Dave Cowens, whose uniform No. 18 is retired in the TD Banknorth Garden rafters, said he loosened his ties with the organization over the years after becoming head coach of the Charlotte Hornets (1997-99) and Warriors (2001-03). ``The Celtics' slide wasn't hard for me because I was working for other people and doing other things,'' Cowens said.
As a former Boston Celtics player, were you then surprised by the resurgence of the Celtics? "I didn't really think about it one way or the other. I knew they were going to be a lot better than they were last year with getting those player. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are two of the better players in this league."
Christ. You need to loosen up a bit, Dave. I mean, I understand being employed by other teams and all. But you were a Boston Celtic. You still are a Boston Celtic. You will be forever equated in the minds of basketball fans everywhere. Larry Bird, a consummate professional in his own right, even had something nice to say about the Celtics' rebirth:
And though he runs a team that competes against both the Lakers and Celtics, Bird has a decided interest in the outcome of tonight’s game. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “I want the Celtics to win it."
LINK to rest of Bird article.
After the Celtics did win it, Bird said this:
The outcome pleased Celtics legend Larry Bird, who was among those who waited 22 years to hoist another banner. "I'm happy for the Celtics and the city of Boston. I know what it means to win a championship as a Celtic and the place championships hold in the history of the franchise," Pacers President Bird said.