‘You’re Looking at all Alphas’: Gilbert Arenas Details What was it Like to Face 2008 Boston Celtics

Published 03/23/2021, 9:00 AM EDT
(L-R) NBA players Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Glen Davis of the Boston Celtics accept the award for ‘Best Team’ onstage at the 2008 ESPY Awards held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on July 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The 2008 ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 20 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)


The 2007-08 Boston Celtics are considered the pioneers of the era of super teams. Their ‘Big Three’ that included Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen won a championship after 1986 by defeating their rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

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This was one of the best seasons in franchise history. Before this, they were even struggling to bring themselves to the playoffs. They hadn’t made it to the postseason for two consecutive years before this. But they entered the 2008 playoffs with the best record of 66-16. To date, Gilbert Arenas can’t forget what it was like, facing this deadly trio.

The wrath of the 2008 Boston Celtics

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On ‘No Chill with Gilbert Arenas,’ Arenas detailed his encounters with the 2008 Boston Celtics. “It wasn’t about skill, it was about matching mentalities now,” explained Gilbert. “You’re looking at all alpha’s, so they’re just going to try to mentally bully the court.”

Arenas even listed down their process, which he noticed. He stated, “So, we know KG, he’s going to start with the mouth. That’s going to get Paul going. Now you got two alphas on the court, trying to bully, talking shit… Then you got the bench squad that’s coming in, trying to bully… they’re playing straight prison brutal basketball when they come in the game.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 15: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers boxes out Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 15, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright: 2008 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

Arenas further added, “So, you got two types of groups that you have to mentally prepare for… So I said we got to match it mentally. Talk shit to KG, I don’t care if you miss. You just keep in his head because he’s going to stay in yours. That’s just a part of the game. You got to be able to look at your opponent and see what it’s about. It’s not always about the skill part because if they can mentally get into your head, that skill goes out the window.”

The Big Three of the Celtics

When Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined the Celtics through trade, it wasn’t much like how the Miami Heat‘s Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade was formed. But much like with the Heat, the Celtics also formed an elite team.

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KG was in his prime at the time and was averaging a double-double in his ninth season, whereas Allen was already labeled as one of the best shooters in the NBA and was having the best season of his career prior to joining this team. Then came Pierce’s elite scoring that made this package perfect. In fact, their defense was one of the most deadly ever seen in the league.

It is hard to imagine any team being better than the Celtics that season. It was as if the championship trophy already had their names embedded on it as soon as they came together.

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Read also- The Boston Celtics Were About to Lure Reggie Miller Out of Retirement With A Tempting Offer

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Yashima Bhatia

1306 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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