I did a bit of woolgathering today and found myself back in the early eighties.
The one thing that stands out in my mind is the Boston Celtics.
The glory days of Bird, McHale, Parish, DJ, M.L.Carr and Cedric Maxwell exploded in my mind like it was just yesterday.
There was a confidence, albeit a smug one, about the team back then.
For reasons I can’t explain this bravado never seemed to bother me.
Maybe it was because they could always back up what they said off the court as well as on.
You never turned off a late game back then—even if they were losing—because you knew that something magical was inevitably going to happen. 90% of the time, it did.
I’d be hard pressed to tell you the current starting line-up.
Paul Pierce and . . . I guess that’s about as far as I can go.
I used to be able to add Antoine Walker to my short list but those days are over now too.
From what I’ve seen of PP, he’s an overpaid, over-rated and highly opinionated choke.
All talk but no action.
I will say he’s done some wonderful things for children in the area and while that’s admirable it doesn’t change what he does on the court.
Over the past ten years it seems like the Celts have changed coaches with more frequency than my daughters change their shoes. What do they have to show for it?
There’s no more Johnny Most, no more dingy Boston Garden (with the most rickety parquet floor in the NBA), no more nail biting finishes (because let’s face it, do you really care?), no more intense rivalry between teams like the Detroit Pistons or the Lakers.
The Celts now seem to lay down and take one in the keister before showering and going home to see the highlights (or lowlights in this case) on the 11 o’clock news. It’s simply maddening.
Some Celtics PR guy recently came into the store where I work and asked several people if they wanted a couple of free Celtic tickets for that night’s game.
25 years ago, asking a group of guys a question like that would have put you in traction at Mass General for a month or so.
In reality, that question wouldn’t have been asked back in the eighties because tickets to the Garden were more valuable than gold.
The other side of the proverbial rainbow was the Garden.
Everyone turned to this poor bastard and said (in unison), “No thanks.”
There was no laughing and no cajoling, just a flat out “nope”.
It’s sad when the best thing to do with a Celtic ticket is make it into a funky new bookmark and it’s a damn shame when it’s stuffed into a book about the old Celtics that all of Boston used to love.