The Truth: IT Hurts.
Okay, I know it’s been discussed for weeks now, but let’s talk about it, again. Without arguing :)
February 11th is going to be a BIG day. It’s your girls birthday (MsSamanthaMay on Venmo if you’re trying to send me a gift 😉 ), the Cavs are in town that afternoon to take another L AND some Celtics goat is hanging his #34 up in the rafters amongst all those banners and other legends’ retired numbers. I am already emotionally overstimulated and will def be wearing waterproof mascara that day.
Exactly two weeks ago today, I was rocking out at the Garden with thousands of other Cs fans as we all joyously watched our young squad destroy the vet Cavs with a final score of 88-102 ; we had 27 team assists and at one point led by 23. It was beautiful. The ball movement, our shots were sinking, the team effort and the unrelenting, never back down even against “the king” attitude, solidified a great win for us. I always thoroughly enjoy beating Lebron & Co. Especially in OUR house , as it elicits this unprecedented, contagious energy from our crazy faithful fans 🙂
That being said, “Lebron and company”, is now different. That company is now inclusive of some of our own. That we’ve won with. That we’ve lost with (to Lebron🤦🏼♀️). That we’ve cheered with. That we’ve cried with. That we’ve supported unrelentingly. It’s like seeing your ex that you broke up with, with someone maybe a bit better looking than you, but you still love your ex and are low-key happy for them. Shit hurts still but now, you also have a hotter significant other, too. Life, man.
Nonetheless, Isaiah Thomas will forever be one of my favorite Celtics to have played on that parquet floor beneath all those honored legends up above. When he was here two weeks ago, he requested to not have his highlight/tribute video shown, as his family wasn’t in attendance for that special moment and he was on minute restrictions after just that week coming back from his injury, so he didn’t play. I understood his desire to play and have the video concurrently, but I wasn’t aware that one could pick and choose when homage was shown to them. He received a very warm welcome and indubitably deserving standing ovation when he was shown on the Jumbotron, as he waived and smiled to his old crowd.
This leads to the issue, however. The next time the Cavs are in town is February 11th. Paul Pierce’s day. I personally feel like regardless of if they showed Isaiah’s 3 min tribute video during the game, it would be Paul Pierce’s day anyways, and wouldn’t take away from the Truth at all. But, to each their own. Paul certainly didn’t feel that way. When he was asked about the IT video being shown on the 11th, he blatantly stated, “I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video.. but on February 11th, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights”. And there’s that. My argument is over. Whatever Paul Pierce wants, he gets. I think Isaiah recognized that last night when he tweeted, “I’d like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb. 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/Paul Pierce’s night. I’d ask the Celtics instead to focus all their attention on #34’s career”. I’m honestly saddened that it caused this much controversy. I don’t want Isaiah to feel he wasn’t important to this team but, the Truth hurts, I suppose.
Regardless of how other teams or fanbases sees Paul, or how many times I tweet that he’s a Boston goat and get back the pic of him in the wheelchair in my mentions (y’all are petty); I don’t care. He is a legend for us. For this city. He gave us everything. His heart & soul. 15 years. My longest relationship 😅 A hard earned championship. A finals MVP. 10x all star, just to name a few successes on his lengthy résumé. There will never be another Truth.
But, that’s not to negate what Isaiah did for this franchise and in no way is it correlated to what Paul did. IT broke Pierce records. Bird records. Havlicek records. Brought us to the playoffs and single handedly revived and restored faith in this franchise with his big passion and tiny yet big presence self. He too, also gave his heart to us. One of the most emotional games I’ve ever been to was the day after his sister was killed in a car accident and Isaiah dropped his career high 53 points to solidify a W in a playoff game. The entire crowd was crying, as was he.
That’s the thing with the Celtics. Our players aren’t just players. They’re our family. We fight with them. Unless you live in Boston, you won’t understand. Our sports teams are our religions. They’re a way of life here. The camaraderie elicited by ones genuine passion for their team is incomparable. It’s not just the players vying and fighting for our championships; WE win our titles as a city. We feel when they feel. We cry when they cry. We cheer when they cheer. That’s why it was so hard to let go of Isaiah. We have so many legends that pass through our Garden, it’s so hard to not get emotionally attached when overall, it’s still a business. But, Boston contradicts that “business relationship” mantra, because we have all the feels for our players. And no matter how emotionally draining it is to be that invested in your team and its players; I’m not sure I would have it any other way. That’s what makes being a Boston Celtic and Boston Celtics fan so genuinely fulfilling.