The tough thing about winning in Boston is that it is almost impossible to live up to the history of the town. Consider Bob Ryan's rundown.
Sam won 10. K.C., Heinsohn, Satch, and Havlicek won eight. Frank Ramsey and Jungle Jim Loscutoff won seven. Cooz won six. Nellie and Siggy won five. Sharman won four. Russ won 11, which is, of course, sick. Larry, Kevin, and The Chief won three. Cowens and Jo Jo won two. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have won one championship apiece, and don’t think they aren’t acutely aware of that number. One is nice, but getting multiple rings is necessary if you’re going to secure your desired spot in this team’s history.
Here are a few more fun links and quotes:
Back on Feb. 18, after beating the Lakers by a point at the Staples Center, Doc Rivers asked everyone in the Celtics party - players, coaches, trainers, administrators - to each give him $100. The Celtics coach promptly stuffed the money in an envelope. "If we want to get this money back, we’ll have to come back here in June," said Rivers, ever the master of creating a motivational moment. Rivers then hid the envelope, which contained approximately $2,500, in an undisclosed nook in the arena’s shoebox-like visitors locker room. Most probably forgot about that moment when they filed back into the locker room prior to yesterday’s practice, their final lengthy tuneup before tonight’s NBA Finals opener against the Lakers. Rivers reached into that old nook and, surprise of surprises, pulled out the envelope, still stuffed with the $2,500 in cash.
The difficulty for Perkins will be walking the fine line between mayhem and moderation. "It’s difficult," he said. "I think it’s difficult in a way that you try to go out there and play physical and you’re going to get tangled up at times. But at the same time you’ve got to try to keep your head. It’s the Finals. You’re trying to win the same, so you’re out there competing and trying to get it done. It’s hard, but the times I do get techs is when I worry about getting them. When I don’t worry about getting them, they kind of let me play." The Lakers might not, however. The possibility the hosts could try to goad him into a suspension-producing technical has been raised a number of times. "They might," Perkins said. "I don’t see why they wouldn’t try. I’ve just got to be prepared. I think the guys around me, (coach) Doc (Rivers) and my teammates, do a great job of kind of reminding me to calm down if they see me kind of getting out of control. "I’m not dumb. I’m not going to sit out there and try to get techs."
It’s all about Kobe. We’ve had a lot of fun reliving the glory days of Wilt and Russell, Elgin and Hondo, Larry and Magic, and even KG and Pau Gasol from two years ago. We’ve hammered the themes of the uber-rivalry, LA’s redemption, and Ubuntu Redux. In succession, we’ve seen the Celtics expose and demolish Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard in the first three rounds of the playoffs. Now it’s all about Kobe Bryant. Do not forget this.
The oft-injured Los Angeles Lakers center went through a limited practice Wednesday for the first time since having his balky right knee drained on Monday. “It didn’t really help,” he said. “As soon as I drained it, about 12 hours later all the fluid came back.”
The 2009-10 Celtics, a collection of usually skeptical (and stubborn) All-Stars, dutifully follow their associate head coach because he can break down any opponent and expose its weaknesses. His attention to detail and his 14-hour workdays have built for him unparalleled credibility among some of the most accomplished players in the game, even though his playing résumé is limited to four unspectacular years at Salem State. Tonight when the Celtics open the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, they will take the court believing they are the most prepared team in the league. "Tom knows his stuff,’’ said big man Kendrick Perkins. "He eats, sleeps, and breathes defense.’’ If only they knew.