Ramble on the Roof -cd

Torrin Thatcher

Have you ever thought how amazing it would be to win the lottery? Of course you have! Just imagine the money, fame and happiness that come along with it! I don’t think there’s a wish more thought about than reeling in a big fish. Those four little ping pong balls can make all the difference regarding both current and future plans. It seems, in some instances, that not winning the lottery is actually for the better.
In 2007, the Boston Celtics finished 24-58 in the NBA and finished with the second highest percentage to receive the first pick in the draft. Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers, the Celtics GM and head coach, hoped for one of these top spots, and planned to take Kevin Durant or Greg Oden with their pick. With the universe not being happy with Boston, they ended up with the fifth pick in the draft and completely lost out on Oden and Durant — two guys deemed “franchise savers.”
Over the next few days, interviews with Ainge and Rivers were not full of glee and joy, but rather disappointment and wonder about what should be done to retain the credibility after having won 16 NBA championships. What is a GM to do? Go find and trade for a disgruntled all-star in Minnesota, and find another sniper from the draft pick accumulating Seattle Supersonics!
Boston traded for Kevin Garnett — a former MVP — and Ray Allen. To sum up how much Boston’s fortunes turned around, let’s take a peek at how they did in ’08. They went 66-16! The biggest turnaround in NBA history — 42 games better — and the best record in the league came from the guys in green from Beantown. In the playoffs, their first round match-up is against the Atlanta Hawks and I’m calling the sweep after game three in Atlanta.
Most prediction machines have the Celtics making the Finals from the Eastern Conference beating the Pistons in the conference finals, a match-up would make many Eastern Conference lovers happy. It’s obvious that losing the lottery provided benefits for the Celtics that’ll be seen for a few years; they should contend for the NBA title until the “Boston Three Party” — as Scott Van Pelt describes Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce — begin to need more ice on their knees and aren’t hitting threes.
The Seattle Supersonics finished 31-51 and weren’t very likely to get any of the top three picks because of the terrible season put together by the Bucks, Celtics, and Memphis. Against the odds, they were awarded the second pick — behind Portland — and were set to get the Naismith winner from Texas, Kevin Durant. Seattle wasn’t expecting a great season like Boston, but they had hoped to finish a little closer to .500.
Their season didn’t go as planned; they went 20-62 — the second worst record in the league. Oh, and don’t worry, their problems don’t simply end on the court; they have to deal with where their court is going to be!
Clayton Bennett, along with others, bought the Sonics in 2006. Upon buying the team, Bennett said the team would stay in Seattle if a new stadium was built. When the State of Washington turned down the proposed 500 million dollar plan for a new complex, Bennett then wanted out of the current lease at their current arena and wanted to move the team to Oklahoma City. A short while ago, private emails between the new ownership group of the Sonics revealed they privately planned to move to Oklahoma City even while saying they’d stay in Seattle. The former owner now wants to sue Bennett for breach of contract and wants the Sonics back. Let’s just sum up by saying that it’s all a big mess over in the Emerald City.
As a person who cares about things that are real, fiction need not apply, this is the real Tale of Two Cities — I googled to find author and plot. Seattle had over 50 wins just three seasons ago, now they have trouble putting together back-to-backs, and Boston hadn’t won over 50 since the early 90s. Both teams endured many years of hardship, and are now headed in opposite directions; back to the lottery for the Sonics, deep into the playoffs for the Celtics. If anyone could have conducted this much of a turnaround, I guess we should have assumed a Doc would be able to Hem the Reign of Tears.