While plenty of franchises have waited longer than 22 years in between championships, the Boston Celtics are held to a different standard.
Episode Three of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” puts the construction of the 2008 championship team under the microscope, examining the dominoes that fell, resulting in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett forming a new “Big Three” with Paul Pierce.
Before “Trader Danny” could get his hands on Allen and Garnett, however, the team waited anxiously for the results of the NBA Draft Lottery.
With the second-best odds, Celtics fans had realistic dreams of seeing either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant holding up a Boston jersey on draft night.
“In the ‘07 Draft, we had a lot of hope that we were going to get one of these top two guys,” said Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck. “Danny had targeted one of them, and it was in fact Durant, and that’s the truth, but we didn’t know where our pick was going to be, but we had the number two slot in the lottery. So, we figured we were going to get one, two, or three most likely.”
Things did not go according to plan, however, and despite their high odds of landing one of the two potential franchise cornerstones, Boston ended up with the fifth pick in the draft.
“You can’t even make the argument that might be a game-changer at five,” said Michael Holley. “There wasn’t.”
While the fall to five stung, it immediately set Ainge and his team into action, exploring trade possibilities with Minnesota and Seattle.
“I didn’t know what to expect when we got Ray Allen,” said Kendrick Perkins. “I just was like…we got Jesus Shuttlesworth.”
“Me, Kevin McHale, and Danny went golfing, and when I finished golfing, I walked in my room and said ‘we’re going to get Kevin Garnett,” Doc Rivers stated.
The process of acquiring Allen and Garnett saw its fair share of twists and turns, but in the end, the new Big Three had made its way to Boston.
With Ainge and Rivers now in charge of all things on the court, Grousbeck and his team were on their way to fulfilling their goal.
Anything is Podable is a ten-part series diving into the story of the 2008 Celtics and their championship season, with exclusive, never-before-heard interviews with team executives, former players, and media members.
Narrated by Kyle Draper, it’s the perfect way for Celtics fans to pass time this offseason and get excited for 2018-19, a season in which the Celtics have as good a chance at raising their 18th championship banner as they’ve had since that magical 2008 season.
Fans can subscribe to the podcast through the link below and check out the other nine episodes for a look at this exclusive series.