There was no Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett making their triumphant return to Boston donning the black and white of the enemy colors of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Nets coach Jason Kidd made it publicly known well ahead of time that his two newest players would not finally face off against the team that loved them for years, yet traded them over the summer, the Boston Celtics, in a preseason matchup.
It would have to wait until the game had actual meaning, when the arena would actually be packed. There’s also the fact that it would’ve been better if the Boston Red Sox weren’t in the middle of an actual World Series game on the same night.
All of those circumstances will undoubtedly be present when the Nets make their first regular season trip to Boston on Jan. 26 of next calendar year. And there’s even less doubt that this is the way it needed to play out all along.
After all, did legendary quarterback Peyton Manning make his ultra-emotional return to Indianapolis during a preseason game? Nope. He made it on a nationally televised stage in a game that had real significance.
That will be the same case with Pierce and Garnett, as their return to Boston will be a Sunday night game shown on ESPN.
Kidd hasn’t been sitting in that coach’s seat for long at all, but it’s great to see that he understood how this moment needed to be managed.
Jan. 26 will be a night to remember.