Boston Celtics: Thanks for the Memories Kevin Garnett

Dec 26, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett (2) sweats before their 109-107 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett (2) sweats before their 109-107 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

After 21 years in the NBA, former Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett announced his retirment.

On Friday, another one of the greats hung up his sneakers, as former Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett announced his retirement after a brilliant 21-year career in the NBA. Known to many as the “The Big Ticket,” Garnett’s passion on the court and pure love of the game of basketball will surely be missed.

Garnett broke into the league 1995, when the Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the fifth pick overall right out of high school. The big man had an incredible tenure in Minnesota, which included eight all-star game appearances, five all-defensive team nominations and an MVP award in 2004.

The basketball world was turned on it’s head, however, when KG was dealt to the Boston Celtics in the offseason prior to the 2007-08 season. Kevin Garnett was coming to an iconic franchise that had previously lost it’s relevancy and stake as one of the league’s premier teams since the departure of Larry Bird in the earlier 90s.

With the cornerstone of the franchise already in place in Paul Pierce, in addition to newly acquired sharp shooter Ray Allen, Garnett was the final piece to the puzzle. “The Big Three” had been formed, and the Boston Celtics were back.

No one expected this core of elite talents to work immediately. As each player was used to being the go-to man on their respective teams, it was unclear whether or not their superstar personas could coincide on one roster. Garnett, as the emotional leader of the new born Celtics, put all of these doubts to rest consistently preaching teamwork, unity and sacrifice.

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This approach to the game showed immediate dividends, as the team emerged in that 2007-08 season as a clear championship contender and a force to be reckon with within the league. Finishing the season as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics road this magical run all the way to a championship, the 17th in franchise history and first since 1986. Garnett was the defensive player of the year that season, embodying his position as the heart and soul of the team.

While the 2008 championship certainly brought a wide range of emotions to an entire city, it was evident that the title meant more to Garnett than words could describe. After being a part of a lowly franchise for the first 12 years of his career, this was his first real taste of postseason play, as a legitimate contender for a championship. He did not let this opportunity go to waste, and his visage following the clinching game spoke volumes.

After being speechless for some time, a teary-eyed Garnett looked up to the rafters and yelled “anything is possible!,” a moment that will live on in Boston sport’s history forever.

Kevin Garnett became the heart of Boston, he bled green

Garnett went on to play six more seasons with the green, which included several more all-star appearances and exciting playoff runs, including a run to the championship series in 2010, falling one game short of another title. Garnett’s impact on the Celtics and the city of Boston in general cannot be understated.

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A historic franchise that was on the verge of falling by the wayside was resurrected upon his arrival, and the city bled green once again. Prior to every game, Garnett would thunderously pound his chest and salute the fans, acknowledging his appreciation for them and their dedication to the team. He fell in love with the city, and we sure as hell fell in love with him.

In today’s NBA, the appreciation and love for the game amongst its players seems to be somewhat diminished. Many players are more focused on the lavish lifestyle and fame that comes with the game, rather than dedicate themselves to the sport.

Garnett personified this unbreakable love for the game. His clear passion was manifested on a nightly basis. It didn’t matter whether it was a game in mid February or game 7 of the NBA Finals, KG left everything he had on the court, something that is not found commonly in today’s NBA. Basketball needs more Kevin Garnett’s.

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Thanks for the memories, KG.