Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 1:51 pm  |  18 responses

Celtic Joy, Happiness, Glee…

and yes, Pride

By Sammy Newman-Beck

We won…finally and not-surprisingly I am still in shock 3 days later. After 21 years (yes that is my age) of watching the C’s go from good to bad to worse I can finally sit back with a smile on my face. I can finally sit back and unlike the Patriots this year (I am a Giants and Patriots fan by the way) I can relish in the fact that we just won an NBA Championship.

While sitting here in the SLAM offices, far away from the Championship parade that is taking place in my hometown this morning, I have pondered the realities all my fellow Celtics fans and I have suffered throughout the years. No longer do we have to defend our hometown basketball team, no longer do we have to question Danny Ainge’s actions and even though he’s only been in Beantown for one year, no longer do we have to wonder about KG being a winner. For me I couldn’t be happier (well unless I was in Beantown, but that’s besides the point).

According to my father, who grew up in Queens, New York, but has lived in Boston since college, Danny Ainge had it all planned out. According to Mr. Beck, (a former Boston University ball player and Cambridge Rindge and Latin Coach– shouts to Pat Ewing and Rumeal “Meal Ticket” Robinson), Ainge, who is surprisingly very intimidating at a hefty 6’5, knew what he wanted all along and knew how to get it. According to Mr. Beck (who on all accounts knows as much about the game as anyone…except me of course) Ainge knew that acquiring Delonte West, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green was done only to trade them later. According to Mr. Beck, of course Ainge didn’t want to get rid of Al Jefferson, but it was necessary and lastly according to Mr. Beck, Ainge knew that going young was not the actual way to go. After much to my chagrin, maybe Mr. Beck, my father who can’t actually let coaching leave his veins, is right. While I hate to admit it but am glad I can, maybe Ainge isn’t as dumb as everyone thinks.

And please for all you haters out there, don’t try to jump on the Ainge bandwagon now, it’s too late. Where were you when we endured a season including lowly highlights like Gerald Green (who is now officially out of the NBA…hopefully the young talent can do something…the kid is too talented!) winning the dunk contest and the excitement of an occasional Michael Olowokandi sighting. After starting off rough in the playoffs with a 7-game series to the Hawks everyone thought they were done. Everyone that is, except themselves. The Celtics never thought they were done. Not in the pre-season when they actually lost three in a row and not in the first game of the finals when Paul Pierce went down with what looked like a season ending injury and the words “It’s over” came out of my father’s mouth.  See…this years Celtics, while criticized for not closing out games, did so when it was necessary. This year’s Celtics went to two seven game series and won every game 7. When they needed the big three to step up, they did and they did so in ways that were far more important than scoring.

See, what is so unique about this year’s team is the unity. Not necessarily the team’s unity, which of course is important, but the unity of a city like Boston. Boston needed this season, just as bad as KG, Paul and Jesus needed their rings. Boston needed a team. And while many will claim the Patriots and Sox as those teams, those who live in Boston know…they can feel it…something is different about this championship; Something about the Celtics winning…something about three superstars sacrificing their stardom for their city…and something about a city rallying around a team that worked harder than any other team in the 21 years that I’ve been on this earth…yes…something is different. And whether you like or hate Boston (and a lot of people do the latter) and what it stands for, you have to sit back and smile, because when a 6’11 All-Star Power Forward is close to completely collapsing while breaking down in tears on national television, or when a bunch of grown men are smiling harder than a 5 year old after McDonalds you have to realize something about this team, these players, and its city are different…something is different, you may not be able to figure out what it is, you may not understand why it is so important, but it is…trust me…it is.

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  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Nice work Sammy (Newbie on here? haven’t seen you around prior to this). These Celtics symbolize everything that is good about basketball (coming from a Bulls-fan).

  • face

    enough about boston fans suffering

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    So there are Celtic fans out there…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Did you argue with yourself during the Superbowl?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    For the second straight summer, Sammy is rocking the super-truncated, one-month internship with SLAM/KING/XXL…he has been on the site several times before but usually covering high school or college stuff. Well done, Sammy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Sammy

    No. No arguing…My dad rubbed off on me…1st Giants…2nd Patriots…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Sammy

    What you know about a super-truncated internship ! lol

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Good stuff. It’s kinda funny his internship started when the season ended.

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Caputo

    SAMMY is the man.

  • http://myspace.com/mrdyalekt d.Y.


  • blackjack

    Good article man, I am also a 21 year old life-long Celtics fan and I remember going to Celtics games and sitting on my father’s lap watching Bird playing out his final days in the Garden. The only problem is that it is physically impossible to be a Giants and Patriots fan, you must choose.

  • blackjack

    …and there is no way your Dad, or Danny Ainge knew that one day Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, etc. would turn into Kevin Garnett and Banner 17. It’s just ridiculous to even suggest that.

  • wordgrl

    Hey, Sam. You’re in the tradition of Tim Russert, Pete Hamill, and lots of other sports (and hometown) fans. Kudos.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Sammy’s dad

    I never said Telfair and gerald green would turn into Garnett – I said Ainge was trying to build up a group of chips – young players with potetnial (Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West) who with a drft chice you could move for a vet star…banner 17… nough said…son

  • ajarizona

    Actually, smart GM’s do stockpile players and draft picks for the future big score.

    Utah made trades and aquired several number one draft picks and so when the time came, they were able to move up in the draft with a trade to Portland and got a little player named Deron Williams. They once traded Jeff Malone and picks to Philly for Hornacek, they traded Giricek for Korver.

    Great Managers build their teams over time. Some of you punks just did not want to give Ainge the time he needed.

    These things do take time, fans should be patient and yes Ainge is a genius.

    Now, it’s time to retire his number. Remember, after Ainge was traded in the eighties, Boston never won antoher title, even though they still had the big three when he left town.

    Learn to appreciate what you have in Ainge, the former College player of the year (Wooden and Eastman awards). A first team Academic All-American as well as a former Major League Baseball player. The guy was making 250,000 a
    year as a sophomore in College.

    Red Auerebach went after him twice, as a player and as an Executive, that should be good enough for anyone.

    Learn to appreciate the man, you’ll rest much easier!


  • AP

    you missed out on a hell of a parade sammy….seeing paul pierce smoking a fat cigar and brandishing the mvp trophy was a sight for the ages…..

    also i loved how the crowd went wild for danny “fingers” ainge, who unlike pierce was sucking on a blow pop…

    no shot out for Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s most famous alums Matt Damon and Ben Affleck?! one of my boys who is a CR&L alum is rolling over in his grave….

  • http://www.youtube.com/dunkadelictv Dunkadelic MC

    The Celtics of 2008 are in stark contrast of the Celtics of 1984. These C’s are represented by players who come from the basketball and hip-hop culture fusion that is now known as The “Dunkadelic-Era” In America, 1984-Present. KG, Double P, and Tre-Ray are hip-hop and Bird, Parish, and McHale are old school country and R&B.

  • McLane

    Super article, Sam, especially for a newbie!
    Finally, the Celtics rock again!
    from an “older” Beantown/Celtics fan