While most fans right now are trying to pretend that December, January, February and March didn't exist, that they weren't calling for this team to be blown up like Hiroshima and that they "believed all along" I'll be one of the few to step up and say…I didn't. I DIDN'T believe in this team, I DID think they should have been traded away at the deadline and I certainly DIDN'T think there was any chance that we would be talking about "Celtics Pride" with this team.
Lets be honest, did you really believe in February that this team would have a chance to make the NBA Finals? The Bulls looked unstoppable, the Heat ran circles around Boston, the Pacers embarrassed the Celtics (not to mention teams like the Wizards also doing the same). The team looked as hopeless as a fish in the desert. What reason did they give us to believe? Yes, there were a handful that puffed out their chest and thumbed their noses at all the "non-believers" but lets be real, you are an oblivious homer.
Almost more annoyingly now we are forced to deal two types of people. The first, the homers that "believed" all along telling us all how right they were and making you feel like a bandwagon jumper for enjoying the Celtics run. These are the same people that feel that since they "discovered" a band before they made it big, that they are somehow able to listen to the music differently than us all. Just because you "believed" in a team when they played basketball as poorly as one can imagine doesn't somehow make you a super fan, it just means you are oblivious to reality.
The second set of fans are the ones that WERE calling out for the team to be blown up, they called WEEI and the Sports Hub with their ludicrous trade scenarios and ripped apart Danny Ainge for his lack of moves at the deadline. But these are the same fans that are now trying to pull a Watergate, destroy all evidence of those recordings and cover up the truth, because now magically as if it were Jekyll and Hyde…"praise Jesus I BELIEVE!! I KNEW THIS TEAM HAD ONE MORE RUN!!! I BELIEVED ALL ALONG!!!" Oh my head. But thankfully this isn't all of Celtics nation….
Well…I am going to break the mold and come out and say I am neither of those two fans. I am the rare third fan. The third type of fans are the one that is going to take their licks like a man and come out and say I WAS WRONG. All of the games when Kevin Garnett looked as if Bill Russell changed to #5 and played in the NBA at age 78, all of the games when Rajon Rondo was a moron and earned himself stupid suspensions costing his team dearly, all of the games when the team just looked like they didn't care and ignored a thing called "Celtics Pride"; it was all a mirage. Maybe the team was just trying to lull us all to sleep, sneak up on us when we weren't expecting it, maybe they forgot to turn on all the lights in 2010 and had to flip the switch one more time in 2012, maybe they were out of shape, maybe like the honey badger "The Celtics don't give a shit" about the regular season?? Whatever it was, I was wrong. My eyes fooled me, my head fooled me and my heart fooled me.
Some may call me a bandwagon jumper for typing this article, but those comments clearly indicate your lack of familiarity of my love of this team, I never once stopped loving the Celtics, I just didn't believe this was a true Celtics team, nor did I believe they had a chance at winning anything. Celtics pride is never accepting a loss, never accepting less and respecting the name on the front of the jersey more than the one on the back. I didn't see that in this team for the seasons first four months, and if it didn't happen after four months why should we have believed that the basketball elves will show up at midnight in May and turn this team into a hungry champion? Somewhere, somehow this team woke up. Grit and balls became their rally cry, the dominoes started falling where they needed to and the David has gotten some really good shots in on Goliath.
Standing a 2-2 in the series with Miami, the Celtics have made me feel the need to write a 900 word positive article article on this team for once. Celtics Pride is the 2012 Boston Celtics and the 2012 Boston Celtics are Celtics Pride.
While other teams have their superstars sitting out playoff games due to average injuries (such as abdominal strains…ahem….Chris Bosh) the Celtics have their stars gutting out knee strains, busted ankles, and popping shoulders. While other teams have seen their stars intentionally chest bump with their coach, show a lack of respect/trust in their coaches play-calling/game-plan (ahem…Dwyane Wade) the Celtics are a team that believes entirely in Doc Rivers and executed his gameplan with surgical precision regardless of the personal sacrifices they have to make. While other teams tend to rely on officiating assistance and crumble when their 6'8 265 lb Small Forward/Power Forward who drives the lane like a freight train fouls out for the first time in 4 years (ahem Lebron "I don't foul out of games" James) the Celtics ignore the lack of lack of equality and persevere.
The Celtics are a team that we can be proud of while other teams cannot say the same for themselves. While the Celtics have a legitimate chance at making the NBA Finals, I can say this with utmost certainty; win or lose this team will go down as one of Celtics fans favorite teams of all time. In Boston we always want a winner, if we can't get a winner we want a team that went down fighting to the final second, a team we can be proud of even if a banner isn't raised to the rafters. While it is still very likely that Banner 18 won't be in the rafters anytime soon, this team has already cemented its legacy within the history of the most historic team in the NBA. Win or lose Boson is proud of the Celtics for defying the odds, believing in themselves and going out with the heart of a champion rather than tanking for a better draft pick. Celtics Pride is alive and well, it may have taken longer than we all expected for it to re-emerge but I sure am glad that it realized it was time to come out of hibernation. Celtics Pride is back folks, boy was I wrong to ever think this team didn't have it, and I am sure as hell glad to be wrong.