They said it didn't matter if you made it to the Finals when everyone counted you out. You still lost.
They said it didn't matter if you lost by 4 or 40 in Game 7. You still lost, and more painfully, to your bitter archrival.
They said with an evil grin, "How does it feel to have come this close and yet lose it all in the end?"
How does it feel now that you have to go back to your locker room, cry your heart out, and take each day like it was an eternity, wondering what might have been but could never be?
How does it feel to wake up the next morning and face this harsh reality?
How does it feel now that you have to spend the offseason dwelling on the uncertainty of the future of your city?
They said as it stood, we're too old, too slow, too injured.
And too late.
The landscape has changed. The rules have changed. There has been a shift in the balance of power, and you're one, two, no... three steps behind. Just look at your roster.
You have players running close to an empty tank.
You have players who show promise but whose past is either marred by disappointment or uncertainty.
Yes you still have the Big Three. But at this stage and with their energy, can you still guarantee that they are still hungry?
And remember... you still have to do it, all over again.
Starting with Game 1 of 82, where anything could happen.
Follow that with the Playoffs. The Quarterfinals. The Semis. The Conference Finals.
And if you survive, or somehow find a way, The 2011 NBA Finals.
They said it's a tall order. We won't make it, we won't last until the end.
So might as well lower our expectations and avoid getting hurt again.
But this isn't just any city. This isn't just any team, to those who truly know.
This is Boston and this season, we plan on running the whole show.
We are aware of the rest of the world's expectations,
We very well know those other teams filled with high hopes, those with a chip on their shoulder, and those with a championship banner.
We know that we're up against not just them, but against ourselves above all.
And it sure is a damn tall order.
But this is Boston.
We set the standard in basketball.
We've known the agony of defeat, and we've known the ecstasy of victory.
We've felt almost every emotion you can name in the vocabulary.
We fight for each other. We believe in each other.
We are Celtic Pride.
We are not just a team. We are a brotherhood.
We believe that together, anything's possible.
We are Ubuntu.
And this season, come what may, we are out to make a statement.