Inspite of all the pain & depression, GLOOM & DOOM we Celtics fans are now undergoing, there's still a positive side in losing to LA, believe it or not!
If I may borrow a page from Kobe, he said that losing to Boston in 2008 became the template for their current championship run.
Well, we can do the same thing too even if we have an aging roster, believe it or not! And this will work 100%.
However, it will take a bit of SACRIFICE & a lot of stepping-up from everyone with the Celtics: from owner, to management, to the players & fans themselves.
This final solution then is to get involved with this summer's high stakes free agency. But please bear with me as the explanation is lengthy.
If Danny Ainge didn't make a huge move by the trading deadline this past Feb. (& it proved him right as we got to the Finals), then this is the time the Celtics have to consider making a huge move.
It's not panic mode at all unlike back in Feb. where everyone was at panic mode demanding all kinds of move except Ainge himself.
Indeed, it's not panic mode but rather, "forging the template for our next championship run" just as to how LA did after we beat them in 2008.
But who do we go after & who will we trade for in order to get involved? Also, how can we sign anyone when our payroll next year is +$68 mil?
Well, please bear with me as the solution I'll propose is still feasible. But it will require SACRIFICE from everyone!
"Boston's final solution"
First & foremost, there's no doubt in Celtic-Land that everyone wants to win again badly that for sure, everyone would be willing to step-up & sacrifice a bit.
And so, the first thing needed is for the Big 3 (plus Rondo & Perk), Danny, & Doc [if he will stay] to do the same thing they did last year which was: personally meet a free-agent the team needed most (the best big man available) which was Sheed who did help the C's during the playoffs.
Back then, Sheed was torn between several teams but a visit from the Big 3, Danny & Doc is what ultimately made the difference as nothing beats a personal plea! This summer, the Big 5, Danny & Doc can do that again but this time paying a personal visit to the best player available. LeBron James!!!
And though that may be unthinkable to Celtic Nation since we Celtic fans don't like mortal nemesis, & it may also be unthinkable for our Big 5 to plea to LBJ as it's tantamount to bowing down & paying tribute to the king, well, this is one instance where we have to SACRIFICE a bit of our ego for the good of the team.
And though the C's has never even been mentioned at all with the LeBron sweepstakes, well, it's about time we get involved - & nothing beats pursuing him in person as it shows sincerity, honesty, & respect! Just ask Sheed.
But how can we afford him, you may ask?
Well, this is the 2nd part of the SACRIFICE & stepping-up from the C's if they really want to win again.
"How to get LeBron"
First, we may have to ask Paul & KG to re-structure their contract.
Next year, Paul makes $21,500 mil. while KG makes $18,800mil.
If Paul sheds $10 mil. & KG sheds $8, 800 mil., we will have $18.8 mil. whereby we can offer LeBron $15 mil. (the same $$$ as to what he made this year), then re-sign Ray for $5 mil. which is reasonable - & Ray wants to stay.
This will bring the C's payroll to $70 mil.
However, they still will have to re-sign Tony for $3 mil. (he made $2.5 this year & has proven his worth) & Nate for $3.5 mil. (he made $4 mil. this year but may be amenable to a slight pay cut since he will be playing for another championship.)
In short, ownership will be looking at $76 mil. payroll. This is where they also will have to STEP-UP & sacrifice a bit.
Meaning, they will have to dig deeper into their pockets because the C's will be $20 mil. over the cap [$56 mil.], ownership will have to pay for this.
But the sale in tickets & merchandise all over the world will offset this somewhat. In turn, we fans will also have to SACRIFICE a bit as the ticket price may go higher but thats OK as nothing beats winning!
But the biggest sacrifice will have to come from Paul & KG to make this happen.
But being the proven leaders & winners that they are, they may be amenable to this.
In turn, the ownership will have to compensate the big $$$ loss for both players via re-signing them once their contract expires. (In short, ownership has to step-up again & make some sacrifices.)
"But will Lebron take the offer?"
Given the dire competitor that he is & that he's really sincere about "money is not important, winning now is" we then have a great chance of getting him but we have to sacrifice our ego & woo him personally just as to how other cities & its fans & players are wooing him now.
Indeed, us fans & our Big 5 plus Danny & Doc has to woo him personally.
Given Doc's credential & coaching style, any NBA superstar will surely won't mind playing for him!
But if Doc really wants to move on for his family especially his kids, then we can't blame him. (Actually, more power to him & God bless!)
Then we can pursue our ol' local coach named Calipari who was a beloved figure in B'town once upon a time.
For sure, we'd welcome him once again & vice versa. For sure too, LeBron wouldn't mind playing for this coach.
This will then give Calipari a chance to right the mistake he made in '96 as a NJ Nets coach whereby he drafted Kerry Kittles ahead of that local but unproven kid right of high school named Kobe.
Back then, coach Cal wanted "to win now" & hence, cannot wait for that Kobe kid to develop. In a way, he's to blame for all the Lakers sucess this century, he, he, he.
"Will LeBron even consider playing for the C's?"
During the interview with Larry King 2-3 weeks ago, he favored Boston to win the Finals due to their outstanding D.
The C's kind of D then (which the Cavs don't have) may be attractive to the physical king!
And eventhough the Cavs, Heat, & Bulls are the clear front runner (exclude NY or NJ because even if they have tons of $$$, both teams are very far from being championship caliber), the C's current team is much better than the 3 to challenge LA next year.
Just compare our Big 5 & bench to the current Bulls & Cavs team. Our team is still better.
As for Miami, they may land Bosh to go with Wade, Beasley, & etc. but our C's are still deeper & more experienced.
Ultimately, LeBron with the C's will have a better chance against LA than LeBron in Miami with Bosh, Wade, & Beasley.
I mean, who will match with LA's big men with that Heat line-up? Kobe & Ron will match well with Wade & LBJ but LA's bigs will kill Bosh & the still under-experienced Beasley. (Miami won't have any cap room left to sign another big man once they have Bosh, Wade, & LBJ. Hence, Boston still has the best big men for LBJ.)
Moreover, Boston-LA is the best rivalry & most storied in all sports. And now that both are essentially tied in banner, then Boston is the best place for LeBron to make his case - that he is at par with Kobe, he just needs better teammates.
If both teams takes turn in winning the title 5-8 years from now like back in the 80's, then that's the best LBJ can ask for! (Though for sure, Boston will have a bit more than LA when all is said & done as LBJ is only 26 next year.)
And just like MJ whom LBJ idolizes, MJ back in his early days stated that the only way he will ever be considered great is to take it away from either Magic or Bird during their prime.
Back in '91, Larry Legend was already on a decline while Magic was still in his prime (31 years old like Kobe) and already won 5 rings & was looking for more. But MJ beat Magic & hence, accomplished his goal.
Similarly, this is now the time for LBJ to take it from Kobe & start winning because like MJ who was already 27 in '91 yet hasn't won anything yet while already in the league for a long time, LBJ is in the same situation now as to how MJ was back then. In short, LBJ has to win now & against the best there is!
"Does Boston really have a chance to get LeBron"
With all of the aforementioned, the chances are good! But Boston better act now since July 1 is fast approaching. Overall, it's really up to the C's to navigate their fate.
Meaning, are they ready to fade into that gentle nite & let LA leave them way behind or will they take a stand via SACRIFICING a bit and STEPPING-UP to the plate?
Similarly for LBJ, is he truly sincere about "money don't matter, winning now does?"
Still, Celtic-Land will have to make the first move & that is, let's SACRIFICE our ego & court the King personally as doing it personally with our Big 5, Danny & Doc paying him a visit is the only way we'll tell him that we're sincere, honest, & respects him just as to how we did with Sheed last year.
We cannot court the other top free agents like Amare, Bosh, & Boozer because they really want the max & that we're already loaded with big men. Similarly, we cannot court Dirk & Joe Johnson because they also want the max & we already have Paul & Ray.
LBJ on the other hand, can go for a 1 year contract so as to not commit for the long haul. Meaning, if things turn out great (a championship next year after a hard fought series against LA), then he can decide if he would want to stick around.
Chances are, he will re-sign because our aged Big 3 still has some years left in them while Rondo, Perk, BBD, TA, & Nate are emerging youngsters. Once the Big 3 are done, we'll have more cap room to add 1-2 very good players.
But if things turn out bad, then he can go to another team after a 1-year trial with Boston.
Overall, LBJ has to seriously consider Boston because when Melo becomes a free agent next year, there's a strong chance he will end-up with the Lakers since he lives there during the off-season & loves LA & the limelight!
No way will Melo re-sign with Denver after next year especially that Billups & K-Mart are on the decline. Also, he won't go back to NY [or NJ] where he won the NCAA championship back in 2003. For sure, Melo's thinking is "I won in college in a big city, now I want to win in the NBA in its biggest city."
And with the LA biggies still young, Melo will be a great successor to Kobe 4-5 years from now thereby keeping the dynasty going. LBJ in Miami, Bulls, or the Cavs then won't stand a chance against that LA team. But being in Boston will give LBJ a good fighting chance - & thus, continue the most storied rivalry in the NBA.
If this does happen, we're then looking at a $76 mil. Celtic payroll next year with players like:
Starters: KG, Perk, LBJ, Ray, Rondo. Reserves: Sheed, BBD, Pierce, Tony, Nate.
or KG, Perk, Rondo, Pierce, LBJ (the big guard since he can play the position).
or KG, LBJ, Pierce, Ray, Rondo (small line-up but deadly on offense).
The last 2 unconventional line-up will depend on the opponents line-up.
The 11th man then is Eddie House whom we'll surely welcome back & vice versa. (He'd love to return back to us for say, $1.2 to 1.5 mil.)
The 12th man then may be Shaq who is still servicable inspite of age & still effective against power big men like Bynum or D. Howard. For $3-4 mil., he will be a good addition to deepen our biggies.
For sure, he would love to continue playing with the King but this time, with a better team that will give them a chance for a ring. Also, Shaq will be itching to get back at the team he took to great heights 10 years ago but dissed him.
Moreover, he has great respect for Mr. Russell that he wouldn't mind playing for Boston to close his storied career.
Lastly, he will not hook back-up with Wade & Riley if Miami gets Bosh because they don't like each other & that Miami also [sort of] dissed him too when they traded him to Pheonix.
Boston's payroll then including Eddie & Shaq's will be $80 mil. which is still lower than LA's payroll next year [$84 mil.]
All of these scenario won't happen if the C's doesn't step up to the plate. If $10 mil. & $8.8 mil. are too much for Pierce & KG to give-up, then maybe half of that is not. Then Boston's ownership will really have to step-up to the plate.
But overall, there maybe a "silver lining" to losing to the Lakers after all. This painful & depressing loss may provide a "template" for formulating a championship team in the next coming years just as to how it did for the Lakers back in 2008 when they lost to Boston.
The only question is - are we willing to make the SACRIFICES needed & be ready to STEP UP?
The ball then is in Boston's hands! (By Prester John, the #1 Celtic fan in the world.)