BOSTON — LeBron James knows a successful franchise when he sees one. He won two titles in three years with the Miami Heat and now has the Cleveland Cavaliers four wins away from their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
The Boston Celtics haven’t won anything yet, of course, but they’re in pretty darned good shape: They earned the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft on Tuesday, the day before they’ll host the Cavs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
And even James isn’t above admitting the Celtics are sitting pretty right now.
“It was just a ‘Wow,’ like, ‘OK’,” James said Wednesday before the Cavs’ shootaround at TD Garden when asked about Celtics winning the No. 1 pick. “To be a very, very good team and get the No. 1 pick — they got the better side of that situation with Brooklyn, I’ll tell you that.”
James is referencing the Celtics’ fleecing of the Nets in a 2013 trade that brought Boston a host of first-round picks, including this year’s selection that turned into a No. 1 pick in Tuesday’s lottery. Combine that top selection with a current club that won 53 games this season to earn the East’s top seed, and the future looks pretty bright on Causeway Street.
Lest C’s fans get too caught up in the moment, the Celtics face a monumental task in trying to knock off the defending NBA champs. Yet the good news is Boston will have home-court advantage, and the Garden likely will be rocking Wednesday night.
No one knows this more than James, who had some epic playoff showdowns with the Celtics’ Big Three while playing for the Heat.
“I don’t think Boston fans need any more pumping up,” James added. “They were born with pump, if that makes any sense.”
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images