They delivered a championship as two parts of the Big Three in 2007-08. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce had another Celtics moment Sunday night in Boston.
But not as Celtics. Garnett and Pierce are now parts of the Brooklyn Nets. The Sunday game was their first back in Boston since the offseason trade that broke up the mini-Celtics dynasty of the late-2000s.
The reception was one of adulation and appreciation for the guys that brought Boston its first title since the Larry Bird heyday of the late 1980s.
It was a fitting tribute to Celtics legends. One can only imagine what the reception will be if or when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have to return to Oklahoma City in another uniform someday.
Pierce would be the best comparison to either of OKC’s stars leaving. While Garnett is considered a “True Celtic” the way Pierce, Bird, McHale and Parrish are, Garnett spent the first half of his career in Minnesota. Pierce, meanwhile, is in his first year away from the Celtics since being drafted.
Odds are Durant and Westbrook won’t ever wear another uniform until they’re into the Pierce-like twilight of their careers.
If that does happen, you'd imagine they'd get a reception like the Celtics gave the newest members of the Brooklyn Nets.
Hard to top the scene at the Garden tonight. KG and Pierce deserve it. Pierce is this generation's Bird or Havlicek. He's THEIR guy.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) January 27, 2014
The Celtics were lucky to have Pierce and Garnett, just as the Thunder is fortunate to have its two stars.