The curse of the draft lottery the Celtics had endured since Tim Duncan was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, the building block to a Spurs dynasty, the NBA version of Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady. It had been 27 years since the Celtics won a championship and it looked like we were heading for another 27 year drought with pick number FREAKING FIVE. Here we had a two man draft and it didn’t seem like much after. At least we got Jeff (cough, puking) Green.
Greg Oden, the 40 year old looking 19 year old Center coming straight out of Ohio State with a play style identical to Bill Russel, a perfect story line for a Celtics team who needed a young stud to build around with Paul Pierce nearing the end of his prime.
Kevin Durant. A 6 11 small forward, a hybrid player who can dribble, shoot, but couldn’t bench 185 pounds ( come on man.) A player who was supposed to one day take the throne from Lebron James.
After years of watching Sebastion Telfair, Marcus Banks, Raef Lafrence, Mark freaking Blount, to Ricky Davis, Antoine Walker, and epic regular season battles with the Minnesota Timberwolves over who would win their 25th regular season game I thought I had suffered enough, our time was supposed to be now.
Then the Ray Allen trade happened. The best shooter of all time was coming to Boston, but coming to Boston out of his prime. The deal didn’t make sense. Oh great looks like we will finish 7th in the East, get swept in the first round, and the cycle will repeat. But then something happened. Something magical in the air that night, it may have been pot, it may have been a shooting star, but when I clicked on my television I soon learned we had landed Kevin Garnett.
The Big three, that’s what we were. Three guys who had been in the league hungry for a championship and that hunger was satisfied. But little do people know how much that draft lottery and what followed after impacted the NBA a decade from now.
For every true Celtics or basketball fan James Posey was the glue to the team. Our best lineup that was the most versatile was Kevin Garnett at the 5, Posey at the stretch 4, Pierce at the 3, Ray Ray at the 2, and Rondo running point. This line up was the blue print for what we see in todays NBA.
Greg Oden’s injuries symbolically defined the death of the big man, and Kevin Durant defined the blue print for what the new age NBA would be. Stretch power forwards who can handle the rock, knock the three, spread the floor and switch on defense.
You can hate all you want on Kevin Durant’s decision to join Golden State, but you can’t deny this is our latest golden age of basketball. They truly play like a team should, great team defense, finding the open man rather than some type A personalty primadonna playing hero ball while shooting 40% from the field. ( Yes I’m talking to you Westbrook. Who would wanna play with that guy?”) They switch perfectly on defense, everyone can knock down the open three, its like poetry out there. You see it in this years Celtics as well run by Kyrie Irving and his squad.
As a basketball fan I haven’t been this excited since Nate Robinson was dunking over Shaq in practice and I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.