The Celtics are courting NBA megastar Kevin Durant in New York City in the next few days. It’s NBA speed dating. Durant is still property of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but after midnight Thursday, he will have the right to speak to other teams. The Celtics are on his short list of possible new teams, along with the Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, and Heat.
What does this group have that we don’t have — other than great weather, recent appearances in the Finals, superstar talents, friendly media, and hip nightlife?
We are here to help. In the interest of luring Durant to Boston, we offer this PowerPoint presentation that Danny Ainge, Wyc Grousbeck, and Brad Stevens are free to use when they sit down over BLTs and iced tea with the 27-year-old superstar.
It goes like this:
Hello, Kevin, thanks for meeting with us. We appreciate your interest in accepting our bags of cash to play basketball for the Celtics for the next several years. We will, of course, give you everything you want. You can run the fast break, you can run the offense, you can run the team.
No one here is untradeable if you want them gone, and we will throw more buckets of cash at any free agent you’d like us to recruit.
Here are a few things you ought to know about our team and our city.
Tradition. Nothing against Oklahoma City, but we were winning NBA championships before today’s Thunder were born back in 1967 as the Seattle SuperSonics.
We know you grew up in Washington, D.C., and we want you to know that we have amazing connections to D.C. Red Auerbach, who practically invented the Celtics, came to us from D.C. in 1950, four years after the NBA was formed.
Red played at George Washington University, coached high school ball in D.C., and was the head coach of the original Washington franchise when the Basketball Association of America was formed in 1946.
Red never left D.C. His wife and two daughters stayed in Washington when Red came to Boston to coach the Celtics, and Red was still living in a condominium off Massachusetts Avenue when he passed away in 2006.
Red loved players who grew up in Washington, D.C. Red would have loved you, Kevin. And your game.
Red’s first superstar, Bob Cousy, had some things to say about your interest in us the other day. Cooz is 87 now and he said he wasn’t sure if a player of your youth and stature “is going to care whether these old farts out here named Cousy and Russell and Heinsohn and whoever did all these wonderful things 50 years ago.’’
Pretty sweet, right? Cooz and the other legends do not expect you to come here and kiss their rings. They know that the parquet and the banners don’t mean that much to players today.
You can even have your favorite number, 35. It was last worn here by the great Reggie Lewis, and we retired No. 35 after Lewis died in 1993. But Reggie’s mother has given her blessing for the Celtics to let you wear it.
And we have a lot more to offer besides tradition.
We have the best young coach in the NBA. You impress us as a guy who wants to play hard for the full 48 minutes, for the entire 82-game schedule. Stevens gets his guys to do this. It’s very unusual by today’s NBA standards. Brad brings a collegiate atmosphere to the NBA. He also draws up great plays for the closing minutes. He’s a little more laidback than Billy Donovan.
If you want to bask in the limelight and party with your friends, you can do that here. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has agreed to meet with you if you want the down-low on our party scene.
On the other hand, if you want to blend into the woodwork, that can also be arranged. Just ask Kevin Garnett. He played here for seven seasons and we never saw him once anywhere besides the Garden and our practice facility in Waltham. It’s not easy to do, but KG pulled it off. We think he had a tunnel connecting his suburban home to the Garden and HealthPoint. If you want, we will build you a tunnel.
Everything else you love is here. You’ve already been in one motion picture, and if you want to do more of that, Mark Wahlberg will take care of you. We know you love video games, and many of the ones you love were created here. Curt Schilling says he’s willing to partner with you if you’d like to invest.
Weather? You will love September and October. And we almost never have tornadoes.
As for the media, they are a bunch of softies. You may have heard that we are a tough media town, but that is no longer the case. Nobody wants any trouble anymore. You will never be criticized. The Green Teamers at Comcast will basically give you their entire network to use as your own.
Just wait until you get your first Tommy Points.
Our fans know basketball and they will love you unconditionally.
Come to Boston, Kevin. Where everything is awesome.
Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org