What is going on here? Has a team ever changed its fortunes (or at least its outlook) so drastically in such a short period of time? I was honestly expecting a pretty quiet summer, but this place is a circus right now. It’s the middle of August! The team hasn’t played in months and camp doesn’t open for another couple months. So much is being said and written about this team that it becomes white noise after a while. Best in the East? Ok. Weak bench? Sure. Reggie Miller? Why not? I feel like I’m riding shotgun in KG’s Lamborghini, except instead of having my head out the window, I’m strapped to the hood and trying to type up everything I see.
For those that are new here (and perhaps as an exercise in regaining my sanity) allow me to recap:
Just four short months ago, this team was "fighting" for the worst record in the league; shutting down veteran players, playing the entire end of the bench, and getting accused of throwing games. The only hope anyone put into the team was that maybe they could score one of the top 2 picks in the draft and get a franchise player that might help them get back to the playoffs in a couple years. That plan failed miserably because the ping pong balls didn’t bounce our way and we got the worst draft position possible for a team with the second worst record. All hope was lost. I wrote on this site that it felt like we were doomed to another 10 years of failure.
Even after the lottery loss sunk in, diehard fans turned their hopes and attention to the draft and some vague notion of "whatever we can get for Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract." Yi Jianlian became the supposed consolation prize. Al Jefferson was still the future but Paul Pierce was making noise about wanting out if management didn’t make some bold moves.
Pierce himself has been flabbergasted by what has taken place in this last month or so. As have we all.
On a day when the Red Sox traded for a former Cy Young winner, the Celtics were headline news. The Patriots are starting training camp as the odds on favorites to win the Super Bowl and they are still getting 3rd billing. The NBA held back its schedule so that they could get the Celtics on National TV as many times as possible (the team was shut out last year). A Celticsstuff Live caller from Australia reports that the local news down under didn’t cover the NBA Finals, but they ran the Garnett trade as the lead story. This is lunacy.
Sports teams don’t usually get this kind of coverage unless something really bad happens. But there is no Ookey Vick; no asterisk; the ref scandal is only background noise at this point. If anything, these guys are nice, hard working, philanthropic, upstanding citizens. For once, there are no albatross contracts. Everyone is paid about what the market would call for. Sure, the bench is thin, but the team is willing to spend the rest of the MLE, so I’m not sure how much more you can ask.
We haven’t heard the Celtics mentioned in association with free agents for years, but now all of a sudden agents are calling us. And now Reggie Miller is considering an unprecedented comeback at the age of 42. The only surprising part about all this is that it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Anything could happen now. Anything.
And that’s all part of the fun.