When the Boston Celtics lost Saturday night to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the season didn’t just end—an era did.
With Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aging and hitting free agency this summer, it’s highly unlikely that the Big Three will return to Beantown.
The trio was united in the summer of 2007 and they quickly became an NBA powerhouse, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the 2008 NBA Finals.
Basketball in Boston was back. People were wondering how many more rings this trio can win. Could it have been a dynasty like in the 1960s with Bill Russell or the 1980s with Larry Bird?
The answer to that question was a resounding no.
The Celtics never won another title and who knows when the next time will be when they even compete for one?
Historically, the Celtics have never settled for just one championship. The Celtics are all about dynasties. There is a reason why they have a league-leading 17 NBA championships.
Although it’s more difficult to win rings in this day and age, the Celtics had the talent to win multiple titles with their stacked roster. Year after year people talked about how their window was closing, but they proved everyone wrong and remained contenders.
They came close in 2010, but they blew a 3-2 series lead in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers. In that series’ Game 7, they had a large lead at halftime before letting that slip away, too. Perhaps winning that year would’ve made it a successful run for this Celtics group.
But when your biggest rival wins more championships than you do in a given period of time, then that era has to be a disappointment.
The Lakers ended up winning two titles since 2008 compared to the Celtics one.
Once again, it was nice to have the Celtics back into basketball relevance, but that’s just not how the franchise has rolled throughout the decades. They were expecting more than just one ring when those three united forces. They even had another budding star in Rajon Rondo, but they still couldn’t crank out more than one title.
The Celtics themselves know that they could’ve done more in the last five seasons. You think Kevin Garnett is happy that his team was ousted unceremoniously in the last four seasons?
That being said, one is better than none and at least the Celtics can be happy with what happened in 2008.
Most importantly, their recent success will help them rebuild more quickly. They’re going to have plenty of cap room this offseason and with Paul Pierce and Rondo still in the mix, there’s no doubt that the Celtics can put a championship product on the floor as early as next season.
But until that happens, they have to look at the last five years and say themselves, “Oh, what could’ve been.”