The Vision by Green17
Logically, what follows are my thoughts on what Danny is effectively doing since he has been in control of the names we root for (or against--i.e. Big John and Pierce), more commonly referred to as "The Vision."
When Danny took over at the end of the 2003 season, the lineup was....less than exciting? Ugly? Boring? I don't know how to describe it, but it wasn't fun for me and I don't know how anyone can honestly say that team was on the cusp of a title. I'll save us all the heartburn of recapping that lineup, those with a strong intestinal fortitude you can look it up here.
So that's the starting point for this journey with #44, now please bear with me for a minute.
I'm sure some of you have played Madden or NBA Live (or something similar) and have experienced a "no-way game." My experience is more with Madden here, so continue to indulge me...To describe it, it's a game where the computer is infallible, where nothing goes your way, a game where it's guaranteed a punt/kick will be returned for a touchdown. For those not video game inclined here is the translation, sometimes the computer cheats, it's really frustrating and it will make you want to break something. Now call me a cheater or whatever, I can't take it when this happens, it drive me nuts, therefore its guaranteed I will hit the old reset button when it gets a level where I feel a breaking of a controller is necessary.
From afar, Danny had a few seasons under his belt, watching his former Celtics Dynasty crumble into an ugly barrage of Iso's and three point heaves. My supposition here is that Danny had to have become very frustrated with the direction the Celtics had taken and effectively hit the old reset button when he gained control. I think he took one look at what he inherited and just about puked. No one was going to confuse the 02-03 team with the 86 Celtics. He had to start fresh, bring in some new faces and change the way Celtics Basketball was functioning.
Let me just take a minute here and remind anyone of those hardy souls who will bring up the fact the 2002 C's made the Eastern Conference Finals that the 03 Celts were smoked by the Nets in a humiliating sweep (AW never looked worse) and that JR Bremer figured prominently on the squad DA inherited.
Since he has called the shots Danny has pretty much churned the entire roster, with only Paul and Blount the only holdouts (AW might be added to the list depending on how the next few weeks go). At the most recent trade deadline in February there were all kinds of crazy charts chronicling the moves Danny has made, I won't recap it all, it makes my head hurt.
Here's the quick and dirty. Everyone who stunk and was old is out, in their place are young promising kids who may (or may not) work out. I don't know about the rest of Celtics Nation but I am more enthusiastic about the next few years of Green basketball than I was when the Celtics had the best draft odds to pick Tim Duncan.
I love the youth movement, I'm all for it. There was no way that core team in 2003 was going to get it done and bring the 17th championship to Boston. It was right of Danny to restock the team, bring in some young guys, guys who were actually athletic and guys who played team basketball.
Here's hoping Danny sticks to the plan and moves Antoine for a few more chips to keep working on the squad, Al needs the minutes and with Toine there it's just not happening. Thankfully Danny demonstrated that he is completely willing to flaunt public opinion (often misguided if formed via Peter May) to do what he feels will put the Celtics back on top. I like where this team is headed, hopefully the next banner is sooner rather than later. Either way I think it's closer than anytime since 1987.