Punch Your Big Ticket Out


By Nick Steblenko

After the Miami Heat won their first Eastern Conference championship against the Boston Celtics, LeBron James stated that his move to the Heat in the offseason mirrored a similar assembly of teammates, whom they had just defeated.

James was referring to the summer in which Celtics GM Danny Ainge brought Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join longtime Celtic Paul Pierce in a reformation of the fabled Big Three of Celtics lore. With each of the three superstars struggling in their own careers due to lack of talent surrounding them, the move seemed to make sense. Bring three superstars together and you will have the makings of a championship contender.

What happened after that was the rebirth of a rivalry between the Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, both considered championship contenders nearly every season. The story lines were fantastic and the drama never ending.

The Celtics emerged from their NBA Championship win looking like a long term power house. They had born a star in Rajon Rondo, who was only just beginning in his development into one of the best true point guards in the NBA. They started the season 27-2 and looked unstoppable until Kevin Garnett went down to injury in the second half of the season. So would begin the lengthy deterioration of the “Boston Three Party”.

The question every season suddenly became about their age. Were the Celtics simply too old to compete against a rising young crop of stars, led by LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Doc Rivers reduced his stars’ playing time to preserve them for the playoffs, a moved that proved to work in 2010 when Boston returned to the NBA Finals to face the eventual champion Lakers.

While they proved doubters wrong in 2010, the questions kept popping up as the media became relentless to prove that they could not defy their age.

With the recent injury of Rajon Rondo, and after seeing Ray Allen depart for the rival Heat at the end of last season, the questions have now turned solely to the remaining star power: Garnett and Pierce. Speculations have been thrown around due to the upcoming trade deadline about both players and it does not seem unreasonable to believe that both men would like another crack at a championship. However, the discussion becomes emotional when you realize what each man has brought to the franchise.

Pierce is the easy explanation. He is the second most prolific scorer in Boston’s long history and he has stuck with them through thick and thin. It would be difficult to see Paul Pierce show up at the Garden in another team’s colors after all of the years he has given to their franchise. There is something nostalgic about a player these days who chooses to remain loyal to his jersey no matter what the outcome may be. Sports fans all over the world can appreciate a self made man, especially when they are as gifted as The Truth.

Most people don’t see Danny Ainge moving Pierce unless there is a mutual agreement, much like the one between Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, that their time together has simply come to an end. That it would be best for both parties to move on and seek their own paths. Maybe they truly have done all that they can for one another and now it is time to say goodbye.

However, the more likely scenario for any movement would be Kevin Garnett. The trouble for Ainge in this situation is that Garnett has a no trade clause in his contract. Garnett made it very clear to the media that he “bleeds green”, giving many the idea that he will shoot down any team that comes-a-calling.

Yet, the fact is that Garnett is truly becoming too old to play at such a high level. The risk of injury and the deterioration of his athleticism is inevitable. No one has learned how to challenge the Hands of Time, and unless KG knows something we don’t, he will grow too old to play in the NBA. So, the possibility of winning another NBA Championship is getting smaller with each passing day. If he were to consider a “final ride” of his own, he may just be open to moving to another team at this point. The Celtics are not a sexy pick without Rondo and with the Miami Heat standing at the top of the Eastern Conference looking down, Garnett may need a new strategy.

The air in Boston is different. Loyalty and nostalgia go hand in hand. The Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox are all known for their longtime relationship with their respective fan bases. The fans love the players on a different level, almost so much that they feel they know them. When a beloved star leaves home, it can be devastating. Even when Kendrick Perkins left in the middle of the 2011 season the city was crushed. They felt they had lost a friend.

It may be the case with Garnett that Boston will hear some outcry from its fans, but it may be for the best. The tale of KG and the Big Three had a great run, but now it may be time to close the final chapter. There is always the last option of simply bowing out at the end of the season which, although it would leave Boston with little to show for his departure, would be noble in its own right.

The truth is, after all, that Kevin Garnett knows something we do not.


8 Responses to "Punch Your Big Ticket Out"

  1. Do You Even Lift?   February 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

    First round exit
    8th Seed

    Pick 3

  2. Sean   February 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Nick Steblenko has no clue about sports especially since he likes the devils

  3. Nick Steblenko   February 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks Sean. What a pal! I guess those Rangers would be a better choice even though they can’t beat a 40 year old…ammiright?!

  4. Sean   February 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I blame ray Lewis for providing Brodie with what is called “deer antler spray” that’s the only way I can justify the way Brodeur played on Tuesday night

  5. Zach   February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    How can you seriously justify writing this article after the Celtics’ recent six-game winning streak without Rondo, including a double overtime victory over Miami in which the Heat had multiple opportunities to win, but could not? Additionally, Danny Ainge personally spoke out on the issue the other day and mentioned that the most likely scenario would be for Pierce and KG to stay in Boston. They’re worth more to the Celtics than they are to other teams at this point. Really, do some research. You spin a fun tale, but at the end of the day it’s not much more than inferior journalism… on par with a sandwich full of feces.

  6. Nick   February 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Your response is amusing. I must say the high journalistic standards you have shown are inspiring. That being said…

    Do you think the Celtics are going to win in the playoffs? No. You don’t because no one does.

    So I would think that trying to get out of Boston on the heels of a hot streak would be smart. The point is that KG and Pierce don’t stand a chance of winning another title in Beantown, so why not try to go for a trade somewhere else?

    Quit the middle school playground attacks and have a real discussion if you’d like to respond this time.

  7. Sean   February 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Zach you’re the guy who thinks that since the lakers just won 7 of 9 that they are title contenders aren’t you?

    The celtics would struggle to get out of the 1st round of the playoffs if they keep this roster…why wouldn’t the Celtic try and get something for an aging KG?

  8. Zach   February 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Nick, it wasn’t a middle school playground attack. Your piece was truly garbage, at best.

    Sean, no, I don’t think the Lakers will recover. I think they are doomed. Secondly, they could not get true value for either Garnett or Pierce right now considering their respective ages. However, they remain highly efficient players for a playoff team in the East. Lastly, I guarantee you that the Celtics are more of a force to be reckoned with than the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks, or Bucks in the playoffs. The Celtics know how to win, Rondo or not. Just keep counting them out and they’ll keep proving you wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.