Thoughts from the Celtics, Spurs Game
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02
As I write this I am sitting on a bus filled with fellow Holy Cross students en route to the TD Garden to watch the Celtics take on the Spurs. Yes, I am writing this on my phone, so to everyone on the bus who thinks I’m really popular and texting tons of friends, I’m really just writing an article and being anti-social. But hey, you gotta pass the time somehow.
Anyways, as I sit here several thoughts run through my mind. One, how did these tickets—which include round trip transportation—cost only $20? I haven’t submitted my application to be an economics major yet, but I’m still sure this outing can’t be that cheap. Heck, I don’t think I could make it to Boston and back for that price, let alone go to a Celtics game.
Then I remembered two things: one, tickets are not in very high demand for the lottery bound Celtics (still, if I wasn’t such a big fan I’m sure I could scalp the tickets and make a nice profit) and two, everyone on this bus is paying the price equivalent to that of a nice luxury car to the school already so I guess that money has to go somewhere. $55,000 for a good education and cheap Celtics’ tickets? Sign me up!
My next and more prevalent thought about the game is this: as a Celtics fan, I want the team to win, but also as someone always looking to the future I could certainly talk myself into them losing and hopefully getting a better draft pick as a result. I’m not advocating for them to lose on purpose or “tank” as it’s commonly called because I don’t want losers on a team I root for. However, let’s just say I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if they give it their all and still end up on the losing side.
I suppose I’m in the perfect spot here. If they win I’m happy because I got to see a Celtics win in person which is always great. And if they lose, I’m also happy because that means they’re more likely to get Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid. It’s a catch-22, but in a good way.
My final thought before entering Boston, besides “I’m hungry. I can’t wait to overpay for food inside the Garden” followed by “I really wish they took dining dollars there”, is that this will almost certainly be the first and last time I ever get to see Tim Duncan play in person. Ever since LeBron brought up the topic of the top four NBA players of all time (the Mount Rushmore of the NBA, if you will), I’ve been considering my top four. Duncan did not make the final list, but he came pretty darn close and that should give you a pretty good idea of how great of a career he had if I considered him for a list that has Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on it (yes, that is my list and yes, it pains me that I couldn’t squeeze Larry Bird onto it. You’re my number five Larry. I swear! [And yes, I realize Larry Bird reading The Crusader is a long shot.])
Anytime you get to see a legend play in person, especially at the end of their career, it’s special. And on that note, I am just realizing that I get to also see Matt Bonner play, two all-time legends of the game. The Celtics truly may have no chance at winning.
Anyways, into the garden I head (after a two hour bus ride, mind you. The bus driver wasn’t exactly Magellan), hoping for a win or a loss or whatever.
Around two and a half hours of basketball later and I am back on the bus to campus.
The game itself went about how I expected it to go with San Antonio beating the Celtics 104-92.
Despite the fact that they lost by 12 points, the game was close most of the way through. However, the Gregg Popovich coached Spurs did what they have since my first birthday (as you can imagine, I was an avid sports fan even then) and simply out executed the Celtics in every phase of the game, especially in the fourth quarter.
I have always had great admiration for the Spurs franchise. They are a team that knows how to win and have done so incredibly efficiently since drafting Tim Duncan in 1997 (ironically, the Celtics had the best odds of landing the number one pick and Tim Duncan that year, but instead got the third and sixth picks. Now, please someone explain why the lottery system makes sense?). However, their winning is not why I admire them. The Heat have won the last two championships and God knows I do anything and everything but respect them.