R.J. Hunter, we hardly knew ye

R.J. Hunter is a stand-up guy, a real professional, and will be missed.

He’s a hard worker, good teammate, and not too shabby at basketball, either. Alas, it seems he was not good enough, however, to make the Boston Celtics’ crowded, guard heavy roster, with his slow feet and not-strong-enough arms, no matter how sweet his stroke, or how savvy his scoring.

Sometimes, it seems, the spoils go to those who only recently discovered the value of the opportunity before them.

Is it fair? No. It is a business. The peculiar blend of passion, connection - one might even say Ubuntu - making up the greater Celtics community is, at the end of the day, predicated on butts in seats, bodies in apparel, and league pass and advertising revenue. On salary caps, tax aprons, collective bargaining agreements, and roster limits.

That last one hurts most, especially on your birthday, R.J.

We’re sorry it worked out like this. You deserve better. You deserve a banner, to be honest, with how hard you worked, not only to improve yourself, but those around you - never taking days off, never blaming others, even when they - to be honest - have not earned it like you have.

You are guilty of your own biology, your speed, your height, your reach; of being seven hundred or so days older, of the positions played by those who came before you. Of nothing you could control, at least not much in the little time you were given.

No one will say you did not do your best; may your peers ignore your example at their peril.

And yet, in spite of all this, you took it all with grace.

Banner 18, when it comes - and it will come - will be yours too.

You might have lost the roster spot, but you will always be a Celtic, R.J. - may the odds always be in your favor.

Hunter photo via www.csnne.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn