Boston Celtics Rise to the Top and What's To Come in the NBA

casey manciniCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2008

As a Celtics fan since I as long as I can remember, you would think I would be happy, right?

Happy that I am not just looking into a past I have only read about. The countless greatest moments watched in reruns of ESPN classics.

I have always been the type to go against the grain, if you need an example go read my Bleacher Report list in my profile. They ask Montana or Unitas? I defiantly answer Cunningham.

In a time where every kid was a Bulls fan, I wore green! I still have my first Paul Pierce jersey that fits more like an A-shirt now. I still wear it too! The Bird Man throwback only comes out on special occasions.

The Boston Celtics have won an impressive 17 NBA championships since 1957. I was born in '81, so even for the '80s' championships, I was still too young to really understand what this team was really all about.

I remember when Allen Iverson, who is without a doubt my favorite player, was rumored to be going to Boston. I could have died happy if I saw my man in a Celtics Jersey. Unfortunately, he ended up in Denver.

I live in MN, so naturally, I root for the Wolves, and how can you not love KG. So when KG was traded to Boston, I was torn. Although I love the Celtics, it was bitter sweet to say the least.

Then I thought what every fan probably thought (especially Celtics fans) when the deal was done for Ray Allen to head east. Do they even need to play? Boston will win the 2007-2008 NBA title.

So let me get this straight. They trade for KG, sign Ray Allen, and they somehow manage to keep Pierce?

Not that the road wouldn't be long, not to say that the NBA will just roll over for them, but we have never seen anything like this. Not two, but three legitimate All Stars on one team, with a stellar supporting cast in role players like James Posey, Rajon Rondo, Eddie House, and P.J. Brown, to name a few.

If they didn't pull it off, well, it would be no more shocking or disappointing than the Patriots losing their undefeated season to the hands of Eli Manning and the NY Giants. Though, due to my against-the-grain nature, I picked the Giants to win, as did anyone who knows a thing or two about football, but that's another story all together.

So, my question is: Did the Celtics buy this championship? Is it no better than Barry Bonds' HR records? Should there be an asterisk by it. Not to imply that they cheated or anything, but how could they not win with this team. I mean, what team could compete with what might literally be the greatest team in NBA history?

I will say that this doesn't mean that you can take any three All Stars and produce the same results. I do have to say that these three guys came together at a time in their career when they had all matured. They had evolved to that point where you just want to win.

Does this change how the players will approach the game? Will more guys sacrifice for the good of the team, namely, the guys with All-Star status? Or will we continue to see guys like Gilbert Arenas demand big contracts that don't allow the franchise to bring in players that can help them win? 

Who will be the next team to pull together a trio of stars? With guys like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Ray Allen, Tyson Chandler, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Michael Redd, each becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2010, it will be the most important offseason in the NBA's history.