The Celtics Secured Banner 18 in Game 5, but Real Emotion Hit Hard in the 2nd Quarter

Tim Wakefield

Getty Brianna Wakefield, daughter of late Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield accepts an honor on her father's behalf given by the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics aren’t done celebrating. They still have a parade that takes place Friday, June 21, to celebrate their NBA-best 18th championship after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in five games during the 2024 NBA Finals.

Ever since their 106-88 victory in Game 5, the Celtics and the city have been partying. It’s been an emotional couple of days after the Celtics captured their first NBA championship since 2008. While Celtics players and fans have been laughing and crying since Monday, June 17, the real emotion hit hard during the second quarter of the series-clinching game.

The Celtics Honored the Late Red Sox Great Tim Wakefield During Game 5

During each Celtics home game, the team honors a person/people in a “Heroes Among Us” celebration during a first-half timeout. With the Celtics holding a 46-31 lead, there was a break in the action, and it was time to honor their hero.

That hero was the late Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.

The former knuckleball pitcher who won two World Series titles with the Red Sox, died in October from brain cancer. His wife, Stacey, died four months later from pancreatic cancer.

During the brief ceremony, the Celtics recognized Tim Wakefield’s contributions throughout the Boston community. Emotions ran high as the Wakefields’ daughter, Brianna, 17, stood at midcourt and waved to the crowd while holding the “Heroes Among Us” award.

Tim Wakefield was nominated eight times by the Sox for the Roberto Clemente Award, an honor given to the players who give back to the community. Wakefield hosted an annual celebrity golf tournament, raising better than $10 million for a preschool program for children with special needs. He also played a significant role in the Jimmy Fund, raising money for cancer research.

Tim Wakefield was 57. Stacey Wakefield was 53. The Wakefields also have a 19-year-old son, Trevor.

The Celtics Secured Their Record-Setting Championship

While the Wakefield tribute set the tone for an emotional night, the Celtics closed the evening in style.

They snapped a tie with their rival Los Angeles Lakers for the team with the most NBA championships. Both came in with 17 after the Lakers claimed their 17th during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.

The Celtics were the best team from start to finish during the 2023-24 season. After coming close the last few seasons, stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finally got their championship, ending all questions of whether or not they would win a championship together.

“We’ve been through a lot — the losses, the expectations,” Brown told reporters “The media have said all different types of things: We can’t play together, and we’re never going to win. We heard it all. But we just blocked it out, and we just kept going. I trusted him. He trusted me, and we did it together.

“To get to this point and share it with JT is awesome. It’s just amazing, and it feels great.”

Brown was named MVP of the Finals after being named MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals. He said he doesn’t believe that will put an end to people doubting him and the Celtics.

“Any of the personal awards, it is what it is,” Brown said. “The doubters, they may be quieted now, but they’ll be back. They’ll probably be back next year with something else to say.”

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