Doc Rivers spends a lot of time talking about the mystical “Celtic way.” Nate Robinson was benched last year because he didn’t yet know the Celtic way. Kevin Garnett epitomizes the Celtic way. Patrick O’Bryant is the exact opposite of the Celtics way. Okay, Doc Rivers never said that last thought. I still imagine he’s thought it at least once or twice.
Yesterday, Rivers finally described what the “Celtic way” entails. (Boston Globe)
“I don’t know the Celtic Way, I mean I know it when I see it. It’s our speed, it’s unselfish. Being a Celtic is every decision you make is about the team, every touch you make is about the team, every pass you make is about the team and you take yourself out of it — then you’re probably a pretty good Celtic. If you don’t want to win and you don’t want to play team basketball, if it’s more about you, then you’re probably not a pretty good Celtic. And definitely not in this era, I can say that.’’
The Celtic way is setting hard screens, passing up an open shot to pass to an even more open teammate, and rotating to help a beaten teammate.
It’s throwing away the stat sheet after games, offering help to lesser teammates after practice, and diving on the floor after loose balls, even during preseason games.
It’s knowing your role and filling it, outworking your opponent every night, and never counting yourself out, even when you’re down 24 points in an NBA Finals game.
It’s Eddie House chasing down a loose ball, James Posey hugging his teammates before games, and Kevin Garnett pounding his chest.
It’s Kendrick Perkins’s scowl, Paul Pierce’s stepback jumper, and Ray Allen’s understated fist pump.
It’s Rajon Rondo’s ascendance to stardom, and his teammates’ willingness to accept that.
It’s Glen Davis coming off the bench drooling, Nate Robinson finally “getting it,” and Delonte West being loved and supported.
It’s about the pure elation of winning a championship for your brothers who aren’t blood related, and it’s about being eliminated from the playoffs, looking around the locker room and not seeing a single dry eye.
The Celtic way is how I one day want my son to play basketball.