Sunday will be a special evening at the Garden as Celtics Nation prepares to welcome home a couple of legends. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will play in their first game in Boston since being shipped to Brooklyn - which figures to be pretty emotional for not only the fans, but for themselves.
Check out some quotes from Pierce and KG courtesy of Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:
"I’m gonna embrace it for whatever it is," Garnett told reporters after his Brooklyn Nets' 107-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks Friday. "I’m sure it's gonna be ... the emotions are gonna be very high, and I’ll react accordingly."
"It's going to be special," said Pierce, who spent 15 seasons with the Celtics, the team that drafted him. "I don't know how I'll react, what emotions are going to be going through my head."
"We’re going there with all good thoughts and open arms. Boston was good to me. Boston was a whole 'nother episode for Paul because he’s been there for the good and bad. But, all in all, it was good times." [Garnett said.]
Said Pierce, "Yeah, we shared so many memories, on and off the court -- shared our best memories in Boston. We won a championship and when you talk about the ride we had together and the run, a lot of things go through your head so it's fun to be able to share it with him."
Pierce will be in the Garden's visitor's locker room -- an awkward experience, no doubt.
"I talked to [Celtics' travel and equipment manager John Connor] today, so I told him I'll probably sit in the equipment room like I used to always do in my 15 years there, who knows," Pierce said. "It's going to be a little weird, though."
"You've got to understand that everything we put into the six years we were invested in, we put everything into it," Garnett said. "I think the people of Boston and New England and [Massachusetts] they all understood that.
Of course, many memories stick out. "The obvious ones," Garnett said. "The winning stands out. But times where some guys were beat up and played through. Small things for me. I can remember Paul playing through the flu in Cleveland. He was throwing up and everybody saw he had to take like two or three IVs and he played. Times where Ray (Allen) had a messed up foot and played, and (Rajon) Rondo gutting through his elbow ... Big Baby (Glenn Davis) damn near having a concussion and coming back. Doc sick in Detroit, gutting through it with a hoarse voice and he couldn’t even talk. Small things that I'll take that I don't really want to share with you guys for obvious reasons. The ceiling in L.A. ... these are certain things that stand out to me that I'll never forget."
Pierce, the second-leading scorer in Celtics' history, was asked if he's glad to get the night out of the way, given the emotion that it promises to bring. "Yeah, it's gonna be a lot of emotions," he said. "You play your whole life there, you won a championship there, I mean, being the first time coming (back)...I never thought it would happen, but it is and it'll be here Sunday."
Lots to digest there, but as expected, Pierce and KG both seem happy to come back and play for their fans in Boston. But more importantly, they are proud of what they achieved while playing for Boston. They saw the ovation Doc Rivers drew from the crowd last month, therefor they know the enormous eruption that they are due for on Sunday.
The 2008 banner represents the only championship of many Celtics fans lifetimes. Something Pierce and Garnett will forever be remembered for, as well as something they will never forget themselves.
I think it's safe to say those achievements will be celebrated on Sunday night.
Source: Baxter Holmes
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