This is why I love the Celtics.
If you missed it this week, hurry up and go listen to Celtics Team President Rich Gotham's heartfelt sentiment about the Boston Celtics being like a communal group.
On the Celtics Beat Podcast, Gotham said: "They (ownership) don’t run this to put money in their pocket, they run it to win championships. They look at it as a public trust.”
That sounds familiar doesn’t it? A team of the people, by the people, for the people.
The Celtics have a strong tradition of being far more than just an incredible team on the court- more importantly they have defined themselves by what they do off it that has really endeared the Celtics to fans all over the world.
"That tradition is such a valuable trait to the organization,” Gotham said. “The idea is to have a good balance of honoring that tradition and honoring the people that paved the way whether it’s Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Red Auerbach, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish or John Havlicheck- we’re maintaining the values that those guys established for the organization of what we’re going to be like on and off the court."
That is the beauty of the Celtics. As important as winning 17 Championship titles gas been, its the legacy that the Celtics have built along the way that truly matters and makes them special for fans to be really proud of.
Funnily enough, that iconic quote by US President Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address was delivered at a time of great uncertainty just like the social environment the Celtics built their founding legacy.
Red Auerbach and Bill Russell are the founding fathers of the Celtics legacy that lives on till today. Auerbach was the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics from the moment he started coaching the team in 1950. He was a pioneer of modern basketball and broke down color barriers in the NBA by drafting the first African-American player in 1950 as well as introducing the first African-American starting five in 1964.
Russell is also notorious as a Boston Celtic. He won 11 championships with the Celtics and was the first African-American superstar in revolutionizing basketball. But it was his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement that truly makes him special as he was awarded the highest civilian award in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.
The Celtics are renown for being revolutionary but more importantly they have continued to share the gift of basketball in making everyone – no matter who they are – from administration, coaching, staff, operations and fans feel as part and important to the team as anyone else.
Even the great Larry Legend is just as famous for his teamwork and dedication as much as his shooting and scoring.
And those team ethics continue today as demonstrated by Gotham’s quotes.
I cannot begin to tell you how strongly I feel about this to the point that it's become my daily mantra and I learned this lesson through the gift of sport.
The lesson is this- Sharing a moment, enhances an experience.
That’s what makes me love the Celtics because basketball isn’t just about winning games, it’s an experience to share for everyone to enjoy and grow from.