Our ninth edition of ‘Green Runs Deep’ features Ģirts from Riga, Latvia, better known in the world of Twitter as ‘@GeeZeeCeltics‘.
Ģirts is 20 years old, yet wise beyond his years. A popular figure on Twitter for not only his passion for his Celtics, but his high-level of knowledge of the game.
However, his intellect is not merely limited to the game of Basketball. I’m blessed to consider him as a friend.
Enjoy his story. –@AusCelticsFan
Please tell us about yourself.
“My name is Ģirts, but that probably means very little for non-Latvian readers. Instead, you’ve much more likely ran into me under the nickname of GeeZeeCeltics, which happens to be my first two initials phonetically + “Celtics”. I’m in college right now, and I study physics. (Yeah, that’s not your usual combo with being a basketball fanatic.) My birthplace is Riga, capital city of Latvia. Latvia is a small country you’ll locate if you look at a map and search somewhere between Russia, Finland and Poland. The middle Baltic State is Latvia.
The tragic thing about being Latvian is that the time zone is VERY incompatible with American standards. Games mostly happen at 2 or 3 AM my time (these are 7 or 8 PM tip-offs ET). Now that I’m in college, I get to watch games less and less, but in high school I’d catch a good one third of all the games. That means getting up in the middle of the night! I mostly did it for Friday/Saturday games or whenever I had the next day off, and for big games (such as against LA or Miami a few years ago). And whenever the C’s made the playoffs, I made sure to watch every single game. Yep, I’m a fanatic.”
“Yep, I’m a fanatic.”
How did you first become a fan of the Boston Celtics?
“Well, uhm… Most people have good reasons for becoming fans, but mine is a little infantile. You see, on the good old PlayStation 1 console I used to own a copy of NBA Live 2001, which happened to have KG on the cover. For some reason, I always played as the Timberwolves, and KG was the best player, so, at the age I was, I then and there declared him my favorite player. That kind of was it for a while, until I heard KG was traded to the Celtics on the radio. I decided to start following the NBA seriously at that point, and it was a love affair from then on out. Witnessing the amazing 2008 season and the magic of Ubuntu got me hooked forever.”
“Witnessing the amazing 2008 season and the magic of Ubuntu got me hooked forever.”
When did you first see the Boston Celtics play? (tv?) When did you manage to see your first live Celtics game?
“The first Celtics game I watched was a preseason game against the then-terrible Raptors on TV that was aired here in Latvia. I specifically remember jumping out of my seat when I saw KG make a sick put-back dunk that was waved off as an offensive goal-tend (I don’t know why I remember this in particular, but I do). As for seeing them live – I’ve yet to achieve that dream. One day, I’ll make a trip to the Garden. I had hoped to do it while Pierce and Garnett were still Celtics, but that never came to fruition, sadly.”
Who is your favorite Celtics player? Past? And present? And what do they, or have they meant to you?
“My answers to previous questions make this one very obvious: it is
none other than Kevin “The Big Ticket” Garnett. I learned a lot from KG, both as a basketball player and a person. He’s been a big influence in how I became who I am today. That stop-at-nothing attitude, the will to win and the never diminishing intensity were things I admired and tried to emulate. After all, he was the heart of Ubuntu in Boston, and that was what got me hooked in the first place. I’m sure Garnett will always remain my all-time favorite player.
Well, as for current Celtics, I’d go with Jared Sullinger. Sully’s a workhorse, he’s got a little mean streak to him and I liked him from the moment the C’s drafted him. I had high hopes that KG would tutor him a lot, but that was only one season in which Jared missed half of the games due to injury. Still, I really enjoy the way Sullinger plays.”
Can you tell us about how the Boston Celtics communities, whether globally, or in Boston, make you feel a part of such a large, and loving sisterhood/brotherhood?
“I can’t say for sure, but I think the Boston fan community is on another level than those of other teams. I’ve gotten to know so many people just because we share a vested interest in the Celtics. Communicating with my Twitter buddies is pretty much an everyday thing, and it’s a fantastic way to broaden your views. It’s an international thing – there’s the Americans, then there’s the platoon of Aussies and then there are the lone rangers from various countries. Colombia, Italy, the UK – the list goes on and on, it’s a global thing. And these people look out for each other beyond basketball, whether by checking on you or wishing you a good day. It’s amazing, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
“And these people look out for each other beyond basketball, whether by checking on you or wishing you a good day. It’s amazing, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Can you tell us about your proudest, or most memorable moment that’s occurred whilst being such a loyal member of the Boston Celtics fan base?
“There’s a few. Of course, seeing KG fall to his knees at mid court and kiss the Leprechaun logo after finally winning his ring, after winning a title for Boston that had eluded the city for a long time, letting all those emotions go – it was amazing for me as well. Then there was 2010 – the year Boston wasn’t playing their top basketball but returned with a colossal effort in the playoffs, making the Finals once more to face the Lakers. My biggest moment that season came when they sent LeBron and the Cavaliers packing in the Conference Semi Finals. Everyone had the Cavs in that matchup, but the Celtics smacked the hell out of them with that good, old Ubuntu basketball. I savored that for weeks, sticking it in the face of my friends that also had the Cavs winning it.
However, my biggest proud moment was in 2012. It was the last hurrah of the Big 3. That season was a little similar to 2010, but the big thing about this one was KG’s resurgence. They played improbable defense, led by Garnett, on their way to the Conference Finals once again, defying all odds. It was a very inspiring run, the old guard rallying against Father Time. Even though they lost in Game 7, I was so very proud of their huge effort. That might have been my favorite playoffs so far.”
“However, my biggest proud moment was in 2012. It was the last hurrah of the Big 3.”
With this current trend, how do you see the team holding up over 82 games, against tougher opponents? (Answered prior to Rajon Rondo & Jeff Green trades)
“You can see signs of progress with this team compared to last year, they play stretches of good basketball. The problem is that they can’t close out games if their lives depended on it. If the Celtics are to return to contention, they need to learn to do this this, and it’s Coach Stevens’ job teach them. While the young guns learn, the team won’t be great, but they’re making strides and aren’t as dismal as last year. There will be ups and downs, but the big thing is development, and that’s what this season really is about. Whether that leads to a more polished core that will later form a contender or a group of players that can be traded for something very solid remains to be seen. Until then, we’ll see an uneven showing – flashes of brilliance mixing with moments of complete incompetence.”
Can you share your thoughts on our Celtics community in Australia? Do you see a lot of the Celtic Pride in our many members?
“I always use the word platoon to describe the Australian C’s fan community. It refers both to how many of you are out there and also to the fact that you guys are an army. Aussie fans seem to make up the biggest non-American fan base, at least so it seems to me. Many of them are diehards. It’s pretty cool – I enjoy communicating with Australian Celtics fans.”
“I always use the word platoon to describe the Australian C’s fan community.”
Any plans to visit us one day? Our team at Celtics Down Under would welcome you with open arms.
“Yes, I would! There’s so many people I’d like to meet one day that I’ve come across on Celtics Twitter, and there’s a bunch of Aussies I’d really like to visit. First, I’ll pool all my resources to get to the Garden, but after that, it’s a trip Down Under to have a beer with y’all.”
Any finals words to share with your fellow Celtics fans?
“There’s gonna be a hell of a party when Boston finally sees Banner 18 raised to the rafters.”
Celtics Down Under immensely thanks Ģirts for taking part in ‘Green Runs Deep’.
Check out Ģirts on Twitter at: @GeeZeeCeltics