Dear Boston Celtics,
No matter what happens tonight, we are proud of you.
Proud of the way you clawed back from a 15-17 start when the naysayers were saying your run is over and its time to rebuild.
We are proud of how you fought to stay together when approaching the trade deadline while each of your four best players were supposedly on the block.
We are proud of the best shooter in the history of basketball who embraced the emergence of a 21-year old shooting guard giving the coach permission to start this young guard in front of him.
We are proud of how the team has since reacted to the absence of this young guard, dealing with a terrible shoulder injury, finishing off an up and coming overly athletic team and now battling a group with perhaps two of the best five players in the world.
We are proud of the face of this franchise for the past fourteen years who made sure this run could even begin after taking over when the best player on the team was suspended for a game.
We are proud of the undersized power forward who joined four all stars in a starting lineup and never lost ambition to take a big shot while always battling for the ball with physical play.
We are proud of the center who never was a center until February, but took that position and became the concrete that holds this team together – on both sides of the floor.
We are proud of the superstar point guard who has finally proven the world throughout these playoffs that he is exactly just that – a superstar in every sense of the word.
We are proud of a collection of unwanted, unheralded bench players who have selflessly done their jobs helping this team win while buying into the "Ubuntu" theme as each of their roles have changed on a game to game basis.
We are proud of a coach who believed in this group when 99.9% of the basketball world did not as he utilized these players to their absolute maximum night in, night out.
We are proud of the man responsible for putting this team together and keeping it together when everyone was saying to break it apart.
We are proud of the togetherness this team embraces and how only one statistic matters to each of them – wins.
We are proud of the Boston Celtics. Win and we will be right on your side going into the finals. Lose and we will always remember this team with pride. Celtic Pride that is.