‘There’s no way to stop’: David Ortiz hopes the Celtics channel the spirit of his 2004 Red Sox – the last major American team to come back from a 0-3 playoff deficit – so Boston faces elimination against the Miami Heat
- The Boston Celtics currently trail the fierce Miami Heat 3-0 at Eastern CF
- Ortiz was part of the Sox team that went 0-3 to beat NYY in the ALCS
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Even though the odds are against the Boston Celtics, former Red Sox slugger and Hall of Famer David Ortiz isn’t giving up on his favorite basketball club.
“Big Papi” knows that no NBA team has recovered from an 0-3 deficit like the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
It’s happened 149 times in league history and the team ahead has won the series.
Ortiz and the Red Sox faced seemingly insurmountable odds in 2004 when they trailed the rival New York Yankees 0-3 in the American League Championship Series. Not only did they come back, but Boston won the World Series. It’s the only team to do so in MLB history.
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“Yeah, and there wouldn’t be a better time than now for that to happen,” Ortiz said in an interview with The Associated Press Monday morning at his charity golf tournament. “If you do it in basketball, it has to be the same city. You know what I’m saying.’
Ortiz, 47, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last summer, knows how the Celtics must see him.
“With 3-0, you have two choices: either quit or go again, and in professional sports, once you get there, there’s no way to quit,” Ortiz said. 2004 ALCS MVP. “Once you’re there – even if you’re 3-0 down – you don’t think about giving up, you think about ‘OK, I’ve hit rock bottom. I have to go step by step now. I can’t try to win three games at once.
Like the 2004 Red Sox, who were eliminated 19-8 in Game 3, the Celtics are coming off a blistering loss in Miami on Sunday night.
Ortiz recalled what the clubhouse looked like after that game.
“Pretty quiet,” he said during the interview, seated at a table outside near the course. “We were kind of thinking, ‘Man, they got a lot of points in Game 3. We’ve faced these guys over 20 times and we know what to do to beat them. We just didn’t. Get back on the cart.
Ortiz’s former 2004 teammate Tim Wakefield, also at the tournament, feels the Celtics need someone to lighten the mood.
Ortiz was part of the famous Boston Red Sox team in 2004 that won the ACLS and the World Series
“They need to have someone like we had with Kevin Millar, to step in and say, ‘Don’t let us win tonight,'” he said. “It actually changed our whole behavior. When we walked in in the clubhouse for game 4, we thought we were done.
Ortiz said belief is vital.
“I think there’s no room for negativity once you’re there,” he said. “Every thought has to be positive, every one of them, so you can bounce off of it.
“So we go from never to never and get there,” he said, laughing.
Ortiz’s tournament – called the Boston Heart Classic – raises money for children in need of life-saving medical care in his native Dominican Republic and in New England.