Wednesday, June 18, 2008

D = Defense (as well as Destruction, Demolition, and Delight)


I was just born when they won the one above, which was the first.




Now these folks - who last night earned the right to be called "The Big Three" - get to add number 17 to the collection.


The Boston Celtics won championship number seventeen last night, destroying the Los Angeles Lakers, 131 - 92. It was a beating of epic proportion.

For those of you whose first love isn't basketball, let me see if I can put it into terms you can more readily understand.

If it had been a hockey game, it would be your team getting off 67 shots en route to a 9 -1 victory.

In baseball, it would be a 19 - 4 drubbing.

Football? 46 - 10.

Tennis? Straight sets, 6 - 2, 6 - 0, 6 - 0.

Boxing? A knockout in the 4th round.

Soccer? 5 - nil.

It was the most complete embarrassment of an opponent, in the deciding game of The Finals, in the history of the NBA. It was the largest margin of victory ever in the final game of the final series. It was absolutely, completely, utterly over with more than half of the third quarter still to be played.

It was my joy.

The Celtics played 48 minutes of lockdown defense. And I do mean 48 minutes, even though they only needed about 30 of those minutes to win the title. The entire season, encapsulated in one moment, came with less than three minutes to play. The Celtics were leading by 40 or 41 points, and Leon Powe tried to get an offensive foul called on some hapless Laker. He put his body in harm's way, standing his ground and taking the charge, knocked to the floor by the Laker. It was called a block on Powe, but no matter. Any other team in the NBA wouldn't have had a player do that. The player would have sidestepped the man with the ball, giving him a clear path to the basket, saving his body for the celebration. Not Powe, and not the Celtics. They truly don't know any other way to play except the right way.

As you no doubt can imagine, I could go on for some 48 paragraphs, one for every minute of this most satisfying of victories. I won't, though, so be thankful to your God. I'll just mention one other moment that I thought was the embodiment of why this team won so convincingly and unselfishly.

Many past Celtics were in attendance, all of them winners of multiple championships. John Havlicek was there. Jo Jo White. Cedric Maxwell. Tommy Heinsohn. And the greatest Celtic of them all, Bill Russell, the winner of 11 championships, sat courtside. Earlier in the season, Russell sat down with Kevin Garnett for a conversation taped by ABC. It was heartwarming and wonderful. Russell told Garnett that he thought Garnett would probably end up with two or three championships before his time was done in Boston. Russell added that he admired the style of Garnett's play so much, that if he (Garnett) didn't win a ring of his own, Russell would give him one of his. Coming from a man whom he probably admires more than any other past Celtic (possibly more than any other past player, period) Garnett was visibly, touchingly moved.

While the Celtics were celebrating on the court immediately after the victory, the cameras caught Kevin Garnett giving Bill Russell a big bear hug. Garnett, close to tears, said to Russell, "Did I make you proud? Did I make you proud?" Russell said, "Yes, you did." Garnett embraced Russell even harder, leaned in close to his ear, and said, "I got one of my own. I got one of my own."

I bet I wasn't the only person in Boston who got misty.

Final result of our contest: The Celtics scored 1162 total points. The winner of the 10 (crummy) CDs is Dave (NOT my cousin, who had his chances wrecked by the outrageously high scoring in this final game.) So, Dave, whoever you are, I hope you're reading this. Send me your mailing address, at suldog@aol.com , and I'll get the 10 (crummy) CDs out to you immediately.

(Should Dave not reply within a reasonable length of time, I will come up with some other way to decide who gets saddled with these wonderful examples of music gone wrong.)



They did it! Party on, Boston! Banner seventeen is coming soon to a Garden near you!

Addendum: Just came upon this. Gigantic man-tears moment for me. I'm not kidding.

Thanks, Red!

Soon, with more better stuff.

27 comments:

Kevin Smith said...

This championship was brought to you by a trade by Danny Ainge, the number Three and the Letter D.

Chucka Stone Designs said...

YIPPIE!!! Thanks for the excellent recap of the game. It is terrific that we won here at home so we can all party like rock stars now!

Balcony Gal said...

I was crying, for sure. Barely sat my butt in my balcony seat. OMG, Jimbo, can you believe it?!!?

lime said...

woohoo!!!!!! yay celtics! they...beat...LA!

(((_Y_)
(_Y_)))

that's my happy dance up there.

and congrats dave. :)

Anali said...

You totally captured it! That moment with Garnett and Russell. Wow. Priceless.

I'm not even a basketball fan. Growing up, my parents were, so there would always be games on in the house, but it was never my choice to watch. I didn't voluntarily watch a basketball game at home until this series. The Celtics played their hearts out and were just enjoying themselves at the end. They so deserved to win!

I just may be a basketball fan now. It's really hard NOT to be a sports fan living here!

Sandra Ree said...

When I read the morning paper, I thought about you Sul.

I'm glad you put the "terms you can readily understand" in this post, because now I understand.

I know this meant a lot to you!

michael said...

If winning four in a row against the Yankees was 100 on the scale of moments I was glad to be alive to witness, last night's game was a 97.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Last night's Celtics blowout reminded of a certain Red Sox 10-3 win on October 20, 2004.

Enjoy the championship, my friend.

Rooster said...

Just amazing. I had a feeling the Celts would whip them by 24 (but afraid to stand by that and create a jinx). They surpassed my expectation by a lot! What a night - every single man in green contributed - they had the eye of the tiger, the Lakers had nothing but confusion in their eyes.

WOW!

Chris Stone said...

That was some game. I couldn't believe the turn overs...

You forgot "Dominance."

John-Michael said...

I was just fine (thank you VERY much) until the "Thanks Red." THAT got me! What a memorable night in sports history. And I am so glad to know a Man for whom it meant so much.

Lovin' Ya, SulDog!

eileen said...

That was an amazing game and I couldn't imagine a happier end for this Celtics team.

They deserved it!

Buck said...

Ah. No finer feeling than seeing your team win it ALL. Good on the Celtics, and good for YOU, Jim!

David Sullivan said...

Curses! Foiled again!

the blue state blogger said...

"I bet I wasn't the only person in Boston who got misty."

I'm sure I wasn't the only one in Maine, either. My God, what a series. I'm in tears as I type this!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

I'm assuming my erstwhile predictionn went gown in flames. I wasn't really paying attention. You know, I don't really follow sports, unless it's watching Hockey for the fights. My buddys and I in highschool used to watch wrestling, for the fights, and rollerderby, for the fights. There's a theme there somewhere. being freakishly tall I had LOTS of people pushing me to play Broball, but the interest just wasn't there. Happy for ya though. Enjoy it.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Wait a minute, did your team win?

Mushy said...

Congrats on the win my friend!

I haven't watched basketball since Jordon quite the Bulls...I do, however, remember being a Celtics fan back when Bob Cousy played in the early '60s.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Jim said....OK... Since I did not enter the contest and did not waste any persons time. I deserve to win the 10 crummy CD's. Dave, whomever he is won't mind.

berryjooks said...

Nice job Suldog.

The Russell/Garnett moment was one of my favorites also, and was amazing on so many levels.

Janet said...

I don't think I could have walked around with Bill Russell on the sidelines watching, much less played basketball. The story about Kevin Garnett hugging him at the end made me cry.
Go Celtics! You might need to check out Rhea's post at the Boomer Chronicles. She may possibly have not shown the proper respect.

Suldog said...

Janet - What can I say? Rhea isn't a huge sports fan. More's the pity for her, not us :-)

Dave said...

I missed by only 28 points?!

I'm the winner. There's no way my wife will allow 10 MORE crappy CDs in our house, as I brought plenty with me into the marriage. I would instead request you give them to whoever finished second, or, baring that, anyone you can scam into taking them.

Suldog said...

Dave - You SERIOUSLY don't want the 10 (crummy) CDs? Well, OK. I guess that means I have to either give them to the next person or have another contest. I'll have to give this some thought....

Thimbelle said...

Twinks and I happened to see the tail end of the game, and I told her that her old uncle Suldog would be one happy camper...

Congratulations! We are so glad that your team won!!! :)

Merelyme said...

just stopping by to say hello!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

6-29-08 I know this is a waaaay late comment, but I ran across this blog today linking from another site I visit. Since it is crammed full of great Celtic-related photos, I thought you might enjoy it. The lady is quite a photographer. Don't be put off by the photos of weddings in her header; she really does have some great (non-game) Celtic shots.

http://www.staceykaneblog.com/