Social media evidently has its pros and cons. From being able to get connected to the thousands of other passionate fans around the world, to attaining professional work opportunities, to getting verbally assaulted by a Lebron fan in China, I have vastly experienced the severity of both sides of the spectrum. My social media has been on fire since the beginning of the playoffs, but after last night, I couldn’t even begin to address the outpour of people that reached out to me.
Hundreds of messages of support, reassurance and “I’m sorry for your loss” texts, as if one of my close loved ones had died. And to be honest, if you know me well, you would understand that that’s not too far off from how I’m currently feeling. I have been in relationships with guys that have genuinely gotten upset at me because I’ll cry when it has to do with the celtics but not when it had to do with us. Probably why I’m perpetually single. But, as they say, ball is life.
Last night was one of the most insanely energetic, electric and loudest games I have ever been to. From start to finish, our unrelenting fans were there. Just as we always are. We showed up. Screamed. Chanted. Swore at Lebron in true Bostonian fashion. Then the middle of the 4th quarter happened. We watched it slip away. Once again. To Lebron. I left the garden last night (after several drinks), feeling okay. Feeling like, I never envisioned this team, without their 2 all stars, getting THIS far. Bringing the King and his supporting cast to a game 7 in the ECF. But they did.
I woke up this morning with a completely differentiating mentality. I am so sad. I am sitting here, at 2 pm, still in my pjs, on my couch with Oliver. May or may not have already opened a bottle of wine. This is how one deals with heartbreak, right? Call me dramatic. Call me negative. But this should’ve been us. This team of young, little to no playoff experience, made us believe. From day fucking one when Gordon Hayward broke his leg, until last night. They never once backed down in their resilience, grit and passion; so why should we as fans not believe they could actually do anything? Even dethrone the King.
I started this season in tears after Hayward’s heartbreaking injury, and I ended it with tears, too. But they were different emotions and elicited seemingly different tears. I remember signing Hayward, and Kyrie and thinking, “it’s over; hello to banner 18 in 2018”, then 6 mins into opening night, after that unfairly gruesome injury, I thought, “it’s over”, can’t wait until next year. But the Celtics had a different idea.
They MADE us believe. That’s why this hurts so badly. It’s totally their fault! Making us fall in love with their heart and toughness. It’s a tribute to this unrelenting TEAM that we feel how we all feel right now. Because we knew, after all the trials and tribulations, that they could do it. They made us believe that truly anything is possible. They won 16 straight to open the season. They beat GS in OT. Marcus Smart has prime rental property in Hardens head that perpetuated a W over the Rockets. We came back from 20+ point deficits to catalyze win after win, several times. No matter how many injuries, no matter who sat out, no matter the opponent, we fucking grinded. Under the best coach in the NBA (bold I know. Love you always Pop but someone needs to dethrone you, too 😉).
With a 20 year old rookie/vet in Tatum, “Average Al” (who is probably our most important player, Marcus “game changer” Smart, Scary Terry, Jaylen Brown; who’s a genius on and off the court, The Dancing Bear, Marcus “never back down to anyone ” Morris, Semi “his arms are probably as big as my body” Ojeleye, And All of Australia Baynes leading the way. Every game. Every time. Against all odds. 55 wins. 11 playoff wins and bringing the King to an ECF game 7. Unfuckingreal. Incomprehensible. Unbelievable.
So it’s justifiable. The pain we feel. The fact that we fell in love and got our hearts ripped out at the end, by the same dude that’s been doing it for over a decade, it’s going to be painful. But, only right now. And I’m a truly optimistic person. I’m trying so hard to continually remind myself that next season is ours. That next year it’s all gonna end for Lebron. And it’s finally going to be our turn to shine. But it’s hard right now because I wasn’t ready. I truly feel we are the better TEAM. We deserve it more. We worked harder as a team. We never backed down. Everyone counted them out. All year. “They’ll get beat by the bucks”. K. “They’ll get swept by the sixers”. K. “They’ll get swept by Lebron”. K.
So here we are. The day after. Mourning collectively. But, we should be proud. So fucking proud. I love being a Celtics fan always. But this year, this team. This was SO special. So whilst you’re all “witnessing” Lebron being Lebron. It’s hard to put into words what we just witnessed as Celtics fans. A team that defied all odds and every player on this roster truly epitomized what it was to be a Celtic.
So thank you Celtics. For an unforgettable, wonderful ride this season. Our hearts are full and we will see you next year for banner 18.
“The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life” - Red Auerbach
Much love. Be kind. Go Celtics.