Members of glorious Celtics past are in town as the organization will celebrate the championship teams of 1966, '76, and arguably it's most memorable of team, 1986 this evening during tonight's important season finale against the Miami Heat.
On Tuesday night at a team event held at the Liberty Hotel, the Celtic legends spoke on success from seasons past, but also touched on the present; specifically, the Golden State Warriors.
Bill Walton, who's son Luke is assistant coach with the Warriors, openly roots for Golden State as it reminds him of his '86 Celtics team:
Jay King, MassLive.com
"I love everything about the Warriors," the elder Walton said, and one gets the feeling he would feel similarly even without his family ties to the organization. "The Warriors today represent what we had (in Boston). The best players, the best ownership, the best management, phenomenal fans, great culture, great identity, great style, and they have the best player in basketball, Steph Curry, which we had (in Larry Bird). I like our team. I'm very proud to be on this team. But I want the Warriors to win this championship, and I want the Warriors to win (Wednesday) night (when they have a chance to break Chicago's record).Also speaking on the Warriors was Kevin McHale. McHale touched on the differences in eras while still paying respect to the defending NBA champs.
"Look, if we played our rules in '86, we'd win because those poor guys we'd just beat them half to death," said McHale, who coached the Houston Rockets team that fell to Golden State in last year's Western Conference Finals. "If we played today's rules they'd probably win because we'd all foul out. We'd all be sitting on the bench watching guys that we didn't know, that didn't play a lot of minutes, play. It's two different eras. I loved the era I played in. I wouldn't change it for anything. I coached in this era. It's a different era. It's a fun era. It's more open. It's completely different. But players adapt and like I say, what they're doing is historic. And I pull for them all the time."The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors may reminds many of the beautiful game those '86 Celtics played, but they are like nothing present in the NBA today. While teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Cleveland may linger as challengers, the perceived gap between the Warriors and the competition is reminiscent to a team outside the sport of basketball: the 2007 New England Patriots.
They may not have the evil overlord that everyone outside of New England loathes, but each team was, and is, aesthetically at the height of sports while setting individual and team records in the regular season. In fact, a Curry dagger from 38 feet might be as beautiful as a Brady to Moss bomb.
However, the biggest similarity may be the manner in which these two teams are compared to other teams and eras. In a world of critics and former athletes giving First Take-ian views, the conversation tends to end up with "the Warriors couldn't team x's jock" while neglecting differences of rules and way the game was played or "the Patriots would run around team y" while unfairly forgetting strategic and medical advantage previous times did not have.
An ex-athlete's competitive spirit makes it understandable that they lean toward their time or team being the best. But for every bitter Oscar Robertson thought or for every annoying Mercury Morris reappearance, it's nice to read the reverence from Walton.
For every loud Stephen A. Smith take or for every extreme Skip Bayless take, it's refreshing to see a measured response from McHale.
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
Follow Patrick on Twitter at @PatBernadeau Patrick Bernadeau 4/13/2016 07:04:00 PM Tweet Edit