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This time, it has to be “title or bust” for the Celtics and their entitled fans

Many fan bases think it’s their birthright to see their favorite team win a title. This is mostly due to a lot of championship winning over the years–both before and after these fans were born.

Alabama Crimson Tide fans think it’s their birthright to win a national championship in college football every winter. Duke fans feel it’s their birthright to win a title in men’s college basketball each spring. Notre Dame football fans are entitled. North Carolina men’s college basketball fans think their blood is as blue as the recruits they get every year. At the professional ranks, we have Yankees fans, Steelers fans, Cowboys fans, Penguins fans, Patriots fans, Packers fans, Dodgers fans, Montreal Canadiens fans, Red Sox fans (the ones born in the 1990s who don’t remember the long drought before 2004), 49ers fans, Lakers fans, and, oh yes, Celtics fans.

The Celtics: Let’s focus on them for just a bit. For one thing, they just advanced to the NBA Finals after sweeping the Pacers in four games in the Eastern Conference Finals. For another thing, Boston basketball fans are a lot like Notre Dame, Cowboys, Yankees and Steelers fans; in other words, they might think it’s their birthright to see their team win championships, but there hasn’t been a lot of winning lately.

The Celtics will be appearing in their 23rd NBA Final when they open up at home against the Mavericks on Thursday night at TD Garden, but it will only be the fourth time since the 1980s.

Boston may have a rich history that includes 17 world championships, but the franchise has only won one since 1986. That was in 2008 when the Celtics outlasted Kobe Bryant and those hated Lakers in seven games.

Big deal, though, right? After all, 16 years isn’t such a huge gap. Besides, Boston has been to the finals three times since 2010–including just two years ago. That’s a pretty good run, right?

First of all, as a Steelers fan, I can assure you that 16 years without a Super Bowl title is a long time. Why? It’s my birthright, that’s why. Second of all, so Beantown is celebrating trips to the finals now?

Anyway, that’s the mentality of your average entitled fan, and I’m sure that attitude exists in New York, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Montreal, etc. It’s championship or bust.

Think about this: The Celtics won 16 of their 17 titles between 1957-1986. That means that if you were born in 1950 and became a diehard fan of the team at seven years old (the age most kids tend to fall in love with a sport or team), you witnessed Boston win an NBA title on average of once every two years (roughly) by the time you were 36. As far as trips to the NBA Finals? Heck, the Celtics made it so many times between 1957-87 (19), you were probably bored with it by the time Boston met the Lakers in the 1987 Finals.

Little did you know there’d only be four more trips by the time you reached your mid-70s.

Heck, when Boston lost to the Lakers in the ’87 finals, the Patriots were just an ordinary NFL franchise that had been to one Super Bowl by that point. But if you were born in 1994 and started following the Patriots when you were seven, you witnessed them make it to the Super Bowl an average of every other season until you were 24. You also watched New England tie the Lombardi trophy record with six of them.

In other words, if you’re a 30-year old Boston sports fan, you might think it’s your birthright to win a Super Bowl in 2024 but not an NBA title.

What I’m saying is the Celtics have gone a long time in between titles in birthright world. Second place just won’t cut it this year (not that it ever does for a fan with a birthright).

Boston won 64 regular-season games and was the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing when the postseason started.

The Celtics avoided New York in the Eastern Conference. They avoided both Oklahoma City and Denver (the defending champions) in the NBA Finals.

You just know Boston’s fans–particularly the ones who remember the ’80s–are demanding a title this year.

Sure, Dallas has a fantastic backcourt led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but the Mavericks fans aren’t entitled; Boston’s fans are. Oh yeah, Dallas entered the postseason as the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Marquee franchises with entitled fan bases don’t lose championships to number five seeds.

If the Celtics don’t win an NBA title this year, when will they ever again?


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