Stop me if you've heard this, but this Boston Celtics team has pride. A lot of pride. Sometimes they have so much pride, they have no room for it all, so they have a bag of pride just sitting in the locker room right next to the Gatorade.
They drive to the arena like proud warriors, seat belts buckled, turn signals utilized. They arrive with pride. Dressed well. Heads held high. Proudful. When they get dressed for the game, they do so with pride, taking their time, meticulously pulling up their socks, lacing their sneakers, getting ready with the proud knowledge that comes with being a champion.
Doc Rivers has ample pride. His gameplans are meticulous, his scouting reports double spaced, articulated in a way of a master craftsman who is doing his job with pride in his work. He doesn't leave the house until he sees in the mirror that his game suit communicates an appropriate level of pride for a coach of his stature.
Paul Pierce has a high level of pride. His jump shot isn't just a lethal shot, he's proud of it. He feels genuinely pleased with his efforts every time he hoists one up, knowing that he has put in the proper time to make it the time-tested weapon it's been throughout his career. At home games, Pierece regularly takes three or four times to park his car until he's satisfied that the positioning of the vehicle sufficiently conveys to passersby his immense sense of pride. It can be frustrating for the lot attendants.
Kevin Garnett has a LOT of pride. The guy eats pride for breakfast, with a spoon. He pours pride into his morning coffee, sitting at the breakfast table asking himself how proud he's prepared to be today. Sometimes he lays awake wondering if he spent the previous day exhibiting the level of pride befitting a player of his standing and the proudful Boston Celtics franchise for which he represents. He has a statue of himself in his bedroom as a monument to his pride.
With the series returning to Boston, the Celtics' pride will be on full display. The TD Garden has pride cakes in the urinals. The vendors come around with glasses of pride for the fans, who don't cheer so much as they collectively exude a powerful sense of pride throughout the gym. New York will be swarmed by all of this bubbling pride.
And honestly, all of this is true, and I really do respect it, I swear. I'm just also mildly tired of hearing about it. I'm not really sure how proud this Knicks team is, I just know they're the better team, and it's the reason I still think this series is going to be a little shorter than some might have expected. We may even feel proud about it.