Danny Ainge: Don't Trade Anyone...Please

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Danny Ainge: Don't Trade Anyone...Please
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With all these rumors swirling around the Celtics like the winds of Hurricane Katrina, I’ve had to step back and think to myself, “What if the Celtics do trade someone?”

I don’t think there is anyone in the draft worthy of parting ways with any of the starters, but Danny Ainge may feel differently.  I would be shocked to see them trade anyone, but it could happen.  And if it does, I’ll be incredibly disappointed.

It’s great to think about trades when you’re team stinks.  Remember when the C’s were 24-58?  I fell asleep every night praying for them to make a trade.  On draft day in 2007, when they traded for Ray Allen, I thanked my lucky stars—Paul Pierce finally had somebody to play with. 

Then I heard that Kevin Garnett might be on his way to Boston and I broke my web browser refreshing Hoops Hype for constant updates on the news—I was that excited for the trade.

When you’re bad, your team needs trades. 

You can’t fall in love with a team when they win 24 games.  I certainly liked all those young guys we traded for Garnett and still root for them to this day, but you can’t fall in love with a team that specializes in finding ways to lose games.

I was still a huge Celtics fan and I loved the C’s, but I wasn’t in love with them. 

But you did fall in love with the 2007-2008 Celtics—a team that won a championship with, above all else, guts, heart, and defense.  You can fall in love with a team that immediately gels, rising to the top of the NBA despite no experience playing with each other. 

You can fall in love with Paul Pierce, a Celtics lifer who shed tears when receiving his championship ring, remembering the journey of winning his first NBA championship.  You can fall in love with Kevin Garnett, the maniacal warrior who gave James Posey bear-hugs before every single game and never fails to maintain the utmost intensity. 

You can fall in love with Ray Allen, the smooth but cold-blooded assassin with a propensity for hitting big shots. 

You can fall in love with Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, the two developing youngsters during the 2008 championship run, two guys who were supposed to be the Celtics’ downfall but turned into essential pieces to the puzzle. 

And you certainly stayed in love with them during the 2008-2009 season, when they gamely surpassed all expectations after the debilitating injuries to KG and Leon Powe.  The Celtics were no longer one of the most talented teams in the league and their bench was about as deep as your local swimming pool’s baby pool. 

Still, you stayed in love with them.  With the hearts of champions, the Celtics won their fair share of games after Garnett went down and refused to let his loss deter them from their ultimate goal—winning the NBA championship.  You couldn’t help but become even fonder of the Celtics, as every player proved his worth time after time. 

They weren’t as good as the prior year’s team had been, but they played every bit as hard.  Fighting through the injuries, the Celtics pushed forward, securing the second seed in the east and beating the Bulls in an epic first round series.  

Watching them play, I thought two things almost every night.  First, I thought, “Damn.  If this team still had Garnett, and maybe even if they just had Powe, they would have won the championship.” 

Next, I thought, “No matter what happens to this team, I’ll always love this collection of individuals that fought and persevered together as a true team.”

When they finally got ousted from the playoffs, I was drained and beaten but still proud.  I love the Celtics, and I love the team they have right now.

That is why I don’t want them to trade anyone. 

I want the starting five to return intact and hungry for their second championship in three years.  I want to see Kevin Garnett pounding his head against the basket support before every game.  I want to see Paul Pierce cement his legacy as one of the all-time Celtics greats. 

I want to see Ray Allen rain down jumpers from the perimeter.  I want to see Rajon Rondo continue his evolution into an elite point guard and Kendrick Perkins become one of the leagues top centers.  And I want to see them all do it together.

Because let’s face it...kicking the Lakers’ asses next year just wouldn’t be the same without those five leading the way.

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