Wednesday, October 29, 2008
at 11:13 AM Posted by GHABB,Y~!
I’m not often one to feel pride. Most often, the produdest moment of my day occurs when I take a dump so big that it clogs the industrial work toilets, even before I’ve started to use toilet paper. Though seriously, you try dropping a deuce so bad that they have to call maintenance. It’s a fucking accomplishment and a half.
However, last night’s Celtics ring/banner ceremony filled me to the proverbial brim with pride and happiness for last year’s great Celtics team, one that I’ll never forget as long as I live. I’ve never been married or had children, but watching the C’s get their rings last night was a feeling comparable to what I figure it will feel like to watch my child graduate from Harvard (or Florida if the kid can run a 4.2 40).
I’ll freely admit it. I teared up. First at seeing Doc get his ring, for as much as I criticicized the man, he truly deserves it. Next came the reserves, Leon Powe coming first and making me smile like when the Grinch realized that Christmas wasn’t bought in a store, that maybe Christmas was just a little bit more. Gabe Pruitt getting his ring made me proud like when my little brother aced a spelling test. Big Baby, Eddie House, even running-from-the-crowd Scot Pollard, all of them making me smile in their own separate way, knowing what they went through, how each of them contributed to last year’s team when we needed them, and how, for some of them (like Pollard), it was the end of the road.
Then the starters. Here’s where I really lost my shit. Perk found a way to sweat even when he wasn’t playing, and seemed genuinely moved by the whole thing. Rondo had this look on his face like “this is just the first of what I’m sure will be many,” – brimming with the confidence that he’s finally found after a year of yo-yo-ing on and off the bench. Then Ray Allen, the classy vet, finally seeing his reward after years of shitty Milwaukee and Seattle teams.
Next was KG. I’ve never seen someone so happy. KG sacrificed everything – his statistics, his sense of home in Minnesota, his pride, his legacy – all in the name of turning last year’s C’s into a championshp winner. He would settle for no less, and, deservedly, he got no less. Kevin Garnett literally gave everything of himself, physically and emotionally, in the name of winning, and earning that ring served as the answer to the question of “if I truly work hard and care enough, will I reach my goal?” In KG’s case, that answer was yes.
Finally, a ring was bestowed upon Paul Pierce. The Truth was already teary-eyed from giving a pre-ceremony speech, but completely broke down when his name was called. “Wait, this really is for me? I did this?” seemed to be the expression on his face as he, tears streaming down his face, embraced David Stern and the owners. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier for another person. 10 years of losing seasons, stabbings, coaching changes, and countless bullshit were, at this very moment, all worth it. I was a generation too young for the Bird era, so Pierce, MY signature Celtic, was finally getting the recognition he so richly deserved. I cried along with him.
The banner-raising and the game were just gravy – honestly, if the C’s had lost by 40 like last year’s Heat did on opening night, I would have been understanding. However, the fact that the Celtics, These Celtics, came back against a clearly talented team and won gave hope that last year’s championship, last year’s collective drive and last year’s commitment to winning, weren’t just a one-year thing. The Celtics’ quest for a championship didn’t end at last night’s ring ceremony, as I had initially thought it would. Instead, it was apparently just the end to the first chapter. Welcome back boys, Banner 18 is waiting.