|Posted by GeeZeeCeltics on June 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM|
This is it. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are gone not long after Doc Rivers made his move to Los Angeles.
I am not yet ready to dissect this without emotion. In fact, right now, I think primarily through emotion. Whenever I think of how great those draft picks are, I think back to a Paul Pierce dagger three. Whenever they tell me that the pair is getting old and this is a good haul, I just think of how KG would bang his head on the green stanchion, his glare full of intensity.
I have learned so much from these two men that I jokingly (or maybe not?) call Garnett my second father. It seems silly to many. There's a recent situation from my life that shows it: I have been playing on an MCL sprain for the past 2 weeks. Just yesterday, a pair of friends asked me why I do it, asking me if I was a masochist. They asked me if it was worth it.
I don't know why I didn't say it outright, but there is just one sole reason. I hate to lose. I can't stand sitting and watching my team lose when I know I can go out there and help. It is something I learned straight from the Big Ticket. And this, again, is something that many can't understand.
But those who have been touched by the burning flame that is Kevin Garnett's passion understand it. Those who saw Paul Pierce emerge from the tunnel in the 2008 Finals shortly after being injured know it, too. You could see it in Ray Allen's eyes, too, after the Celtics were beaten by Miami a little over a year ago when he said: "We wanted it so bad..."
It is an experience beyond basketball. It is something that us Celtics fans are very priviledged to have had. These great years have taken us through a spectrum of emotion, a rollercoaster ride like none other. During this ride, we all have taken something unique from it and yet we are unified by it, and we walked out of it as better people.
For me, it was the intense distaste towards losing that changed me. It is making bidding farewell that much harder, knowing that the wins depart together with Kevin and Paul, leaving us with only hopes for the future. There will come a time when the Celtics are atop the NBA once again, when we will again be at awe of a great team.
But, for now, it is only right that we stay in melancholy for a while longer, appreciating every moment of a bygone era and thanking the men who helped shape it. Through the peaks and valleys, twists and turns - they always were an inspiration, right up to the final minute. We will have all summer to think about the future, but today...
Today, let me reminisce of when Pierce and Garnett hugged each other as the buzzer sounded and the confetti rained down on them, signifying the end of their struggle as ringless All-Stars. Although this moment came at the beginning of the era and not its end, it defined everything that this era was all about.
Let me wipe a tear and say goodbye to these wonderful warriors who battled the odds, the doubters and Father Time himself as valiantly as they could, enthralling a young boy looking for purpose and changing his life forever.
Long live the Big Three era.