The reaction of KG said it all. Oblivious to the delirious crowd and his team mates in wild frenzy of celebration, he rushed to the center of the parquet floor, knelt down, kissed the leprechaun and collapsed. He had finally answered his own demons, he could stand up to him for once and forever here on. He wanted to savor this moment. He couldn't hold his breath when someone put a mic in front of him. He finally let his emotions flow, unrestrained, he nearly collapsed on shoulders of Posey. There came the biggest moment when Bill Russell walked over to him and hugged him and then he could once in his life say those proud words "I've got my own". Yes, he got his own. He quickly got approval from Bill when he asked 'Hope we made you proud'. For all those years in Minnesotta, he was alone. In Boston he finally found his home, he found a place where he belongs. The city that has seen it all in 16 NBA titles, was long waiting for it's 17th, so long that they could have even quit on basketball. With KG in off-season trade, they got their hope back, they got the reason to believe in the C's. They worshiped him all season. They knew the 17th banner was in the making.
In Boston, like in war, there is no prize for the runner up. Their legacy is so rich, anything short of a title is flat ordinary. KG knew it, Paul Pierce knew it well through the last decade and Ray Allen knew it too. They gave the city the reward for every single moment of faith it has shown in their revived green team.
Pierce was charging into paint, and he had Kobe silenced and perplexed. He's sacrificed his offense to guard Kobe. He did that against a more physical Lebron of Cavaliers. He could have easily scored 50 more points in the playoffs, but it wasn't individual honors for Boston. Paul, Ray, KG have seen it all - all sorts of awards and all-star selections. What they didn't have was the ring. Their own rafter, their ultimate prize, the Larry O'Brien trophy.
The best thing to see was Rajon Rondo in action. I have nothing against him, he is too young, and to be a point guard for a such a high profile team, is a big weight on those young shoulders. He & Perkins give the opposition a chance to flank the floor and use free safety on their shooters. He would miss free throws, and often his extra energy would give away a turnover. But that didn't matter. Doc always had faith in him. He accepted Rondo is not getting few things right, but he never criticized him. He missed shots and FTs here again but he gave them all important 6 steals. That put them in dictating terms. Even notorious Phil Jackson admitted it was Rondo, who took it away from Lakers. It was a big moment for him, at the biggest stage of his budding career with the cloud of doubts hovering over his head and he came out the winner. Perkins though sloppy on the offense, gets crucial blocks and forces turnovers. He's still to go a long way, and he sure will. One should never undermine the contributions from Eddie House and James Posey. Doc turned to them in game 4 when C's were ailing under a huge deficit. House and Posey played a monumental role in bringing them to life again and to take it all the way. Powe got them game 2. PJ Brown and Sam Cassell had their share of contributions. NBA commercials say "There can only be one" but in Boston, it was the TEAM, it never was individual glory. It is with that in mind, they got Garnett, Pierce and also Posey, Brown and Cassell.
This win, at the Garden in Boston, in front of their vociferous fans with the Celtics Legends Russell and Havlicek in the stands, over their old nemesis by 39 points - their biggest win in Championship finals, at the greatest stage in basketball when all of their big 3 shined, when everything fell in place like a scripted drama, was the best culmination to a dream season which goes as the biggest single season turn around in NBA history. It was the most the city of Boston could have asked from their team for their faith and support and the best Ray, Paul and KG and Posey, Perkins, Rondo, House, Davis, Cassell, Tony Allen, and Doc Rivers as a coach could deliver. With this the big 3 finally got their chance to get immortalized.
Weighed down by the pressure of those 16 banners hanging from rafters all season, they now have one of their own. They are right up there, with the Celtics Legends, as the Celtics Legends.
(all images from http://sports.yahoo.com)