All beginnings have an ending – this could never be more true than it is for the Boston Celtics fans out there today.
The trade involving Pierce, Garnet, and Jason Terry was completed Friday July 12th. A rainy day in Boston is no surprise to Celtics fans who watched these two come together to win the 17th championship banner for this strong, proud organization.
They brought the Celtics back from utter irrelevance to the front of the pack in one year. They also brought pride, that edge, and oh yeah, those wins (314) back to Boston. They averaged 52.33 wins a year since coming together and that includes a shortened year due to a lockout.
Paul Pierce, who to this point has played all 15 seasons in the NBA on the Boston Celtics, will leave a whole fan base crushed. This is like seeing your kid going off to college but knowing they aren’t coming back. You cannot help but to tear up and appreciate a man in this generation sticking with a team for that long in the same week we watched Dwight Howard go to his 3rd team in three years. That kind of loyalty from a player is seldom seen these days and definitely goes under the radar. He went through the rebuild already once (long enough to be twice) and the team thought it wasn’t right to do it again. Well, let’s hope that’s why they parted ways because a player with that kind of loyalty deserves a team with the same kind. I mean every Cavaliers fan was hoping that LeBron James was that kind of guy but they found out how harsh a choice can be. No matter how the Brooklyn Nets season goes, Pierce deserves a lot of credit for all he did to bring back the franchise that was so great for so long. He finishes 1st in steals and 3-pointers made, 2nd in scoring, 3rd in games played, 4th in assists, and 7th in rebounding for the Boston Celtics all time lists, got to be one of the best ever to do it in that jersey.
Kevin Garnett came over to the Celtics for the 2007-2008 season and his impact was noticed immediately. The defense got better, the offense got better, and the team got better. We can see that to be true due to the fact that they won all of 24 games the year before and in one off-season went to 66 wins, first in the East, and another championship (17). He played so hard with so much passion that the Celtics faithful had to love him. Garnett never backed down from any challenge and stayed healthy to play most of his whole time in the green and white. He got the approval of Bill Russell and Larry Bird and the appreciation of some of the best fans on earth. He became what he was all along, a champion.
The end of this chapter has been written and time will tell how we judge this Celtics generation. We will see where they rank all-time but we all have to appreciate what they did and the game they impacted so much. The original “Big 3” of the 2000s was formed in Boston and you can see the copy cats all over the NBA, including the Miami Heat. The landscape might have changed forever all because of these guys and their quest for greatness.
The time has come to start a new chapter in the Boston Celtics story, with a young core lead by Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo. The rebuild might be quick and painless but what Celtics fans have learned already is sometimes it takes time to be a championship caliber team. The Boston Celtics lost two of their best players and their coach all in one off-season. Brad Stevens takes over with a young roster but not bad enough not to be out of contention for the playoffs. Danny Ainge, the General Manager of the Boston Celtics, has a plan – only time will tell if it works. One lesson Kevin Garnett taught us is that, “Anything is Possible”…
About the Author: Coach Mike Fabber
NBA and MLB contributor.