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March 8, 2009

The Starbury Era (SE) has officially started

The Starbury Era (SE) has officially started

It’s all over the sports world. It’s all over the internet. It’s all over the blogosphere. It’s now all over this blog: The Starbury Era (SE) in Boston has started with a bang.
I was fortunate enough to be at the Celts/Pacers game last night (Friday , 2.27) and see Stephon Marbury‘s debut in Celtic green.

When this whole rumor mill broke out in the beginning part of the season and took serious flight in December, I shuttered at the thought of that nasty/ill-fitted/brat/bitch/scum Starbury was being courted by Danny Ainge and the rest of the front office crew. The fact that Marbury came out and even publicly said that the Celtics had make unofficial offers to him made my stomach turn. It probably made most peoples’ stomach turn to think that he would join our beloved team and potentially become a cancer to the team’s chemistry.

I think that I also hated the idea of just trying to add whatever piece to a contending team to try and win. That the Celtics would be okay with just taking the risk of adding on a damaging personality to get some much needed bench help didn’t feel right. I didn’t know how I felt. It seemed like we were looking desperate, and would take any measure possible to make banner number 18 raise up to the rafters. It seemed… like a NY Yankees move. It seemed like we were trying to do our best to buy our way to a championship. HATERS all over will try to contend that is what the Celtics did by adding Ray-Ray and KG to the lineup alongside Paul Pierce. Please! Those were trades and additions that the Celtics did strategically and methodically, and most of all the personalities were a great match. They were great because there was a single purpose: to win a title. Take 3 guys that have never won before, and make them win together. The Big Three had a taste of the title in ’08 and now want to go back to the buffet table for seconds (and thirds and fourths?). I want seconds, too.

If the team stayed in tact, with the exact roster that it had prior to last week, then that title would be difficult to win. I am not saying it would be impossible or even highly unlikely, but I think we’d be fooling ourselves to say that we were a lock to get out of the Eastern Conference. When we got rid of “Project” O’Bryant and Sam Cassell to free up space for Mikki Moore and an additional variable player, it at least looked like the Celtics were trying to give a much needed face lift. When the remaining roster spot was filled with Stephon Marbury, things got serious. Things got business-y.

So it’s business time. During the national anthem, the camera cut to Starbury… the crowed went crazy. Like a vicious virus, I caught the bug. Uncontrollably, I found myself clapping, ‘whooooo’-ing, and god help me… smiling. I was smiling because Starbury was smiling. In an instant, I gave pardon to his past. I erased his history from my mind, and felt good about someone who wanted to be at the Garden and ready to play basketball. He honestly looked like the eight year olds that get a chance to play a pick up game of basketball at the Garden during halftime. He was smiling from ear to ear, and so were many other fans. Call me disillusioned, I don’t care. Call me pathetic, I don’t care. Every team in the league could have signed Starbury… we were just the ones that were lucky enough to get him.

13 minutes, 8 points (4-6), 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 rebound. Considering Starbury hasn’t played a second of professional basketball in the last 12+ months, I’d say it was a successful debut. Last night’s performance in no way justifies anything that he has done or been accused of doing for the last couple of years… well, for his entire career. Again, just because I pardon his past doesn’t mean I don’t shake my head when thinking about the stunts he has pulled. But maybe this is his chance. He isn’t coming to this team to rescue the franchise like he was expected to do in NY. Starbury is coming to help a great team try to win a championship a few games at a time… a few minutes at a time… a few shots at a time… a few dribbles at a time… a few passes at time. As he frankly admitted, he’s got a lot to learn about the team’s defensive structure, and to keep getting a feel for how the players like to play. I love our chances at number 18 after watching Starbury play last night. I love point guards. I love quick point guards. I love point guards that slash, have insane cross overs, and can both pass and shoot. Starbury is this complete package. If his head is screwed on tightly, he can control the offensive tempo of the game. As long as there is a coach and players to keep him in line, he can run a team’s offensive as good as anyone. Starbury had the perfect balance last night of moving the ball and shooting the ball. I love our chances at number 18 after watching Starbury play last night.

Perhaps it is redemption time. Perhaps it is the perfect venue for him to show everyone else that he’s still got game. Perhaps this is his way for saying thank you to a team that wanted him, and to players that want to play with him. Perhaps the honeymoon won’t end, and he will be all smiles for the rest of the season.

Am I nervous about the idea of him running his crazy mouth wild at some point? Of course. But doesn’t this make the season a little bit more exciting? Yes, yes it does. Am I going to jump and buy a number 8 jersey? No, of course not. But… I did consider it last night.

Look at those eyes! Theyre eyeing at #18

Look at those eyes! They're eyeing at #18

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