For those of you who are following the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals, which will climax with game seven tonight, here is a video showing some "differences" between The Boston Celtics Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen vs The Miami Heat's Trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Hit the jump for some running commentary.
0:03 - July 31st, 2007
Just a short few months from completing a 24-58 season in which they missed the playoffs, the Boston Celtics introduced what was called "The Big Three". Paul Pierce, a lifetime Celtics player and team captain, joined Kevin Garnett, aka "KG", an insanely intense and skilled big man who had averaged 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists the previous season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Ray Allen, undoubtedly the greatest three pointer shooter in the history of the NBA in a relatively low-key press conference. A smattering of applause greeted them.
They started 29-3 and went on to 66 games that season, a record breaking 42 game turn around, and took out a Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. It wasn't easy though, as they played a record breaking 26 playoff games. KG was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. During the playoffs they gave the keys to the machine to a crabby second year point guard named Rajon Rondo. I would call that a pretty fuckin' successful season. Wouldn't you?
0:08 - July 9th, 2010
LeBron James had already taken part in one circus with "The Decision", so the Miami Heat brass decided it would be a great idea to one up it and throw an even bigger event for the unveiling of what was cleverly called.....get ready for it....THE BIG 3! Well, in actuality they didn't know what the hell to call them, since Boston had already taken that moniker with their stellar trio a few seasons prior.
But let's be honest, it was a terrifying lineup. Thinking that they could challenge for 70 wins wasn't out of the question with arguably two of the top three players in the world with Dwyane Wade and James. Chris Bosh was an added bonus, but his max contract definitely was questioned with his inflated numbers from the previous season coming from playing with a very mediocre Toronto Raptors team.
Long story semi-short: They won 58 games, which was 11 better than 2009/10, and made the NBA Finals, losing to the Dallas Mavericks.
"Red always said it was the name on the front that mattered."
"LeeeBroooon Jaaaaaaaaames! Chrrrris Bosh! Dwyaaaaane Wade!" I bet the rest of the Miami Heat team felt very special knowing that they became very replaceable.
The Celtics look like they held this press conference at the local Elks Club, hastily throwing up a team banner to cover up a little of the background, so closeup shots make it look super official.
Keys to the city, to "The Three Kings", is that what they were calling them? Before they've played a single minute. Yes, these young men have free reign in the city of Miami.
Keys to the county now. Understandable, for these guys to feel well enough compensated they would need to reach beyond city limits.
KG, who had been basically nowhere in the playoffs in his career up to that point, humbly points out that it was probably his best chance for a title. He was exactly right.
The enthralling story of how it all came together. "Let's get this thing done", like it was a given they were going to win a title. More like "let's get this giant target on our back painted".
Jesus Shuttlesworth speaks with dignity, as always.
"Arguably the best trio to ever play the game of basketball" Wow, Wade must have been a little uncomfortable saying shit like that. Ever hear of Team USA? They've had some pretty good trio's.
"From low expectations to high expectations, that's what we want." - Celtics Coach Doc Rivers
"Not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7....hey" - Lebron, referring to how many championships the Heat will win. If they won the next seven titles (which is a curious number because it would be one more than Jordan), he would be in his mid thirties. Better get started on that one buddy.
While LeBron boasted how many titles they would win, KG wouldn't even say they're the team to beat. I see this as a sign of the way both franchises are run. All things considered, I would probably wanna play in Miami too.
Danny Ainge talks about how every spot on the team is important. Not just the twelve active players, but the fourteen total, guys who practice and make the team better. Miami has Eddy Curry on their roster.
LeBron insinuates that he and Wade are so good that they could have Pat Riley, who is in his 60's, run with them and they would be just fine. Note that he was no more than a mediocre NBA player, but then again he was referring to Riley's days as a Kentucky Wildcat.
Really what the hell were these guys supposed to say? They're under the bright lights like that and they are being paid to entertain.
"These guys will never be the Big 3 until they win. And I think they know that." - Danny Ainge. If you put the words LeBron and co were saying into a computer and had it spit out the opposite sentence, this is pretty much what it would have said.