Before the 2007-2008 season which saw the Boston Celtics raise another banner, the C's embarked on a trip to Rome that helped them emerge as the best team in the league. Now, five years later, the Celtics are doing Europe again, with the same aspirations as in 2007. In a few months time, they want to say that their trip over the Atlantic Ocean was paramount in their championship run.
Obviously, flying into a different time zone doesn't guarantee a championship, but it does make a difference. Basketball is a team sport and in order to be successful, all the players need to be on the same wavelength as one another. If they aren't, then the ball movement, defensive rotations and general team play will suffer.
Well, what better way to promote chemistry and bring the players together than to stick them on a plane, fly them over the Atlantic and plop them in a foreign country where the only people they really know are each other?
It is similar to the scene in Remember the Titans when the whole team comes together at camp. While the situation was far different in the movie, it's still the same general concept. When people are out of their element and comfort zone, they have no choice but to become close with those around them.
In 2007, a group of players with a lot of potential left the United States and a team ready to realize their potential returned to the US. There were eight new players on the Celtics that year. After the trip to Europe, you would have thought all of the players were old pals.
Five years later, it is a team that again has a lot of new faces and potential. This trip can and should bring the all of the players together as one team—united and ready to take on the rest of the NBA. Because when adversity hits—and it will—the teams that stay strong are the ones with the best foundation and unity.
Right now, the Celtics are building their foundation and unity in Europe. This unity they form—whether weak or strong—will help define the Celtics as a team and play a role in their success or failure.
Like Coach Boone's team, if the Celtics don't come together now as a team, then they will be destroyed. However, given the players on this team and what they have already accomplished in Europe, it seems that this team will come together and be ready to take on any challenge thrown their way. Come June, they may even be able to credit another championship to their time in Europe.
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