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Not Easy Being Green - By Mike Lynch

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Not Easy Being Green

So the Celtics were eliminated by the mighty Cavaliers in five games. Do you consider their season a success? Keep in mind, that unlike other organizations in other sports, the Celtics don't pollute the Garden rafters with banners for conference or divisional crowns - or for regular season achievements. NBA titles are all that matter. SO will you grumble all summer because they didn't make The Finals or win an NBA crown?

When they disposed of the Bulls and Wizards the consensus was that the Celtics were playing with house money and there would be no shame in losing to the mighty Cavaliers. Then came the game 2 massacre. Goodwill disappeared faster than the Falcons Super Bowl lead over the Patriots ...... Interest waned and the season was put on life support.

But game three reminded generations what Celtic pride was all about. It's not something you can define, but you know it when you see it and those who bleed green saw it during that game with their leading scorer Isaiah Thomas back in Boston with a hip injury. There was plenty of Celtic Pride two nights later in Game 4 when the Celtics held a sizable lead only to be overtaken by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. The Celtics could have rolled over, taken their participation trophy and gone home. Instead they waited for the bully on the entrance to the schoolyard and told him they weren't going to be pushed around anymore and took back their lunch money and bicycles.

The Celtics came home for Game 5 and were out manned. But think of this - they began play Easter weekend and entertained us for eighteen playoff games over a near six week period. They lost to a better team - period. You didn't hear any excuses about playing three games without the player who brought them to the Conference Finals. That's indigenous to a winning culture. Play your best, don't make any excuses and tip your hat to your opponent.

The future is bright with the top pick in the draft and the prospect of signing an impact free agent. Not everybody gets to bring home a trophy every year, sometimes knowing you or your team has done their best - is good enough. There won't be an 18th banner hanging in the Garden rafters next season, but nobody on the Celtics or anybody who follows this team should be hanging their head.