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Your Morning Dump… A case for putting #5 in the rafters

Chuck - Red's Army August 2, 2012 Celtics News, Kevin Garnett, The Morning Dump 40 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

In the 2012-13 NBA season alone, Garnett should surpass 6,000 points, leaving Ray Allen (5,987), Bailey Howell(5,812), Don Chaney (5,689), Dee Brown (5,512) and Larry Siegfried (5,420) in his wake. The projected 8,366 points would also leapfrog him over Cedric Maxwell (8,311), Reggie Lewis (7,902), Ed Macauley (7,882), Dennis Johnson (6,805) and Danny Ainge (6,257) into 17th on the all-time scoring list. The Celtics have retired the numbers of all 16 others with the lone exception of Antoine Walker (11,386), who never won a title.

Scoring is one thing. Contributing across the board, as Garnett does, is another. Only three players in Celtics history have exceeded 8,300 points, 4,400 rebounds, 1,400 assists, 600 steals and 500 blocks: Pierce (22,591 points, 5,417 rebounds, 3,401 assists, 1,349 steals, 561 blocks), Larry Bird (21,791 points, 8,974 rebounds, 5,695 assists, 1,556 steals, 755 blocks) and Robert Parish (18,245 points, 11,051 rebounds, 1,679 assists, 873 steals, 1,703 blocks). Based on his projected numbers over eight seasons, Garnett would be the fourth.

Either way you slice it, unless Garnett joins the Lakers at age 39 or falls completely off the map in Year 1 of his new contract, his No. 5 deserves to be raised to the Garden rafters in 2015 or whenever he decides to retire.

WEEI

Our friend Ben Rohrbach of WEEI lays out a great case for the Celtics retiring Kevin Garnett’s #5. If you are a stats person, the projected numbers (great work Ben – or should we credit your intern for crunching the numbers?) propel Garnett into the discussion.

If duration is a big factor for you, consider this: If KG plays out this 3 year contract, he’ll surpass Dennis Johnson (7 years) and equal Cedric Maxwell (8 years) in time served in Boston.

If the decision rested solely on my shoulders, I would say yes. Without Garnett, there’s no Big 3 Part II. An era that includes one championship, two Finals appearances and a Game 7 in the ECF.

Let’s not discount that KG completely re-energized the fan base. Kids everywhere (including my own) are sporting #5 jerseys.

He deserves the honor. Share your opinion in our poll (see right sidebar).

On a separate note, Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops picks 8 players as the Biggest Individual Winners in Free Agency. I’m stunned at the omission of Jeff Green. After playing mediocre basketball for his first 3 months in Boston and missing last season due to a heart ailment, he’s in line to collect $36+ million over the next four years. I’d call Jeff Green a winner.

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  • Ken Ti

    oh putting #5 in the rafters is a no-brainer, of course we should!!

  • Cam

    Would be shocked if #5 wasn’t raised tobthe rafters especially after inking this 3 year deal.

    Maybe the Jeff Green omission because he hasn’t officially signed?

  • http://thegreatoutthere.blogspot.com Matt W

    KG single-handedly made me care about basketball again after a long drought of not watching through the late 90s-early 2000s.

  • RedsLoveChild

    This is a joke, right?

    Reggie Lewis gets honored….but, KG is a maybe?!?

    • LA Flake

      I loved Reggie (RIP) but they should have never retired his number. It was purely an overreaction to a tragedy snd if it were up to me I’d unretire it.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Total agreement…bring #35 down.

        Reggie`s death was the darkest moment, during the Celtics` darkest era.

      • Reggie35RIP

        W T F ! ?

        Give me one good reason why his number shouldn’t have been retired?

        It was a sign of respect for what he was and what he could have been for the franchise.

        After Bird retired it was Reggie’s team. He was the team captain. What if PP tragically died? Do you think everyone would just be like “That’s sad, but we’re not retiring his number.”? No fucking way. To say his number should have never been retired, or it should be taken down is disgusting and unbelievably disrespectful to Reggie, his family and I’m sure his fans.

        I honestly can’t even believe anyone would think that.

        • Uh Huh

          Even you have to know how stupid that argument is! Reggie didn’t accomplish 1/10 of what the Truth has. I have no issue w his number being retired or not, but to compare him to Pierce is the worst comp ever.

          • Uh Huh

            Point being, if PP retires today, you retire the #, no question. Had Reggie just retired instead of dying, there’s no way you raise that #.

          • Reggie35RIP

            It may not have been clear, but the comparison I was making was that they were both captains. If the captain of your team dies unexpectedly you don’t just move on without acknowledging him in some way. (On a side note, the Nets retired Drazen Petrovic’s number after only three seasons with them, after he was tragically killed in a car accident).

            But if you did want to debate Reggie’s worth to the Celtics when compared with PP – then you first have to acknowledge that YOUR arguments are stupid.

            Reggie didn’t have the chance to accomplish 1/10 of what PP did because he obviously died tragically after only six seasons. Who’s to say what he would or wouldn’t have accomplished had he played for his whole career. Secondly Reggie – even though he didn’t have the choice – wouldn’t have retired after only six seasons. So again that’s a moot point. And if he was able to play out his full career – given how good a player he was – you would think if he managed to play 8-10+ seasons, then they would have retired his number as well.

            Moving on. If we were to compare the two players, then you would firstly have to compare them on even terms. And then how do you measure them? The only tangible thing you could compare them on would be stats, MVPs and championships. And as Reggie only played six seasons you would have to take PP’s stats and accomplishments from his first six seasons in the league.

            Firstly neither player won an MVP, Finals MVP or Championship after six seasons in the league. PP obviously won a Championship and Finals MVP, but that wasn’t until ’07′/08.

            Next lets take a look at the average stats for each player from their first six seasons in the league.

            Reggie Lewis (career averages)
            17.6PPG, 4.3RPG, 2.6APG, 1.3SPG, 0.9BPG, 48.8FG%, 82.4FT%

            Paul Pierce (first six seasons averages)
            22.7PPG, 6.5RPG, 3.5APG, 1.8SPG, 0.9BPG, 43.2FG%, 78.1FT%

            As you can see PP beats out Reggie in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Blocks are even and Reggie wins the percentages.

            Now, you have to take these numbers with a grain of salt, because as you know Reggie played with the big three for most of his career. He didn’t start any games in his rookie season, only playing 405mins. His second and third seasons he only started 57 and 54 out of 82 games. It was only until his final three seasons that he started every game and was a major focal point of his team.

            PP on the other hand was basically the man right from the beginning, starting every game. His only real help was from Walker, Anderson and Mercer.

            So when you take both players situations into account, PP had a lot more responsibility and opportunity to rack up stats than what Reggie did. PP was the go to guy right from the start, whereas Reggie was playing with the likes of Bird, Parish and McHale for most of his career.

            By their sixth season in the league they were both captains and major focal points of their respective teams. At this stage neither player had accomplished anything major individually or for their ball club.

            So hypothetically, if PP also died tragically after his sixth season. Why would one player be more worthy of having their number retired over the other? For me if the same thing happened to PP after six seasons in the league you still retire his number. So why wouldn’t you do the same for Reggie?

        • RedsLoveChild

          No one wants to admit it, but…there`s still a bit of a cloud surrounding Reggie`s death.

          Not sayng he did or he didn`t but, the cocaine allegations were never 100% fully dispelled.

          What we do know for certain is this : The Celtics were ultra-depressing during the Reggie Lewis era, and we do not need anything hanging from the rafter to remind us of it.

          • Reggie35RIP

            Fuck me. I can’t believe you can say something like that and still call yourself a Celtics supporter. I’d like to see you walk into a Boston pub and announce that you think Reggie Lewis’ number should be taken down. You’d get your fucking head smashed in.

            Don’t forget that the Bird, Parish and McHale eras overlapped the Reggie Lewis era. Or when you see their numbers in the rafters do you only remember the good times? Fucking fair-weather supporter.

          • RedsLoveChild

            The Celtics have retired 21 numbers….20 of the 21 numbers are directly linked to at least one championship banner.

            Lewis is the only one linked to zero banners.

            What exactly is there to “celebrate” about Reggie Lewis, or the Celtic era he played in???

            Lewis had a career that a team with no glorious history would honor or celebrate.

            Not a franchise like the Celtics.

          • Reggie35RIP

            So who made the rule that a player has to have won a championship to have their number retired? Plenty of players have been honoured for what they have done for their ball clubs without winning a championship. Some of the greatest players in the history of the NBA haven’t won championships, but have still had their numbers retired. Sure Boston has a history of success, but I don’t think that necessarily means you don’t retire the numbers of players that haven’t won championships.

            Maybe there isn’t anything to celebrate about the Reggie Lewis era. But I think it’s more a case of honouring him as a player, rather than celebrating what he accomplished as a Celtic.

            I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree because I’ll defend Reggie’s right to be in the rafters to the grave.

    • http://redsarmy.com John

      I couldn’t disagree more. Reggie Lewis was the next great Celtic in the post-Larry Big 3 era. The man was an All Star… he was on his way to being Paul Pierce before Paul Pierce existed.

      Honoring his memory by retiring his number is a testament to what he meant to this organization. I’d never bring any numbers down from the rafters, but especially not Reggie’s.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com JT’s Hoops Blog

    No argument here. At 36, he is still a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. He spent five quality years with the Celtics and on his way to play eight so no one should question whether or not he can be considered a “True Celtic.” Hiopefully he will be recognized in Minnesota as well.

  • paul

    Oh give me a frickin’ break! Why would you even act like this is something to be discussed? Unless KG breaks Rondo’s kneecaps with a tire iron, of course his number is going straight to the rafters.

  • chris

    KG and PP will both have their jerseys hanging from the rafters. No doubt about it. The question is, would the Wolves consider retiring #21? He’s the best player to ever pull on a Timberwolves jersey.

    • Marvin

      Wolves should definitely consider retiring #21. I mean it will take more than 12 years for anyone including love to come close to all of his records there. He WAS THE TIMBERWOLVES for 13 years.

  • Chief

    Yes most definatly,for what his done scince he arrived. Let’s hope there’s another banner (or 2) to add to his legacy.

  • Boobaka Ow

    Not even a question.

    Also, a giant KG head should be erected on top of the Bunker Hill Monument with flashing red eyes and an animatronic mouth that shouts “ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE” every hour on the hour.

  • colaroaster

    “Boston is a Brotherhood” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DREP6cdyq8s

  • Quest

    People keep saying this is now Rondo’s team. Disagree its KG’s team.

    • wil

      its rondo’s team, but kg is still the biggest piece.

      RR still needs to grow in to the leading role. So by the time kg and pp are gone, he is comfortable being the one leading every body.

      KG is still tied with Rondo as the most important piece in green.

  • Chris H

    Every guy who is up there was an integral part of a title win. On that basis alone, KG and Pierce belong there. Stats might pad that, but let’s face it, that’s why they are up there.

  • KY Celts fan

    I use to feel that if you retired #5, you would have to retire #20. My position on the matter has since “evolved”. Definitely retire #5, don’t bring up #20.

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    I’m ok if KG gets up there, but Paul better be up there when all is said and done.

  • classless

    This is probably an easier decision now that Allen is a traitor. Boston now has an easy excuse to omit Allen’s number and raise Pierce and KG’s. Maxwell’s number shouldn’t be up there. We all know that number retirement happened during the dark days and was soley to get some positive fan buzz.

  • Larry Legend

    Pierce and KG are slam dunks to go to the rafters…no question. #9 is going up too.

  • Frank

    I would be shocked to see him not have his number retired here. I also pray that when he goes into the HOF, he chooses us and the title he won over the Timberwolves. I think I speak for all Celtics fans when I say that it has been a pure honor to root for number for 5 years and hopefully 8. They will reward him for staying in the wake of Ray deciding to let his Ego show and leaving because of a lost starters role, that he isn’t getting back in Miami, and because the star of the offense was Rondo and not him. Lets kick their asses on opening night and show Ray what a real Team is.

  • Ryan Noseworthy

    We’re running out of numbers….

    • Chulinho

      I was thinking that same thing…Has any other professional team ever had this problem, I wonder….?

    • LebronWearsARedThong

      When PP and KG retire we still will have 78 numbers available… It will take some time until our players wear triple digit jerseys lol

  • skj3309

    Kg will pp ofcorse rondo will after he gets us 1 more banner wit kg and two wit pp and and two without going down as top 3 best pg to play game and someone will be wearing #20 in next two years they didnt hold walkers # and he was true celtic nvm i backstabing f***er

  • john rotolo

    Whoever said Maxwell shouldn`t be up there is full of crap.Finals MVP.

  • Celtic Pride in Australia

    Despite Rondo, Pierce and Ray’s contributions in recent times, KG MADE the new Celtic resurgence. Definitely #5 belongs in the hallowed rafters!

  • jon

    if Barkley had his jersey retired in both Philly and Phoenix, and the guy has no rings to show for it then its a no brainer…Even if KG does not complete his 3 yr contract..his number deserves to go up the rafters.

  • Josh

    Kevin Garnett will and should be up in our rafters. He brought back the passion and tradition in this city. Boston was built on this franchises 17 World Championships and what KG and Paul Pierce have done these past 5 years is carry the torch for generations of Celtics fans to understand what it means to be a true Celtic. Will there ever be a more passionate player in our lifetimes ? #5 CELTIC FOR LIFE

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    Definitely yessss!

    KG is way over stats and numbers, what he meant and what he will mean for the Celtics HAS to be remembered on the Garden ceiling.

  • BillRussellTheGreatestOfThemAll

    How did this ever become a concern?? Have you forgotten the 2008 moment when right after winning the chip, KG hugged Bill Russell and said “I hope we made you proud” like a son to his father??? #5 was going to hang in the rafters from that moment on in my book!