In the mid-1980’s, Boston sports fans had the pleasure of watching one of the best and most fun basketball teams of all-time. The Celtics then were bigger then than the Patriots are now. You name it. They had it. Talent? This team had five Hall of Famers: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Bill Walton. Success? Two NBA championships in three seasons with the arguably the best team ever assembled in 1985-86. Fan interest? It was at its peak. The Celtics were not only good, but they were interesting. This was mainly because of Bird. Every night would feature at least one play that left fans in awe asking themselves “did he just do that”? The team was also tremendously confident. It wasn’t a question of whether to not they would win. The question was by how much and who would dominate. There has never been a more fun Celtics team to watch and that remains the case today.
Surely, the Celtics have had success since the Bird years. The Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett team won an NBA Championship in 2008 and they returned to the Finals in 2010. There was a six year stretch of contending and there were many great moments. With that said, we all knew that the sun was setting quickly on an aging team. The team was fun to watch, but the reality is the team was on the decline after its very first year together.
Fast forward to today. The Celtics stand at 12-2 which is the best record in the NBA. Is this team as talented as the Bird teams or even the Pierce teams? Absolutely not. Are they going to be as successful this year? Unlikely. Are they as fun? In comparison the Pierce and Garnett team, the answer is yes.
This team is fun to watch for a variety of reasons. It starts with their youth. The roster is full of young talent. Their best player, Kyrie Irving, only 25 and he’s the leader of the team. Jason Tatum is a legitimate candidate for Rookie of the Year at 19 years old. Jaylen Brown is 21. Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart are 23 years old. All of these players are making major impacts and, unlike the Pierce teams, it’s more about the future of the team than the here and now.
The team plays hard and they get the most out of every player. This is a credit to head coach, Brad Stevens. He’s the front runner already for NBA Coach of the Year. Shane Larkin was there leading scorer in a win over the Hornets on Friday Night. Shane Larkin! This team has potential to win multiple championships down the road. The fact that they’re 12-2 without Gordon Hayward is simply amazing, but even more importantly, it’s exciting. There hasn’t been more buzz around this team in 30 years since Larry Legend stole the ball.
The Celtics aren’t only relevant, but they’re the talk of the town. They have clearly passed the Red Sox in fan interest and they’re about to go right past the Patriots.
Disagree? Which game are you more excited to watch this week? Patriots vs. Raiders or Celtics vs. Warriors? Or better yet, which game is more interesting?
The Boston Celtics are back.