Our Celtics will be losing many games next season, especially at the beginning of the year. Let’s face it: even if everyone was trying their heart out to win a game, they won’t be able to do it as easily as before. The Celtics lost a lot of talent from last year. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are irreplaceable. No one will ever take their place because those were truly special players. Their talents are now south in Brooklyn, and Boston’s incoming talents are minimal compared to what they let go. (Before a debate is started, I do think that trade was good and necessary for the team.)
So anyways, here we are, fans of a losing team, one that I expect to lose, big time. Why bother watching the games? Why waste 82 nights that will only take us to the draft lottery in which we probably won’t get a very good pick either?
To many, that’s a silly question. You watch because you are a fan and that’s it. You go to the Garden to support the team and you do not question that. But it’s different with guys from outside Boston and even outside the U.S. I am one of those. I will take nearly 3 hours from 82 nights this year to get on my computer, connect it to the TV and watch Celtics games. I could use those 3 hours for many more things, but I won’t. Why? Let me tell you why: because losing is not 100% loss if you understand the NBA and sports in general.
In this league, if you lose you get a better chance of drafting a face-of-the-franchise player in the NBA draft. That’s one simple reason, but it is not the single factor that applies to the Celtics next year. What does apply to them is this: the beginning of a well thought, precisely ran process. A process that leads to success.
That is what this Celtics season will be all about. The 13-14 season will be about establishing a process for Boston. I might even call it a new face of Celtic culture. Brad Stevens will be at the helm, someone who has said repeatedly this offseason how he is more process-oriented rather than results-oriented. Stevens believes that if a process is carried out as designed, the results will come by themselves.
That is what we, the fans, will need to learn to appreciate: the beginning of a process. I will watch because I want to see the Celtics culture that Brad Stevens talks about in guys like Green, Avery, and Rondo. I will watch because I want to see Sullinger, Olynyk and Brooks keep growing as players while being part of a plan for the Celtics future. I will turn my computer and TV on because I want to see the progress of this vision that Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge have established for the Celtics, because I want to see the development of a process; a process that will see results start knocking on the door sooner rather than later.
I will also be here all nights because I want to see Jeff Green dunk all over everyone, Avery Bradley stripping point guards at half court, Rajon Rondo pulling a behind-the-back fake and laying it in the bucket, Jared Sullinger pushing everyone away with his butt and Kelly Olynyk hitting fadeaway three pointers. But I digress.
I invite you all to witness the process being created and executed, the new form of Celtic Pride. The road will have its ups and downs, but if we stick to the process along the players throughout the entire trip, we’ll also be there with them when success is forcing its way to the Celtics.
No matter how difficult this season can get, it is all about the transition into the new era. Even though we will lose, we will still gain. Each loss will put the Celtics one step further in the process and one step closer to results.
Let’s embrace Celtic Pride, watch all 82 games and stick with the team through the valleys so we can be with them when they find themselves on the peaks.