28 June 2007

Jesus and the Truth

About a month ago, I was in a room full of friends when out of the blue, I got a text that said simply "5." And I died. What did it mean? It meant that my beloved Boston Celtics -- the second worst team in the NBA last year -- had somehow managed to snag only the fifth pick in the draft.

For those of you who don't follow basketball, this year's draft is only two-deep in potential franchise changing superstars (Greg Oden and Kevin Durant). Picking all the way at number five meant getting an okay player, but not an amazing one. The Celtics haven't won shit since the Larry Bird days. We need a championship, bad; the coveted number seventeen.

The 2007 draft is happening right now -- I'm at work so I can't watch -- but I've been on pins and needles all day because it's been the Celtics' modus operandi lately to do the dumb thing. And the dumb thing this year would have been to trade all the young talent they've acquired (and lost many games with) over the past few years for just one big star -- even if that star is Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion, or Jermaine O'Neal.

I was hoping they would stay put and just take Corey Brewer, or at worst, maybe Yi Jianlian if they really had to. That would have been a stand pat move but just fine with me.

But out of the blue, the Celtics acquired Ray Allen from the Supersonics for the low low price of their #5 pick (Georgetown's Jeff Green), Wally Szerbiak, and Delonte West. Who? Exactly. They just got one of the purest shooters ever for a bunch of scrubs and a rookie? Ray Allen was born to be a Celtic -- as was Tim Duncan, who we should have had -- with his quiet demeanor and assassin's touch. Plus the Celtics already have a player named Allan Ray so this is just kind of fun.

While I'm not delusional enough to think that adding Ray Allen will take the Celtics to a championship, this will at least make them respectable. People are saying that Ray is old but players who stroke it like Ray will always be valuable. He's an All-Star and his nickname (Jesus Shuttlesworth) evokes one of Larry Legend's nicknames (Basketball Jesus). This hardly makes up for the slide we've been on since Len Bias died but for now, it'll do.

With Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and the up-and-coming Al Jefferson, I think I love the outlook for my Celtics (although Simmons hates it). Heck, I think I love the NBA again.