LeBron James

It didn’t take long for the sniping to start, did it? I’d say minutes.

Yes, minutes after LeBron James, with a little help from his friend Jeff Green, had eliminated the Celtics from the NBA playoffs Sunday night, 87-79, the barbs started flying. 

“The Celtics suck.” “I could have made those shots.” “They settled for too many three-pointers.” “They were awful!”

I was wrong. W-R-O-N-G!

As many in the sports scribbling and babbling business did, I wrote off the Boston Celtics as an NBA championship threat when All-Star Kyrie Irving checked out in March for the rest of the season with an infection in his surgically repaired left knee. His loss, coupled with the season-ending ankle injury to Gordon Hayward on opening night, was too much for this young, untested team.

My exact words written a little more than a month ago: “Irving’s departure dooms whatever hopes the Celtics had of making a run to the NBA Finals this season.”