Afternoon Delight- My Top 15 Celtics of the Last 15 Years
As promised a couple weeks ago...below is a list of my favorite players since I became a Celtics' fan in 1996-97. I feel that most of you would have a similar list with a couple of exceptions. I did throw in some less common players just to spice things up.
Let the debate commence.
15. Rasheed Wallace
Okay. I know what you're thinking. This guy is high. I assure you I am not... not yet anyway. Although the one they call 'Sheed' was nothing more than a punchline to most, he still kept everyone in Celtic Nation talking. And say what you will about his work ethic (or lack thereof), you certainly cannot blame the guy for that game 7 finals loss. He played admirably with an ailing back filling in for an injured Perk.
14. Eric Williams When I first started watching the Celts, E seemed like a gritty reliable player. He filled a sixth man niche role at the 3 fairly well. Too bad for us, we had to utilize him more than we probably should have. To me, E could have been a solid contributor on a championship team like James Posey and Leon Powe in 2008. E had a solid NBA career averaging 8.8 ppg 3.3 rpg and 1.5 apg.
13. Kenny Anderson To me Kenny Anderson was the first true point guard I ever saw play in a Celtic uniform. I was too young to have seen the likes of DJ and had never seen footage of the Cooz. Kenny will be remembered as the first real threat at the PG position during my Celtic fandom. The only vision I need to have of Kenny is of him running the point during one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
12. Dana Barros If I made this list when in 96-97, he'd be #1. As an 8 year old kid, I related to Dana because he was a lot shorter than the other players (I think he's listed at 5'11"). I also liked him because he was a ridiculously good 3 pt marksmen and envied to shoot like him one day. And yes...my name is Dane and my last name starts with a 'B'....so that helped as well :).
11. James Posey If someone told me the Celtics would not have won banner 17 without Posey, I would not disagree with them. This guy meant everything to our bench. Clutch defense. Clutch threes. You name it, he did it. This guy was the ultimate spark plug. I agree with Danny not giving him the ridiculously long/pricey contract that he wanted but...it makes you wonder what could have been if we had.
9. Walter(ah) McCarty I mean because honestly...who doesn't love Waltahhhhhhhhh?!!?!?!
The inspiration behind the Tommy Point.
8. Ryan Gomes Similar to Eric Williams, Ryan just did what he had to do. He always seemed to be at the right spot at the right time. He was a very good role player on some pretty bad teams. His work ethic and demeanor on the court made me like him a lot. I knew we got a steal in the draft because I had seen him dominate UConn and the entire Big East. What he lacks in height and bulk, he makes up with intelligence and heart.
7. Rajon Rondo Not too long ago, Rondo was the other guy in the starting lineup for the Celtics. Now he is the guy. The Celtics go as Rondo goes. His passes are Cousy/Birdesque and his athleticism is probably only surpassed by CP3, DWill, and DRose at his position. Hopefully, he can overcome any future negative press from the president and lead the Celts to banner 18.
6. Kendrick Perkins
Although he never seemed happy with a call, we were always happy with him. He never lit up a stat sheet but he did everything else. Perk was also the only big guy that I saw consistently shut down future celtic Dwight Howard (#BringDwightHowardtoBoston).
We miss you big guy. Come back!
5. Ray Allen The kid, the man, the old fart...still has GAME. In fact, he is still the best shooter in the league bar none and will be the best once he retires at the age of 75. Ray's preparation and routine is unmatched by any other athlete that I have ever heard of. He was one of the best players in UConn history and he could also see his number retired if he helps us win 1 more banner.
4. Antoine Walker The original captain, the master of all that wiggles. Imagine if this guy had the work ethic of the aforementioned Allen. Him and Pierce could have been better than Kobe and Shaq were. Too bad Toine loved hoisting up ridiculous 3s and completely forgot how to play in the post. Irregardless, I still remember Toine for his enthusiasm and his inspiring speech that ignited the greatest comeback (now 2nd best, behind game 4, 2008 finals) I had ever seen.
3. Leon Powe Eric Williams and Ryan Gomes on steroids. The feel good story of a lifetime. The guy plays with basically no knees and dominates a crucial game 2 in the NBA Finals. Kung Pow'ed. What he lacks in size he makes up for in heart. Really sad to see him struggle to stay healthy.
1. The Truth Honestly...who else would you expect to be #1? Brian Scalabrine? Yeah...I thought about it...but couldn't bring myself to do it. But Scal gets honorable mention and some Tommy Points.
The dude got stabbed 11 times, nearly died, came back a couple months later and almost got the Celtics to the NBA finals with a mediocre team. He wanted out when things got really grim...and I don't blame him. But the most important thing is that we all got what we wanted and Pierce will be a Celtic for life.
After graduating high school in 2006, Dane realized he had to prepare himself for the "real world". Ever since then, he has been writing based on his first hand experiences of heartbreak and rejection. Dane prides himself in being both a rapping satirist and realist. He only writes about things he knows in hopes that one day his introspective hip-hop will make him a better person. He appreciates any and all those that can relate to his music.