Death and Genesis of a dream: from Mr Cousins to Doctor Al

The year 2012 was coming into an end and I can clearly remember two things: the continuous talk of the Apocalypse and two Celtics games against the Nets. In my mind those two games were a clear sign of what came ahead: the Celtics would lose Rondo (this time to a suspension) and would fight back to beat the Nets on Christmas Day, one of the team´s better games by that time of the season.

It was old school, Rondo defending KG by pushing a much bigger opponent out of the court in Kris Humphries. The Celtics demanded respect but lost their captain in the process. There was talk of Rondo´s behaviour and the fans starting writing about trades.

In my mind, trades without sense: you just don´t trade your best player, a rising All Star that has the ability to make plays and decide the destiny of a game or a playoff series by himself. Later it would be proven that without Rondo the team lacked that kind of performance to be consistent in the regular season and later to advance into the playoffs.

At the same time, the team needed help inside. While Jared Sullinger was a pleasant addition to the team, we lacked some big bodies to help KG with the more agile big men in the league.

Then came the rumors. We had been talking about Josh Smith for a year and the soon to be free agent was again part of trade talks in the web. But the truth is that Smith´s role was to be filled by Jeff Green, who at that point hadn´t really displayed all his abilities for us doubters.

Cause yes, Green always looked to me as a physical specimen, a guy who had all the tools to be great...and yet he didn´t have the temper or the character to do it.

He proved me wrong: he surely was also the mental player suitable to be the heir of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

But let´s go back to those days. We needed a big and Smith didn´t really filled the role. Then a name appeared out there. A black cloud with the strength of a thunder and the basketball IQ to be a perennial All Star in the league. This time we were talking about a center, a very young one and tired of playing for a losing team. And what was even more enticing: his contract was really low for such a promising player.

DeMarcus Cousins. A beast. A player capable of doing whatever he wanted out there. His problem was quite different from Green´s back then: he was too passionate, too uncoachable, too childish, a raw diamond that was trying to escape from the basketball purgatory of the 2012 Sacramento Kings.

By then, I was active in Celticslife and in twitter wondering what other Celtics fans saw in Cousins. One of my favorite Celtics friends out there is Alessandro Di Neri, who happens to be in charge among others of Celtics Spain fan website. I talked and talk to him quite often and he gave me other names, such as Jefferson and Millsup from Utah. I proposed the need to add the Polish Hammer -Marcin Gortat- and he talked about the need to do a minor trade for Timofey Mozgov, disgrunted yet very talented center from Denver. We even discussed a rumor I found on another site about the Celtics about to trade for Kevin Love after the January 15th deadline. Apparently -and according to this source- the Wolves were interested in Green and other young players and it was a matter of time until the trade was to be done. Back then I thought the price to pay was too high, but the player was too good to not dream about it. Kevin Love with Kevin Garnett? You have to be kidding! I was so excited I only told my friend Aless about what I had read.

And then Love got hurt and the shadow fell on me again. That player from Sacramento came to my mind once more and my friend continued mentioning Al Jefferson to me.I thought the Jazz would trade him or Millsup before the deadline, but not to us.

I quite didn´t link Jefferson to the Celtics in my mind still even though my friend Aless was still throwing his name out there.

I still thought of Cousins.

Then the Kings almost disappeared and also the contacts from the front office. Heck, their GM was out of business after the crisis and you were forced to take any moves with them out of consideration.

The dark cloud, the beast from Sacramento looked as if it was only in my mind and neither Love nor Gortat came to the Celtics in the following weeks.

Instead, we brought two power forwards from China that were erased from Doc´s agenda once the playoffs started. As you´ve seen in the last weeks, the Celtics only played once center in the postseason really...a player that converted to that position last year: 36 year old Kevin Garnett. No help for him, no Sullinger, no Milicic...not even Collins.

And of course no Cousins...

Two weeks ago I received a message from Aless again. He invited me to participate in a Celtics podcast in Spanish to discuss about the Boston Celtics. I was eager to participate and talk about our team and my friend mentioned that name again: we could try and trade for Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz.

He said: "Al Jefferson is our man. He is exactly what we need."

This time the name really hit my basketball mind. He is right, I thought. 

I think it was a couple days later I was reading Celticslife when a comment made by our columnist Matt hit me again: according to him Al Jefferson really was interested in return to the Celtics. I sent him an email and he confirmed me that information through his sources.

"Al Jefferson is our man. He is exactly what we need"

To turn matters more intriguing, Jackie MacMullan said in ESPN's Pardon the Interruption that the Celtics will make a serious run at Al Jefferson. 

The signs were all over the wall: this is it, we are players in the Al Jefferson's hunt.

Jackie MacMullan's mention was the way to make the rumor real, the idea possible and the dream alive. A dream that for me started in the mind of an intelligent mind from Alessandro di Neri in Spain and evolved through the months among other dreams named Smith, Cousins and Gortat until it became real through the sources of Matt from Celticslife and probably the most respected Celtics related journalist out there: Jackie MacMullan.

From Cousins to Jefferson. From Aless to MacMullan. From Spain to Poland and then to the United States.

From dream to reality.

You were right man: Al Jefferson is the man. And this time it is not only an idea.

The dream may turn real

From Mr Hyde (Cousins) to Doctor Jeckyll (Al Jefferson).

The Celtics will be big next year. This time we will have a true center...hopefully Al Jefferson will be back.