By Anne Liu ’17
This past summer, the Celtics franchise decided to trade basketball playing icons Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets.Students were outraged at the start of this season to hear about the trades. “Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were the reasons I liked the Celtics,” Sarah Permut ’17 said.
The decision to trade such iconic figures in the sport could not have been easy. Pierce, who was drafted by the Celtics in 1998, had remained there ever since, and Garnett joined the Celtics in 2007, resulting in their 2007-2008 season championship, the first in 20 years. Garnett and Pierce had previously made it clear they would like to finish their careers in Boston.
“I think we will always bleed green, as long as we’re playing basketball and as long as we’re living, even when they bury us six feet [under],” Garnett said.
On their first return to TD Garden, both players expressed how difficult it was for them to play against their former beloved team.
“I was telling Kevin, I was telling everybody — this was the toughest game I ever had to play,” Pierce said.
When the two stars entered and were once again introduced to TD Garden fans, only this time with the opposing team, fans lovingly cheered for the former Celtics players.
“I had lumps in my throat, but I kept it under control and tried to focus as much as I could,” Garnett said.
With support from Celtics fans, they continued to play the game and finished with a 85-79 win against their former team. Other than their persisitng loyalty towards the Celtics, the two stars want to play their remaining years with each other.
“If our ride is gonna end here in Brooklyn, I wouldn’t want it to end with anybody else,” Pierce said.
Without the Pierce and Garnett, the Celtics have had a rocky season as players adapt to their new environment and peers. The Celtics are currently 27th in the league for scoring points, 16th for rebounds, 25th for assists and 11th for points allowed to the opposing team. They also have a losing 23-50 record this season. The team needs more work to revisit its former days of glory, such as the 2007-2008 championship.