Media day did its job, very encouraging on all fronts. What is this talk of the current Celtics' limited window of opportunity? This team is built around a collective mentality. Ubuntu lives!
Jerry Rice caught a touchdown pass in the 2002 super bowl after leading his team during the year and being selected for his 13th Pro Bowl - at or near the age of 40. Joe Montana led his team to victories over Elway's Broncos and Young's 49'rs and into the playoffs at the age of 38. These guys had productive years into their late 30's. They knew how to use their head and their hearts as physical capacity diminished. Were they washed up after turning 30? Montana was the NFL's MVP in 1989 and 1990 and SI's Sportsman of the year in 1990 - in his mid-30's and after what many thought would be career ending surgery in the mid-1980's. Athletes with declining physical skill sets but highly developed mental attributes often outplay more physically gifted opponents - look what MJ did with the Wizards at the age of 38, before the final knee injury. So what happens when a few 30-something stars with high game IQ complement each other?
Ray has the Montana/Farve gunslinger's mentality. Paul has Rice's wily deceptiveness that just keeps going like the energizer bunny. KG has MJ's freakish abilities that exude intimidation despite the loss of a step or two of speed and inch or two of vertical reach. And they are playing together. And they have youngsters like Rondo (really, 11 lbs of added muscle?), Perk, and a trim Big Baby around them. And they have experience like Sheed, Quissy and Eddie on the bench. Giddens, Walker and Hudson can't help but learn from this group, so there is energy to burn whenever needed. The window of opportunity for this group is not a small rectangle near the ceiling of a basement room. It is an arching picture window opening to a broad horizon.
Collectively, this group has so many pieces to combine in so many ways that the only challenge is to keep their heads together so the body parts are in sync. No need for any single body part to be dominant. They keep the concept of Ubuntu alive and they are championship caliber for five more years, maybe more depending upon the maturation of youth. It is the Celtic legacy. It is like the '86 team with Len Bias and Reggie Lewis in their future. This is going to be fun, for a long, long time.