Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett Make Their Emotional Return To Boston

Posted: January 27, 2014 by ericbernsen in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night provided a special moment in the NBA as the TD Garden was the place to be with the return of former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The game between the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets was minor in comparison to the honoring of two Celtics who brought so much to the Celtics organization and gave so much back to the city of Boston. This type of connection is rare these days as fans at the TD Garden somberly, yet proudly reminisced on the Big 3 era. The Celtics organization changed drastically when Pierce and Garnett were sent off to Brooklyn as the team moved forward with its rebuilding phase, but last night everyone was reminded of the great times they had wearing their green-and-white jerseys, and there was not a dry eye in the house.

The formal introduction of the visiting players went normally as the first three Nets were booed. From then, the arena was filled with thunderous applause and cheers as KG and Paul Pierce were welcomed back to the arena they once called home. After a rather uneventful first quarter, the video tributes for each player were presented. While Garnett’s video was more so a celebration of his intense passion, the tribute for Pierce was the high-point of the night emotionally as the long-time Celtic was properly honored for his impactful career in Boston. From winning a championship in 2008 to being heavily involved in community service in the Boston area, Pierce was truly a man of the city and will forever have a legacy as one of the greatest Celtic players in history. Both Pierce and Garnett could not help but get caught up in the moment as they both described their feelings about their tributes and return to the Garden:

“Tougher than any championship game or any Game 7. At the end of the day we had a game to play, but it was so hard to really focus. I saw so many friends, so many people I’ve known for years. It was hard to really get into my routine. You thought about the time, the friendships, the relationships; you get showered with love the whole game,” said Pierce.

“Unbelievable,” said Garnett. “I didn’t expect anything like that for myself … By far the hardest day that I’ve had to focus. This is bigger than Minnesota, even when I went back to Minnesota. Minnesota wasn’t like this.”

The Celtics are a storied, successful franchise that have a history of winning ever since the days of Bill Russell. However, there was a point in time during the 1990’s/early 2000’s that no one took the Celtics seriously. Paul Pierce persevered through these tough times and once Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived in Boston, the magical aura of winning returned to TD Garden. But the quality that made Pierce and Garnett truly special as leaders was their genuine care for the city of Boston. They sincerely idolized the prideful past of the Celtics franchise and worked tirelessly to bring that energy back. The Celtics are now a team filled with unknowns, the fate of Rajon Rondo up in the air being one of many. But last night served as a reminder of what is set in stone: the monumental impact of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on the Celtics and the fact that one day…the numbers 34 and 5 will be hanging in the rafters of TD Garden.

You can watch the video tributes for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett below!






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