After the 2006- 2007 NBA season the Celtics looked like they had given up.
Head Coach Doc Rivers' job was in jeopardy.
They had finished 24-58, including an 18 game losing streak, after star-shooting guard Paul Pierce had gotten injured.
The great days of the Celtics were finally over. The team was no longer the great team it was in the 80’s. In fact it hadn’t been since 1986 since the Celtics had last won an NBA championship.
The last MVP they had played on that 1986 team, the great Larry Bird, possibly the greatest Celtic ever. Bird, McHale and Parrish led them past Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets in the 1986 finals. Those days were over, long over, and the Celtics were beginning to realize that Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes were not going to lead the once historic NBA franchise to a championship. It was time for a change.
Early in the offseason there were talks that the Celtics were trying to acquire Timberwolves future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. However, talks died down when it was reported that Garnett was not interested in playing for the Celtics due to the lack of talent on the team. To assure that he did not end up in Boston, Garnett waived his no trade clause in the Celtics face and the talks ended.
Garnett’s career was at a dead end in Minnesota, and he was desperate for an NBA championship, something he had not yet achieved.
The Celtics then turned to the draft and hoped to draw the #1 pick in order to get Ohio States 7-foot center Greg Oden or Texas’ star forward Kevin Durant. Once again the Celtics luck was not that great, and they received the 5th overall pick, despite the fact they had the second worst record in the NBA.
Since they could not draft the player they wanted, they traded for a star instead. The Celtics acquired Seattle’s star point guard Ray Allen in return for the 5th overall pick in the draft (the Sonics used it to draft Georgetown’s star forward Jeff Green), Wally Szczerbiack and Delonte West. The Celtics also received the 35th pick in the draft, which they used to draft LSU’s monster 289-pound center Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Talks were again beginning to stir about Garnett’s possible trade to Boston.
However everyone in Boston knew that it would require a huge trade in order to get Garnett to the Celtics.
So a huge trade is what happened.
On July 31st, the Boston Celtics traded Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and their 2009 1st round draft pick to Minnesota for the 10-time All Star and 2004 MVP Garnett. It was the single largest trade for one player in the history of the NBA. It left the roster crippled.
They then went out and signed guards Eddie House and Jackie Manuel. The Celtics had then finally done it. They had gotten their long desired MVP, potentially two MVP’s, in Allen and Garnett.
The fans then began wondering. Could this team come together and win a championship? Could Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce work together?
Pierce had been with the Celtics since they drafted him with the 10th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. He was the key player on the team from then until now.
Allen was also used to being the star, but at 32 years old and lacking the speed he once had, he knew he could share the load.
Garnett still has the fight in him. Despite the fact he is now 31, he fights for every rebound and is thirsty for a championship. He is also used to being the face of a franchise. He was with Minnesota where he averaged 38 minutes a game there and was looked at as one of the best players in the game.
The Celtics started helping the “Big 3” blend right away.
Before the season, the team took a trip to Rome where they came together quickly. In fact, they have come together faster than any team that I have ever seen.
Freshman Mike Kaplan agrees with the statement saying “I think right off the bat after the first week, everything just clicked for them, and of course they all get along, they only have nine losses.”
However others think differently, like freshman Abe Sillman. “I dont think the team has come together too quickly, or too much at all. I think the team has star players, that alone can pass them to the best record in a weaker Eastern Conference,” said Sillman. They currently have a record of 41-9, the best in the NBA.
They still have very little chance of breaking the great Michael Jordan led 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls team record of 72-10, but they still have been the most impressive team in the NBA.
As for who the leader of the team is, I don’t think Celtic fans care, as long as they win an NBA championship.