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Your Morning Dump… Sorry, Minnesota, Kevin Garnett is a Celtic

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 27, 2014 Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, The Morning Dump 19 Comments

kevin garnett after tribute video

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.

Another point was made clear last night: These guys didn’t just play for the Celtics; they are Celtics. Just as Derek Jeter is a Yankee, just as Joe Montana is a 49er, you need to know that Paul Pierce is a Celtic and Kevin Garnett is a Celtic.

And please, no talk about how Garnett played only six seasons with the Celtics — and this after 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Reggie Jackson played only five of his 21 major-league seasons in New York, but he is, and always will be, a Yankee. Frank Robinson played only six of his 21 seasons in Baltimore, but he is, and always will be, an Oriole.

And for those of you who insist on a basketball example, here goes: The late Wilt Chamberlain played only five of his 14 NBA seasons in Los Angeles, but, to me, he is, and always will be, a Laker.

Herald:  Salute to Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce simply a sampler

“By far this was the hardest day that I’ve had to focus,” Garnett said. “This is bigger than (when I went back to) Minnesota. Minnesota wasn’t like this.”

NY Daily News

‘‘That was our era. No one can ever take that away from us,’’ Garnett said after the Nets beat the Celtics 85-79 on Sunday night. ‘‘I think we will always bleed green as long as we play basketball. We’ll bleed green when we’re six feet under.’’

Globe:  Pierce, KG return for first time as ex-Celtics

Kevin Garnett changed the NBA.  He was the first of these lithe super freaks who played out on the wing despite being seven feet tall.  He ushered in this new generation of bigs who challenged the notion that time spent in the post was directly proportional to every inch above 6’6″ they were.  He dominated the game from all points on the floor and laid claim to some share of “best ever” conversation at his position… whichever position that is.

He did all of that in a Minnesota Timberwoves uniform.

But he’s a Celtic. 

“It felt good to be showered and for the city to show their appreciation [and] the organization, man. You give yourself. People always say that players can be too loyal. I don’t believe that. A city like Boston is worth it and tonight’s the epitome of all that.”

For life.

“We’ll bleed green when we’re six feet under.”

A Wolves fan reading this might claim we’re full it; that we’re the big, bad, Boston bullies hip-checking Minny out of the family photo album.

That’s not what this is.  We know Kevin will always have love for Minnesota.  But what he went through in Minnesota was like a divorce.  It hurt.  It wasn’t supposed to end that way.  There are “woulda’s” and “shoulda’s” that leave a bitter taste.

His departure from Boston has left him more as a widower than a divorcee’.  The era that gave him the vindication he so craved has passed on.  It held on valiantly and lived longer than most people expected, but in the end, the Garnett-era Big 3 slipped peacefully into the annals of NBA lore.

For Garnett, the difference is extremely important.  For Garnett, last night’s tributes weren’t separate.  He viewed the love showered down on him and Paul Pierce as part of one, long tribute to Celtics greatness that began with “We love ya Cooz,” and will keep on rolling, in all likelihood, when his and Paul’s numbers are raised to the rafters.

The Celtics can’t be mentioned without their “storied history” being part of the conversation.  Garnett, from day one, has done everything he could to part of that history.

The most forgettable Celtics – Art “Hambone” Williams and Eric Fernsten – would show up in the locker room in Miami and Golden State, and Garnett would search out Twiss and want to know all about them. “He was really fascinated with Hambone,” Twiss said.

“I told Kevin this, and I still believe it: I only wish Red had been around here for Kevin. Oh, they would’ve loved each other. Red would’ve loved the way Kevin played, and Kevin would’ve sat there and listened to Red’s philosophies all day long.”

Kevin Garnett played a long time in a different city, but there is no more perfect franchise for him than the Celtics.  His time here is cemented as one of the great eras of a great franchise.

So with all due respect to what he’s done and where he’s done it, Kevin Garnett is a Celtic.

For life.

Related links:  ESPN Boston:  Feel the electricity  |  ESPN NY:  Pierce, Garnett honored in Boston  |  Herald:  Emotional tribute rekindle’s Garnett’s love for Green |  Globe:  Garnett: Return to Boston bigger than return to Minnesota  |  CSNNE:  Two unforgettable Celtics honored on memorable night  |  Stevens:  This town “gets it”  |   WEEI:  Garnett: tribute was over the top

Page 2:  Cue the Jeff Green speculation machine

Green’s got two more years on his deal that will owe him $18.4 million.  The $9.2 million is a debatable number for a guy who can look so good one night, and so pedestrian the next.

The thing about Green is that he still has that enticing potential.  A GM could look at Green’s successes and think that his team’s situation is more suitable to replicate them.  That GM could look to move a bigger-contract (hopefully, attached to a disenfranchised star looking to make a new start), that could be spun into a multi-player deal.

Remember, the most important player on this Celtics roster is probably Keith Bogans, who has perhaps the most valuable of contracts:  A mid-level, non-guaranteed deal that can be almost immediately cut.  He can be added to virtually any deal to make it work.  Green and Bogans suddenly make a near-max player technically possible.  And it’s that technically possible that’s the most important step.  From there, the Celtics can sweeten the pot with some of their million draft picks over the next few years (it’s actually 17, but in this league, at this time, it feels like a million).

As for who that player might be in a potential Green trade?  I don’t know, and I hate to throw scenarios out there, so I should probably just leave this here.

Besides, there’s no precedent in Boston trading a bunch of young players with promise after a horrible season to a team with a star player… maybe even a star forward… who could never seem to get that franchise over the hump.  It’d be silly even entertain that though.

And Finally…

Good, because our last memory of Pierce in Boston shouldn’t be this

Related links:  ESPN Boston:  Pierce comes home again  |  Herald:  Pierce overwhelmed by shower of love  |  Globe: Celtics were lucky to have Paul Pierce  |  CSNNE: Pierce, Garnett return the love after tributes  |  Pierce on leaving Celtics: “It was very difficult”  |  WEEI: Pierce calls return “toughest game I’ve had to play”

The rest of the links

ESPN Boston:  Rondo’s minutes on the rise  |  Herald: Despite late surge, loss tide keeps rolling  |  CSNNE:  Johnson expected to get second 10-day deal  |  Good, bad, and ugly:  Rondo getting minutes up

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  • ian

    Paul Pierce signs with the celtics for 1 year, 7 mil for 14′-15′ season and retires where he belongs.

    • Curt Hays

      If he does that and plays a season, he better sign for the vet minimum. Don’t be taking away salary from my team! :-)

    • RedsLoveChild

      Please do not get your hopes up on Pierce returning here to close out his playing career….Danny Ainge is NOT exactly the “sentimental type”.

      Actually, Danny is much more the type who would foreclose on an orphanage!

  • bill_nair

    I fully believe Paul will play his final year (hopefully years) of basketball in Green. Im honored to have watched that man play. While all the kids were trying to emulate Kobe and MJ on the court, I wanted to be The Truth.

    I didn’t really care for KG in Minny. I knew of his dominance but barely watching him really left me out of the mix. In 6 short years in Boston he showed me everything I could’ve seen in 12 years in Minny and more. His impact on this great organization was greater than any of his stats he put up in Minny.

    • Curt Hays

      You wanted to be the Truth; but you couldn’t, could you? You couldn’t handle it.

    • Thatguy

      I feel you on that first paragraph. I copied his form on three pointers for hours on the court. I’d look ridiculous(That’s what other guys said, at least), but I was draining them.

      I’d say Pierce is gonna retire in Celtic Green, where he belongs.

      • Chuck Da buck

        Your lucky they were going in cause Paul pieces form is def one of the worst in the league. I remember doc saying he dont know how it goes in but if your working on your shot do not emulate Paul pierce.

        • Thatguy

          Well, I did change my form up since then.

          Funny enough, I can’t hit a three for my life now.

  • Curt Hays

    Thanks a lot, John. I’m not crying, it’s allergies.

  • GreenbirdCro

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mh4es4j
    Just couldn’t help myself…
    LOL

    • pierce Hart

      Love the idea of trading for Melo unlike 99% of our team. If we traded for a top defensive centre kept sully and our 2014 pick we’d be a title contender

      • GreenbirdCro

        If this could be done, the next thing that would make me so happy would be to get ourselves Hibbie
        I would even consider parting with Top5 pick to go as a sweetner for this:
        http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=l5h89b5
        Instant contenders

        • GreenbirdCro

          Wishful thinking, all of it, I know…

          • pierce Hart

            No way the pacers ever trade their Hibbert & George core!
            I reckon we’d be better landing someone like Noah if you give 2 picks up for Melo and 1 for Noah then have your 2014st still there the team would look Nasty, a line up of Rondo, Shumpert, Melo, Sully, Noah and a top 5 pick would be incredible. Bradley and Olynyk would be great deal makers.

          • GreenbirdCro

            I know bro. As I said, wishful thinking…
            I could live with Noah but wouldn’t give AB and KO for him. Much much better player would be needed to entice me to trade those two.

          • pierce Hart

            I meant more along the line of Green Wallace Bradley Olynyk and a first for Melo then Hump and a pick for Noah

          • GreenbirdCro

            That would be to expensive for my taste

      • Chuck Da buck

        Why do u want melo? All that would do is destroy our franchise and then he’d demand a trade to go somewhere better.

        • pierce Hart

          One of the best scorers in the NBA. Top rebounder as well always plays well against George and LeBron. Would add the attacking scoring threat we need. If you say defense wins rings you’re right but so does offense. Getting a good balance is vital if you have a top defensive PG SG and C with a hustling power forwad you have a well rounded team. Nightmare on the boards. Nightmare on D. Nightmare at ball movement. Plus you could build a team like that whilst keeping Your top pick. Building for the future and competitig at the same time. Ray Allen and PP were hardly known for their D