Have you come to grips with it yet? I mean, in your head you know the Celtics won. In your heart, you have been celebrating since midway through the third quarter on Tuesday night. But in your soul, have you really wrapped yourself around the idea that the Boston Celtics are now the NBA Champs once again?
I mean, nothing really changes tangibly in your life right? You still get up in the morning, go to your job, hang out with the same people, and typically talk about the same sorts of things. But something is different. You have a little more spring in your step. Spilling something at breakfast doesn't ruin your whole day. In fact, for the next couple of days, if you are anything like me, you burst into mini-bouts of giggle fits or an impromptu Walker Wiggle when nobody is looking. Life, pretty much seems a little sunnier.
We don't have to rely on yesteryear to get us through another year of "maybe next year." For the first time in ages, nobody cares what our draft position is. Drinking the Kool-Aid is no longer reserved for homers and fanboys. Nobody is complaining about not getting "love from the National media." We can't complain about the refs or the supposed personal vendetta that Stern had against us. Our team, the Boston Celtics, are the NBA Champs, and there's nothing anyone can say or do to change that fact.
Oh by the way, don't forget that we Beat LA! Our longtime rival that took the last two titles from us in the 80's. Kobe Bryant was the media darling but he represented all that was not right in the sport to us. The Celtics, on the other hand, won the title based on everything that is right in the sport. Teamwork, defense, desire, sacrifice, coaching, and flat-out being the better team.
The goal was to raise Banner 17. The end game has been achieved, and the journey was worth every mile. From the day we heard that KG was coming to town, we knew this was a very real possibility, but just as real were all the things that could have gone wrong to derail the dream from ever happening. But the team fought through the obstacles and finished the race. It feels like we've been running alongside of them all along. We are all physically and emotionally spent, but it was all worth it.
None of this is to suggest that we're done. Far from it. Now that we've gotten a taste, don't you want more? I know it is greedy. I know that these moments only occur once in a lifetime for most people. But for some lucky folks, it happens a few times. The Lakers three-peated. The Rockets repeated. The Spurs have a mini-dynasty thing going. Why not us? Everyone says that the window of opportunity for this team is about 3 to 4 years. Why not make the most of those years?
Who's to say that we can't come back with the same defensive ferocity as we displayed this year? Who's to say that Paul Pierce can't take his rightful place among the game's elite after his playoff performance? Who's to say that this core group of players can't build upon this experience and learn to play with each other even better as the years progress?
Nobody can say what we cannot do because the Celtics are once again NBA Champs. They met every challenge and conquered it. They beat the next best team in the East (Pistons) and the best team from the West (Lakers) and they stand above all others.
Your team. My team. Our team. The Boston Celtics. NBA Champions for a record 17th time. Soak it in.