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Celtic Crisis

By Sarah Barton

02/12/09


At pretty much any other time in my career as a sports fan, I would be ready to sack Brett Favre, hard. His second retirement announcement in as many years prompted an hour long SportsCenter dedicated solely to him. Usually that would infuriate me. But not this week. At this point, I'd much rather hear about him than A-Rod.


Thank you, Brett.


Recently, the professional sports world has had its share of crises. There's the "Steroids Era" in Major League Baseball, to which A-Rod just single-handedly added several unfinished chapters; the Tim Donaghy betting scandal; and the Floyd Landis doping scandal. Even Favre's first retirement prompted an unnecessarily long and drawn-out crisis. Crises, despite our fascination with them, are never a good thing.


Doc Rivers, however, doesn't mind a little crisis here and there. Regarding the Celtics' past few games, Rivers stated that "The good news is that when we lose, people act as if it’s a crisis."


Good news...crisis...What?!? What's good about a loss being considered a crisis? Well, it speaks to the fact that there is nothing else wrong with the Celtics. It speaks to the magnitude of the expectations that we have developed for the Celtics. It speaks to Boston's rekindled passion for hoops. It wasn't long ago that a win in Boston initiated crisis mode.


In the 2007 off-season, Ainge assembled a potentially lethal combination of three NBA vets, each of whom had already achieved substantial individual success. Allen, Garnett, Pierce. The underlying question was whether this combo would be lethal to the Celtics or to their opponents. A roster with big names don't always yield big results.


Despite the Lakers' success, Kobe and Shaq couldn't both stay in LA. Jeter and A-Rod haven't led New York to the World Series. T.O. and (insert QB here) couldn't make it work with the (insert corresponding team here). Big names can unintentionally make more enemies than friends. The Big Three, though, is different.


Over the past two years, the Boston Celtics have made both enemies and friends - for all the right reasons. The Celtics are a team of guys, including big name guys, who don't play for themselves, but for the face of the franchise. They play to win. They may run their mouths on the court, but they mind their business off of it. Want to hate them? Fine. Hate them because they beat you. Want to love them? Good. Love them because you have no reason not to.


The worst thing we can usually say about the Celtics after a loss is that they didn't win. Being under pressure as reigning champs is much more manageable than being picked apart by the media. Celtics players don't cheat, bicker, or betray each other for individual gain. Two years ago in Boston, everyone started with a clean slate. Now that slate is chiseled with an NBA Championship. Is there any better way to represent a group of individuals coming together and humbling themselves for the sake of the collective unit?


One person can single-handedly bring down a team, a league, or even a sport. So, while it's easy to say that the Celtics are good, a closer look reveals just how cohesive and outstanding they actually are. One man and a media frenzy can start a crisis - just ask Alex, Tim, Floyd, or Brett. In the Celtics' case, a loss may be a crisis, but it is one that can be expunged the next time they step on the court.


A Celtics loss is a tiny, itty-bitty little crisis in the sports world, especially considering the recent transgressions in professional sports. Nevertheless, the Celtics' ability to overcome their own mini crises without creating a larger one will definitely fuel indefinite future success.

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