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Tonight the end of an era for Boston

Jun 17, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT

boston_bigthree.jpgIt’s never going to be the same again.

This era of the Boston Celtics — The Big Three era — comes to an end tonight. Win or lose. Things will be changing in Boston, evolving. When the Celtics went out and got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce, everyone knew this era would be pretty short. Looks like about three years.

Ray Allen is a free agent at the end of the season. Boston GM Danny Ainge considered trading him at the deadline, and at 34 you can seriously question how long a deal he should get now. He’s had a good finals, however, and based on that somebody is going to overpay. It happens every time.

There will be a lot of other changes. Not Paul Pierce, he’s not walking out on the $21.5 million he is owed next year, but he theoretically could opt out. However the bench will change. Glen Davis (good) and Rasheed Wallace (not so good) will be back, but they are the only ones under contract. Nate Robinson, Tony Allen and the rest of the bench could be gone.

Tom Thibodeau’s and his defensive game plans will be gone, at least until Chicago comes to the Garden on a road trip.

Doc Rivers may be gone as well. He’s seriously considering becoming a family man and a television analyst for a couple of years. He may think that a title or two, that these finals runs with this team, were what he could get out of this squad and it is time to step back.

At some point, the Celtics have to start building for a future around Rajon Rondo. It is now his team, and the future is all his. That should start this summer, as the Celtics start a process of getting younger,

Boston could be back next season, but it will not be the same. Times, they are a changin’.

Take one last look tonight, Boston fans, and enjoy this moment. Savor this era, which fittingly ends in a dramatic Game 7. Because after tonight things start to change.

  1. dan - Jun 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Finally something well said. Title or not they have to get younger.

  2. Hackpiper - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    As a Bostonian, I am completly thrilled with how the C’s have fought their way through this year. More courage and determination than any team in the NBA, perhaps at any time ever. The Lakers certainly have the high power and glitz, but the Celtics have the gumption and grit.
    Win or lose tonight, the Celts have done Boston and the people of New England truly proud this season.
    Fight hard and stand tall Celtics. You’ve already won where it counts.

  3. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Those of you who know me know I speak the truth. I speak not in a language of hyperbole nor exaggeration. I speak from the knowledge of the superiority of MY Phil (hopefully, Phil Jackson will soon be my lover here in my earthly form) and my Lakers. I also speak as I am King of the Hobbits, though that really doesn’t matter right now…I just wanted you to know.
    Hazzah to the Lakers. Those who doubt them have poo for brains.
    Ha ha! I have schooled you!
    I shall now lmfao and depart.

  4. Otto Kubik - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    It has been a thrill to watch the Celtics through their highs and lows this season. We never expected them to make it through the conference semi’s, let alone the 7th game of the Finals.
    A job VERY well done, no matter how tonight ends…

  5. Kayoss - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I’m a Lakers fan but i have to admit that the only team that scares me is the Boston Celtics. They might be a bit older but they know how to open a can of whoop ass. Look at what they did to the two top teams in the Eastern conference. Not only that, they put the Lakers into the brink of elimination. Congrats to both teams for letting us have maybe one of the greatest Finals in History no matter what happens both teams can leave with their head high. Good Luck to both.

  6. Otto from LA - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    It has been a thrill to watch the Celtics through their highs and lows this season. We never expected them to make it through the conference semi’s, let alone the 7th game of the Finals.
    A job VERY well done, no matter how tonight ends…

  7. Shay - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    I agree the Celtics have fought long and hard against all odds. Win or Lose they have done something amazing. Now lets give this game all we have. If we lose let it be in battle and not because we surrendered.

  8. cuzzenbud - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Hat’s off to the Celtics for a job well done. Win or lose they have shown true grit and lots character this post season.

  9. cuzzenbud - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    I like to give props to the Laker’s Andrew Bynum as well.

  10. Omnius - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    This is what Boston deserves for Danny Ainge’s shortsighted trades for old geezers to help out Pierce. Danny got one title thanks to an injured Laker team in 2008 but that’s all folks! I won’t be crying over the end of Boston’s Big Three era. After getting whipped tonight Ancient Gang green will fade back to being a pretender while the Lakers look forward to another opportunity to ThreePeat next June. I am so looking forward to the Lakers finally catching Boston in titles won a year from now. The Laker’s future is so bright we Lakers fans got to wear shades!

  11. jaydee - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    I hate the Celtics but I take my hat off to them for playing hard this post season. I’d hate to see the Lakers lose on their home court but if it happens then Boston certainly earned it.
    Go Lakers!

  12. Akademik - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    @ Cuzzenbud, well said. Laker fans always get on these sites and brag, brag, brag about Laker accomplishments. When they lose, they never give the other team respect, or credit. That is the reason I know that they will lose tonight. Watch. Kobe is going to try to end the series by himself, the other Lakers, primarily Artest and Odom, will not show up like they did on Tuesday, and watch the team work and grit of Boston, end the Lakers hopes and season. Go Celtics…

  13. Danny Ainge - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    What can I say? I am an azzhole and have absolutely no business running a basketball team. Sorry guys.

  14. Tommy Paul - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Ainge is right on point. He’ll rebuild and in a short period of time, be right back on top. This might be where LeBron ends up! Word on the street is that he’d look forward to carrying on the legacy in Boston. Like all of the superstars of the past that played for the Celtics, he could pick up where they left off and very quickly! I think this acquisition would keep Doc right where he is. This team with Lebron won’t be beat for a long time!!!

  15. truelakers - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    f**k u and your baseless comment.. It hurts, right???suck it…

  16. jazk - Jun 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Given that by year’s end, many didn’t think either would be here at a game 7, give it up to both teams. Celtics will blow up and rebuild either way. Weird how this all works.

  17. kathi - Jun 17, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Well i have enjoyed watching the Boston Celtics ,Doc Rivers is a great coach ,he’s great with the players. GO CELTICS I HONESTLY HOPE THAT YA’LL WIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. shaun - Jun 17, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Great job to both teams, I am a Pistons fan actually, but to say the least I have enjoyed the improbable run by the Boston Celtics… It’s been a treat to watch them beat Miami, Cleaveland, Orlando, but I’m not sure about this one… Two legacies are at stake here, Kobe Bryant’s and Phil Jackson’s, the big three’s legacy is already preserved, nobody even expected them to be here this year, that well deserved title in ’08 preserved their legacy as one of the greatest teams in NBA history. I’m going to be honest here I just cannot see Kobe Bryant letting a game 7 of the NBA Finals get away from him at home, and especially with the under-looked injury to Perkins… The Lakers should trot to the title tonight.

  19. CP - Jun 17, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I’m a Knicks fan (don’t hate me!), but it doesn’t feel right to have Boston overcome all those other playoff series, make it to game 7 against their rivals, and then lose. That’s a terrible story. If Boston wins, that’s a story worth repeating/retelling to my future grandkids again and again. If LA wins, it’s just another title (we already know Phil Jackson & Kobe Bryant are the best, and they won last year, and were favored this year). I’d rather have a feel-good story to read about tomorrow rather than a boring “Lakers win” (next year: Knicks win!)

  20. dragonswizardz - Jun 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    These are not the Celtics of my youth ~~ the guys who regularly beat the Lakers every championship (that’s how I remember those good ol’ days). That was the team of Cousy, Russell, & Havilcek. Of course, Bird’s Celtics were pretty damn good, too. And the player matchups were great: Magic-Bird, Cohsy-West, Baylor-anybody. This Celtic team has (& will) be remembered as the “Big Three’s” team. And, undeniably, Pierce, Allen & Garnett will, perhaps, one day be Hall of Famers ~~ deservedly so for their career accomplishments. And, though I am a die~hard, lif~long Laker fan it is sad to see another Celtic team ride into the sunset. They have been fun to watch as were the great Celtic teams that preceded them. I hope ~ just maybe ~ they will be around for another season.That would be great fun ~~~ if so, could next year see yet another Laker~Celtic championship series? As I said, that WOULD be fun.

  21. dicklandetti - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    As a Celtic fan this is like the end of a great vacation. It’s been totally awesome run, however, i’m more upset that it’s almost over than enjoying my last day. How can anyone watch regular season basketball.

  22. cscha - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Omnius what kind of fool are you? (not a rhetorical question the world wants to know). Your Lakers team is full of a bunch of prima donna cry babies. You should be scared of the OKC Thunder, they can only get better and they played well against the Lakers this year (their first playoff experience). Presti has put together a good team and will improve upon it this off season. Lakers if they should win tonight (gag me)it may be their last for while also, they are no spring chickens themselves and who are they going to rely on for relief Luke Walton who only made it to the NBA because of daddy’s name (what a joke, one of the worst players in the league). Don’t get me wrong the Lakers have a bunch of talent but it is dificult to repeat much less three-peat in any sport or league so don’t count those rings just yet. From a former Lakers fan when they used to have not noly good players on the team but also good human beings (like Jerry West) not thugs and sexual abusers like today’s team GO CELTS!!!

  23. Laker Fan - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    you’re an ASS…..

  24. Hackpiper - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Celtics fan here…
    Good to see the stupid trash talk limited to the usual morons, here.
    Game sevens are increasingly rare in the finals, and both sides have to give great credit to the other for getting there. Lakers are clearly the stronger squad in terms of talent, and the Celtics are probably the grittier fighters. Which quality will prevail? who knows!
    I think tonight will be one for the ages, and I hope it goes right to the buzzer.
    …As is should be.
    Here’s to a great game, laker fans!

  25. Lakers4Lyfe - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Goodbye to bad actors, floppers, smack talkers and thugs. No one will miss them.

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