Players say that winning a championship forms an unbreakable bond with teammates. Those people are like family.
It also can form an unbreakable group text.
At least it did for the core of the 2008 Boston Celtics. Jackie MacMullan tells the story at ESPN.
Twelve years after Boston captured banner No. 17, there remains a regular group-text chain of basketball banter (and other choice topics) between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, Doc Rivers, and yes, Kendrick Perkins.
The text chain has survived trades, free-agent signings, reunions gone sour and reunions that never materialized. Consider that at the start of the 2014-15 season, the participants on the chain represented six NBA clubs: Washington (Pierce), Brooklyn (Garnett), Memphis (Allen), Boston (Rondo), Oklahoma City (Perkins) and the LA Clippers (Rivers). Through the years, the chain has endured hurt feelings and periods of silence between individuals who had beef with one another. But, as Pierce said recently, “There hasn’t been a grudge between any of us worth holding on to.”
“The guys won’t allow it,” Perkins added.
It’s a great story, it’s worth going and reading the entire thing.
The text chain is about friends both celebrating each others’ successes and checking in on them after setbacks. There are insults and locker room banter in and amongst the genuine of friends checking in on one another. The text chain has survived trades and free agency decisions, and moments of tension between the players.
Time heals all wounds, and while guys got frustrated with one another, they never broke the chain. It’s a story worth reading, and a reminder that championships do form unbreakable bonds.