I know you’re thinking about leaving, and I don’t blame you. Family’s a big deal. Two of your sons are going into their senior years. You don’t want to miss big events in your children’s lives, and you don’t want to scar your relationship with your family. I get it. We all do. Long-distance relationships are tough. We understand why you’re so on-the-fence about leaving.
But the Boston Celtics are your family too. Your blood sons are about to begin their senior years of college and high school, but your adopted sons are in the senior years of their NBA career. They’ve been in the trenches with you for three years. They’ve battled for you, with you. They bought into your Ubuntu lesson. They’ve smiled with you, they’ve laughed with you, and they’ve cried with you. Hell, they probably yelled at you a few times too. That’s just what family does. But they won you your first championship. They love you. And they have maybe one or two years of contending left.
With the Celtics, your second family, you have unfinished business. You can’t tell me you’re content with losing Game 7, by four points, to the Lakers. You can’t tell me you don’t want a ring for both hands. You can’t tell me you don’t want to see whether the starting five, when intact, is still worthy of being undefeated. You can’t.
Your family will always be there, Doc. If you retire this year, next year, or five years down the road, your family will still be around. But these Celtics? The Big Three? Five years down the road, probably sooner than that, they’re all going to be retired. You won’t have another chance to coach this group. They’ll be scattered across the country, relaxing. Do you want them to have only one ring a piece? Do you want the last memories you shared with the Big Three to be Ron Artest draining clutch threes and Kobe Bryant accepting an award from Bill Russell? Is that really how you want your time as a Boston Celtics coach to end?
Look, Doc, I’m getting a little desperate here. Do you know who is one of two candidates likely to replace you if you leave? Vinny Del Negro. I don’t mean to make this about anyone else but you, Doc, but do you really want to leave your Celtics in Del Negro’s hands? Do you really want to subject them to his comedy of errors? Don’t you care about your players more than that? Don’t you love them like sons?
I’ve gotta admit, Doc, I once wanted you gone. At the time, after you coached Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair to a 24-58 record, I didn’t realize you were coaching a bunch of incompetent losers. I blamed you, at least partially. I couldn’t imagine why Danny Ainge extended your contract.
But now I know. Damn, do I know. As skeptical as I once was, I trust you like hell now. You’ve been through the ups and downs in Boston, Doc, but you persevered and came out royalty. I mean it, Doc, you’re Celtics royalty now. You pull all the right strings. Your players love you. The fans do too. We need you.
We need you.
With love and respect,
Jay King and the Celtics Town community