win the World Series (yes I was there. See picture above :) ). The Patriots complete just the 2nd undefeated regular season in NFL History and make it to the Super Bowl. The Bruins make the Stanley Cup playoffs as the 8 seed in the East and push the No. 1 seed (hated!) Canadiens to overtime in Game 7 on the road, Boston College won the NCAA Hockey Championship, and now the Celtics are in the NBA Finals. Throw in 2 No-hitters and you've got a hell of a sports year....can anyone top that? If you can, please let me know cause I feel pretty lucky.