Donnie Wahlberg has been a Boston Celtics fan for most of his life. He has seen the original Big Three of Larry Bird-Robert Parish-Kevin McHale and was just as pumped up about the Big Three 2.0 with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
But as we bid adieu to the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance,” which centered around Michael Jordan’s final season in Chicago, Wahlberg says there’s one Celtics team he would love to see get a similar behind-the-scenes treatment.
And in Wahlberg’s mind, this one ain’t even close.
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“Last year,” said Wahlberg, referring to the 2018-2019 season.
“I would pick them because the other teams, we know,” Wahlberg said on the Celtics Talk Podcast. “We know the second Big Three; we knew the 80's Celtics. What happened last year is what I want to know.”
The 2019 Celtics were a favorite to get to the NBA Finals with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward — neither of whom was available the previous year when the youthful Celtics squad came within minutes of getting to the NBA Finals before losing at home in Game 7 to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But the 2019 team struggled to play with the kind of selfless cohesion we had seen the season prior, and the result was them getting bounced in the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks, followed by an offseason in which Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn) and Al Horford (Philadelphia) left the organization.
“That’s the team (2018 Celtics) I fell in love with,” Wahlberg said. “The next year we were supposed to get better with Kyrie and Gordon and we didn’t. I’d love to know what happened to the chemistry; what really went on. You hear rumors, rumblings but I would love to see behind the scenes with that team.”
And when he looks at the current state of the Celtics, a young team that’s among the best in the NBA — the Celtics are one of just four teams in the NBA that clinched a playoff spot prior to the season being suspended on March 12 — that adds even more intrigue and interest to the 2019 team.
“Look how good they are again,” Wahlberg said of this year’s Celtics. “It’s like there’s no reason with that additional talent… that (2018-19) team, everyone said it doesn’t matter if they get to the Finals, they would lose to Golden State. Golden State was missing a lot of guys and there’s no asterisks on a championship. (That) team should have gotten to the Finals. Al (Horford) and Kyrie (Irving) with the amazing talent around them, I’d like to know what happened."
Wahlberg added, “I don’t blame anyone; stuff happens. I certainly don’t blame the guys that are with the team. I don’t know who to blame for this. That’s why I would like to see a Last Dance with this team to see what happened.”