Death of a Thanksgiving tradition

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Death of a Thanksgiving tradition

When you're talking about the Celtics, the word "tradition" shouldn't be used lightly. So maybe it's not right to call "Thanksgiving Eve at the Garden" a tradition.

But either way, here's a brief history: From 2003-2006, the Celtics were on the road for four straight "Wednesdays before Thanksgiving." But in 2007, with KG, Ray Allen and Gabe Pruitt on board, they hosted the Warriors. In 2008, it was the Warriors again. In 2009, the Sixers were in town. Last year, it was the Nets.

In summation: Every year since the Big 3 (vol.2) came together, we've had basketball in Boston on the eve of Thanksgiving.

In addition: It became one of the coolest nights of the Celtics season.

There was always so much buzz around the Garden on those Wednesday nights. So many transplanted fans in town to see the Celtics for (in many cases) the first and last time all year. So many people who were genuinely, extraordinarily excited to be live at the Garden. And the excitement was contagious. I couldn't wait to get there (even if it meant a few awkward conversation with random people from high school. "Hey!" "Oh, hey!" "How's everything?" "Good good. And you?" "Good uhh, and you?").

It didn't matter who they were playing (and as you saw above, the competition was never that good). It didn't matter how well they were playing (although they went 4-0. See: crappy competition.). Bottom line: That game was amazing. It was a party. Everyone from around the country, in town to celebrate the team.

It was a Celtics family reunion.

And it should have been tonight: Raptor at Celtics, 7:30 pm.

I'll be at home watching re-runs of Seinfeld.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.