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After so much promise and being hailed as the favorites to win the NBA Championship, it was a difficult ending for Jayson Tatum and the Celtics to accept when they were ousted by the Miami Heat. (Matt Stone/Boston Herald)
After so much promise and being hailed as the favorites to win the NBA Championship, it was a difficult ending for Jayson Tatum and the Celtics to accept when they were ousted by the Miami Heat. (Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

When legal sports betting began in Massachusetts on Jan. 31, Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano was among the politicians and athletes at the WynnBET Sportsbook in Everett to place ceremonial first wagers.

He wagered $50 on the Celtics to win the NBA Finals and $50 on the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

Turns out, the house always wins. Even when the speaker doesn’t.

The NBA Finals begin tonight … in Denver.

The Stanley Cup Finals begin Saturday … in Las Vegas.

That was not supposed to happen.

TD Garden was double-booked.

NBA Finals on Thursday.

Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday.

NBA Finals on Sunday.

Stanley Cup Finals on Monday.

The Score of Supremacy enters its second act.

Boston reclaims its throne as the Sports Hub of the Universe.

The Brady Effect, finally, purged from our ethos.

Cue the … “Price Is Right” horn.

Boston’s road was wide open. But the bridge got washed out.

Two gut-wrenching Game 7 choke jobs later, we’re stuck with 101 days of the Red Sox.

The Patriots open at home against the Eagles on Sept. 10 with 17 weeks of three-and-out.

Boston’s title drought will celebrate its fifth birthday on Feb. 3 if the Red Sox do not win the World Series.

Big “if” there.

Today is Day 1,579.

The possibility of a double Duck Boat parade in the early-summer sun warmed the Bay State all winter. The victorious Celtics and triumphant Bruins rolling down Boylston Street in joint mayhem. The glare of the Larry O’Brien Trophy and Stanley Cup shining upon a few million blind drunks.

It was all a dream.

Blades went into hibernation a month ago.

The “Greatest NHL Team Ever” blew a 3-1 series lead against the No. 8-seed Panthers in Round 1. The mighty Boston Bruins got iced by a goalie born in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. And cowed by the swagger and skill of Matthew Tkachuk.

The Curse of the Presidents’ Trophy remains more lethal than John Wick. Of the last 20 winners, only two have won the Stanley Cup. That’s a kill rate of 90%. Dogs included.

The Celtics fooled themselves and everyone else, except the Miami Heat. Boston ran out of second chances against Miami, after being pushed to Game 6 against Atlanta and Game 7 against Philly.

It’s unfair to call these Celtics “frauds.” They never pretended to be anything but a talent-heavy team lacking the “grit” necessary to win a ring.

By now, your head is spinning with trade talk, new-coach talk, and variations of the roster that somehow will be the difference next year.

The Celtics need a heart and soul transplant. Plus, an adult in the room with an NBA championship ring.

Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown just dribbled the ball off his foot. And Jayson Tatum is complaining to the refs.

Winning has been purged from the Celtics organization’s DNA.

One title in 37 years does that.

They are now the NBA’s version of “Glass Joe.” Can’t take a punch.

Lucky’s black eye may last for years.

The last bit of “Celtics Pride” perished Monday night.

With Pat Riley watching, the Miami Heat received the Bob Cousy Trophy and Jimmy Butler hoisted the Larry Bird Trophy. All this occurred on a TD Garden parquet floor that features the number “6” in honor of Bill Russell and the signature of Red Auerbach.

It was unholy. Before the Celtics think about raising Banner 18, they need to chop up the wood, throw it into a shredder, and burn the remains. A Greek Orthodox priest can perform an exorcism to purify it all.

Monday’s besmirchment came nearly a year after the Golden State Warriors celebrated an NBA championship on the same cursed timber. Steph Curry was given a trophy named for Russell as series MVP.

When you hear talk about “blowing up” the Celtics or Bruins, you might want to include TD Garden.

In addition to Game 7, the Celtics dropped two at home to open their series against the Heat before their failed impersonation of the 2004 Red Sox. They are 11-12 in their past 23 home playoff games.

The Bruins lost three home games, including Game 7, to the Panthers. The Bruins have lost seven Game 7s in their current building and watched two teams (Chicago and St. Louis) claim the Stanley Cup on that tainted ice.

How about a Little Wrecking Ball of Hate?

Boston can now boast that it is the only city ever to lose Game 7s to NBA and NHL No. 8 seeds at home in the same season.

The NBA Finals swing back to South Beach next week. That’s familiar turf given the Heat’s success of the past 20 years.

The Stanley Cup is either going to be won just off the Las Vegas Strip or behind a sprawling mall in Sunrise, Fla. Hardly Original Six territory.

The biggest question for both the Celtics and Bruins is: “Now what?”

In terms of leadership, roster make-up, and the franchises themselves.

How do you sell the Celtics next season? Will “Unfinished Business” become “Risky Business?”

How about: “No Guts. No Glory.”

Or: “5 Guys … Disappear.”

The Bruins will bamboozle the masses with endless chatter about it being their 100th season.

When you’ve won just one Stanley Cup in 51 years, ancient history is all you’ve got.

Those under 45 have no real memory of the dynastic Celtics of the 1980s. Add another decade for the Big Bad Bruins of the 1970s.

The lasting impact from this season for both the Bruins and the Celtics will be an impossibility for their fan bases to ever take the regular season seriously again.

Even if both go 82-0.

Bill Speros (@RealOBF and @BillSperos) can be reached at