First off, TP for a great post.
I was having this same talk with my parents a week or two ago (they were angry that I get so worked up over Celtics game; i.e. shouting at TV, sulking after losses, spending too much time on CelticsBlog.
). They told me it was just a game, and that sports was mere entertainment.
I come from a family that isn't so much into sports. My uncle is the only true basketball fan in my family (He's a Laker fan; I'm from Pasadena), and when I first became a fan of the Celtics, we were the underdog, so I was immediately drawn towards them. The first game I saw was when Pierce hit the buzzer beater vs the Heat in the 2010 playoffs, and I watched as we lost to the Lakers. This defeat made me think, "Well, they made it to the Finals, I guess they are contenders." And for the most part, they have been.
2011 we were great until Shaq went down and Perk got traded, then last year we became true contenders in the playoffs, and even this year before Rondo blew out his knee I felt we had a puncher's chance. Every year, I've expected us to be there at the end.
And why shouldn't Celtics fans feel this way? After all, we have the most titles in NBA history, don't we?
The more I watched the team, though, the more I became connected to the players, especially KG. His intensity was a characteristic of Celtic Pride, as is Pierce's heart and determination, and even Rondo's uniqueness and silent arrogance could be seen as the values of a true Celtic. The players that have played here during this era have treated us to competitive, hard-nosed basketball, and while it may not always be pretty, they always seemed to respond to criticism.
That's what I'll remember about this team: resilience. Win or lose, when the Celtics walked off the floor of a big game, I'm sure as hell I can say, "Those guys went down swinging."
If/when KG and Pierce are traded/retire, I'll shed a tear. This era has truly been a blessing, and even though these guys only have one championship to show for it, they gave me a million more memories that I'll never forget.