Grampa Celtic, Are Ya Still There?

Bob Ryan famously kicked off last season with a shot across the bow, warning Celtics fans not to expect much from their aging and broken down team during the 2011-12 season. Many fans shrugged it off, only to start reconsidering his warning when the green started slow and kept getting slower as the season moved on.

Then Doc shook things up. He moved Kevin Garnett over to the 5-spot, moved Brandon Bass into the starting line-up, and, wa la, suddenly the Boston Celtics had one of the best records in the NBA for about 20 games following that move. The team continued playing well all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they went up 3-2 over the eventual NBA champions, at which time age and injuries finally did them in.

The closest Mr. Ryan ever came to eating crow was when he quoted Danny Ainge as expressing surprise at how the season turned out:

It's Year 5 of the three-year plan, and even its architect is not sure what to make of what's going on "I didn't know they'd even be here in Year 5," said Danny Ainge. "They've surprised me a handful of times." It's good to know the Celtics GM, VP, or whatever his title is isn't any more prescient than the rest of us. Back when the Celtics were floundering at 5-9, 15-17,  he wasn’t thinking about beating out Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division title. He was thinking the same thing the rest of us were: “Please, God, get us to sixth so we don’t have to play Chicago or Miami in the first round.’’

Most of us understand where Bob Ryan was coming from. Most of us had been waiting for the first signs of the end for a couple of years now. I'm still not quite sure how best to evaluate this summer's moves (though I'll take my first stab at offering something in the next few days). Perhaps Grampa Celtic is still trying to digest it all, too.


FLCeltsFan said...

Perhaps Grampa Celtic is preparing his retirement speeches. I became a fan of the Celtics watching that 1969 team in the playoffs. After that, I'll never write off a Celtics team before the final buzzer of the final game goes off.

Lex said...

You are right, FCF.

According to Dan S, look at this:

The Heat led, 99-86, with 1:23 remaining. De facto NBA commissioner Bob Ryan, covering his last NBA game in a career that started in 1968, said he'd never seen a team come back from a 13-point deficit in the final 83 seconds

Lex said...

I missed that. I'll have to look for an official sign off

FLCeltsFan said...

We won't have Grampa Celtic to kick around any more (cue Richard Nixon reference :))

Lex said...

Bob Ryan is retiring because Bob’s way is no longer the way of the world. There is Twitter and live-blogging and Facebook and podcasts. It’s no longer about going to the game and writing a column that only comes out in print. Instead, there are 500 things written about every game all over the internet, and that doesn’t include the things written during the game that help keep people updated

It’s all just kind of too much for him. He has a Twitter, but he doesn’t enjoy it so much. On Monday, the news broke that it would be his final day in the press box via a live blog on NESN.com. I don’t know if that’s fitting or if it’s irony, but it’s the reason that Bob Ryan is going to be taking his talents elsewhere before very long.

Ryan is 66 years old. It’s probably about time for him to go anyway. I could have waited for the Olympics to end to write this column, but I don’t care about the Olympics. I care about the Red Sox, and so has Ryan for as long as I’ve been alive. He’s cared about the Celtics too, and he’s written about them in a way that is unparalleled around the country.

Lex said...

This saddens me.

Print is still relevant.

And bob covered the cs as well as anyone

Lex said...

"After 43 years and a career of enormous satisfaction, I think it's time to scale back and step aside. I've accomplished everything I've ever dreamed of accomplishing. I'm just ready to step aside," Ryan said.

Ryan, 65, will continue to write for the Globe on a part-time basis following the Olympics.

Ryan, a Boston College graduate, started at the Globe as a summer intern in 1968, and became the paper's Boston Celtics beat writer in October of 1969. He covered a wide range of sports before becoming a full-time columnist in 1989. He is also a frequent guest on ESPN programs.

Ryan is the author of several books, including "Forty Eight Minutes: A Night in the Life of the NBA," with fellow sports writer Terry Pluto, "Drive: The Story of My Life," with Celtics star Larry Bird, and "Wait 'Til I Make The Show." He also co-authored "as told to" books about Celtics greats John Havlicek and Bob Cousy.

FLCeltsFan said...

Tanguay said on Sports Tonight the other day that he's heard that Gasper will be taking his place.

FLCeltsFan said...

It is a sad day... end of an era. Think I may work some of this into my piece I'm working on about the end of the Big 3 era with Ray's departure.

Lex said...

I look forward to reading it

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