Boston Celtics: "I Remember"

Andrew PalumboSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2008

"I remember..."


...being a small boy sitting with my grandfather just months before he passed away watching the Boston Celtics put together one of the most impressive NBA seasons in history as they swaggered to the NBA Championship in '86.

...watching Larry Bird's arch-rival, Magic Johnson, give his "There will never be another Larry Bird" speech to honor No. 33's retirement at a packed Boston Garden (on a night where there was NO game played).
Author's Note:
For true NBA scholars and fans, the unedited Larry Bird retirement video is a must-see on the level of Magic Johnson's HIV announcement and all 13 times that Michael Jordan "retired".

Bird Retires (1 of 3)
Bird Retires (2 of 3)
Bird Retires (3 of 3)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- first Boston Celtics game (Sec. 7 Row 3 Seat 3) where my father and I were two of the last fans to leave the storied Boston Garden in an otherwise meaningless mid-season game against the Atlanta Hawks on January 20, 1993.

...feeling as if I lost a best friend when I learned that Reggie Lewis died just months after attending my first game.

...watching hopefully - season after season - the many fruitless attempts to recapture the glory of '86.

...getting in a week-long fight with my college girlfriend after demanding that the restaurant  - where we were celebrating her best friend's 21st birthday - change the channel from a muted Law & Order episode to Game 1 of Celtics-Pacers in the first round of the 2005 Playoffs.

...not understanding why my fellow Boston sports fans largely refused to support the most successful dynasty in local sports just because of a championship drought.

...hearing the news that the Red Auerbach Dynasty came to an abrupt end (just days before the 2006-2008 season) with his passing on October 28, 2006.

...the first time I payed for NBA League Pass, only to watch the Celtics go 24-58.

...wanting to cry watching the Celtics draw the fifth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery.

...rushing home and throwing on my Delonte West St. Patrick's Day (for extra luck) Celtic's jersey just in time to hear that the Celtics had made a trade for Ray Allen.

...the traitorous feeling I had after tossing my West jersey to the ground to don a Seattle Ray Allen jersey (I have the wardrobe of a 12 year-old) only to get a phone call from my mother informing me that I had missed the announcement that we traded Delonte along with the fifth pick.

...actually crying when ESPN confirmed that Kevin Garnett was being traded to the Boston Celtics.

...the Celtics winning their first 8 games of the 2007-2008 season.

...listening to critics' claims that the Celtics couldn't compete against the West and the subsequent 16-0 start against one of the most dominant Western Conferences in NBA history.

...Boston willing themselves to a win by Eddie House inconceivably forcing a turnover, a rushed pass by Pierce, and one of the most unpredictable buzzer-beaters of the season courtesy of Ray Allen.

...the Celtics beating the defending champion Spurs (twice).

...the 2007-2008 Celtics casually ending the storybook 22-0 run of the Houston Rockets (by 20 points) as if it had been preordained by the basketball gods.

...the goosebumps I get every single time I realize that the Boston Celtics have become the NBA's swaggering villains once again.

Andrew Palumbo