For the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last year, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to their former club Boston Celtics on Sunday night and were given a highly emotional tribute by the fans at TD Garden.
First came KG – who, despite having played just six seasons for the Celts – was given a raucous standing ovation.
Even better was the reception reserved for Pierce, who unlike Garnett, had never played for any other NBA team before being offloaded to Brooklyn last summer. During timeouts, highlight videos of both the legends from their Celtic days were also played, to which the man nicknamed The Truth responded:
Thank you Boston for all the love u showed for me and KG you have provided me with so many memories I will always love u— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) January 27, 2014
Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins – who was the defensive anchorman of the Celtics side that won the NBA title in 2008 – chimed in:
Watching this Celtic game and I almost felt a tear come done my face. Watching Ticket and Paul get that well deserved home welcoming.— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 27, 2014
Meanwhile, KG had some fun with former teammate Rajon Rando…
And when his highlight reel played, the man affectionately known as ‘The Big Ticket’ delivered a big salute to the fans:
Unfortunately, there was no such love for Jason Terry – who was also a part of the trade that landed Pierce and Garnett in Brooklyn. And why would they? JET played just a single season for them.
I bet my boy Jason Terry is feeling real Salty right now for not getting even a small tribute tonight lol— CELTICS NATION (@CelticsNation5) January 27, 2014
So exhausted were KG and Pierce with the tributes that neither of them could score in double figures. Pierce, in particular was terrible, missing eight of his 10 field goals. But the Nets still took the game 85-79.