By Romy Nehme
BILL: I’m not exactly sure when it happened. It could have been after Danny Ainge gutted a Celtics team I loved and shipped out Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder. I thought those guys were the life blood of the rebuild and maybe not so much for their ability, but for their attitude and grit. It could have been after seeing Gordon Hayward crumple to the floor in Cleveland just minutes into his promising career in Boston. As gut punches go, that was the gut punches of all gut punches. Or it could have been how the team responded to such a devastating start, rattling off sixteen wins in a row and reaffirming my faith in the Celtics--these Celtics--and everything I love about sports. But at some point this season, everything seemed to get clearer and more blurry at the same time. The emotional swings of this year have made me more of a fan than ever, but that’s also just made me question it more. Why do I do this to myself?
The Celtics are in the hunt for the #1 seed in the East on the intangible strengths of Danny Ainge’s instincts and planning, Brad Stevens’ coaching, and the players’ selfless commitment to team and daily improvement. Or maybe that’s all just narrative, a narrative assigned by me. Maybe it’s all just about wins and losses. That’s all that will matter in some sports almanac. Maybe basketball is just a business and not the brotherhood that Celtics’ lore conjures up. Or maybe I’m having an existential crisis. Doctor, why do you...