Happy New Year! We are now celebrating the coming of 2018, but I wanted to reflect on my favorite parts of 2017. I had a a ton of amazing experiences—despite an insane year politically—so it was tough narrowing things down to one selection. Both Screens (movies, apps, viral moments) and Rhymes (favorite: song, album, music video) are well represented. I also keep it personal with some individual highlights in there as well. Check below for the comprehensive list and let me know in the comments if you agree with my taste—or even better—put me onto what I slept on. » Read the rest of this entry «
Wyc, you finally got your fireworks, baby.
Al Horford summed up this summer best while at Celtics Media Day, “You thought it was over, and then something happened. A lot of big changes, and a lot of our core guys were moved.”1 Danny Ainge decided to make history. Boston is the first team in NBA history to return four of less players after leading in their conference. Trade down from the #1 Pick? Okay. Gut the #1 seeded team in the East. Huh? Trade your beloved star player to your Conference Rival? Wait, what?!?
We published our wrap-up piece on July 27, and by late August everything had dramatically changed. After delivering our takes on the Gordon Hayward acquisition and the draft, we thought the Celtics news was done for the summer. Then, on August 22nd, Danny Ainge told the entire NBA, “Hold my drink.” Isaiah Thomas’s “slow grind” came to a screeching halt, when Danny Ainge determined he did not want to back up The Brinks Truck for a 28-year-old 5’9” point guard.2 Leaving ESPN salivating, fans’ heads spinning, and NBA 2K18’s marketing scheme in shambles.
Isaiah may never speak to Danny Ainge again. But as fans, Celtics Nation has pushed past the shock, denial, and acceptance stage, and are now super elated about the blockbuster trade that delivered Kyrie Irving to Boston. After the craziest Celtics summer since 2007, August’s star-studded swap has catapulted the Celtics back into the national media spotlight. A mega trade between foes? Check. New beef-riddled storyline for LeBron? Checkmate.
More importantly, Ainge has pulled off the impossible, where the C’s are making a sustained run—simultaneously contending in 2018 while building for the 2020s at the same time. What’s most crazy is that Ainge still has some roster flexibility if he chooses to manuever. Celtics fans Jordan Martins and Christian Williams breakdown an exciting summer for the Boston Celtics. Read it now, before Trader Danny shakes everything up again.
- Bravo Al, you’re the lone quotable All-Star on this team, because Gordon Hayward barely talks, and Kyrie talks in circles more confusing than trying to guard his handle. [↩]
- Hear me out, I’m only half-joking as I type this. I think the Brinks truck tweet was pivotal, and @DanielRAinge publically acknowledged he was wondering whether it was worth it to pay Isaiah. That’s the moment Ainge mentally went from ambivalent, to “nah, son you gotta go” and became willing to pull the trigger. [↩]
TFW when you’re already the #1 Seed in the East, add an additional All-Star to your squad, and notice your biggest Conference rival imploding.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office weren’t the only ones busy this summer. All summer I was clearing room, moving around content and assets in Google Docs like Danny clearing cap space. For Christian Williams and myself, this was by far our hardest season wrap-up to write. Not only because of how long the post-season stretched—with the C’s reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2012—but also the lightning-quick pace of the NBA offseason news.
We spent months debating on how to cover the team, and added, cut and re-arranged so many different parts of the piece. It seemed like Danny annihilated our analysis every week. Celts get the #1 pick. C-Will: “Go Fultz or go home!” Trader Danny: “Pickswap. Say hi to Jayson Tatum.” Jordan: “How are the C’s gonna handle the backcourt dilemma?” Ainge: “Done. Peace, Avery Bradley!”
The C’s have made moves to help close the gap between themselves and the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. As currently constituted, they are still a notch below Cleveland, but with the potential for Kyrie Irving’s departure, that could all change soon. One thing is for sure—change was the only constant for The Celtics this summer. Read on for the 2016-2017 Celtics Season Wrap-Up, where Jordan and Christian team up to breakdown a transformative year for Boston.
Editor’s note (JM): This entire post is just an excuse to use Christian’s LA Times pic, because he glo’d up and now works for the LA Times. Congrats mane.
Given the rapid pace of the Pre-Draft NBA news cycle, and how quickly things have changed for the C’s, Jordan Martins and Christian Williams are still marinating their 2016-2017 Celtics Season Wrap Up. As an appetizer, C Will is giving you his thoughts on how Boston should navigate Draft Night.
Written by Christian Williams (of The LA Times), footnotes by Jordan Martins.
Many Celtics fans have felt that this is finally the year that we’ve all been waiting for. The coolers are stocked, the grills are flaming hot, and all we’re waiting for now to kick this summer off are the fireworks that General Manager Danny Ainge has promised us year after year.
Just two weeks ago Bostonians had every reason to rejoice and even be a little bit cocky. Sure, the team got ousted in an extremely uncompetitive Eastern Conference Finals, but within the very same series, the C’s earned the right to the first overall pick in the draft. Talk about a consolation prize. With that being said, it seemed all but written in stone that the highly touted Markelle Fultz was destined to suit up next to his fellow Washington alumni Isaiah Thomas next season. On paper it seemed like the perfect fit. A guard with size and shooting ability, but most importantly the ability to create his own shot off the dribble.
Outside of Thomas, the Celtics lacked another player that could take over the game outside of a set jump shot, so the marriage seemed God sent. Of course, Bostonians can never really be comfortable with conventional wisdom with Ainge at the helm, because when most GM’s zig, he zags in the most unpredictable way. He swapped the first overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for their third pick and future first rounders via the Lakers (2018, if it falls within 2-5 range) or Kings (2019, unprotected). » Read the rest of this entry «
Screens and Rhymes officially presents our mix, “Thanks Obama,” commemorating 8 years in office for President Barack Obama. This is the fourth collaboration between me and DJ Thaddeus Jeffries. We compiled 42 tracks based on the 44th President’s eclectic music taste—including some of his favorite songs from the Presidential playlists, artists that visited the White House, and the film Southside With You. Art direction was handled by myself in association with Michael Toney.
President Obama is undisputedly the greatest pop culture President of all time. He brought SXSW to the White House lawn, and fostered an environment for a more inclusive and artist-friendly 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Thanks Obama.
In honor of Black History Month, Thanks Obama features a blend of African-American music genres (funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B, jazz). We mix the contemporary with the classic: everyone from Beyonce, Nas and Young Jeezy are represented, to Nina Simone, John Coltrane, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and The O’Jays. We built a special web experience to help send Obama off properly. Stream via Mixcloud, download, and check the tracklist below. Obama out.