By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Celtics’ — and Ryan’s — great run

Ray Allen in 2008

I can’t add to what’s already been said about the Celtics — noble, selfless, you know the rest. What is astonishing is that all the good Celtics teams — Russell’s, Cowens’, Bird’s and the current bunch — have had the same basic team ethic in a league of freelancing showoffs. We’ve been privileged to live in Boston.

Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan rises to the occasion, just as we knew he would. Hard to believe he won’t be around for the next NBA playoffs.

And his stablemate Dan Shaughnessy debases himself by asking whether Ray Allen’s improved play was part of his “salary drive.” You’re excused for wondering if Shank is referring to a different Ray Allen. But no, he’s talking about the one in the green uniform, 36 years old, in need of ankle surgery, out there for long minutes every game because of Avery Bradley’s injury.

Emily Rooney lit into Shaughnessy on “Beat the Press” last Friday. Well-deserved.

My basketball predictions are worth precisely what you’re paying for them. But to listen to the chatter, you’d think they were going to finish last next year, and I don’t buy it. Allen will probably leave. But I’ll bet Kevin Garnett comes back and they’ll make another decent playoff run next year — if not quite as thrilling as this year’s.

Photo via Wikipedia.

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  1. Laurence Glavin

    I’m not a sports fan and don’t really connect the proprietary franchises around here to Boston, but I feel the pain of Bostonians everywhere, so may I suggest you divert your fealty to a WINNING “Boston” team:

  2. Mike Benedict

    What took Emily so long?

    For that matter, what took Bob Ryan so long?

  3. Tom Underwood

    Forgot that this is Bob Ryan’s last time covering playoffs.Headline: “Celtics’ Big Three Run Ends, with Honor.”
    Exchange “Bob Ryan” for “Celtics’ Big Three” and it still works.

  4. Michael Pahre

    I wish the Globe wouldn’t put the opinion columns of Ryan — and especially the curley-haired boy — on the front page of the paper. It’s a place for news, not the sports version of pseudo-news from a columnist.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Michael: The theory is the front page should be a mix of the best stuff in the paper.

  5. Michael Corcoran

    I wonder, and hope, if Ryan will only be semi-retired. I understand he won’t be on the Globe’s full-time payroll, but will this guy be able to stay away from commenting on sports publicly (ESPN, freelance writing etc …)

  6. Mike Benedict

    Dan, I think this “event” poses a great opportunity for you to reflect on the role of the sports columnist in today’s media. I would argue that the trend is away from the generalist and swinging toward the expert. (It would be extraordinarily difficult to argue Shank, Massaroti, Ryan, Buckley, etc. are experts in any particular sport based on their actual writings and TV/radio commentaries.) The beauty of the Web is that it gives the opportunity for the Bill James’s of the world to really shine.

    Now, you could always cite the popularity of Bill Simmons as an exception to this rule, and I’d be hard-pressed to argue. But it’s clear Simmons’s mastery of the various vehicles for expression is at least as significant as his ability to entertain. Unfortunately for Simmons, he’s already become a self-parody, and it’s hard to say whether his act will hold up over the long-term.

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