Celtics fans attending an NBA Draft Lottery party at Ned Devine's in Faneuil Hall Tuesday night came with a unified message: Bring on Kevin Love.
Tewksbury's Rich Sullivan wore a Celtics cap and a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey featuring Love's No. 42.
"It's a statement," Sullivan said.
Danny Ainge wasn't in the room to see Sullivan's campaign, but many Celtics fans who were shared his sentiment. The fact that the Celtics ended up with the No. 6 pick in June's draft only fueled the fervor for Ainge to get a deal done for the Minnesota superstar.
Before the lottery, a hundred or so season ticket holders clad in green-and-white milled about eating chicken wings and potato skins. Hopes were high but cautious.
"This is the best night of the year," said Auburn's Chris Pemake. "If I'm going to go to a Wednesday night game vs. the Pistons in December, I'm going to this."
Barry Kessler, sitting to his right, said, "The best they can do tonight is package a bunch of picks for Love. He's better than any player they could pick."
That enthusiasm for Love was made even more plain by the the result of the lottery, which saw the Celtics land the No. 6 pick in the draft despite having a greater than 33 percent chance at a top-3 pick. Fans gasped when Boston's pick was revealed in the sixth spot, moments after cheering the rival Los Angeles Lakers falling to seventh.
Despite the letdown, many fans took the night in stride. Peter Chodojowski of Salem, N.H., a season ticket holder for three years, has faith in Ainge to make things right.
"In Danny we trust," said Chodojowski, who was sitting next to friend John Guschov of Andover. "He'll make it work. It's kind of hard to mess up five picks in nine years."
"It's disappointing, but all of our picks are valuable," said East Boston's Rich Scaramozza. "We at least have enough assets to make something happen."
That something, most of the crowd concluded, was trading for Love. Anything else will be a disappointment, at least to this group of fans.
Despite the rough night, there was some consolation in the lottery results, and it came in a form longtime Celtics fans know well.
"We still finished ahead of the Lakers," said Andover's Guschov.