This exchange actually happened between me and my Dad a couple weeks back:
Dad: So where did Chris Paul land?
Me: The Clippers.
Dad: Did the Celts try to acquire him?
Me: Yes, very much so. They thought they were really close and I feel Doc and Danny are big-time disappointed. Paul said he wouldn't sign a contract extension with the Celtics, but they were going to give it a shot this year and try and win it all and then convince him to stay.
Dad: But he was willing to sign an extension with the Clippers?
Me: It appears that way.
Dad: Who's the Clippers' coach?
Me: Vinny Del Negro
Dad: So he rather play for Del Negro than Doc? I thought everyone loves Doc?
Me: They do. Doc is an outstanding coach.
Dad: But it's the Clippers. The most god-awful team for the past 30 years.
Me: Yeah but it's in LA and that's a big city with usually nice weather, and that's really all these guys care about anymore.
Dad: So let me get this straight, he wouldn't sign an extension to play with the Celtics but he will with the LA Clippers?
Me: Yep...Basically it's like this: most players forever have categorized Boston as too cold and too white. NY and Chicago are cold but they're bigger and more diverse. And if they can't play in NY, LA or Chicago, the Florida teams are pretty appealing.
Dad: Well that really sucks.
And there you have it. Dad, I'd like to welcome you to 2012. It's no longer 1986. History doesn't mean a fucking thing. Championships don't mean shit. Tradition doesn't mean shit. If it weren't for Ray Allen accepting a trade to the Celtics (that gesture alone gives him a reason his jersey should be put up in the rafters, retired) than KG would never have followed. Not surprisingly, they were both acquired via trade, not free agency. What's the last big free agent signing the Celtics had before Allen arrived? Dana Barros in 1995? Dominique Wilkins in 1994? Xavier McDaniel in 1992?
This would be equivalent to no one wanting to play baseball for the Yankees. Is it possible?
I remember watching an interview with Doc Rivers when he became coach in 2004-05. He said "if you can't beat them, join them" in regards to the 1988 showdown between his Hawks and the Celtics. Doc Rivers gets it. He frequently would contact former Celtics to come in and talk to the players. To instill their knowledge and passion into today's team. To tell them what an honor it meant to be a Celtic and to put that jersey on.
The problem is, why doesn't anyone else want to join them?
Kevin Garnett embraced Celtics' pride when he arrived, and bonded quickly with Bill Russell. Will there be another elite player in the near future who embraces the Celtics' culture and gets to carry on the tradition? Or will Boston resume irrelevancy?
Go ahead, rip me. Call me a "fake fan." I'll remember the Celtics for what they were: the league's premiere franchise for the first 40 years of its existence. But that was a lifetime ago. Things are different now. And it ain't gonna change anytime soon. tb727 1/14/2012 09:01:00 PM Tweet