I thought it would be appropriate to throw out a hypothetical question on a night we are playing Kevin Durant. As sports fans we love playing the "what if" game. As maddening and pointless as it is we can't help ourselves. We love to argue about stuff like, "what if the ref had not made that call", or "if he hadn't been injured we would have won." As Celtics fans we wonder what if Len Bias hadn't died or what if Larry's hadn't hurt his back in the prime of his career. How many titles would we have won?
On lottery night 2007, after one of the worst seasons in Celtics history we all crowded around the TV expecting, or rather hoping the Celtics would get the first or second pick. It was the Durant/Oden sweepstakes and none of the other players really mattered in our minds. We had visions of championship banners dancing in our heads. When we dropped to 5 there was a collective groan in Celtics nation. Our spirits were crushed.
Then came the draft day trade for Ray Allen and the July 31st blockbuster deal for Kevin Garnett. A championship trophy the next year against the hated Lakers made it all worth the pain. Or did it? Some people say you should sacrifice anything for a title. But would it have been better to have one of the brightest stars in the league for the next 15 years?
While I would have loved to see Durant in Celtics green, I will always say that I wouldn't change anything that happened during that spring and summer. Seeing the Celtics beat the Lakers so convincingly was a childhood dream and a memory I will never forget. Having the pleasure to watch Ray and KG the last 3 years has been an honor. KG's passion and intensity for the game is unmatched maybe in the history of basketball.
While Durant is an unbelievable player, there are no guarantees in sports. What if he got injured? What if the right cast of players weren't put around him? You play to win championships and I will always admire Danny for doing just that. Plus, we were building for the future every year and never concentrated on the present. It was nice we finally played to win.
Kevin Durant is one of my favorite players in the game today. His ability to score in so many different ways is incredible. The Thunder are an exciting team as a whole and I hope they continue to play well (except for tonight). Watching them reminds me of what the Celtics might have been had they gotten Durant. But as I said in the beginning, the what if game is fun but also pointless. You can't change the past so embrace what you have and run with it. Let's all hope for a Celtics-Thunder final! Hey, a man can dream right?