The Celtics’ convincing victory in Game 5 on Monday that clinched the Celts’ 18th NBA championship was great fun for fans old and young alike.

For those of us who cherish our “Havlicek Stole the Ball” album and who recall watching the Bill Russell-led Celts clinch their 1969 NBA title in Game 7 at Los Angeles in dramatic fashion (we had to stay up late on a school night because the game was played on the West Coast), the chance to surpass the hated-Lakers for the most NBA titles was one of the most-satisfying aspects of the 2024 title.

In addition, this edition of the Celtics laid to rest whether they had that special quality that separates champions from the rest of the pack. After the disappointment of being knocked out in the first round last year, and the collapse against Golden State in the finals two years ago, even the most-ardent Celtic fans had to wonder whether JT, JB, & Co. had what it takes to be the best — and they answered that question in commanding fashion.

Still, when we consider that this was the Celtics’ first title in 16 years and only the second in almost 40 years, it makes us realize how special these championship moments are in the world of sports today. By contrast, the Celtics won 16 NBA titles over a 30-year span from 1957 to 1986. That’s more than half of the NBA crowns spanning two generations of Boston sports fans.

But those days when Bill, Dave, and Larry ruled the NBA are long gone. The NBA is big business now — the extended playoffs literally are a second season — and attracts the best players from all over the world. The post-game commentators noted that there are more excellent teams who will be shooting to knock off the Celtics than at any time in the history of the NBA. As good as this talented young group may be, we cannot expect that they can create the sort of dynasties that marked the Celtics’ teams of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.

So let’s savor the moment — and get ready for a joyous victory parade!

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