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The Boston Celtics have been squeaky clean. They have perfectly embodied the definition of Celtic-Pride. They played as a team, unified by one common goal.
This line-up implanted the Ubuntu-Theory into the history book’s of the Celtics vaulted library of championships. They made us proud to be fans and highlights of their championship run sat perfectly comparable to the grainy images of the battles won by Celtics legends of era’s that have long past.
They were the Boston Celtics of 2008 and they looked every bit a part of the fabric that embodied the winning spirit of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It was as if we had all just watched Larry Bird hoisting the 1986 banner and flash forwarded to 2008 as Pierce, Allen, and Garnett raised #17. The Celtics of the New Big Three Era helped us all to forget that for 22 seasons we sat on our hands scavenging for any reason to applaud.
So…What the hell happened?
This is not the same team that celebrated a championship in 2008. Yes, many of the players are the same but their personalities have changed. Devoid of an identity or any resemblance of what they once were, fans have shifted from concerned and confused to downright angry and embarrassed.
The very same team that had C’s fans holding their head’s high the last two seasons had their fans raining down boo’s upon them and showing them their backs as they sprinted towards the exits of the TD Garden Wednesday night.
Do you blame them? I don’t.
Watching from home, I was too shocked to boo. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As the first half came to a close, the Celtics down 55-33, the “phantom-five” strutting back to the locker room while boo’s poured (and I mean POURED) down upon them.
In all my year’s as a Celtic fan, I can never remember a team that won a championship and was in contention for another ring, get boo’ed like that. It was definitely warranted as the Garden crowd has witnessed 12 inexcusable home losses this season. The lackluster brand of basketball, befitting of the 1978 Celtics more so than 2010, continued into the second half.
Their were no high fives, no screaming in disgust or anger, no trash talking, no real fire that even smoldered to try to get the Celtics from not just losing but maybe just making the final score a little easier to swallow. All that was left was a team that was waiting for the final buzzer to sound so they can get the hell out of there.
I have not seen the Garden that hostile towards any of the C’s opponents this year. Sad to say, the TD Garden’s most lively moment of the 2009-10 season came at the disgust of their fans at their own team.
Tommy Heinsohn said it best, “This is actually a team defending their title…”
When I first heard it, I thought, we have to let 2008 go. Then after thinking about it, I realized Tommy was right. Most opponents viewed the Celtics as not the same team without Kevin Garnett last season. They were waiting for a chance to really pummel the C’s with their roster intact.
Fans, The roster is intact. The Celtics are (for the most part) healthy. Kevin Garnett is back. The only problem now is that the Celtics-Spirit is gone. Put this team in a Nets uniform and we can accept it. I cannot, however, accept a team that is playing like they’re entitled, lazy, unemotional, and unresponsive to wear that jersey.
I always remember when Dave Cowens told Larry Bird that Boston fans know when their team is “dogging” it and they will let you hear it. Well folks, this team is dogging it and the Garden let them know that we will not stand for that style of play while they wear those hallowed uniforms.
Get it together quick boys because we can tolerate a loss with effort but no one is going to stand by and watch this team play with zero intensity and effort. You, as players, may still be giving the same rhetoric after embarrassing losses but, in case you have not noticed, the fans have primarily stopped listening and now they are not watching anymore either.
Boooooooooo! Boooooooooo! Booooooo!
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