Celtics

The winner of the Celtics-Cavs deal two years later is...

The winner of the Celtics-Cavs deal two years later is...

BOSTON -- When it comes to trades, we often associate the winner of the deal with which team wound up with the best overall player. 

When the Celtics-Cavaliers trade was made two years ago, Kyrie Irving and the Celtics were the winners by a mile. 

And now, on the two-year anniversary of the deal, the Celtics still come out on top…but not for the reason you might be thinking. 

In his time with the Celtics, Irving checked off most of the boxes in terms of being what the C's needed. 

But by the end of his time with the Green Team, Irving looked more like he had checked out and was mentally on to the next team.

Even with all the leadership issues Boston had under Irving’s watch, even with all the issues that led to more whining by this crew than winning, the Celtics did the right thing in making the trade for one reason and one reason only. 

Because the alternative to not doing that deal would have kept Boston on a treadmill of mediocrity, which is basketball purgatory.

Isaiah Thomas’ injuries were more severe than most thought, which meant that if Celtics kept their best player at the time, they would likely have been without his services for a while. 

Remember, after he was traded to Cleveland, Thomas did not suit up in a game for the Cavs until Jan. 2, 2018

And if not for the trade, there were going to be legit chemistry issues looming ahead with Jae Crowder and the rest of the team’s wings. 

Crowder came to Boston as a trade throw-in from Dallas, a player that few envisioned would blossom into the player he became with the Celtics. 

To his credit, Crowder worked his way into being a reliable two-way player who provided some much-needed talent and toughness for Boston. 

For him to have come as far as he did and then find himself battling for minutes off the bench with more players at his position than ever looking to gobble up minutes … both he and the Celtics deserved better than that. 

So, moving Crowder took all the guesswork out of who would be the odd man out between himself, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and incoming rookie Jayson Tatum. 

Still, the biggest win for Boston over Cleveland in the deal was hope. 

Irving is a dynamic talent, the kind that gave the Celtics every reason to believe that they could win an NBA title with him in the fold. 

As much as fans around New England loved Isaiah Thomas, there was always a belief that he could only take you so far as the best player on the team. 

As for the Cavs, the unprotected pick from Boston was seen as the trade equalizer if it would have been among the top three or four picks. 

Instead, the Nets became more of a grind-it-out team that won more than expected, which led to the pick from Boston (via Brooklyn) falling to eighth overall. 

Cleveland wound up selecting Collin Sexton. who had a good rookie season; good enough to earn a spot on the NBA’s  All-Rookie second team. 

He’s good, but he’s no Irving, which is why it’s hard to see a pathway in this deal that one could declare that the Cavs came away victorious. 

They traded away the best player in the deal. 

The two best players they acquired were traded away just a few months later after being picked up. 

And the draft pick wasn’t anywhere close to where it needed to be in order for it to truly have the kind of difference-making impact Cleveland was hoping for. 

So, as we reflect upon the Boston-Cleveland trade, we’re reminded that the winds of change sometimes sway away from one team on the night of the trade and toward the other a couple of years later. 

This ain’t one of those deals. 

Boston came away with the win on draft night. 

And now two years later, the Celtics still won the deal.

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Celtics' Jaylen Brown organizes peaceful protest in wake of George Floyd's death

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Celtics' Jaylen Brown organizes peaceful protest in wake of George Floyd's death

Jaylen Brown is one of the many Americans speaking out against the death of George Floyd and the racial injustices that remain prevalent in this country.

The Boston Celtics star has been outspoken about the issues over the last several days, and on Saturday he took to social media to organize a peaceful protest in Atlanta.


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Brown also posted an important video message urging those who witness acts of racism to speak up or act on it.

“Being a bystander is no longer acceptable," Brown said. "If you and your friends are around or are witnesses to cultural biases, micro-aggressions, subtle acts of racism, actual racism etc. and you don’t speak up on it or do something about it, you are part of the problem. We’re past the point where if it’s not in your governance space so you have nothing to do with it. If you don’t speak up on these issues, you just as bad.”

Watch:

In addition, the 23-year-old posted an Instagram photo of himself holding a sign that reads, "I can't breathe," referencing the words said by Floyd before he was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Along with Brown, several athletes including Tom Brady and members of the New England Patriots have used their platforms to speak up about George Floyd's death.

Another Larry Bird milestone to assert his place among the all-time greats

Another Larry Bird milestone to assert his place among the all-time greats

BOSTON -- The 1986 Boston Celtics are considered one of the greatest teams of all time, having run through the regular season with ease towards a dominant postseason that ended with the team hanging Banner 16.

But weeks before the franchise’s triumphant conclusion to the season, there was another historic milestone.

Larry Bird was named the league’s MVP 34 years ago this week for the third straight season, a feat that only two others - Bill Russell (1961-1963) and Wilt Chamberlain (1966-1968) - had ever done.

It’s significant because it serves as yet another reminder of how historically great Bird was; not only for the Boston Celtics but for the entire league.

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To carve out a spot in history with such an elusive group speaks to Bird’s greatness as a player who at the very least should be in the conversation as one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. 

And what made that season even more special was that during the playoffs, the elite level at which Bird played during the regular season did not waiver or lessen up in the games that mattered the most. 

In the playoffs that year, he averaged 25.9 points (0.1 points less than his season average) while increasing his field goal shooting (51.7 percent in the playoffs, 49.6 in the regular season), assists (9.8, from 8.2) and steals (2.1, from 2.0).

And when the game was on the line, the only thing larger than Bird’s ability to come through in the clutch, was his confidence.

“There’s no doubt I’m in control of what I do out there,” Bird said in an interview in 1986. “I can score any number of points my team wants me to if they give me the ball in the right situations.”

And he did, over and over and over again before finally calling it quits on his Hall of Fame career in 1992. 

Throughout his time in Boston, Bird had a number of stretches of brilliance as a basketball player. 

But the three-year run in which he was the league’s best player, resulting in three consecutive league MVP awards, stands out in a career that was filled with standout moments.