Beware of the Realm of Shadows

"The wider the light source, the more blurred the shadow. If there are multiple light sources there are multiple shadows"

First comes the light, and then the shadow follows. A simple process just like this can illustrate what goes on in our brain in all our experiences in life. We feel those lights and we will keep them in our mind with more or less ease and our imagination and memory will bring them back to life when we desire to do so. Sometimes they grow alive and resurrect on their own, creating an effect of either melancholy or dread. But we often neglect the fact that every impulse leaves a trace, every light casts its own shadow. Without light there is certainly no shadow, but neither is possible to recreate these experiences without the unavoidable mark left by the impression, the effect, the printing touch of the dark.

And therefore, we have many lights on our team. When the name Celtics comes to your mind you may think of Rondo, the Big Three or maybe Shaq. Sometimes you may also think of the fairy tale Ogre also known as Big Perk, of childish creatures as Shrek and Donkey and sometimes you just think about the director of this sports play: Mr Glenn Rivers

But as all lead during a second quarter, a month of March after an All Star and 41 games after the first 41 there are other elements that are there that keep the dream alive. A series of characters that get caught in the realm of shadows that have a sure influence and play a substantial role in the nature of the game. Without them, the lights don't last too long and as the shadow always dwells under the light it sustains, the roots and the ground for all dream lies in the deep underworld structure within.

We never remember the Shadows before a game, but we recall some of them after it. Just as a dream, we feel their presence and soon after we are just left with the feeling that we dreamed something. Depending on the nature of the Shadows, the dream can magnify the lights or can threaten it by becoming a sure nightmare. 

Legends of bad dreams are still remembered in the New England area. Some say there was a certain shadow with the shifting pronouncing name of Blount. Others say that the myth of the Candy Man was once true while some children remember in tremor the legend of a shadow that fed on vaseline and turned mad during the dream. In other times the dream was confusing, the shadows playing a schizophrenic role. We all remember a shadow called Tony Allen whose silhouette often became clearer and a face appeared where only darkness had once existed.

 During the offseason, the Boston Celtics have assembled a secret League of Shadows. General Manager Danny Ainge has opened the gates of the Underworld and has allured some intriguing characters for our team. He got deep into the kingdom of Hades to find what he was looking for.

The main shadow is named Jermaine O'Neal. If he had finally put an end to his once stellar career in the NBA he wouldn't have been remembered among the lights of these leagues. And neither among the shadows. JO first got in contact with the shadows in a game against the Detroit Pistons. He surely got deeper into Dante's Inferno of basketball when he visited the lands of Ontario and Florida. Wherever he looked for forgiveness he was greeted by the cold hands of  forgetfulness. In Boston Jermaine has shown already that he will give the C's defense, blocked shots and team oriented fight. He is tough and he is talented, and he will try to fight his own demons that still try to pry him away from his resurrection. He was once a sure All Star and led his team into the Playoffs. Many fans have forgotten that. He certainly hasn't. He wants it back and he wants it now.

Ainge then read the books of the ancient Europe and the shadows still living in their countries leagues. He sailed through the warm waters of the Mediterranean and even beyond to find about a lost American player with a sweetly covering name for a poisoning curriculum vitae: Von Wafer. As in the famous novel of Polish writer Joseph Conrad, Ainge tried to see if his Kurtz had already got lost in his quest in Europe. Some say he is still not recovered from his adventures in Greece and his failed attempts to come back to the NBA. Fans started to see some flashes of what could be the old Wafer. His shooting was back, his defense was better and his body was back into action. If the lights of this team keep him on track, Von could easily be a leader among the Celtics shadows.

Beyond the lands of Old Greece, we found a gem in the lands of Turkey. Selected at the end of the draft years ago, some thought Semih Erden was the new name for a shadow called Albert Miralles (who still lives deep under the sunny beaches of Spain) , Ben Pepper or Josip Sesar. But among the international confusion often experienced by American scouts, whose lack of records neglects the magic of very precious gems in the old continent, Erden is for real. A big man with far beyond average skills, with heart and humble values willing to become a strong shadow for the Boston squad. Semih looks like a player from the 80's, solid and still learning to be even better. His anonymous identity for the media will become his best ally, a cape under which he will emerge to inflict some havoc in the paint.

Ainge then crossed the ocean back to America again and was gifted by the karma of past Genius with the drafting of two very solid players: Bradley and Harangody. In the dark, they will produce, they will instill the lights and other shadows with fresh blood. They are hungry and talented individuals, born from the waters of Ubuntu and taught by the wise words of the team's guru, the Doctor Rivers. They will be the proverbial oasis in a long season full of sometimes not so meaningful games. They will be summoned in moments in which Father Time will ask some reward for letting our longer than life legends still marvel the world. They are ready.

One final shadow had to be found though, as the ghosts of a gone soldier had left the team without a wing defender and three point threat.  Ainge had spent all his energy and time in his journey and decided to visit the realm of lost shadows in his own town: Boston. There he found a strange and moody character. A player capable of doing a little bit of everything but that at some time during last season it seemed he wasn't capable of doing a little bit of anything. Lost, forgotten and banished from the memory of fans it seemed we had heard the last of Marquis Daniels. The long haired, vast tattooed forward started his climbing trip into the legend of the Celtics. He practiced the three point shot and discovered that his old wounds had healed during the long summer.

At the beginning of September, the prodigal son unexpectedly found his way back home. His mind, his health, his demons had caught up with him in the lands of Ohio. Unable to really be a shadow under the deceiving light of Lebron James, Delonte West lived his own share of Hell for some time. Traded to the Minnesota balloon and later cut free into the air to free some dead weight he was left fall into the NBA's ether free agent pool. He came back with nothing else than his basketball skill and his dreams. He left the past behind him and has been given a second chance by the father figure of Danny Ainge. He has worked harder than anybody else ever since. He is willing to give it all to be good again. And he will.

Together, those silent shadows will make the lights shine brighter and our dreams will open its way into the lands of Mr Stern to finally obtain the glory of a new championship for your Boston Celtics.

When you think of the Celtics, let some time to sail into the Realm of Celtics Shadows.

You certainly will not regret it.