Breaking up is hard to do. It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. I hope you had the time of your life. Its the end of the world as we know it. Any number of cliched pop songs from the 80s and 90s feel like a perfect way to describe what the Boston Celtics and their fans must be feeling right now.
Over the past week, Boston has completed the process of dismantling the Big 3 era. They traded doc rivers to the LA Clippers. Ray Allen jumped ship a year earlier and went on to win a championship with the Miami Heat this season (in hindsight, that decision was the greatest of Ray's career. Outside of doing this, of course.) They traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for a collection of draft picks, big contracts and young prospects. The package is about as good as you can expect for 2 players past their primes with massive contracts (oh, and Jason Terry).
The Big 3 succeeded in restoring the winning tradition Celtics fans grew to expect during the 80s. It's safe to say that by 2008 when Boston brought in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to town to pair with Paul Pierce, that tradition had long been a memory. Sure the Celtics had a couple of decent seasons in the 90s/early 2000s. But they were never legitimate title contenders until the Big 3 came together.
In their 6 year run, the Celtics made 2 Finals and won 1 championship. For almost any other team in the league this run would be considered a massive success. But I can't help but feel like the Celtics left some opportunities on the board. Who knows what would have happened if Garnett didn't get hurt in 2009? Who knows what would have happened if Kendrick Perkins didn't get hurt game 6 of the 2010 Finals?
All in all, it was a great run for Ubuntu. We as fans should feel privaledged to have been apart if this portion of NBA history. Saying goodbye to an era can leave you with mixed emotions. You remember all the good times you had together. The memorable shots. Legendary games. Every team goes through what the Celtics are about to go through. It's the cycle of sports franchises. You build your team. You compete for championships. Then you rebuild.