The Boston Celtics will get their championship rings Tuesday before the team’s opener against Cleveland. There’s no more hallowed ceremony in sports than a winning tradition-rich franchise like the Celtics being awarded their championship rings. So with that in mind, the club is providing the occasion with all the grace and dignity it deserves:
From Frank Murphy of the BOSTON HERALD:
The players are clearly looking forward to the ring ceremony, which is being treated like an Olympic torch-lighting ceremony. The rings have an official sponsor: Southwest Airlines. Considering that Southwest flies into Providence, and not Logan, the rings will be delivered to Celtics legend JoJo White on the T.F. Green Airport tarmac on Tuesday.
Great, so the most important ceremony in sports is being sponsored by the Greyhound of the skies. Not to mention an airline that doesn’t even fly into Boston. So does the promotion include a sale on middle seats and giveaways of expiration-dated peanuts?
The club will also raise it’s 17th NBA Championship banner in the process. The banners of course are a timeless reminder of the C’s past greatness. But coach Doc Rivers claims the rings mean more than the banners to the participants.
“I think players play for the ring,” said Rivers. “I don’t mind if people talk about it, either. The banner is a little different. With the Celtics, people can talk about our banner or 16 others.”
Rivers is no doubt correct. 25 years ago, he wouldn’t be. But now, the game is all about individuals getting theirs (AND 1!). Wonder what Bill Russell or Hondo would say about that?
Team goals are clearly secondary to the typical NBA player. Which might be why fans care less and less about the games. And we’re seeing such a steep decline in preseason games.