Rooting for the Celtics when they Suck

It's been a while.

But most of us remember it vividly.

 Lots of talent.

 Lots of energy.

No experience.

And thus lots of L's.

Call it the post-Larry Bird Era in Boston.

It lasted from the 1992-93 season until the summer of 2007, or the summer when former teammates and best buddies Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge hoodwinked the NBA, with McHale's Minnesota Timberwolves sending Kevin Garnett to Ainge's Boston Celtics for a pooh-pooh platter lite.

1992 to 2007.

That's a helluva long time.

One trip to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 15 year drought.

Other than that, it was some serious ugliness, year-in, year-out.

Except for the fact that the effort was there (usually, for most of the game).

And if the effort is there, as a Celtics fan, you are reminded of great Celtics teams of the past and given hope for a great team at some point in the future. In short, you start rooting for the name on the front of the jersey instead of the names on the back. You return from whence you came. You become a fan of the Boston Celtics, instead of a fan of Russell, Havlicek, Cowens, Bird, or the rest of the All-Time Greats who have worn the Green.

Sure, you find players to root for even when they suck. But it's a different kind of allegiance than it is when you are rooting for All-Time Greats. You root for the players that put in the time, dive on the floor, scramble for a loose ball, draw a charge, make the extra pass, or otherwise earn the Tommy Points that mean something no matter how bad the player earning them.

And you root for the players who combine passion with a modicum of talent to make a difference, especially on nights when that difference makes a difference in the outcome. Think Waltah McCatty.

We won't be quite as bad as we've been in the past. This won't be a repeat of 1978-79 season or a repeat of Pitino's last year as head coach or even a repeat of the last year before KG Landed. But make no mistake. It will be a year where effort over outcome is what's emphasized and appreciated.

We are the Boston Celtics, and we win with our hardhats on.

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