Former Celtic Kevin Garnett has Jersey Retirement Ceremony

Image/ Twitter

Image/ Twitter

Toby Moses, Staff Writer

After winning the 1986 National Basketball Association Championship, the Boston Celtics were stuck in a ringless drought. Over 20 years passed without winning an NBA finals and roster changes were necessary to see more success. In 2007, the Celtics acquired star players Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. These two joined all-star Paul Pierce to form a new “Big Three” for the team, reminiscent of the Celtics from the 1980s that brought home three championships. The team finished with 66 wins and 16 losses in the regular season, ending with the best record in the entire NBA. The Celtics won the Eastern Conference and faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals, led by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The Celtics won the finals handily in 6 games, bringing a championship ring to Boston and ending the drought. 

On March 13th, Garnett joined Paul Pierce of the “Big Three” in having his jersey retired for Boston. Although the game before the ceremony ended in a disappointing loss, the jersey retirement was a very sentimental moment for a Celtics legend. Pierce spoke at the ceremony, where he spoke on Garnett’s intense competitiveness and thanked him for his time on the Celtics. 

Even after a close home loss, Garnett’s speech had Celtics fans in attendance fired up from start to finish. Garnett was emotional when he walked out to the court, as he was introduced by long-time Celtics announcer Mike Gorman. Garnett was interviewed by former Celtic Brian Scalabrine and Garnett talked about his time on the team and his lasting connection to the city. In this interview, Garnett mentioned the fact that Allen was in attendance. Garnett was upset from Allen’s departure from the Celtics in 2012, resulting in a feud lasting until this ceremony. During the interview, Garnett mentioned that he appreciated Allen attending his jersey retirement, immediately resulting in a massive cheer from the crowd. Allen walked up to the two where they hugged in the middle of the court, with Pierce joining them shortly after. The reunion of the “Big Three” was great to see for Celtics fans, as the legacy of the 2007-2008 team was tarnished by the rift between Allen and Garnett. 

Garnett and his daughters began to raise his jersey into the rafters from a wave of applause and cheering from Celtics fans. His iconic number five was added to the list of retired jersey numbers, alongside players like Larry Bird, Bill Russell and Paul Pierce. Garnett solidified his place as a legend not just on the Celtics, but also in the city of Boston overall. Garnett helped end the championship drought in Boston with his exceptional play and intense competitiveness, and Celtics fans will forever be reminded by his retired number five.