|Posted by Jeff Melhorn on February 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM|
It was a warm May night and the NBA draft lotto was on. The Celtics just tanked in one of the worst NBA seasons I have ever had the unfortunate pleasure of watching. The 1st couple of teams announced and no surprise in those. In the back of my mine I didn’t care. 1 or 2, 1 or 2 I would be a happy camper.
The #1 overall prospect was Greg Oden. He was a one in a lifetime player. He was going to destroy all NBA teams without a true 7 footer(which is most). He was going to win all sorts of accolades ROY, DPOY etc. etc. The #2 and #1 in some minds was the boy from Texas whom filled the cup every single game in College. Kevin something was his name and most had it either Kevin and Greg or Greg then Kevin. 1 or 2, 1 or 2. Oh so happy I would be.
They start calling off teams names to pick in the draft. 10,9,8 then 7. I got up to get a beer and came back to reality. For the 6 pick in the NBA draft goes to the Boston Celtics. Hopes and dreams smashed against a rock once more. This is Tim Duncan/Keith Van Horn(not so much but when he came out ooh boy) all over again. Could I really be excited over a Ron Mercer type draft again. I think not.
Unknown to me this is where the Celtics started to assemble. Ainge took in Kevin’s last 5 games at Texas and watched him in the madness. I look back at it now and I still think KD was DA’s man. My next question I am going to ask is the one I started with, What if? What if the Celtics got what I was asking for? What if DA got the 2nd pick and KD was drafted already? What if DA got the 1st pick and choose Greg Oden over KD? WHAT IF
I am writing this to express how lucky we were for losing in that draft order. I do consider that draft a lucky one indeed. We took our #6 and flipped it for Ray Allen and a 2nd rounder in BBD(if he came out the year before he could have been a lotto pick). Very shrewd move. DA then took the rest of the roster sans PP and Rondo and shipped them the Minnesota for the back bone of the best defense in the NBA KG.
If we end up with Greg it would have been another Len Bias moment. It could have set our franchise back another 5 years. Instead in one year we were all screaming “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE” and reveling in a Paul Peirce Finals MVP. The big 3 came together and if KG doesn’t hurt his knee in the next season and Bynum doesn’t go on that impromptu piggy back ride from Perks we really could be looking at 2-3 championships.
As we see this team run its last run and shoot it’s last shot. I will be happy, I am happy that KG, Ray and Paul have won a championship. I know more was in the cards, but knowing only one team can be the champs each year I’ll take the one. I hope it isn’t over and in the coming weeks you’ll hear all sorts of trades that can or cannot help this team now or later.
You will get mad, you should. These men have brought us to the promise land and they will have to go in one way or another to make way for the future. I have had my nights where I see Rondo to the Lakers and I want to punch everything I see. The Celtics have never traded one of its stars to the Lakers and I hope we don’t start now. Rick Fox was a great shooter and good player, but no never a star.
Let’s all remember that the 1998 Houston Rockets were the #8 seed in the playoffs and everyone said. There too old and cannot compete for a championship. That sounds kind of familiar. The Rockets won their 2nd championship that season with Alien Sam Cassel as a starter.
I hope for health. I hope we make it to the playoffs and make one more push. I hope to get both Chicago and Miami in the earlier rounds to rest up for the finals. I hope they all know the Celtics are old and cannot compete for a championship. I hope to be there when they raise banner 18.
I really would like it to against a young and upcoming team like say OKC. I hope like last season the old dinosaurs take home the championship. Do you know what color dinosaurs come in? You guessed it Green.
Have a great post all-star break.