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.