Words don't really do nights like this much justice. All you can do is reflect back on the times we shared with two icons and true Celtics. In fact, it seems like we've said goodbye so many times that we can go back and reflect on the other times we've said goodbye. So here's a small sampling of some of our favorite tribute articles that you can re-read (or discover for the first time). Please follow the links and read the ones that interest you and return here to share your thoughts.
So right around that time I started CelticsBlog. It was small at first, but people liked what I was doing and at the very least enjoyed having a Cheers-like place to socialize and talk about the Celtics. Pierce became a perennial All Star and saw his game become refined under the tutoring of Doc Rivers. The two worked through their differences and Paul finally started to come into his own.
Kevin Garnett took a sledghammer to the mold and screamed expletives at it. He's more than a unique player in the history of the NBA, he's a defiant one. They told him he was a center, he defied them. They told him he had to go to college, he defied them. They told him he had to play with his back to the basket, he defied them. They said he had to calm down, he crawled on all fours and barked at them.
From personal experiences I have learned that nothing is forever and that goes for all that I love about sports too. With that, I don't feel any sadness on this day. When the trade was announced I didn't flinch, I didn't cry, and I didn't scream; I only smiled.
I smile because Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have given me so much to be happy about throughout my life watching sports. Both players poured their hearts out for their team, showing us what it really means to be a champion.
Since the days when Dwight Eisenhower was president and David Stern was still in junior high, the Celtic franchise has been built around Boston lifers. Guys didn't just roll through town and pick up a ring or two -- they stayed, they built lasting connections with the team and the city, and they endured. Bill Russell did it. Bob Cousy did it. John Havlicek. Larry Bird. Kevin McHale. These guys didn't jump ship when the going got tough -- they felt a sense of loyalty to Boston, and they backed it up by playing here to the end.
So the legend of Paul Pierce ends with him being traded in his final year or two. That's not the way I would have developed the story, but it isn't my book to write. But it does not subtract one single memory from my heart. It does not diminish the respect and adore that I have for Pierce. He is and will always be a Celtic, regardless of what jersey he wears in the next couple of years.
(Let us know if any of your favorites were missed)
I can't wait to cheer my head off at Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett tonight.
Let's go Celtics. Forever.