Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Brothers of Boston

10 years from now, when Rajon Rondo is at the young age of 31, he will be an all-star point guard for the Boston Celtics. The first since DJ did it back in the 1980's. Rondo will be leading his team onto the floor night in and night out. He'll have at least one ring, maybe two or three.

Yet, in 2018 when Rajon is a 11 year veteran, will he remember that magical 17th championship. The one that brought the Garden back to life. The one that had an improbable cast revolving around three all stars who many felt would never be able to co-exist. The one that brought the glory back to Boston.

KG was the big-ticket. Basketball became relevent in Boston because of this man. He was a walking double-double. A true animal. But he dissapeared in big games. He would give up the big shot and lose respect from his teammates.

Pierce was the scorer. Could do it from every angle of the floor. He could drive, shoot, and flat out score. But Pierce was way too selfish to play with two other all stars.

Ray was the shooter. Pure and fundamental. Literally couldn't give this guy and inch without him knocking one down. Yet, there were questions about his character as well.

A supporting cast of youngsters and veterans. A team that had to learn how to play together on the fly. Experts wrote them off. Fans wrote them off. Too many all-stars to win an NBA Championship. And then...


Could one word ever personify a professional sports team more than Ubuntu? An African word for unity and togetherness. The Celtics embraced it.

Watching the very first pre-season game against Toronto when the Celtics were in Rome was a sight to see. The bench was standing from the beginning. Pulling for each other on every play. Helping each other up every time someone hit the floor. It was a new attitude in Boston. An Ubuntu attitude.

Every night a different player would step up. Make one key play here, one there. There was never a boring night in Boston when the Celtics played. They rolled through the regular season, struggled a bit in the playoffs but ultimately hit their stride and would reach the finals.

Game 6 in Boston is something no Celtic fan will forget. The Garden was rocking almost as if they wanted to show the NBA that the Laker's fans were frauds. During the second quarter the Boston Celtics blew the game open. Then, something many did not see coming, the Lakers gave up. There was no other word for it. They stopped playing basketball. They knew it was over. A me-first Kobe Bryant was no match for an entire band of brothers that was the Boston Celtics. It was not just the big three, it was ubuntu.

So 10 years from now, when Rajon Rondo is leading the Celtics to the playoffs, we can only hope that Rondo will still carry that word on to his teams. If not, then Celtics fans got treated to one special year of togetherness and unity. But, what a year it was.

One, two, three - UBUNTU

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