Professional emotions will be as high as ever when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett return to their old Boston Celtics‘ digs on Sunday night for the Brooklyn Nets, and the fans will be as gracious toward the two future Hall of Famers as Pierce and Garnett are for the years they were allowed to spend with the historic organization.
At least, you can only cross your fingers and desperately hope, because that’s what these former champions deserve. The Boston faithful were never exactly thrilled that two of the “Big 3” pieces that led them to a world championship in 2008 happily went to a division rival in pursuit of another ring, leaving the Celtics to completely rebuild without them. Although, could you blame a couple of aging veterans – future legends, at that – for not wanting to stick around and watch a bunch of puppies next to them more than likely fail?
Of course, Pierce and Garnett were dealt in a blockbuster draft day trade, but alongside the eternal gratefulness the two expressed, there was no opposition to the move. Celtics’ fans certainly didn’t appreciate that.
But even with all of that understood, it would be a complete shame if boos, instead of cheers of thankfulness for all the wonderful memories, came raining down from the stands when Garnett and Pierce are introduced before tipoff, as well as every time they touch the ball throughout the contest. Pierce and Garnett, along with Ray Allen, sacrificed their individual statistics in order to bring Boston its 17th NBA title, the most of all time, which they accomplished. They were the first group of stars in recent memory to selflessly join forces in such a way.
That’s something Celtics’ fans should never forget. And that’s why they need to give these men a standing ovation during pre-game intros.
They deserve it as much as any former team member does.