If the trade rumors are true and Kevin Garnett is in fact in the mix, my ongoing 20+ year love/hate relationship with the Boston Celtics is yet again about to begin a new chapter. As usual, Bill Simmons has exactly the right things to say:
From the beginning, Danny Ainge’s stated game plan was to blow up a decent 2004 team, stockpile as many assets as possible, then eventually trade those assets for one or two impact guys. In a roundabout way, that’s exactly what he did — even if the [Ray] Allen trade was a complete I-need-to-save-my-job panic deal, and even if they gambled that a third All-Star miraculously would fall from the sky this summer (which is exactly what happened). Looking back, it was like watching the World Series of Poker and seeing someone say “screw it!” by going all-in with a jack-nine of spades after a flop yielded two more spades. Is it smart to risk everything on the 25-percent chance that you’ll get the flush? Well, it depends on how many chips you have left. If you’re desperate, and you’re running out of money, and you need a momentum swing, maybe you do it. If you get the flush, it doesn’t mean you were a good poker player, it just means you were losing chips and had to take an enormous risk because you didn’t have any other choice.
For Ainge, the Allen trade was going all-in for the flush and the KG trade was getting that fifth spade on the river. Of course, he’s also the reason we were low on chips in the first place, but that’s the thing about poker — even during the most dire times, you’re always one lucky hand away from turning things around. For one of the few times since Larry Bird retired, the Celtics lucked out. Now it looks like they can contend in the East. Now the Celtics are on TNT and ESPN for more than two appearances. Now Barkley and Kenny aren’t making jokes about us, and free agents actually might want to play for us, and my dad isn’t bemoaning the fact that he just threw away money for season tickets again. The Boston Celtics are back. Repeat: The Celtics are back. Even if we had to give up two top-seven picks and the best young low-post player in the league to get there.
Here we go again.