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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett Got Standing Ovations and Video Tributes During Their Return to Boston (Videos)
Last summer, when the Boston Celtics went into full-scale rebuilding mode by sending Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, it hurt. It hurt the fans, who loved those guys because they won them a championship, and it hurt the players, because they loved the fans right back. But it really had to be done. The “Big Three” era was over, and everyone knows you have to just pull the bandaid off in one swift motion.
However, as is always the case in these sports divorces, you knew there would eventually be a reunion and that everybody would get all warm and fuzzy. And in this case, that reunion was last night. For the first time this season, the Brooklyn Nets traveled to Boston to take on the Celtics at TD Gardens, and the reception Pierce and KG got from the fans and the Celtics organization was pretty incredible.
First came the player introductions at the beginning of the game. Fans gave KG a rousing ovation when he was introduced, but they really brought the house down for “The Truth,” who was drafted by the Celtics and played the first 15 years of his career in Boston.
Take a look:
After that the Celtics organization paid its respects. Toward the end of the first quarter they put this tribute to KG up on the jumbotron:
Then, at the end of the first quarter, they ran Pierce’s tribute:
As you can imagine, it was a pretty emotional night for those two guys, and afterward both said they had lumps in their throats.
“I was telling Kevin, I was telling everybody—this was the toughest game I ever had to play,” Pierce explained. “It was tougher than any championship game. Tougher than any Game 7. This game was just so hard to really just focus and concentrate on what was at hand.”
Garnett said it was tough for him, too. “This was by far the hardest day I’ve had to focus,” he revealed. “This was bigger than Minnesota, even when I went back to Minnesota.”
As for the game itself, the Nets won that, appropriately enough, and they are now 10-1 since starting the season 10-21. And while KG and Pierce didn’t play huge roles in the game on the stats sheet, it’s possible that KG affected the outcome of the game by getting into the head of his buddy Rajon Rondo.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]