I don't know if it was the departure of Ray Allen, or the return of KG after rumors of potential retirement, the JET trade... or just the story of Jeff Green's return after his potentially career-ending surgery and the Celtics show of love for him, but this season started off in a deeply involving way for me.
And once it did, I was glued. Like most of you, I've watched every game. And the duplicity of Rondo's (bratty) mastery and the rest of the team's inconsistency hooked me even deeper. Even when they were losing like chumps, I had this deep sense that something really magical is happening here. There was just so much potential in this group. Insane potential, just totally unrealized.
We felt cursed.
But the feeling of specialness never faded. Not even last night after the news of Leandro's injury... one of the hardest working, most up-with-people players on the team. A guy who wanted his shot so badly, just to produce for his team. Now a probable scratch for the season. And yet, here I am. With this feeling in my gut that what is unraveling before us is not some slow motion train wreck... but the increasingly layered foundation of an epic journey.
I'm talking Lord of the Rings.
Sorry if this sounds over-dramatic. My field of work involves writing stories, constructing narratives... with all the devices that are used to bring an audience into a very close degree of affinity, or love, with a character. And while I know everyone here was already in love with Green long before this season began, I am proposing that something really special is going on here. The uneven-ness, the injuries to star star players like Rondo and Sully (at totally different stages of their careers but both absolutely critical aspects of the configuration up to their loss). And then the beginning of a streak, led by players who contain in their DNA a winning gene that has no dependency on 'legs' or 'confidence' - it's just in their blood... with a support cast of kids who just go out their and bang away like they have destiny in their sights. Within each of these elements, within each of these characters are very fundamental assets to what Joseph Campbell calls the hero's journey.
And I believe at this point - and I know a hundred writers will say it's crap - that something magical is set to happen in Boston this year. Not a championship (though I hate to say I still believe...) but something far more intrinsic. Deeper. Transcendent.
The overcoming of great odds is something that affects the human species in a way that in indescribable. It returns hope to our own difficult lives. And I believe that there are authors of human drama who use the same devices I use in my scripts etc, but to teach and heal humankind. To remind us of the infinite potential of the human spirit. Of the power of our souls, which clamor for the infinite.
This team is perfectly set up for these gods of Epic Journeys to take us all for a ride and teach a lesson about what is possible if we stay together. If we love each other in truthful ways, and if we act for a common cause. This is our Celtics team this year. I know it may all get blown up in the next few weeks, but right now it looks very much like we could be witnesses of something we'll never forget.