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Your Morning Dump…where Wyc would retire Garnett’s number

Nick Sannicandro February 27, 2013 Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, The Morning Dump 22 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

 “These are guys that I can’t imagine giving those numbers out to anybody else,” Grousbeck said on WEEI. Grousbeck called Pierce the “linchpin” of the Celtics’ success during his tenure, which predates Grousbeck’s involvement with the team as part of Boston Basketball Partners LLC. Grousbeck also referenced the oft-repeated claim that Garnett changed the culture when he came to Boston in 2007, and cited Garnett’s decision to turn down multiple offers to play elsewhere as a free agent last summer and through trades this season as a contributing factor to the inevitability that The Big Ticket’s number will eventually be retired.

 NESN: Celtics Co-Owner Wyc Grousbeck ‘Can’t Imagine’ Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce Not Having Numbers Retired

This is by far one of my favorite debates that has risen over the past few years. The Celtics are one of the most decorated franchises in NBA history, we all know that by now; but with that comes a duty to honor the greats that lead them to those glory years. Some teams have a ring of honor, some have a team hall-of-fame where players are inducted yearly, while most retire that players number, never to be worn again. All of these are great honors to players because it is a tangible way for them to see that they left their mark both on the game and on a franchise and won’t be forgotten decades after they are gone. The Celtics are likely one of the top runners for most retired numbers, with only a handful of numbers under ’20′ that have not been retired yet for players to choose.

The Celtics are faced with quite the predicament in the next few years, trying to analyze which of the current core group of players deserves to have their numbers retired. Pierce is a no-brainer, spending his entire career in Boston and breaking many scoring records. The interesting debate rises when you discuss Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Kevin Garnett, should he retire at the end of the year will have spent six seasons in Boston with one championship, two visits to the NBA Finals, and three Eastern Conference Finals appearances. He came to a Boston squad that in the previous season embarrassed the city with its incompetence on the court, and immediately turned them not only into a contender but a champion. He may have single handedly saved Doc Rivers his job, Paul Pierce his legacy in Boston, and Rajon Rondo his career. Think about it, if Garnett never comes to Boston, the Celtics still suck in 2008, Glenn Ordway still calls for Rivers to be fired, Pierce eventually gets his wish and is traded to the Clippers, and Rajon Rondo never gets the chance to develop around the vets. I think that six years is an awful short amount of time to retire someones number, but given the circumstances and what an amazing amount that Garnett has been able to do here in such a short time, this one is a no brainer.

The real trouble comes when you bring up Ray Allen. Notice Wyc left Allen’s name out of the discussion, and for good reason after he jobbed the Celtics and took the first train to Miami. As much as you would like to believe that once everyone is retired we can look back at what he did here, there are still some things you just don’t forget (Damon to the Yankees) and let a player live down. Allen to the Heat will be a part of his Celtics eulogy, maybe even the paragraph, but he did spend five solid seasons here and helped bring the Celtics a championship. Again, without Allen, Garnett is never a Celtic. It is tough to label a group the “Big Three” and only honor two of the three, especially when a championship was obtained.

So what are your thoughts? Do the Celtics eventually get over the Ray Allen saga and honor him with Garnett and Pierce? Do all three belong in the rafters to begin with? Is there anyone else for whom their number you would retire that wasn’t discussed?

The Rest:   ESPN Boston: Did C’s miss out on Morris?  ;  ESPN Boston: Grousbeck : ‘Deals just weren’t there’ ; CSNNE: Bradley finds offensive rhythm in win over Jazz  ; CSNNE: Melo busy with rookie responsibilities ; CSNNE: Things we learned from Celtics five game road trip ; NESN: Zach Randolph Names Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan As Select Few Great Low Post Players in NBA ; Herald: C’s season falls on uneasy terms

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  • Daniele

    I do appreciate Ray’s 5 years in Boston, and all the great things he’s done both on and off the courts. He would probably deserve to have his number up in the rafters. However, Boston’s history is so rich that, at this point, I think only players with an immaculate resume and that are true Celtics till the end ultimately should gain that honor. He left us all, at best, with a bitter taste in our mouth. I say, retire #5 and let #20 be worn again.

    • Nick Sannicandro

      Cedric Maxwell’s wasn’t immaculate

      • Cam

        Still Maxwell played 8 out of 11 seasons with the Celtics and his number wasnt retired until 15 years after he actually retired.

        He was broadcasting Celts games for 8 years until his number was putnupnin the rafters.

        Im sure Ray will get his too if he becomes the next Tommy or Max color anaylst of the future or something along those lines

        • http://www.pictureplanetstudios.com Picture Planet

          Are you high? Why on earth would Ray Allen become a color analyst in Boston? He would be crucified.

          • Cam

            Ha. Wow aggressive. I dont think anyome would surprised if 10 years down the road the New England native had a job in some capacity with the Celts. You act like hed be lynched.

            Pretty sure when peoples panties get unbunched things will come down a little.

            Also why would he get crucified? Youd crucify him for accepting a job or crucify the organization for hiring him?

  • Jester00

    we know the next in the rafters will 53 Joe Kleine

  • Matt

    Pierce and Garnett are no brainers to me, when it comes to Allen… I think we have to wait to see what Miami does this year. If they win the title, let them honor him and be done with it. If he doesn’t win, we have to consider it unless we get word that someone like Seattle, (If they get a team back there) wants to do it.

  • http://Www.pictureplanetstudios.com PicturePlanet

    Send Paul and KG to the rafters. Ray’s 5th season was often injured and crying about coming off the bench. The downside to ray Allen bouncing around the league will be his legacy.

  • dk

    Pierce and KG. No Allen. Although he was obviously instrumental in bringing the 17th Title, I think his short tenure and the fact that he went to a rival, plus as mentioned, KG “changed the culture of the Celtics.”

    Maybe if that Big 3 had won two or three titles I could see retiring all of their numbers as a mini dynasty, but not just for one. After a while you have to have some standards to not cheapen the honor of retiring players’ numbers. You can’t just retire everyone’s number that was associated with any sort of success. As currently constituted, I think there are a few players’ numbers that shouldn’t have been retired to be begin with, Max, Reggie, even DJ but that’s just me. At some point you’re going to see the entire team wearing nothing but # 40′s and 50′s on their uniforms

  • Noori

    KG and Pierce only! Sure Ray did nice things here, but so did PJ Brown, James Posey, Tony Allen etc.

    We don’t need to retire them all. I would say if we were the Bobcats or something we could retire him, but we’re running short on numbers, they need to go to Celtic legends

    • Nick Sannicandro

      be prepared to watch guys with numbers like 77, 98, and 55…oh wait

  • The Iron Sheik

    This article is no good pile of dog shit. The Iron Sheik break the Ray Allen’s back, humble him the old country way.

  • Bob Levine

    Allen’s efforts pale in comparison to the paly more importantly, the leadership of Pierce and Garnett and their body of work. As Noori said Allen did nice things here but as Picture Perfect points out, he did some not so nice things, things that leaders don’t do. Allen had the chance to burnish his legacy with KG and PP and basically left them hanging so he could go ring hunting. His choice, but his loss also.

  • Roy

    That number 5 and 34 belong up in the rafters for us to cherish forever.

  • RedsLoveChild

    There is no reason to retire Allen`s #20.

    Pierce & KG were the only “undeniable leaders” of the brief 2007-10 Celtic era. Only they appeared nightly on the post-game interview shows together.

    Allen was an extremely distant third {at best}…his best years were in Seattle…except for Game 2, he was awful in the 2010 Finals, killing us with his 3-for-14 performance in Game 7, when he was most needed…then goes to Miami after rejecting Boston`s far better offer, etc.

    Maxwell belongs…he delivered when we needed him the most {1981 Playoff MVP, Game 7 of 1984 Finals}.

    Tragedy and sentimentality aside…Reggie Lewis does not belong.

    • LA Flake

      I agree they need to un-retire Reggie’s number. I disagree about Ray though. I’m a bit torn on whether we should retire his number or not but to say that he was a distant third member of the Big 3 isn’t right. Ray was arguably the MVP of the 08 Finals. As a perennial All Star, he also willingly sacrificed the most to make the whole “New Big 3″ thing work. I think he deserves a lot of credit for that.

      People can try to minimize what Ray meant to this ball club but as this very site pointed out, we were almost unbeatable when Ray shot more than 12 or so times. And the amount of all the big games he was so instrumental in…I’d retire his number.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Not sure why Ray would be in the running for the 2008 Finals MVP?

        He made 7 three-pointers in the Game 6 rout…but, the last 6 of them came with Boston up by more than 25 points. Those were not pressure shots, or even really needed.

        He was not Boston`s leading scorer in any of the 4 victories. Granted, he blew by Vujacic to clinch Game 4.

      • Reggie35RIP

        Real classy guys, say a player that tragically passed away didn’t deserve to have his number retired. I know this is the “anonymous internet” and all, but that’s just a low thing to say.

        And LA Flake takes it one step further with some ill informed laughable argument that turncoat Ray deserves to have his number retired over Reggie. One of the most ridiculous things I’ve read on here.

  • Blake

    34 should be retired, no question. I agree that 5 should too but if it wasn’t I’d have no qualms either. 20 should be worn again. Allen wasn’t in green long enough, didn’t have the same impact on the team as Garnett (not to minimize the big impact he did have) and left me seeing him as the Celtics Johnny Damon, as you mentioned. There’s a ton of numbers in the rafters already and I don’t want Allen up there with Bird, McHale, Russell, etc..

  • dise

    Kg and pierce all the way

  • Akash

    Did the Red Sox retire Babe’s number? Are we really still talking about this?

  • Shiv

    The Celtics have too many retired numbers as it is. I wouldn’t retire Pierce or Garnet’s numbers. You have to truly stand out in this day in age. Someone like Brian Scalabrine should have his number in the rafters; not because of his basketball skills, but because he is so good at playing World of Warcraft. Before you say anything I want you to know that WoW is important IRL! One time when I was in jail a 6’9″ black man wanted to buttseks me. I told him I was exalted with Stormwind so he buttseks’d a Korean guy instead.